Ronnie Wilson, one of the founding members of R&B and funk group The Gap Band, has died. He was 73 years old.
The news was confirmed by Wilson’s wife, Linda Boulware-Wilson on Facebook on Tuesday, with a series of photos and a loving tribute to her husband, one of three Wilson brothers who headed the group in the 1970s and ’80s and produced hits like “You Dropped a Bomb on Me.”
“The love of my life was called home this morning, at 10:01am. Please continue to pray for The Wilson, Boulware, and Collins family, while we mourn his passing,” she wrote. “Ronnie Wilson was a genius with creating, producing, and playing the flugelhorn, Trumpet, keyboards, and singing music, from childhood to his early seventies. He will be truly missed!!!
Boulware-Wilson revealed that her late husband had suffered a stroke last week, putting him into a semi-coma, according to TMZ.
The Gap Band was an R&B and funk band from Oklahoma, which Wilson started with his brothers, Charlie and Robert. They called themselves the “Gap” band in remembrance of the Tulsa Race Massacre. The name is an acronym for Greenwood, Archer and Pine — the streets that were targeted in the deadly 1921 attack on the Black-dominated Greenwood district in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The brothers found fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s, opening for bands including The Rolling Stones. Their biggest hits include “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and “Burn Rubber on Me.”
With Ronnie’s passing, Charlie Wilson is now the only surviving member of The Gap Band.