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Leroy ‘Sugarfoot’ Bonner, the frontman for funk band the Ohio Players, has died at age 69. The group is best known for a string of hits in the 1970s, including “Fire,” “Love Rollercoaster” and “Skin Tight.”
The Dayton Daily News reports that Bonner died on Saturday after a battle with cancer. An official family announcement on his Facebook page confirmed his death on Sunday. He was just days shy of celebrating his 70th birthday.
“While his family, friends, colleagues, and fans mourn his passing they celebrate fondly his memory, music and legacy,” his family stated.
Bonner was born in Hamilton, Ohio and began his career with the Ohio Untouchables, which later grew to the Ohio Players. He continued performing with Sugarfoot's Ohio Players.
“It's kind of crazy,” bassist Marshall Jones told the Associated Press. “I'm still feeling fragile.”
Jones called the group “a bunch of the most creative people — especially Sugarfoot — that I have ever been around.”
“He was a great person with a lot of wisdom not just in music, but in life,” Dazz Band’s Keith Harrison told the Dayton Daily News. “He was an extraordinary person.”
Bonner’s family has not set funeral arrangements.