(January 27, 2013) Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner, the flamboyant front man of the Ohio Players, has died at age 70. As the lead guitarist and vocalist on many of their biggest hits, including "Love Rollercoaster," "Fire" and more, Bonner was among the most respected and beloved funk men of the 70s and 80s, and he continued to perform well into the 21st Century. He will be missed.
One of the funkiest groups in the funkiest decade, the Ohio Players became the template for a generation of Midwest jamming groups. Formed in Dayton, Ohio in 1959 as the Ohio Untouchables, the group initially included members Robert Ward (vocals/guitar), Marshall "Rock" Jones (bass), Clarence "Satch" Satchell (saxophone/guitar), Cornelius Johnson (drums), and Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks (trumpet/trombone). When Ward, the group leader, broke the act up in the early 60s, the remaining members reformed with additions Gary Webster (drums) and the auspicious young guitarist, Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner, and later added trumpeter Bruce Napier, trombonist Marvin Pierce, and keyboardist Walter "Junie" Morrison.....Read Full Biography
Here is the official announcement of Sugarfoot's death
Official Family Announcement of the Passing of Leroy Sugarfoot Bonner
Yesterday, Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner passed away quietly in his hometown of Trotwood-Dayton, OH. While his family, friends, colleagues, and fans mourn his passing they celebrate fondly his memory, music, and legacy.
Sugarfoot, or Foot, or Sugar, was the founding and cornerstone artistic talent of OHIO PLAYERS and the face and sound of the OHIO PLAYERS brand, which he knit together and launched in 1964 with former members of The Ohio Untouchables. With a career spanning 56 years, he passed barely short of his 70th birthday.
Humble yet charismatic, soft spoken and of few words, the weight of his thoughts, lyrics, and music has influenced countless other artists, songs, and trends. He will be missed but not forgotten as his legacy and music lives on. More details and an official historical perspective of his career will soon be forthcoming.
His Facebook page is available to all to post comments, reflections, and testimonials of this wonderful and gifted man:
Watch "Unsung" episode on the Ohio Players