Kool & The Gang founder George 'Funky' Brown dies aged 74

George "Funky" Brown.
George Brown has died at the age of 74. Credit: AP

George "Funky" Brown the co-founder and longtime drummer of Kool & The Gang has died at the age of 74.

Brown, who helped write hits including "Too Hot" and "Celebration", died after a battle with cancer, according to a statement released by Universal Music.

He had retired from performing earlier this year, after revealing that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

In 1964, Brown helped launch the Grammy-winning group - originally called the Jazziacs - along with bassist Robert "Kool" Bell, brother Ronald Bell on keyboards and guitarist Charles Smith.

The group broke through into the public reckoning in the mid-1970s, after years of relative obscurity as well as name and personnel changes.

In 2023, Brown produced the band's latest album "People Just Wanna Have Fun", and released his memoir "Too Hot: Kool & The Gang & Me".

He is survived by his wife, Hanh Brown, and his five children. In lieu of flowers, his family has asked that donations be made in his honour to the Lung Cancer Society of America.

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