Funk music royalty Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner has passed away at the age of 69. The frontman for the Ohio Players, best known for 1970s No. 1 hits “Fire” and “Love Rollercoaster.”
Ohio Players bassist Marshall Jones tells the Associated Press, “It’s kind of crazy … I’m still feeling fragile.” Jones calls the group “”a bunch of the most creative people — especially Sugarfoot — that I have ever been around.”
In recent years, Bonner performed with a spinoff band, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players. Despite the suggestive nature of the original incarnation’s lyrics, Bonner criticize modern-day rappers and pop musicians. “There is nothing but the old school and the new fools,” Bonner said. “It’s a shame the way these artists are preaching badness to a drum beat.”
A spokesperson for the Newcomer Funeral Home in Dayton, Ohio says no public memorial service has been planned by Bonner’s family.