Leroy ‘Sugarfoot’ Bonner Dead, Ohio Players Frontman Passes Away at 69
Ohio Players guitarist and frontman Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner passed away Saturday (Jan. 26) at the age of 69. According to his Facebook page, the musician died in his hometown of Trotwood-Dayton, Ohio. No additional information about his death was provided.
"Suga," as he was affectionately called by his band members, was the face and voice of the Ohio Players, who garnered several chart-topping hits in the mid-70s. The band originally formed in Dayton in 1959, as the Ohio Untouchables before going through several different name changes.
In 1970, they finally settled with the Ohio Players and achieved their first No. 1 R&B hit with 'Funky Worm' in 1973. Among their other hits were 'Fire,' 'Skin Tight' and 'Love Rollercoaster.'
Bonner's family wrote an elegiac tribute to him on his Facebook page. It reads:
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."
Marshall Jones, a bass guitarist for the Ohio Player, said Bonner was the most creative person he's ever been around. "It's kind of crazy, I'm still feeling fragile," he told the Associated Press.
The Ohio Players' discography has been heavily sampled in hip-hop. The group's most popular song 'Funky Worm' has been interpolated hundreds of times by such artists as Dr. Dre, Notorious B.I.G., De La Soul, Snoop Dogg, EPMD, Public Enemy, Too Short and Kendrick Lamar, among many others.
Funeral arrangements for Mr. Bonner have yet to be finalized.
We send our condolences to the family and friends of Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner. May he rest in everlasting peace.
Watch Ohio Players Perform 'Skintight' on 'Soul Train'
Watch Ohio Players Perform 'Fire' on 'Midnight Special'
Listen to Ohio Players 'Funky Worm'