Bell in 2019
Birth name Ronald Nathan Bell Also known as Khalis Bayyan Born November 1, 1951 Youngstown, Ohio, U.S. Origin West Orange, New Jersey, U.S. Died September 9, 2020 (aged 68) United States Virgin Islands Genres Classical, jazz, funk, R&B Occupation(s) Composer, singer, songwriter, arranger, producer Instruments Saxophone, vocals Years active 1964–2020 Associated acts Kool & the Gang
Ronald Nathan Bell (November 1, 1951 – September 9, 2020), also known as Khalis Bayyan, was an American composer, singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, saxophonist and co-founding member of  Kool & the Gang. The band recorded nine No. 1 R&B singles in the 1970s and 80s, including its No. 1 pop single " Celebration". The group is honored on the  Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Early life [ edit ]
Bell was born in
Youngstown, Ohio,  to Aminah Bayyan (1932–2014) and Robert "Bobby" Bell (1929–1985). His father was a professional boxer and  Golden Gloves amateur boxing winner. Training in  Elwood, New York, he hung out with jazz players and became friends with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk,  who lived in the same apartment building as the elder Bell.  
Ronald Bell and his brother,
Robert "Kool" Bell, were introduced to jazz at around five or six. The family moved to  Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1960. In 1964, the brothers joined neighborhood friends Spike Mickens, Dennis Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown, and Charles Smith to create a distinctive musical blend of jazz, soul, and funk. At first calling themselves "The Jazziacs", the band went through various name changes—the New Dimensions, the Soul Town Band, and Kool & the Flames—before settling on Kool & the Gang in 1968. 
Musical career [ edit ]
Ronald Bell composed, arranged, produced and performed some of the most popular music in Kool and the Gang's body of work.
He was a self-taught musician, and his distinctive sound is on the group's horn lines, bass, synthesizer and vocals. He wrote and produced many of the Kool & the Gang's songs, including "  Celebration", " Cherish", " Jungle Boogie", " Summer Madness", and " Open Sesame". He said his favorite song was "Celebration", which he wrote after reading a passage in the  Quran.
Personal life and death [ edit ]
Bell converted to Islam in 1972, joining The
Nation of Islam. He was given the name Khalis Bayyan by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed. He was married to Tia Sinclair Bell and had 10 children.  His son, Rachid, released his debut album in 1998. 
Bell died at his home in the
United States Virgin Islands on September 9, 2020, at age 68. No cause was given, but the death was described as sudden. 
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ Bush, John.
Biography of Kool & the Gang at AllMusic. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
Freedman, Richard (February 21, 2019). "Bells haven't cracked after 52 years of 'Kool. '" Vallejo Times Herald . Retrieved . September 12, 2020
Savage, Mark (September 10, 2020). "Ronald Bell: Kool & The Gang founder dies aged 68". BBC.com . Retrieved . September 10, 2020
Ronald Bell at AllMusic. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
Classical Music entry for Ronald Bell at AllMusic. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
"Bobby Bell - BoxRec". Boxrec.com . Retrieved . September 9, 2020
^ a b
"Kool & the Gang headline CelebrateErie on Saturday". Erie Times-News. August 13, 2015 . Retrieved . September 10, 2020
Norment, Lynn (November 1986). "Kool & The Gang: Hottest Group of the 80s". Ebony. Vol. 42 no. 1. pp. 70–76. ISSN 0012-9011 . Retrieved . September 10, 2020
"Robert "Kool" Bell: The Current Q & A". San Antonio Current. June 20, 2012 . Retrieved . September 10, 2020
Lynch, Joe (February 21, 2019). "Kool & the Gang Look Back on 50 Years of Funk". Billboard . Retrieved . September 10, 2020
"Kool & the Gang celebrate (good times, come on!) Hollywood Walk of Fame star". Los Angeles Daily News. October 8, 2015 . Retrieved . September 10, 2020
Maile, Kelly (June 27, 2013). "Music Legends Kool and The Gang join Kid Rock tour, coming to Blossom Music Center". Record-Courier . Retrieved . September 10, 2020
^ McFaul, Lauren.
"Kool's gang freshens rock with funk", , June 3, 1985. Retrieved October 25, 2015. "Ronald Bell has a studio in his West Orange, N.J., home and from there has worked on production for Kool & the Gang's last six albums." The Spokesman-Review
"RONALD "KHALIS" BELL". SAG-AFTRA Foundation . Retrieved . September 10, 2020
Aidi, Hisham (December 9, 2014). "Did Coltrane say 'Allah Supreme'?". Al Jazeera . Retrieved . February 20, 2019
"J.T. TAYLOR – KOOL & THE GANG". Iconartistagency.com . Retrieved . February 20, 2019 Ronald Five X is given the name Khalis (intelligent) by Imam Wallace D. Mohammed
Alexander, Bryan (September 9, 2020). "Ronald 'Khalis' Bell, Kool & the Gang co-founder and 'Celebration' songwriter, dies at 68". . USA Today McLean, Virginia: Ganett Company . Retrieved . September 10, 2020
Ratliff, Ben (December 14, 1998). "Not One More for the Road". The New York Times . Retrieved . September 10, 2020
Parker, Lyndsey (September 9, 2020). "Kool & the Gang co-founder Ronald 'Khalis' Bell dead at 68". Yahoo! News . Retrieved . September 9, 2020
"Ronald 'Khalis' Bell, Kool & the Gang Co-Founder, Dies at 68". Spin.com. September 9, 2020 . Retrieved . September 9, 2020
External links [ edit ]