Kool & The Gang’s George ‘Funky’ Brown Dies At 74

US musicians Dennis Thomas (L), George ‘Funky’ Brown (2nd from L), Robert ‘Kool’ Bell (2nd from R), from the band Kool & The Gang, attend the Songwriters Hall of Fame 49th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner at New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
11:17 AM – Friday, November 17, 2023

George “Funky” Brown, the drummer for Kool & The Gang, has passed away at 74.


The band’s original member died on Thursday at his Los Angeles home from Stage 4 lung cancer, according to TMZ.

Donations to the Lung Cancer Foundation of America may be made in Brown’s name, a representative for the star informed reporters.

In an interview with KCAL News last month, Brown talked about his illness and said that he was ready to resume performing after a brief period of recovery.

“We’d join hands, and you’d say to yourself, ‘Let’s go make some people happy,’” Brown told the outlet, including an additional message to those battling cancer. “Don’t give up, never give up.”

A number of popular hit songs by the R&B group, including “Ladies’ Night,” “Too Hot,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Celebration,” and “Cherish,” were co-written by Brown.

In 1964, Kool & The Gang was founded in New Jersey. Brown shared the stage with Claydes “Charles” Smith, Ricky West, Dennis Thomas, Robert Mickens, and brothers Robert and Ronald Bell.

In 2015, Kool & The Gang received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, seven American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards.

When they signed their first recording contract with De-Lite Records, their self-titled first album was released in 1969.

Their fourth album, “Wild and Peaceful,” released in 1973, was the catalyst for their rapid ascent to international stardom. The album featured popular songs including “Hollywood Swinging” and “Jungle Boogie.” The trio also recorded the classic songs “Ladies’ Night” (1979), “Celebrate!” (1980), and “Emergency” (1984).

The legendary drummer is survived by Hanh Brown, his spouse, and their five children.

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