Kool & the Gang Co-founder Dennis Thomas Dead at Age 70

Kool & the Gang Co-founder Dennis Thomas Dead at Age 70
George Brown, Ronald Bell, Dennis Thomas, and Robert 'Kool' Bell of Kool and the Gang arrive during the 2014 Soul Train Awards at the Orleans Arena at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., on Nov. 7, 2014. (Omar Vega/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK—Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, a founding member of the long-running soul-funk band Kool & the Gang, has died. He was 70.

He died peacefully in his sleep Saturday in New Jersey, where he was a resident of Montclair, according to a statement from his representative.

Thomas was the alto sax player, flutist and percussionist. He served as master of ceremonies at the band’s shows. His last appearance with the group was July Fourth at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Among those Thomas is survived by are his wife, Phynjuar Saunders Thomas, daughter Tuesday Rankin, and sons David Thomas and Devin Thomas.

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