Gap Band founder and bassist Robert Wilson dies at age 53

Robert-WilsonImage Credit: David Corio/Redferns/Getty ImagesBassist Robert Wilson, who founded legendary funk act the Gap Band with his brothers Charlie, and Ronnie, died Sunday in his Palmdale, Ca. home, according to Billboard. Wilson was 53.

The Tulsa-raised Wilson brothers began playing together in 1967, originally under the name of the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Street Band. In the early ’70s, they performed with Leon Russell, who produced their debut album Magician’s Holiday. In the ’80s, the Gap Band repeatedly hit the charts with such songs as “Early in the Morning,” “Party Train,” and “You Dropped a Bomb on Me.”

Famous Gap Band fans include Roots drummer Questlove, who yesterday wrote on Twitter, “my god… the youngest “Gap” Brother Robert Wilson passed away. he will be missed.”

You can hear “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” after the jump.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (52 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3
  • Chris

    Damn.
    That dropped a bomb on me.
    *crickets*

    • Lee

      Very VERY wrong….yet funny.

      • Demon X

        No it wasn’t funny stupid!

      • Christy

        This introduces a pleasingly raioatnl point of view.

      • Lee C

        Yo a big part of the 80s funk being a bass player myself I felt he did not receive enough due for his contributions to the game but we will have his work to remind us that he was among the best players in the game

    • Demon X

      Dumbass!

  • JACK HART

    glad 2 see someone is mentioning r&b/soul artists on this site. a fav of mine’s was the gap band’s soul classic “yearning for your love”. rip bro rob

  • Berni

    RIP He was so young. That is why I say black men you have to start eating better. This is all in not taking care of business. No I mean really!!

  • Jay

    Tulsa misses you already, Robert. You and The Gap Band will never be forgotten.

  • BES

    We will miss you – had a good time at Tulsa Central the good old days in he band room use to Jam and it was great listening to you play RIP Yearning for your love was my favorite song

  • Vince

    I grew up listening to the Gap Band…I still listen to the Gap Band!!! RIP, you guys made incredible music!!

  • Lee

    now i feel shame.

    *eyes lowered*

    • Me

      You should.

  • SLB

    :( LOVE the gap band.

  • Barneymann

    RIP!!! my parachute pants and kangaroo’s will miss you!!

  • Tami Ramirez-Knight

    I WAS SORROFUL TO HEAR OF “ROBERT WILSON’S” PASSING YESTERDAY.
    THE 3 WILSON BROTHER’S = THE GAP
    HAVE SO MANY WONDERFUL MEMORIES WRAPPED IN “THE GAP BAND MUSIC”.
    REST IN PEACE “RW’. PRAYERS & SYMPATHY GO OUT TO ALL YOUR LOVED ONES & FRIENDS. YOU WILL BE IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER. TAMI

  • jerry medina

    the godfather of bass will truly will be miss.rip mr.robert wilson

  • Shiny

    Sad news indeed. The world would be a happier place if there was more funk.

    • Mike

      You are soooo right!

  • Star

    I am from Tulsa, where The Gap Band is from, and it is especially sad to know that one of our finest is gone. I remember riding around in the car with Robert and others one time right before he became famous. Right now it feels like the legacy of The Gap Band is broken, but in time, Robert’s memory will conquer all. My heartfelt condolences and prayers goes out to Charlie, Ronnie, and the Wilson family. He was a baad bassist. R.I.P. Robert, and thank you for all of the “outstanding” music that you have given us. You will be truly missed!

  • Diana Easter

    I was blessed to have met Robertlynn,Charlie, and Ronnie, my nickname from them was Lil Chaka, I felt honored It was in 78 I will truely miss my dear dear friend RIP Now ROBERTLYNN

  • melodie

    God bless the wilson family.

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