LFO lead singer Rich Cronin, 36, dies after battle with leukemia

Rich Cronin, the lead singer and founder of the late-1990s boy band LFO, has passed away after a long battle with leukemia, according to reports from TMZ and E! News. He was 36. LFO, or the Lyte Funky Ones, were best known for the 1999 beach-y hit “Summer Girls,” which included the renown of-the-moment lyric penned by Cronin, “I like girls that wear Abercrombie & Fitch.” The video for their follow-up, “Girls on TV,” featured Cronin’s then-girlfriend Jennifer Love Hewitt. The band split in 2002. In 2005, Cronin was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. Two years later, his cancer in remission, Cronin — along with former boy banders Jeff Timmons (of 98 Degrees), Bryan Abrams (of Color Me Badd), and Chris Kirkpatrick (of ‘N Sync) — starred in the VH1 reality series Mission: Man Band, about the quartet’s struggle to start up a new band.

Kirkpatrick updated his Facebook profile today with the message “RIP to a great friend Rich C.” Lance Bass also posted to Twitter with the message, “Sad sad day that Rich Cronin died – was an amazing guy.”

In 2006, Cronin, looking back on his career, told EW, “I am truly thankful for the success I had. And if it happens again, that’d be really nice. I’m just that same guy writing pop songs to make people happy. And I still only like girls in Abercrombie & Fitch.”

More news from EW.com’s Music Mix:

LFO bandmates talk to EW about their fallen friend Rich Cronin: ‘He was a fighter’
Amy Winehouse to sing ‘It’s My Party’ for Quincy Jones
Arcade Fire’s revolutionary “We Used to Wait” video: Director speaks
Kings of Leon return with new single and video “Radioactive”
Michael Jackson’s father admits spanking him as a child

Comments (106 total) Add your comment
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  • jon

    RIP Rich…thanks for the good music. I lovet that first LFO album. All songs are awesome and im a grown man. I thought there were better than Backstreet Boys and them.

    • Taylor

      @Fruttel: That’s exactly what I was thinking. Jeff is a total tool — and he’s too stupid to know it.

  • Liz

    I literally just added there stuff to my ipod because I was missing the 90’s

    • DP

      Show some respect for the deceased, you idiot.

  • GL

    Very sorry to hear this.. R.I.P… your songs and memories will live on..

  • dz

    so sad, loved thier music, r.i.p rich

  • Neal

    My deepest condolences to his family. I had a friend that was diagnosed about the same age in his life, and i miss him very much. 35 is too young to go. May he rest in piece.

    • Elizabeth

      You mean like multiple douchey posts on an entertainment magazine website?

  • Michelle

    This is such a shame:( I went to see LFO perform at a 4th of July show in Orlando when I was in 7th grade back in ’97. He was a really nice, down to earth guy. This makes me very sad.

    • fea hwang

      It was at Red Hot and Boom, in 2000. I took some pictures with the band, they were really nice. Sadness, life is too short. And Lou Pearlman is still has healthy as ever, huh?

  • T

    Man, watching that video has brought back many high school memories. And if you look at the other videos that come up in relation to that video on youtube: BBMAK, 98 Degrees, NSYNC…Really takes you down memory lane…

  • Maureen

    I can’t believe it, but I’m actually tearing up right now. Rich and his crew provided the soundtrack to my middle school summers. I can’t believe he’s passed! RIP Rich and thank you for the music and memories. Now the angels have some kick-a** music to jam too… ;)

  • josie~lbc~

    very sad to hear your gone…i loved your music very much…my fav is girl on tv…~~YOU MAY BE GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN~~

  • Mary Foti

    Loved this song. So sorry that he’s gone.

  • Chelsea

    I didn’t even know he was sick again. RIP, Rich. Very sad.

  • Sharlin

    he was part of an era of music that shaped my life. RIP dude.

  • Mike

    He was a really funny guy. Great appearances on Howard Stern and Kidd Chris. RIP Rich Nice.

  • Dave king

    Rich Cronin was an amazing artist and songwriter who was always an amazing soul to everyone around him. He always went out of his way for me and was there to be a friend! His passion for music and his friendship will always remain in my soul! I will never forget you Rich!!!

  • Phil

    This really makes me sad. Much love & prayers to his family & friends. I turned 21 the summer “Summer Girls” was a hit & worked at Abercombie & Fitch…truly a memorable time in my life. Wow. This is like the 1st celeb death this year thats rocked me and been from uncurable disease instead of stupid drug abuse…I really REALLY hope MTV pulls some kinda boyband tribute together in time for him for the VMAs this weekend. That would be totally classy.

    • Janizzle

      That would be amazing if MTV would pay tribute.

    • Phil

      I’d almost invite you to try. Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I can’t defend myself. But I hope you’re not in the state of California because your comments could be reported and you could be arrested & jailed for threatening and stalking a number of people. HAVE A SUPER DAY.

      • FactorSludge

        Phil are you upset because LFO is one third less gay now?

    • Joshua G

      I don’t think they do it for 1 hit wonders. Always sad when someone dies so young.

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