Soul legend dies

At the age of 57

Co-founder and lead guitarist of Kool And The Gang , Claydes ‘Charles’ Smith, has passed away aged 57.

Smith died in New Jersey after a long illness according to his publicist David Brokaw. The cause of death is unknown.

“We’ve lost a member of our family, as well as an infinitely creative and gifted artist who was with the band from the very beginning,” said Kool & the Gang[/a] manager Tia Sinclair in a statement on the band’s official website.

Smith, who was known as Charles Smith wrote the hits ’Joanna’[/a] and ’Take My Heart’. He also co-wrote ’Celebration’,’Hollywood Swining’ and ’Jungle Boogie’.

Due to his illness, he was forced to stop touring with the group in January.