Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, co-founder of the legendary soul band Kool & the Gang, died Saturday at the age of 70. He died in Montclair, New Jersey at his home. A cause of death was not specified, but a spokesperson for the band said in a statement that Thomas died “peacefully” in his sleep. “An original member of Kool & the Gang, Dennis was known as the quintessential cool cat in the group, loved for his hip clothes and hats, and his laid-back demeanor,” the statement said, describing Thomas as a “huge personality.” Thomas played the alto sax, flute, and drums in the band, which recorded such iconic songs as “Get Down on It,” “Celebration,” and “Jungle Boogie.” He also often styled fellow band members and emceed the band’s shows, as he did on July 4 at the Hollywood Bowl, his final performance.
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