leroy 'sugarfoot' bonner*Sadly we have to report the death Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, founder and  frontman of the legendary funk group, The Ohio Players.

He passed away on Saturday at the age of 69, according to a post on his Facebook page. An official family announcement says he passed away quietly in his hometown of Trotwood-Dayton, Ohio (see below).

A posting in the Dayton Daily News said the musician died following a “battle with cancer.”

Here is the official announcement of Sugarfoot’s death

Official Family Announcement of the Passing of Leroy Sugarfoot Bonner

Yesterday, Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner passed away quietly in his hometown of Trotwood-Dayton, OH. While his family, friends, colleagues, and fans mourn his passing they celebrate fondly his memory, music, and legacy.

Sugarfoot, or Foot, or Sugar, was the founding and cornerstone artistic talent of OHIO PLAYERS and the face and sound of the OHIO PLAYERS brand, which he knit together and launched in 1964 with former members of The Ohio Untouchables. With a career spanning 56 years, he passed barely short of his 70th birthday.

Humble yet charismatic, soft spoken and of few words, the weight of his thoughts, lyrics, and music has influenced countless other artists, songs, and trends.  He will be missed but not forgotten as his legacy and music lives on.  More details and an official historical perspective of his career will soon be forthcoming.

His Facebook page is available to all to post comments, reflections, and testimonials of this wonderful and gifted man:

In Los Angeles, Najee Ali of Project Islamic Hope has announced a community tribute and vigil for the frontman of the legendary Ohio Players. It’s scheduled for Wednesday, January 30 at 5pm in Leimert park (3415 W.43rd Place Los Angeles Ca, 90043  – Crenshaw &Vernon).

Check out live performances by Sugarfoot and the Ohio Players: