Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner—guitarist/vocalist for Ohio Players—passed away Jan. 26 at age 69 in Trotwood-Dayton, Ohio. The cause of death has not been reported.
Ohio Players were one of the biggest, brashest funk bands of the ’70s. Their songs could be brazenly outré as their super-erotic, bondage-y cover art or veer toward outright goofiness. Reflecting the latter, their 1972 hit “Funky Worm” became one of the foundational influences on G-funk and has been sampled dozens of times by hiphop producers. Ohio Players tunes have been covered by artists such as Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Love Rollercoaster”), Sly & Robbie (“Fire”), and Soundgarden (“Fopp”).