Thom Bell, the Songwriter and producer behind the sound of Philadelphia, died at 79. The producer is known for creating hits for Delfonics and Stylistics. In the 70s, Thom made the ” Sound of Philadelphia” with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff as the trio named the Mighty Three. Thom, at the time of his death, was survived by his wife and six children named Troy, Mark, Royal, Christopher, Tia and Cybill.
Tributes Surfaced Online
Kenny Gamble took to his Instagram account to pay tribute to his best friend and wrote:
“Tommy and I have been best friends for over 60 years,” When we first met, we decided to start writing songs together and form a singing duo ‘Kenny and Tommy’ and then our band, The Romeos… He was a great talent and my dear friend. Rest in peace, buddy.”
According to Rolling Stone, Leon Huff, in a statement paid tribute to Thom Bell, said:
“Thom Bell was my favourite musician, arranger, songwriter, and music producer of all time!”It was my esteemed honour and pleasure to work with him creatively and as a business partner. Rest in peace.”
Thom Bell’s Cause of Death Explained
Thom’s death was confirmed by his partner Vanessa in a press statement last week. Bell’s wife reveals that Thom died due to a long-term illness. For a long time, the producer has been struggling with health issues and took his last breath in his home in Bellingham, Washington, on Thursday. However, further details were not made public. We will let you soon as soon as we get sufficient information about the cause of his death. Condolences are being given on social media to the family. May the divine soul rest in peace forever.
Who was Philadelphia Soul Pioneer Thom Bell?
Thom was born in Jamaica in 1943 and was one of the ten children of his father, Leroy, who owned a fish market, and his mother, Anna, a pianist and a stenographer. Thom, at an early age, started attending classes for music and also dropped out of high school to pursue his passion. Initially, Bell worked as a songwriter for singer Chubby Checker’s publishing company. He then joined the Cameo-Parkway record label as a pianist, arranger and conductor.
Thom eventually became a session player and arranger for groups like Delfonics, Stylistics and the Spinners. Thom’s best songs in his career include: “Rubberband Man” by the Spinners,”Betcha By Golly Wow” by the Stylistics, “La-La Means I Love You” by the Delfonics, “Backstabber” by the O’Jays and “I’ll Be Around”.
In 1975 Thom was honoured with a Grammy for producer of the year, non-classical and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2017 he also received a trustee award from the Recording Academy.