Robbie Shakespeare, bassist for British band Sly and Robbie, dies at 68

Robbie Shakespeare, bassist and member of the British funk rock band Sly and Robbie, died in Cleveland on Monday. He was 68.

A spokesman for the band told the Mirror that Shakespeare had died following a “stubborn infection.”

The band was formed in 1964 as the Sugar Hill Gang, creating one of the most famous hits in the history of funk with their single “The Twist.”

Later in the 1960s, Larry Graham, Allen Stone and Shakespeare stepped in and began to add new layers of stylistic flavor to the group. They also collaborated with artists like The Fifth Dimension, The Commodores and Kool & The Gang, which produced the worldwide smash “Get Down Tonight.”

In 2016, the group released their first album in 34 years, “Straight After Midnight.”

Graham said that Shakespeare was “the glue that held the group together.”

“It was always a thrill to work with my old pal Robbie,” Graham added. “I admired the way he handled music and social issues, and he was a masterful musician.”

–The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment