Thom Bell, pioneering Philly Soul producer, dies aged 79

Thom Bell
(Image credit: Charlie Gillett Collection / Getty)

A co-architect of the influential 'Sound of Philadelphia', esteemed songwriter and producer Thom Bell, has died, aged 79. 

As part of The Mighty Three, Bell, alongside Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, was credited with creating the Philly Soul sound of the '70s, spawning smash hits and influential cuts like the Delfonics La-La Means I Love You, Rubberband Man by the Spinners and the Stylistics’ I’ll Be Around. 

A statement issued by Gamble reads, “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.”

Leon Huff added, “Thom Bell was my favorite musician, arranger, songwriter, and music producer of all time!

"It was my esteemed honor and pleasure to work with him creatively and as a business partner. Rest in peace.” 

Bell won Producer of the Year at the 1975 Grammy Awards and entered the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. 

Nile Rodgers led the tributes beginning to pour in on social media.

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Will Groves

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