AceShowbiz - Music industry is in mourning. B.B. Dickerson, a founding member of the funk rock band War, passed away on Friday, April 2. He died at the age of 71.
The band's bassist and vocalist, whose real name was Morris, was said to have died peacefully at a Long Beach, California hospital after a long battle against undisclosed illness. A representative for the rocker confirmed the sad news to Billboard. The rep, however, did not specify what illness Dickerson suffered from.
Dickerson was an original member of War. He formed the band in 1969 along with Scott, Brown, Eric Burdon, Lee Oskar, Papa Dee Allen, Charles Miller and Lonnie Jordan. He served as the bassist and helped create War's signature sound.
Born in Torrance, California in 1949, Dickerson also co-wrote some of War's biggest hits like "Why Can't We Be Friends?", "The Cisco Kid", "Summer" and "Low Rider". He was also the lead vocal for the band's hit titled "The World Is a Ghetto."
Dickerson played with the band on September 18, 1970 in London. During the performance, "Hey Joe" hitmaker, Jimi Hendrix, joined him and his band onstage for the final 35 minutes of the set, marking Hendrix's last public performance before he passed away in September that same year.
Before forming War, Dickerson was a member for a group called The Creators along with his uncle Howard E. Scott. During the Vietnam War, the group split. While Dickerson was away in Hawaii, his played with a band which was latter known as The Nightshift. After a decade performing with War, Dickerson left in 1979. He was replaced by Luther Rabb.
Dickerson was survived by his mom and children. In the wake of his passing, fans can make donations in his name to MusiCares, a non-profit organization by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, to help musicians financially, personally, or with medical crisis.