Robert Wilson, 53; bassist for R&B group Gap Band

By Nekesa Mumbi Moody
Associated Press / August 17, 2010

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NEW YORK — Robert Wilson, who as the bassist for the funk and R&B group the Gap Band had a string of hits, including “You Dropped a Bomb On Me,’’ has died. He was 53.

He died at his home Sunday in Palmdale, Calif., outside Los Angeles. He is believed to have died of a heart attack, said Karen Lee, publicist for his brother and Gap Band singer Charlie Wilson.

Mr. Wilson provided the bass backbone for the trio, which also included another brother, Ronnie. The group, originally from Tulsa, Okla., first hit the charts in 1979 with the songs “Shake’’ and “Open Your Mind (Wide).’’ They had their biggest success in the 1980s, though, with hits like “Outstanding,’’ “You Dropped a Bomb On Me,’’ “Oops Upside Your Head,’’ and “Yearning for Your Love.’’

“My brother Robert was a bad boy on the bass,’’ Charlie Wilson said in a statement released yesterday. “We shared a bond as brothers, musicians, and friends. I loved him, and losing him is difficult for both Ronnie and I. The music world has lost a very talented man.’’

Robert Wilson had been touring for the past few weeks, including a stop in his hometown of Tulsa.