Original War bassist Morris “B.B.” Dickerson dead at 71

B.B. Dickerson in 1976; Michael Putland/Getty Images

Founding War bassist Morris “B.B.” Dickerson died Friday, April 2, at the age of 71.

Billboard reports that, according to a rep for the musician, Dickerson passed away peacefully at a hospital in Long Beach, California, after a long illness.

Dickerson, who played with War from 1969 to 1979, helped the popular band develop its classic funk-rock sound, and is credited with co-writing all of the group’s classic original songs.

During the 1970s, War scored seven top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, starting with their classic 1970 collaboration with Animals frontman Eric Burdon, “Spill the Wine,” which peaked at #3.

Among the band’s other memorable songs are “The World Is a Ghetto,” “The Cisco Kid,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends?,” “Low Rider” and “Summer.” Dickerson contributed lead vocals to “The World Is a Ghetto,” which reached #7 on the Hot 100 in 1972.

Later in his career, Dickerson played with Lowrider Band, a touring group featuring many former members of War. Following his death, Lowrider Band posted a tribute to B.B. on its Facebook page.

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