Legendary funk musician Morris “B.B.” Dickerson died Friday (April 2) at age 71.
Billboard confirmed that the founding member of the band War passed away at a Long Beach, Calif., hospital after succumbing to an undisclosed illness that he battled for a long time.
Dickerson was a bassist and vocalist for the band. He co-wrote and played on some of the group’s biggest hits like “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” “The Cisco Kid,” and “Low Rider.”
War peaked on the Billboard charts in 1973 with the album The World Is a Ghetto (which went to No. 1) and the single “The Cisco Kid” (No. 2).
In 1970, Dickerson performed with the group in London when Jimi Hendrix jammed with them on stage. It was the legendary guitarist’s last public performance before he died, according to the group’s bio.
In addition to Dickerson, the original band members included Lonnie Jordan, Howard Scott, Lee Oskar, Harold Brown, Thomas “Papa Dee” Allen, and Charles Miller.
“Our mission was to spread a message of brotherhood and harmony,” the bio said.
Dickerson is survived by his mother, his uncle and his children.
Fans can make donations in his name to MusiCares.