William “Poogie” Hart, lead singer of the R&B band The Delfonics, has died at the age of 77.
According to TMZ, the singer was hospitalized in Philadelphia after he was having trouble breathing. He later passed away on July 14 due to complications from surgery. Hart’s son, Hadi also confirmed the news to Rolling Stone.
“His music touched millions, continues to touch millions,” Hadi told the publication. “His body might not be here, but his music will live forever. He was a great man, he loved his family, he loved God, and he just loved people. Great heart, great spirit. That was my dad.”
Hart’s brother and co-founding bandmate, Wilbert Hart also reportedly confirmed the singer’s death on Facebook, writing, “R I P. My. Brother. William. Poogie. Delfonic. Hart”
The brothers started their Philadelphia band in the 1960s with Randy Cain, Ritchie Daniels, and Thom Bell. William was The Delfonics’ main songwriter and sang in a falsetto voice, and as a group, spearheaded the sound of Philly Soul.
The Delfonics won a Grammy for the song “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” in 1971 for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group, Vocal, or Instrumental. The band’s music was also featured in Quentin Tarantino’s film Jackie Brown, Spike Lee’s Crooklyn, and The Family Man with Nicolas Cage.
The Delfonics later parted ways in 1975. Wilbert Hart is the only original member who is still alive.