K.C. and the Sunshine Band's Ronnie Smith dead at 59

Feb. 9, 2012 at 10:04 AM

MIAMI, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Ronnie Smith, former trumpet player for the disco/funk group K.C. and the Sunshine Band, has died in a Florida hospital, his family said.

He was 59.

The Miami Herald said Thursday the U.S. Air Force veteran died Jan. 21 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and has since been buried with military honors at the South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth.

A co-founder of the Ocean Liner Band in the 1960s and the author of Jimmie "Bo" Horne's 1978 disco hit song "Spank," Smith had been hospitalized in a coma since he was assaulted during a 2004 carjacking. No arrest has been made in the incident.

"My dad was a humble man,'' Smith's son Ron Jr. told the newspaper. "He said that the limelight was not about him. He always wanted to make the people love the music. You hear the horn section dancing -- that's entertainment.''

Smith also is survived by his daughter Ronsh'ka Latara Smith and his wife Beverly Fountain Smith, a Miami-Dade teacher, the Herald said.

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