William “Poogie” Hart, the Grammy Award-winning lead singer of soul band The Delfonics, has died. He was 77.
Hart’s son Hadi told TMZ that his father was having trouble breathing, and after being taken to Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Hart died Thursday from complications during surgery.
Hart led The Delfonics at the beginning of the 1970s soul scene in Philadelphia. Their songs “Didnt I (Blow Your Mind This Time),” “La La (Means I Love You),” “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love)” and many others ruled FM radio. Producer Thom Bell co-wrote many songs with Hart, whose high falsetto voice made its mark.
He and his brother Wilbert co-founded the group with the original name the Orphonics. Singers Randy Cain and Major Harris rounded out the ensemble. In 1968, The Delfonics’ debut album “La La Means I Love You” introduced their sound with songs like “Break Your Promise” and “I’m Sorry” in addition to the title track hit single.
“Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” won a Grammy in 1971 for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group, Vocal Or Instrumental.
Quentin Tarantino’s film “Jackie Brown” (1997) boosted The Delfonics music through its soundtrack, which included “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” and “La La (Means I Love You).” Spike Lee’s “Crooklyn” and “The Family Man” with Nicolas Cage also featured their music.
In 1975, The Delfonics split following their twelve top-20 hits rising through Billboard’s R&B and Soul Single Chart. Former members went on to form other groups that continued to perform into the ‘90s and 2000s.
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Several fans of the soul group have expressed their condolences on Twitter. American bassist Bootsy Collins wrote “The Delfonics are an American R&B/Vocal group from Philly PA. Their hit songs were primarily written/composed and produced by lead vocalist and founding member William “Poogie” Hart, in the middle. He changed frequencies today. Prayer’s to his family and friends.”