B.B. Dickerson — one of the founding members of the funk band War — has reportedly died.
A rep confirmed his passing to Billboard, citing a battle with a long, undisclosed illness. He said B.B. — whose real name was Morris — died peacefully at his home in Long Beach.
Dickerson was one of the OG band members who helped put War on the map in the late ’60s and ’70s — this after being discovered by record producer Jerry Goldstein and paired with lead singer Eric Burdon … who served as the face of the group thereafter.
He served as the primary bassist for War, and often contributed vocals as well — including heading up lead singer duties for their 10-minute-plus opus “The World is a Ghetto” — which was reimagined and covered countless times over the years.
B.B. was also there for War’s biggest hit single to date, “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” plus a long string of other well-known tracks, like “Spill the Wine,” “Gypsy Man,” “Low Rider,” “Me and Baby Brother,” “The Cisco Kid,” “All Day Music,” “Slippin’ Into Darkness,” “Summer” and countless others.
He was also there performing with War when they notably shared the stage with Jimi Hendrix in London back in 1970 — which became the latter’s last public performance before he died.
B.B. toured and performed with War until 1979 — when he departed, only to reunite with other founding members in the ’90s under a new stage name, the Lowrider Band, as they attempted to get out from under the thumb of Goldstein, who had the rights to “War.”
B.B. is said to be survived by his mother, uncle and children. He was 71.