Hamilton Bohannon, Motown star and Stevie Wonder's longtime drummer, dies aged 78

27 April 2020, 12:42

Hamilton Bohannon has died aged 78
Hamilton Bohannon has died aged 78. Picture: Getty

By Rory O'Connor

Motown star Hamilton Bohannon has died aged 78, it has been announced.

Newnan Times-Herald, a newspaper from Hamilton's Georgia hometown, reported the news of his death.

The cause of death is unknown, but the newspaper had been in touch with Hamilton's family.

Hamilton toured with Jimi Hendrix and Gorgeous George before being spotted and became a drummer for Stevie Wonder.

Hamilton Bohannon has died aged 78
Hamilton Bohannon has died aged 78. Picture: Getty

The drummer then went on to work as a prominent bandleader for Motown acts including Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Supremes and The Four Tops.

Read more: Stevie Wonder was planning a Bill Withers duet before soul singer's death

Hamilton later became a solo artist and producer in Detroit, becoming one of the creators of disco.

He was responsible for some of the decade’s most memorable disco hits, such as 'South African Man', 'Disco Stomp' and 'Let’s Start The Dance', which featured singer Carolyn Crawford.

In recent years, Hamilton's work has also been sampled by Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg.

Questlove paid tribute to the late star, writing: "A drummer with a unique sound of his own. Hamilton Bohannon’s unmistakable 4 on the kick AND snare trademark made me think he hailed from Africa when he first started making records.

"Why his Dakar catalogue isn’t available for the public to discover is beyond me.

"So sad I never got to meet & pick his brain about his work & style of drumming. Salute to a master groove maker.”