Ex-Gap Band Member ‘Baby Gap’ Walker Dies

The Legacy of Anthony “Baby Gap” Walker

The music world is mourning the loss of Anthony “Baby Gap” Walker, a beloved member of the iconic R&B/funk group The Gap Band. At the age of 60, Walker reportedly passed away due to complications from a neck surgery, as reported by TMZ. His contributions to the music industry and his impact on fans and fellow musicians will not be forgotten.

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Walker had been an integral part of GapX, a group comprised of former members of The Gap Band. The remaining members of GapX expressed their grief in a heartfelt post, declaring, “The Band will miss our friend, brother, and band mate Anthony ‘Baby Gap’ Walker. Gone too soon. We will never forget you!!!”

A Musical Journey of The Gap Band

The Gap Band, formed in 1967 by the brothers Ronnie, Charlie, and Robert in Tulsa, Oklahoma, left an indelible mark on the world of music. Over a 40-year career, they released 15 albums and created timeless hits such as “Shake,” “I Don’t Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops Up Side Your Head),” “Early in the Morning,” and “Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me).” Among their most popular singles was the 1982 funk anthem “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” which reached No. 31 on the Hot 100 chart.

Initially named the Greenwood Archer Pine Street Band, in tribute to the streets in Tulsa that were subject to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the group underwent various transformations before achieving success. Their breakthrough came in 1979 with their self-titled album, containing hits like “Shake” and “I’m in Love.” Subsequently, Gap Band III earned them their first platinum album in 1979, reaching No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and producing hits like “Humpin’” and “Burn Rubber.”

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Collaborations and Influence

Throughout their career, The Gap Band collaborated with talented artists and musicians, solidifying their place in music history. Anthony “Baby Gap” Walker, along with Charlie Wilson and Billy Young, joined forces for the 1985 project Billy & Baby Gap. Walker’s collaborations extended to renowned artists such as Rick James and George Clinton, showcasing his versatile talent and creative energy.

While The Gap Band’s commercial success saw a decline in the late 1980s and 1990s, their music experienced a resurgence through sampling and covers by a diverse range of artists. From Snoop Dogg and Nas to Ice Cube, Tyler, the Creator, and Mary J. Blige, their funky tunes continued to captivate audiences across generations.

Tragically, the passing of Anthony “Baby Gap” Walker adds to the losses suffered by The Gap Band, with Robert Wilson succumbing to a heart attack in 2010 and Ronnie passing away following a stroke in 2021. Despite these losses, the spirit and impact of The Gap Band’s music remain alive and cherished by fans worldwide.

As we reflect on the legacy of Anthony “Baby Gap” Walker and The Gap Band, we celebrate their contributions to the world of music and their enduring influence on future generations of musicians and fans. May their music continue to resonate and inspire for years to come.

Sep 16, 2021

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