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War bassist Morris ‘B.B.’ Dickerson passes away at 71 years of age

The music community is in mourning this weekend, after bassist Morris ‘B.B.’ Dickerson, an original War founding member, passed away.

The musician passed away peacefully in a Long Beach hospital on Friday, representatives confirmed to Billboard

He had long been battling an undisclosed illness at the time of his passing, though it’s unclear what he was suffering from.

R.I.P.: The music community is in mourning this weekend, after bassist Morris ‘B.B.’ Dickerson, an original War founding member, passed away

Dickerson was born in Torrance, California in 1949, and took up playing the bass at just 12 years of age.

War’s origins started in 1962 when Howard E. Scott and Harold Brown formed a group called The Creators in Long Beach.

Dickerson became one of the founding members of War in 1969 along with Scott, Brown, Eric Burdon, Lee Oskar, Thomas ‘Papa Dee’ Allen, Charles Miller and Leroy ‘Lonnie’ Jordan. 

Founding members: Dickerson became one of the founding members of War in 1969 along with Scott, Brown, Eric Burdon, Lee Oskar, Thomas 'Papa Dee' Allen, Charles Miller and Leroy 'Lonnie' Jordan

Founding members: Dickerson became one of the founding members of War in 1969 along with Scott, Brown, Eric Burdon, Lee Oskar, Thomas ‘Papa Dee’ Allen, Charles Miller and Leroy ‘Lonnie’ Jordan

Dickerson’s work on the bass helped create War’s signature sound, while also co-writing some of the band’s biggest hits like The Cisco Kid Why Can’t We Be Friends and Low Rider.

The group released their first two albums – Eric Burdon Declares ‘War’ and The Black Man’s Burdon in 1970, the same year Jimi Hendrix joined War on stage in London for what would ultimately be his last public performance before he died that September.

They followed those up with two more albums in 1971, War and All Day Music, the latter of which was their first RIAA certified gold album. 

Signature sound: Dickerson's work on the bass helped create War's signature sound, while also co-writing some of the band's biggest hits like The Cisco Kid Why Can't We Be Friends and Low Rider

Signature sound: Dickerson’s work on the bass helped create War’s signature sound, while also co-writing some of the band’s biggest hits like The Cisco Kid Why Can’t We Be Friends and Low Rider

Their next three albums were certified gold as well, with The World Is a Ghetto, released in November 1972, going on to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 album charts in 1973.

The album, which starts off with their hit The Cisco Kid, became Billboard’s Album of the year as the highest-selling album of 1973.

It would go on to be ranked #444 on Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time list in 2003. 

Hit albums: Their next three albums were certified gold as well, with The World Is a Ghetto, released in November 1972, going on to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 album charts in 1973

Hit albums: Their next three albums were certified gold as well, with The World Is a Ghetto, released in November 1972, going on to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 album charts in 1973

War also struck gold with 1973’s Deliver the Word, 1975’s Why Can’t We Be Friends, 1976’s Platinum Jazz, 1977’s Galaxy and 1979’s The Music Band.

Dickerson left War in 1979, during recording sessions for The Music Band 2, though he would reunite with Scott, Oskar and Brown to form The Lowrider Band in the 1990s.

The musician is survived by his mother, uncle and children, and fans can make donations in his name to MusiCares.

Gold: War also struck gold with 1973's Deliver the Word, 1975's Why Can't We Be Friends, 1976's Platinum Jazz, 1977's Galaxy and 1979's The Music Band

Gold: War also struck gold with 1973’s Deliver the Word, 1975’s Why Can’t We Be Friends, 1976’s Platinum Jazz, 1977’s Galaxy and 1979’s The Music Band

Reunited: Dickerson left War in 1979, during recording sessions for The Music Band 2, though he would reunite with Scott, Oskar and Brown to form The Lowrider Band in the 1990s

Reunited: Dickerson left War in 1979, during recording sessions for The Music Band 2, though he would reunite with Scott, Oskar and Brown to form The Lowrider Band in the 1990s


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