Dino Danelli, the founding drummer of rock band the Rascals, died on Thursday. He was 78.
Danelli’s death was confirmed by a friend and archivist of the band, Joe Russo, who shared the news to Facebook.
According to Russo, Danelli had health issues that began in 2017, citing the “primary challenges” as coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, among others.
“I hope you will all continue to appreciate his talent and send him your love. Thank you for supporting his various endeavors throughout his career,” Russo’s statement read. “You all made it possible for him to live his dream, which was to be a musician and artist. Blessings to you all.”
Rascals guitarist Gene Cornish expressed his grief in a statement shared on social media, writing: “He was my brother and the greatest drummer I’ve ever seen. I am devastated at this moment. Rest In Peace Dino I love you brother.”
The New Jersey band — initially called Young Rascals — formed in 1965. They changed their name to the Rascals after their first three albums, releasing “Once Upon A Dream” under the new name in 1968.
They had several No. 1 hits, including “Good Lovin’,” “Groovin’” and “People Got to Be Free.”
The band officially split after the release of their ninth studio album, “The Island of Real,” in 1972, but reunited in 1997 after the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
On Friday morning, Cornish thanked fans for their condolences and gave an insight into the rock-star drummer’s life.
“I wish I could answer all of your questions but as most of you know Dino was a very private person,” he wrote. “I will say this, Dino never cared about being a ‘rock star’ it was always about the music and art for him. Everything else was window dressing to him.”
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