Anthony ‘Baby Gap’ Walker, Former Member of The Gap Band, Dies at 60

Anthony “Baby Gap” Walker, a member of the long-running sibling R&B/funk act The Gap Band, has reportedly died at 60.

TMZ, which broke the news, claims the artist died from “complications from a neck surgery.”

Walker had been performing with the group GapX, comprised of former Gap Band members. “The Band will miss our friend, brother, and band mate Anthony ‘Baby Gap’ Walker,” reads a post from GapX. “Gone too soon. We will never forget you!!!”

Formed in 1967 by brothers Ronnie, Charlie and Robert in Tulsa, Okla., The Gap Band scored a series of Billboard R&B hits over a 40-year career during which they released 15 albums and such beloved singles such as “Shake,” “I Don’t Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops Up Side Your Head),” “Early in the Morning,” “Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” and one of their highest-charting single, 1982’s No. 31 Hot 100 funk number “You Dropped a Bomb on Me.”

The bros originally named their group the Greenwood Archer Pine Street Band, for the three streets in the Black part of Tulsa that were attacked by a white mob during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

The full-length debut, Magicians Holiday, arrived in 1974, but they had to wait until 1979 for a breakthrough with their self-titled album, which featured R&B hits “Shake” and “I’m in Love.” Also that year, the group had their first platinum album with Gap Band III, which peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and yielded the singles “Humpin’” and “Burn Rubber.”

It was at this time when Wilson joined the group, for which he contributed as a performer, songwriter dancer and choreographer for 23 years.

Anthony joined forces with Charlie Wilson and bandmate Billy Young on the 1985 project Billy & Baby Gap, and, over time, he collaborated with the likes of Rick James and George Clinton.

Though the Gap Band’s chart success began to wane by the late 1980s and 1990s, their funky songs gained a robust second life during that period when they were heavily sampled and covered by everyone from Snoop Dogg, Nas and Ice Cube to Tyler, the Creator and Mary J. Blige.

Robert Wilson died of a heart attack in 2010, Ronnie died following a stroke in 2021.

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