Original Member of the Commodores Dies at 58

HOUSTON -- Milan B. Williams, one of the original members of the Commodores, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 58.

Band spokeswoman JoAnn Geffen said Williams died Sunday at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Williams played keyboards and was one of the founding members for the Commodores, which formed in 1968 while all the members were in college at the Tuskegee Institute.

The group, whose best known member was singer Lionel Richie, had a series of hits during the 1970s and 1980s, including "Brick House," "Easy" and "Three Times A Lady."

Williams wrote the band's first hit, "Machine Gun."

He is survived by his wife, Melanie Bruno-Williams, and two sons from previous marriages, Jason and Ricci.

The funeral will be on Friday in Okolona, Mississippi, where Williams was born.

There will be a memorial service in Los Angeles in August.

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