Jimmy Ellis, a Grammy Award winner and the Trammps lead singer, passed away Thursday in South Carolina at the age of 74. The 1970's disco sensation was behind the Saturday Night Fever hit Disco Inferno.
Ellis died of complications from Alzheimer's disease, his daughter told the New York Times.
Ellis and the band performed together as the Trammps from the 1970s until 2010. The Philadelphia funk band's popularity, however, peaked when Disco Inferno climbed to No. 11 on the Billboards charts in 1977. The movie soundtrack hit No. 1 on the pop charts and won a Grammy for album of the year in 1979. The Trammps, along with the other performers on the soundtrack, received Grammys, the paper said.
According to CNN, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack featuring Disco Inferno is only second to The Bodyguard as the best-selling soundtrack album of all time with sales of 15 million.
The Trammps' first chart single was a cover of a Judy Garland song, Zing Went the Strings of My Heart, according AllMusic. The song reached No. 17 on the R&B charts.
AllMusic's website said Ellis provided the Trammps with booming, joyous vocals brilliantly championed with celebratory fervor and atmosphere that made disco both loved and hated among music fans.
In addition to his daughter, Erika Stinson, Ellis is survived by his wife, Beverly; a son, James III; three brothers; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren, according to People.com.
A memorial service is scheduled next week in Charlotte.