James T. Ellis (bottom right) with the rest of the Trammps (Atlantic Records)
James T. Ellis (bottom right) with the rest of the Trammps (Atlantic Records)

The man who belted out the classic refrain "Burn, baby, burn!" has passed away, according to the Associated Press.


James T. Ellis, the frontman of the legendary group the Trammps, died Thursday in a nursing home in South Carolina. The cause of death is not known, though he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease before his death, according to the Rock Hill Herald

Known for the late 1970s hit "Disco Inferno," which still plays across the world, the band found fame with the song on the Saturday Night Fever sound track, which won a Grammy in 1978.


Ellis and the Trammps never had another hit as big as "Disco Inferno," but they kept on touring through 2008.

"It does not matter where you go in the world — and I been all over this world playing music — 'Disco Inferno' is being played somewhere on a radio or in a mall or on a train or a plane," Johnnie "Boggie" King, another legendary musician who grew up playing music with the Ellis brothers, told the Rock Hill Herald.

Funeral services are to be held Friday in Charlotte, N.C.

Our condolences go out to the Ellis family.

Read more at the Associated Press.

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