Former The Gap Band Member Dead After Surgery Complications: Anthony ‘Baby Gap’ Walker Was 60

Former The Gap Band Member Dead After Surgery Complications: Anthony ‘Baby Gap’ Walker Was 60

Anthony “Baby Gap” Walker, a former member of the legendary funk group The Gap Band, has died. Walker passed away on March 4 at an Ohio hospital, where he reportedly “experienced complications from a neck surgery he was undergoing,” Walker’s younger brother, Dr. Eric Walker, told TMZ. Walker was 60.

“The Band will miss our friend, brother, and band mate Anthony ‘Baby Gap’ Walker,” the group GapX, comprised of former Gap Band members, confirmed Walker’s passing in an Instagram tribute. “Gone too soon. We will never forget you!!!”

Walker performed with the Gap Band for 23 years. The legendary funk band – named after the intersection of Greenwood, Archer, and Pine streets in the Greenwood neighborhood that was attacked by a white mob during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre – was formed in 1967 in Tulsa, Oklahoma by brothers Charlie, Ronnie, and Robert Wilson, according to Billboard. While the group released their full-length debut, Magicians Holiday, in 1974, it was several more years before they had their big break with their 1979 self-titled album, which featured R&B hits “Shake” and “I’m in Love.” That same year, the group had their first platinum album with Gap Band III, which peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and featured the singles “Humpin'” and “Burn Rubber.” It was also during that year that Walker, from Chicago, joined The Gap Band as a dancer and choreographer. He went on to contribute as a songwriter and performed and toured with the group for 23 years.

During his time with The Gap Band, Walker co-wrote two tracks on the group’s 1985 album The Gap Band V, “Automatic Brain” and “L’il Red Funkin’ Hood.” He joined Gap Band lead singer Charlie Wilson and fellow band member Billy Young that same year to the album Billy & Baby Gap, which yielded the hit “Rock the Nation.”

Outside of The Gap Band, Walker also collaborated with artists such as Rick James, George Clinton, and Pebbles, played percussion on Snoop Dogg’s 1996 single “Snoop’s Upside Ya Head,” and performed with former members of The Gap Band in GapX as a dancer, hype-man, and rapper. He was also a dancer who formed the award-winning breakdancing group Tidal Wave in the 1970s and, per Entertainment Weekly, and taught breakdancing and moonwalking in the early ’80s at John Travolta’s dance studio.

According to Walker’s brother, the musician’s life will be celebrated in his hometown of Chicago later this week. Walker’s family added their gratitude for his fans “for their love and support during this tragic time.”


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