Hamilton Bohannon, Motown star and former Stevie Wonder drummer, dies aged 78

Motown legend Hamilton Bohannon has died aged 78, it’s been confirmed.

Bohannon became a drummer for Stevie Wonder after being seen on tour with Jimi Hendrix and Gorgeous George.

He then found work as a prominent bandleader for Motown acts including Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Supremes and The Four Tops.

The news of his death has been reported by Newnan Times-Herald in Bohannon’s Georgia hometown.

The paper reports that there is currently no confirmed cause of death, and that they’ve been in contact with Bohannon’s family members.

Leaving Motown when it moved to Los Angeles at the start of the 1970s, Bohannon became a solo artist and producer in Detroit, landing him a legacy as one of the creators of disco.

More recently, his work has been sampled by the likes of Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg.

Tributes have been pouring in on social media, with Gilles Peterson praising Bohannon’s “lopsided rhythmic brilliance”.

Questlove also paid tribute to the late star, writing: “A drummer with a unique sound of his own. Hamilton Bohannon’s unmistakable 4 on the kick AND snare trademark made me think he hailed from Africa when he first started making records. Why his Dakar catalogue isn’t available for the public to discover is beyond me.”

He added: “So sad I never got to meet & pick his brain about his work & style of drumming. Salute to a master groove maker.”