The Associated Press reports that Rich Cronin, of the “Summer Girls” band, LFO, has died at 36 years old.
Rich Cronin passed away on Wednesday after battling with health issues, including a stroke and leukemia.
Former band-mate Brad Fischetti says that Cronin, who co-wrote LFO’s biggest hit, “Summer Girls,” died in a Boston hospital.
“Last summer, when we did our reunion tour, he was certainly having health problems, but he was cancer-free at that time. I don’t think it was cancer that took him yesterday, but certainly it all started with cancer.”
Melissa Holland, Cronin’s manager, said he died of complications from leukemia.
“Rich was an incredible fighter, and every opportunity when his health was in good condition, he was living his life to the fullest, especially in music. He just always seemed to bounce back, and this time, it got the best of him,” Holland stated.
Fischetti exchanged text messages with Cronin almost 2 weeks ago, while he was in the hospital. In the messages, Cronin told him that people were asking for his autograph. As Fischetti recalls, Cronin said, “Listen man, people still care about us.”
Cronin and his band-mates were known as the “Abercrombie & Fitch” musical act, for their lyrics in “Summer Girls,” which soared to a top 5 hit in 1999. LFO – which stands for Lyte Funky Ones– became an instant hit with teens, around the same time that boy bands were dominating the pop charts.
Once LFO faded from the pop charts, Cronin released a solo record, and starred in the VH1 reality series, “Mission: Man Band,” in 2007.
Following that, LFO reunited for a tour in 2009, even with Cronin’s condition.
“He was having trouble walking. … We let him have the whole back of the bus so he could rest all day long while Devin and I did press and sound check, and then we would get him up from the show. A couple of times we had to help him get onto the stage because he was having trouble walking,” Fischetti said.
Despite his illness, Cronin was happy to be performing again. “I don’t think he ever thought he’d be able to play another show. … It was emotional, seeing him up on that stage,” Fischetti recalls.
Cronin is survived by his parents, brother, and sister.