The music industry was left in mourning on Wednesday (March 29) upon hearing the news of Brian "Brizz" Gillis' passing.
Brian 'Brizz' Gillis, Former LFO Singer and Co-Founder, Passes Away At 47.
Brad Fischetti of LFO broke the news that Gillis, a co-founder and former member of the boy band between 1995 and 1999, has passed away at the age of 47.
Remembering a Bandmate
Fischetti opened his speech with a poignant statement, saying, "Every story is made up of chapters. Some develop naturally. Some you have to cut up in your mind." He continued, "The first two chapters of the LFO story lost a main character yesterday, Brian 'Brizz' Gillis passed away."
Cause of Death
Fischetti clarified that he was unaware of the specifics surrounding Gillis' passing and acknowledged that it was not his responsibility to divulge such information.
Struggle With Grief
"I am really struggling to process this tragic loss. I've said it before and I will continue to say it; the LFO Story is a tragedy," Fischetti shared.
Finding Light in Darkness
He continued, "If you know what I've been doing, you know I'm trying to bring light into the darkness. Trying find redemption in pain and suffering. Trying to honor the legacy."
Keeping the Legacy Alive
Fischetti stated that his current priority was to honor his "former bandmate and friend, Brizz."
Gillis' Contribution to the Band's Success
"If you watched the LFO Story livestream or have seen the band and me play it live, you know what Brian meant to LFO," Fischetti wrote. "If it wasn't for his hard work and dedication in the early days of LFO, the first two chapters, the LFO you came to know and (hopefully) love would not exist."
Continuing on, Fischetti recognized that his and Gillis' relationship was "complex," with challenging moments but also moments of immense happiness.
"I learned a lot from him about the business of music and how to put together and rock a show. And it's those positive aspects of our relationship that I will lean on now and forever," Gillis' bandmate continued.
He added, "I've prayed for Brian every day for many years. And I will continue to pray for him, for his beloved father, for his friends, his family, and those who loved him."
Fischetti said that he believed that Gillis would soon, or perhaps already, be welcomed by former LFO members Rich Cronin and Devin Lima, who also passed away.
Second LFO Bandmate to Die in 5 Years
Gillis died nearly five years after the passing of LFO singer Lima, who lost his struggle against stage 4 cancer at 41 years old in 2018, leaving Fischetti the only surviving member of the group.
"And I hope that together, they will make some sweet sounds. I would really like that. Rest easy bro. Rest easy," Fischetti ended his statement.
Foundation of LFO
Gillis, together with the late Rich Cronin, founded Lyte Funkie Ones back in 1995.
A year later in Orlando, Gillis met Brad Fischetti, and the trio was signed to Lou Pearlman’s Transcontinental Records.
The band's moderate success in Europe and the US came in 1997 and 1998.
Their most significant hit was the pop-rap track Summer Girls, which contributed to the success of their 1999 self-titled album, LFO.
Success with Britney Spears
While their debut album was still climbing the charts, LFO started to hit the road, even opening for Britney Spears.
Gillis decided to pursue his solo career in the late 1990s, and Boston-based vocalist Devin Lima took over his role in the band.