This 2007 photo shows singer Jimmy Ellis, who with his b[auth] and The Trammps recorded the 1977 smash hit “Disco Inferno,” in Rock Hill, S.C. Ellis, who battled Alzheimer’s disease the past three years after touring up until 2008, died Thursday morning, March 8, 2012 in Rock Hill, S.C., his wife and brother said. He was 74. (AP Photo/The Herald, Melissa Cherry)
ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — James T. “Jimmy” Ellis, who belted out the refrain “Burn, baby burn!” in a 1970s-era disco hit that’s still replayed in modern sports arenas, has died. He was 74.
David Turner of Bass-Cauthen Funeral Home in Rock Hill, S.C., said the frontman for The Trammps died Thursday at a nursing home in the city. A cause of death was not immediately known.
The Trammps released “Disco Inferno” — the song with the popular refrain — in 1976. The song was featured in the iconic movie “Saturday Night Fever,” its soundtrack winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1978. “Disco Inferno” soared up to No. 11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 on May 27, 1978.
Turner said a memorial service will be held Friday in Charlotte, N.C.