Brothers Roger and Larry Troutman, two of the founding members of the early-’80s funk outfit Zapp, were shot dead Sunday morning outside a studio in Dayton, Ohio, in what local authorities are investigating as a possible murder-suicide.
According to the Associated Press, Roger Troutman was found by Dayton Police after being shot several times in the torso. He was rushed to nearby Good Samaritan Hospital, but died shortly thereafter. Authorities subsequently discovered the body of Larry Troutman in a car near the studio, dead from a single gunshot wound to the head.
MTV audiences probably best know Roger Troutman for his vocoder work on “California Love” [RealVideo] , a Zapp tune which Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre reworked back in 1995 and which was recently included on Shakur’s “Greatest Hits” album.
Zapp was formed in 1975 by Roger, Larry, Lester, and Terry Troutman, and the group enjoyed a string of R&B hits in the ’80s, including
“More Bounce to the Ounce,” “Dance Floor (Part 1),” and “I Can Make You Dance.”
Roger, the band’s guitarist and vocalist, helped popularize the use of the vocoder, a device that makes the human voice sound electronic. He branched out into a solo career in the late ’80s and the ’90s, earning a Top 10 hit in 1987 with “I Wanna Be Your Man.”
We’ll have more on this story as details become available.