A founding member and original rhythm guitarist for the ’70s disco group KC and the Sunshine Band died last Friday in a bulldozing accident, a publicist for the group said Wednesday. Jerome Smith was working as a heavy-equipment operator in West Palm Beach, Fla., when he fell off the bulldozer and was crushed to death by the machine. Smith, who was 47, is remembered for hits such as "Get Down Tonight," "That’s The Way (I Like It)" and "I’m Your Boogie Man."
Harry "KC" Casey, who still tours with the band, said he was shocked by the news. In a statement released by the band’s publicist, he said: "Jerome Smith was a dear friend and a gifted performer. He influenced future guitarists and many groups with his playing. His memory lives on."
Smith, who lived in Miami, is survived by his wife, a 22-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old granddaughter.
Britney Spears BRITNEY POWER! Britney Spears’ sophomore effort "Oops!…I Did It Again" remained in second on the Billboard album charts, trailing the current hits compilation "Now That’s What I Call Music – Vol. 4" for the second consecutive week. The compilation disc, which includes Spears, moved more than 258,000 units in the week ending July 30.
The rest of the Top Five: Nelly, Eminem and ’N Sync. On the Top 100 charts, Sisquo’s "Incomplete" displaced ’N Sync’s "It’s Gonna Be me" from the top spot.
YOU CAN BREATHE NOW: Country singer Tim McGraw can breath a little easier now. Felony assault charges filed against him for allegedly hitting a New York police officer in June were reduced to a misdemeanor on Tuesday. McGraw, who is married to singer Faith Hill, was arrested in an alleged incident involving singer Kenny Chesney, who was accused of riding off with a horse belonging to the Erie County Sheriffs Department Mounted Unit. The remaining charges will be tried Dec. 6.