Oct 6, 5:37 PM EDT

Bunny Sigler, who helped create 1970s Philly Sound, dies

AP Photo
AP Photo/Mel Evans

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Walter "Bunny" Sigler, a singer, songwriter and producer who helped create "The Sound of Philadelphia" in the 1970s, has died.

His longtime attorney, Lloyd Zane Remick, said Sigler died of a heart attack Friday at his home outside Philadelphia. He was 76.

Sigler worked with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff in developing a genre that blended soul, funk and big band styles, and cemented the city in the country's musical landscape with its lush horn ensembles and smooth vocals.

Gamble said Sigler was one of the most talented songwriters and producers he ever worked with, and "more importantly, he was like family to us."

As a performer, Sigler was known for such hits as "Let the Good Times Roll & (Feel So Good)."

In a 2008 interview with National Public Radio, Gamble said he, Huff and Sigler also performed background vocals on some of their songs, including the chart-topping "If You Don't Know Me by Now," recorded by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes.

His career spanned decades and saw collaborations with acts as varied as Patti LaBelle and Jay-Z.

Sigler "spent his life using his talents to bring love and joy to others and for that we are all grateful!" LaBelle tweeted.

Remick said he worked right up to the end, posting songs and music videos on his YouTube channel as recently as August even as health issues kept him hospitalized for long stretches of time.

He is survived by his wife, Martha, and two children.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

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