J. Geils Dead: ‘Centerfold’ Singer Dies at Age 71

J. Geils
J. Geils performs with the J. Geils Band at the Oakland Auditorium on March 24, 1979 in Oakland, California.  Ed Perlstein/Redferns/Getty Images

Guitarist J. Geils died at his home in Groton, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, April 11, the Associated Press reports. He was 71.

Police responded to Geils’ residence around 4 p.m. on Tuesday for a well-being check. He was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene.

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“A preliminary investigation indicates that Geils died of natural causes,” police said in a statement, via the AP. His death is still under investigation, but foul play is not suspected.

Geils was born in New York in 1946 and was raised in New Jersey. He founded the J. Geils Band in 1968 and the group landed on the Billboard 200 in 1973 for their record Bloodshot. The blues rock– and R&B-influenced band was best known for songs like “Centerfold,” “Love Stinks” and “Freeze Frame.”

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The band — including members Danny Klein, Richard “Magic Dick” Salwitz, Stephen Jo Bladd, Peter Wolf and Seth Justman — broke up in 1985. They were nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year for the fourth time, but were not selected.

“This is our fourth nomination, and going through that process, with its inherent disappointment, you’re not sure you want to take that ride again,” Wolf, 71, told Billboard. “It’s great to be recognized, but it’s a drag to be disappointed. I hope that we make it in. That would be great.”

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Wolf paid tribute to Geils following the news of his death on Tuesday night. “Thinking of all the times we kicked it high and rocked down the house!” he captioned a throwback photo of the group on Facebook. “R.I.P. Jay Geils.”

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