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Roderick 'Pooh' Clark, Founding Member of '90s R&B Group Hi-Five, dies at 49

Instagram @officialhifive 
Roderick "Pooh" Clark, an original member of the R&B quintet Hi-Five, which enjoyed a meteoric rise to
fame in the early 1990s thanks to its self-titled multiplatinum debut album, is dead at 49.

The musician died on Easter Sunday. While the family has yet to confirm an official cause of death, TMZ reported that the entertainer succumbed to an infection after a bout with pneumonia at a Waco hospital.

Clark was a founding member of the Hi-Five along with fellow Waco, Texas natives Tony Thompson, Marcus Sanders, Russell Neal, and Toriano Easley from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

His time with the group ended when he was paralyzed from the neck down in 1992. A car rear-ended and flipped the group's vehicle on their way to a radio interview in Florida.

Following his death, several friends and former bandmates took to social media to remember Clark.

The group’s former manager, Jonathan Kinloch, wrote on Facebook: "We were blessed and had a great time as a family. A huge part of what made it fun, was because of Roderick 'Pooh' Clark. He was the serious member, who made sure that the guys together worked hard."

Fellow original member, Sanders, who confirmed his death to TMZ, posted, ""Roderick 'Pooh' Clark Feb 27, 1973- April 17, 2022 Rest In Peace My Brother," on Facebook, sharing a short video of Clark as well.

The band's former musical director Martinez Little also shared a Facebook tribute.

"Pooh was the most athletic of them all," wrote Martinez. "In basketball he could stand right under the basket and jump straight up and dunk the ball. Our play fights and Super Soaker battles were epic. We also used to battle each other hard on the Bball court in most cities. I still miss the fun times touring with my little brothers as Musical Director. My condolences to Hi5 and his family. R.I.P. Pooh."

Known best for their 1991 Billboard No. 1 hit single, "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game), Hi-Five's original lineup has suffered a series of calamities over the years since their initial success.

Easley was expelled from the group in 1990, at the age of 17, after shooting an acquaintance and receiving a 15-year prison sentence for attempted murder. Thompson, the original lead singer, died in Waco in 2007 from inhaling freon. Neal was charged with murder for fatally stabbing his wife in Houston in 2014.

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