|Birth name||Richard Burton Cronin|
August 30, 1974|
West Roxbury, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Origin||Kingston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|Died||September 8, 2010
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Genres||Pop, R&B, hip hop|
|Labels||Arista, J Records, Orange Freeze Entertainment|
Richard Burton "Rich" Cronin (August 30, 1974 – September 8, 2010) was an American singer and songwriter, best known for being the lead singer and primary songwriter for the pop group Lyte Funkie Ones (LFO).
Early life and education
Cronin was born in West Roxbury, Massachusetts on August 30, 1974, and grew up in Kingston, Massachusetts, of Irish and Swedish ancestry. He had a brother, Michael and a sister Cassandra. Cronin attended Sacred Heart High School, graduating in 1993. He also attended Bridgewater State College and worked part-time in a Blockbuster video store.
Cronin was the founding member of the pop group LFO. The group started out in Germany on BMG in 1997 with member, Brian Gillis aka "Brizz". In the spring of 1998 the group opened up for *NSYNC and by this time were signed to BMG/Logic Records in the US. They were labeled as the "bad boys of pop" citing influences: The Beastie Boys and New Edition. They released two singles: "Sex U Up (The Way You Like It)" and "Can't Have You" with original member, Brian Gillis. Gillis left the group frustrated with the direction of the group and lack of success. His brother, Mike Cronin, was a manager for the pop group O-Town.
Harold "Devin" Lima was added to the group to replace Brian Gillis six months before the hit "Summer Girls", was released. By this time, the group had transitioned from Logic Records to Arista Records. Executive Clive Davis mentored and worked closely with Cronin on the group's self titled debut album.
The group's breakout hit "Summer Girls" was written by Cronin in 1999, hit #3 on Billboard's Hot 100, and was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Single Sales chart for six weeks. The single also went platinum in the US with sales of over 1,000,000 units.
The group's second album, "Life is Good", was released on Davis' new label, J Records, with Cronin writing or co-writing each song on the album. The group had success with the album's first single, "Every Other Time." LFO disbanded in 2002.
In 2007, Cronin was a cast member for the VH1 reality show Mission: Man Band. The show also starred Chris Kirkpatrick of 'N Sync, Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees and Bryan Abrams of Color Me Badd. The four former pop stars came together in Orlando, Florida to reestablish their music careers and to pitch their new music to major record labels over the period of three weeks in hopes of getting a record deal.
In 2008, Cronin released his first solo album Billion Dollar Sound. He recorded two hit songs, "Impossible" and "Story of My Life". Cronin also formed a rap duo with Doug Ray (formerly of Bad Ronald) called Loose Cannons. They released one album entitled Life Goes On. The band performed shows from 2006 until 2008.
2009 reunion tour with LFO
On June 3, 2009, LFO posted a blog entitled "LFO IS BACK" on their official MySpace page which announced that they had reunited and were going on tour beginning July 9, 2009, with Rookie of the Year, Go Crash Audio, and Kiernan McMullan. A new song titled "Summer of My Life" was also announced in association with the reunion. In September 2009, however, LFO announced that they had again broken up.
Cronin's final song, "It Only Gets Better," was recorded in 2009 after the LFO reunion tour, and released shortly after his death. Billboard described the song as an "upbeat tune...reminiscent of the boy band's past hits "Summer Girls" and "Girl On TV," but the lyrics discuss Cronin's health struggles and how they altered his view of the world".
Cronin began dating actress Jennifer Love Hewitt in 1999 after meeting her backstage at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards. Cronin wrote the song "Girl on TV" about Hewitt for which she also appeared in the video. They broke up in 2000. During a January 2009 appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Cronin claimed that Hewitt abruptly ended the relationship after he confronted her concerning reports that she was unfaithful during their relationship.
Illness and death
In March 2005, Cronin sought treatment for constant headaches, and was diagnosed with a form of leukemia known as acute myelogenous leukemia. He underwent chemotherapy at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and by January 2006, his leukemia was in remission and came back also in 2007. He subsequently started the Rich Cronin Hope Foundation for Leukemia to raise awareness. He was trying to make it his mission to educate people about the urgent need for donating blood, and even more so, bone marrow.
He was left with such severe leg pain that Brad Fischetti and Lima had to help the singer get dressed before shows and carry him on stage.
In the summer of 2010, Cronin suffered a relapse, and he was treated at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. On the afternoon of September 8, 2010, Cronin died at the Brigham and Women's Hospital after suffering a stroke secondary to his leukemia due to complications from medicine he was taking to offset GVHD (Graft-versus-host disease), which he had been struggling with since the transplant. He was 36 years old. His funeral was held at St. Joseph Church in Kingston, Massachusetts on September 13, attended by family and friends. He was buried at Vine Hills Cemetery in Plymouth County Massachusetts, USA.
- "Rich Cronin dies at 36; lead singer for the boy band LFO". Los Angeles Times. 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- Greene, Roy (September 9, 2010). "Rich Cronin dies at 36; singer of band LFO scored hit with 'Summer Girls'". nj.com.
- Shapiro, T. Rees (September 10, 2010). "Leader of LFO pop trio penned catchy perennial hit 'Summer Girls'". The Washington Post. p. B8.
- Venutolo, Anthony (September 8, 2010). "LFO frontman Rich Cronin dead at 35". nj.com.
- Patterson, Troy (August 7, 2007). "Scott Baio Is 45 … and Single". slate.com.
- "LFO IS BACK – MySpace-blog | van LFO". Blogs.myspace.com. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
- Lipshutz, Jason (September 14, 2010). "LFO's Rich Cronin Reflects on Health Problems in Final Song". Billboard.
- Henley, Tim (January 26, 2009). "LFO singer says Jennifer Love Hewitt cheated on him". newsok.com.
- "Rich & Love". people.com.
- "Former LFO Member Rich Cronin Dies at 36". ABC News. Associated Press. 2010-09-10. Archived from the original on 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
- Marquard, Bryan (September 9, 2010). "Rich Ronin dies at 36; singer of band LFO scored hit with 'Summer Girls'". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved May 7, 2013.