Rich Cronin, who sang with the late-’90s boy band LFO, died Sept. 8 in Boston. He was 35 and had been suffering from leukemia.
First known as Lyte Funky Ones, trio was founded in Fall River, Mass. by Kingston, Mass., native Cronin, Brad Fischetti and Brian Gillis (who was replaced in 1999 by Devin Lima). Signed to Arista Records, the group scored a No. 3 hit in ’99 with “Summer Girls,” a breezy rap-influenced number that namechecked boy-band precursors New Kids on the Block. (NKOTB’s Danny Wood produced the act.)
A second hit, the No. 10 single “Girl on TV,” followed that year; the video for the song featured actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, whom Cronin then dated. Tune helped push the group’s self-titled debut album to No. 21 nationally. It was certified platinum.
A second album, 2001’s “Life Is Good,” followed, but LFO was eclipsed by such rival acts as the Backstreet Boys and NSync. Cronin subsequently founded the groups Bad Mood Mike and Loose Cannons and appeared on the VH1 show “Mission: Man Band.” LFO reunited for a tour in 2009.