Despite being out of the office last week for video production, we still felt we had to pay our respects and write a quick post about the passing of LFO’s Rich Cronin last week. For those who don’t already know, Rich was the lead Rapper/singer/song writer in the late 90’s Pop Hip Hop/boy band, LFO.
LFO came on to the scene in 1999 during a Teen Pop explosion, Backstreet Boys, *N Sync, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were domonating the Pop charts, tours and selling over 10s of millions of records. At the time no one in the world of bubble gum could do no wrong and there was always room for one more, enter LFO. The Boston trio had the boy band image of clean cut Pop, but they also had more of a Hip Hop style to their sound than their peers.
As the main song writer for the group, Rich Cronin came up with a Pop sound with a Hip Hop context.. Rather than sing in harmonies like the others, LFO was often seen with Rich in front rapping a catchy and care free tune. The group was signed to Clive Davis’ Arista Records and is best known for their 1999 hit, “Summer Girls.” The fun summer anthem shouted out everyone from New Kids On The Block, to Michael J. Fox, to even Larry Bird and Abercrombie & Fitch. It was a Pop radio staple, shooting to #1 on the Billboard Hot Singles Chart. This song allowed LFO’s debut album to sell over 2.5 Million copies worldwide, after the single alone sold 1.5 million copies (Pre-ITunes Digital era). In 2010 Billboard named “Summer Girls” as the 16th biggest summer song of all time.
LFO released their second album, Life Is Good with Clive Davis’ then brand new Sony BMG label , J. Records in 2001, which featured another summer Top 40 hit for the guys called “Every Other Time.” After parting ways with J. in 2003, the guys split to work on solo projects. Rich continued making his fun Pop Rap as a solo artists as well as a member of the duo “Loose Cannons” with Doug Ray formerly of the group, Bad Ronald.
Despite remaining active with various music projects, it was in 2005 when Cronin was diagnosed with a form of leukemia known as acute myelogenous leukemia. After being given Chemotherapy, he went into remission in 2006. Soon after knowledge of his illness went public as Rich started the “Rich Cronin Hope Foundation.” Cronin also later appeared as a cast member of the 2007 VH1 reality show, Mission Man Band, along side other former boy banders., Chris Kirkpatrick from *N Sync, Jeff Timmons from 98 Degrees, and Bryan Abrams from Color Me Badd. Cronin’s illness was made the topic of discussion throughout the seven episodes that aired.
In 2009 Rich released his first and only solo album, Billion Dollar Sound from Orange Freeze Records. After a brief reunion tour with LFO in 2009, things would unexpectedly take a turn for the worse for Rich. This summer Rich’s condition worsened, and he was admitted for further treatment at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Cronin sadly died from complications of a stroke in the hospital on September 8th. He was only 35 years old.
Rich will always be remembered by Clizbeats as a talented performer and song writer that was a star in our teen years! We used to play LFO’s “Summer Girls” on the radio all the time as it was one of the most requested songs at that time. As Music Directors of WMHS FM at McKean High School and later interns at WSTW FM and Q102 Philadelphia. There was no escaping LFO’s “Summer Girls”. The song always finds its way back into recurrent rotation every summer! Rich, your legacy and place in Pop music history will always be remembered! Clizbeats sends our best wishes out to his family! May he rest in peace!
Some Key Tracks From LFO/Rich Cronin
LFO “Summer Girls”
“Can’t Have You”
“Girl On TV”
“Every Other Time”
From Life Is Good
“Story Of My Life”
From Billion Dollar Sound
Orange Freeze Records