Brian “Breeze” Gillis, the singer who co-founded the Massachusetts boy band LFO, has died at the age of 47. Former teammate Brad Fichte shared the news on Thursday via Instagram, which she later confirmed diverse.
“I don’t have details and it wouldn’t be my place to share them if I did,” Fischetti shared at the start of a heartfelt tribute post. “The first two chapters of the LFO story lost a major character yesterday… I am really struggling to process this tragic loss.”
“My relationship with Brian was complicated,” he continued. “It contained moments of great tribulation but also of great joy. I learned so much from him about the music business and how to put together a show and rock music. And it is these positive aspects of our relationship that I will count on now and forever.”
Gillis formed the pop trio Lyte Funkie Ones with Fischetti and the late Rich Cronin in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1995. The group signed with prolific band manager Lou Pearlman’s Transcontinental Records in 1996 and enjoyed moderate success in the US and UK during the late ’90s. The ’90s behind hit singles like “(Sex U Up) The Way You Like It” and covers of New Kids on the Block’s “Step by Step” and The Bee Gees’ “If I Can’t Get You.”
“Brizz” left the band in 1999 to pursue a solo career and other projects and was later replaced by the late singer Devin Lima. The boy band officially abbreviated their name to “LFO” and released their self-titled debut album in 1999, which included their highest-charting single of their career, “Summer Girls”. They followed up the success with 2001 life is goodand then disbanded in 2002.
The group reformed twice, in 2009 and 2017, but none of the line-up included Gillis. The first encounter, involving Fischetti, Lima and Cronin, was tragically cut short when Cronin died of a stroke in 2010 after a long battle with leukemia. Likewise, the second version met a heartbreaking end when Lima passed away in 2018.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it; the LFO story is a tragedy,” Fischetti shared in his post. “If you know what I’ve been doing, you know I’m trying to bring light in the darkness. Trying to find redemption in pain and suffering. Trying to honor legacy.”
To this, Fischetti celebrated his fellow bandmate’s contributions, saying, “Without his hard work and dedication in the early days of LFO, the first two chapters, The LFO I Knew and (Hopefully) Love, would not have existed.”
In the comments to Fischetti’s post, share condolences with Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath, O-Town’s Jacob Underwood, and more. DJ Nasty called the news “incredible” and added that “Brizz was so amazing” before sending prayers to his family.