Robert “Big Sonny” Edwards of The Intruders -- the soul vocal group best known for the chart-topping R&B single “Cowboys to Girls” -- has died. After suffering a sudden heart attack at his Philadelphia home, the 74-year-old Edwards died at a local hospital on Oct. 15.
The news of Edwards’ death was announced Tuesday (Oct. 18) by Philadelphia International Records co-founders Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. As one of the first acts signed to Gamble & Huff’s fledgling Gamble label, The Intruders scored a string of R&B hits from the mid-’60s through the early '70s -- and simultaneously set the stage for the writing/production duo’s pioneering Philly soul sound and the establishment of the legendary Philadelphia International label.
“The Intruders, featuring Big Sonny and the rest of the original members, helped start our musical career as a team,” said Gamble & Huff in a joint statement. “Not only was the group one of the first artists we wrote for and produced, they were also our close friends.”