(NEW YORK) -- Paul Goddard, the founding bass player for the Atlanta Rhythm Section, died Wednesday "after a brief, sudden illness," according to the band. He was 68.
Goddard was a member of the Southern pop-rock group from its formation in 1971 through the mid '80s, when he decided to retire from touring. He rejoined the Atlanta Rhythm Section in 2011 and continued playing with the band until his passing.
The group scored several top 40 hits during the 1970s and early '80s, but is probably best known for the singles "So Into You" and "Imaginary Lover," which peaked at number seven in 1977 and 1978, respectively.
"I knew Paul when he was a guitarist, and maybe that's why his bass playing was so musical," Atlanta Rhythm Section singer Rodney Justo says in a statement. "And to go with that musicality was a unique sound that made him so identifiable to fans and other musicians as well."
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