Hi-Five Member Roderick “Pooh” Clark Has Passed Away At Age 49

Roderick “Pooh” Clark of gold-selling R&B quintet Hi-Five has died. The 49-year-old singer passed Sunday (April 17) from complications related to an infection and pneumonia. According to TMZ, he passed in a Waco, Texas hospital, where Clark and the rest of the group are from. Reports suggest he had been battling pneumonia for much of April.

Pooh was a Hi-Five founder alongside Tony Thompson, Marcus Sanders, Russell Neal, and Toriano Easley. Easley was an Oklahoma City native in the otherwise Texan collective. They released three albums with Jive Records. 1991’s eponymous debut and 1992 follow-up Keep It Goin’ On earned gold plaques. The group worked with Teddy Riley and label-mate R. Kelly on production. By 1993’s Faithful, they would collaborate with Dallas Austin and another Jive act from the Hip-Hop side, D-Nice. Shannon Gill and Terrence Murphy entered to replace Clark and estranged member Russell Neal.

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Clark was no stranger to tragedy. Approximately 30 years ago, he was in a 1992 Florida car accident on Interstate 95 that left the artist paralyzed from the neck down. Since the incident, he has reportedly been unable to walk, which involved the whole group en route to a promotional event surrounding their sophomore LP.

Hi-Five’s official social media accounts posted a tribute:

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Like Clark, Hi-Five has been plagued by troubles. Tony Thompson was found dead in 2007 in a death related to ingesting air conditioner coolant Freon. Like Clark, he passed in Waco. Russell Neal was charged with the murder of his wife in 2014. The group released two independent LPs since the 2000s, working with Hip-Hop artists including Bun B, Paul Wall, and Bizzy Bone.

The group’s story was previously chronicled on an episode of Unsung.