Ronald LaPread thumbnail

Commodores Lionel Ritchie and Ronald LaPread

Ronald LaPread

Famous For...: playing bass for The Commodores


Ronald LaPread was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. At 14, he played drums in his high school band, then worked his way through the other instruments. By the time he was a senior, he was first chair in all of the brass sections. Prior to joining the Commodores, he played organ in a blues group called The Corvettes. LaPread is a multi-instrumentalist and can play several brass and wind instruments, but didn't pick up the bass until he was approached by Lionel Richie and Thomas McClary in 1969. After three members (Jimmy Johnson, Michael Gilbert and Andre Callaghan) of the original line-up had left, The Commodores desperately needed a bass player. Ronald was asked if he knew one. A good one. The confident LaPread said he was the best there was, practiced all weekend and landed the job!

Ronald left The Commodores in 1986 and moved to Auckland, New Zealand to marry his wife, where he has been producing and performing music ever since.