Legendary funk band Ohio Players honored with street dedication in Dayton

DAYTON — The legendary Ohio Players band, known as a pioneer in the funk genre of music was immortalized Friday with a portion of a Dayton street named in their honor.

>>RELATED: Local group petitions for Hillcrest Avenue to be designated “Ohio Players Way”

The Dayton-based band, active in the 1970s and 1980s, were honored with a stretch of West Hillcrest Avenue and Kensington Drive being designated as Ohio Players Way. The band owned a building and practiced near the intersection where the street was designated Friday.

>>WATCH: Ohio State marching band does Ohio Players, John Legend

A crowd gathered today with living members of the band and family members of those who had passed away. Band members said today meant everything to them being honored in their hometown.

“I use to say I didn’t like the city that much, but I loved the people, and the people showed that they loved us. Now I can say I like the city a little bit more,” drummer James Diamond Williams said.

“It means everything. Who doesn’t want to be recognized in their own city when you think you’ve done something worthy of recognition,” he said.

The band was known for the hits “Fire” and “Love Rollercoaster” and was a member of the inaugural class of the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in Cleveland in 2013.

The band said they are going to play a free concert in September in Dayton, and hope to draw a crowd big enough to shut-down downtown.