Johnson, who appeared on the King of Pop's hits Billie Jean and Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, passed away on Thursday (21May15).

He formed the Brothers Johnson with his sibling George in the early 1970s and the act became producer/hitmaker Quincy Jones' backing band before releasing their debut album Look Out for #1 in 1976.

The Brothers Johnson enjoyed chart hits with tracks like I'll Be Good to You and Stomp!, while their acclaimed 1980 album Light Up the Night famously featured Michael Jackson on backing vocals.

Paying tribute to Johnson on Friday (22May15), Jones told Rolling Stone, "Louis 'Thunder Thumbs' Johnson was one of the greatest bass players to ever pick up the instrument.

"As a member of the Brothers Johnson, we shared decades of magical times working together in the studio and touring the world. From my albums Body Heat and Mellow Madness, to their platinum albums Look Out for #1, Right On Time, Blam and Light Up the Night, which I produced, to Michael's solo debut Off the Wall, I considered Louis a core member of my production team. He was a dear and beloved friend and brother, and I will miss his presence and joy of life every day."

Other tributes have come from Bootsy Collins, The Roots' Questlove and Lenny Kravitz, who tweets: "Thank you for blessing me and the world with your original #funk. RIP."