Kool & the Gang has sold over 70 million albums worldwide and influenced the music of three generations. Thanks to songs like Celebration, Cherish, Jungle Boogie, Summer Madness and Open Sesame, they’ve earned two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits and 31 gold and platinum albums. Kool & the Gang has performed continuously for the past 50 years, longer than any R&B group in history. Their bulletproof funk and jazzy arrangements have also made them the most sampled band of all time.
In 1964, Khalis Bayyan (AKA Ronald Bell) and his brother, Robert “Kool” Bell, joined Jersey City neighborhood friends Robert “Spike” Mickens, Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown, and Charles Smith to create a unique musical blend of jazz, soul and funk. At first calling themselves the Jazziacs, the band went through various names – The New Dimensions, The Soul Town Band, Kool & the Flames – before settling on their moniker. Over the next several years they solidified their musical chemistry on the rough-and-tumble East Coast music scene supporting acts like Bill Cosby, Ritchie Havens and Richard Pryor. In 1969 Kool & the Gang released their self-titled debut album. It was the introduction to a theme, music is the message, that Kool & the Gang stands by today.
For fifty years, Kool & the Gang has toured the world appearing with artists such as Kid Rock, Dave Matthews Band, Elton John, The Roots and a 50-city tour with Van Halen. In October 2015, in the town they sing about in one of their earliest hits ”Hollywood Swinging” Kool & the Gang was honored to take their place as American musical icons with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the spring of 2016, Kool & the Gang received a nod from their home state and were inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
www.KOOLANDTHEGANG.com & ITunes@KOOLANDTHEGANG
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