R O B E R T
"K O O L"
B E L L
With R&B/SOUL/FUNK/JAZZ/DISCO GROUP
K O O L
A N D
T H E
G A N G
Kool & the Gang, officially launched in 1969, after performing for five years under various band titles, has influenced the music of three generations and, at the age of 49, the band has become true recording industry legends.
Thanks to iconic 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.
In 1979, Kool & the Gang unveiled a smooth new sound with Ladies Nigh and became their first platinum album. The #1 R&B title track reached #8 at Pop. It was followed by Too Hot (#3 R&B, #5 Pop). The 80’s would see them dominate the mainstream, starting with the double platinum-selling album Celebrate (driven by the international monster hit Celebration, which spent six weeks atop the R&B chart and became a #1 Pop single).
Celebration, which played as the American hostages returned from Iran, remains de rigueur at joyous occasions worldwide. The smashes Get Down On It, Take My Heart, Let’s Go Dancing, Joanna, Tonight, Misled, the #1 R&B, #2 Pop giant Cherish and the #1 R&B anthem Fresh (these last three from the multi- platinum LP Emergency) solidified the group’s international stardom.
In 2014, they were honored with a BET Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award and 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 2016, they released a single, "Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours),” which rose to #15 on the Billboard Adult R& B chart. The song signifies a modernization of Kool & the Gang’s unmistakable sound, down to the dance floor-tailored bass grooves and the perfectly timed horns. It was their first airplay chart hit in a decade.
Kool & the Gang’s 50th Anniversary is just around the corner. Here is how they have begun to celebrate the milestone:
Induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
In a touching tribute, a street they grew up on in Jersey City has been renamed in their honor: “Kool & the Gang Way.”
“Celebration” was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame
Kool’s bass is displayed at the new Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.
Artifacts from the band’s archive have recently gone on display, next to Count Basie, at the newly- opened Grammy Museum Experience in Newark, NJ.
Induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
Kool & the Gang continues to delight fans around the globe with their timeless hits and amazing live performances.
For more information about Robert “Kool” Bell
and Kool & the Gang