Kool & The Gang
About Kool & The Gang
After finding success as a gritty funk band in the mid-’70s, Kool & The Gang reinvented themselves with a poppier sound and scored massive hits like songs like “Ladies’ Night,” “Cherish,” and the timeless party jam “Celebration.”
• In 1964, Robert “Kool” Bell, his brother Ronald, and their friends Clifford Adams, Charles Smith, Woody Sparrow, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Dennis “D.T.” Thomas, Ricky West, and Funky George Brown formed The Jazziacs in Jersey City, New Jersey.
• They became Kool & the Gang in 1969 and released their self-titled debut album the following year.
• Their commercial breakthrough came with 1973’s gold-certified Wild and Peaceful. The album spawned two Top 10 pop hits: “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging.” The latter was the band’s first R&B chart-topper.
• Eclipsed by the rise of disco in the mid-’70s, the Gang enlisted singer James “J.T.” Taylor and modernized their sound. The approach paid off—1979’s Ladies’ Night went platinum and yielded two Top 10 pop hits: the title track and “Too Hot.”
• “Celebration,” the lead single off 1980’s Celebrate! album, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
• Boasting double-platinum sales and three Top 10 pop singles—including the No. 2 smash “Cherish”—1984’s Emergency marked the peak of the band’s commercial success.
• Kool & The Gang has continued touring and recording well into the 21st century. Their 2016 single “Sexy” went Top 20 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay chart.
ORIGINJersey City, NJ