Staff Report

Kool & the Gang, performers of hits including “Ladies Night,” “Cherish,” “Jungle Boogie,” and “Celebration,” will perform Friday, July 13 at the Santa Barbara County Fair.

The group has earned two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, and has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide. It has also had 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten pop hits, and 31 gold and platinum albums.

The group developed their signature instrumental sound and fierce horn arrangements in 1969 with their self-titled debut album, and then refined that sound throughout the 1970s with a series of hit albums that wowed not only fans but such contemporaries as James Brown and Nina Simone.

Those years also produced the immortal party anthems “Funky Stuff,” “Hollywood Swinging,” and the platinum smash “Jungle Boogie.” They are also responsible for hits including “Higher Plane”; the classic “Summer Madness,” which was featured on the Grammy-winning movie soundtrack of “Rocky”; and “Open Sesame,” which was featured on the top-selling movie soundtrack of all time, “Saturday Night Fever.”

By 1979, Kool & The Gang had released their first platinum album with “Ladies Night.”

In the 1980s the band released the double-platinum album “Celebrate,” driven by the international monster hit “Celebration,” which spent six weeks atop the R&B chart, became a No. 1 pop single, and was played as the American hostages returned from Iran.

The band re-entered the Billboard R&B chart with 2006’s “Steppin’ Into Love.” That same year they received the Chairman Award for lifetime achievement in record sales from the National Association of Recording Merchandisers.

The band remains one of the most active touring bands, performing hundreds of shows every year, including a 2012 national tour with Van Halen and multiple television appearances.

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