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Kool & The Gang


In a career that has lasted over fifty years, Kool & the Gang have been essential innovators in the sound of funk, soul, disco, and R&B, creating rock & roll’s most danceable anthems.

Kool & the Gang are one of the grooviest and most sampled bands of all time, with a recognizable sound that resonates across generations and has brought joy to millions of fans around the globe.

Kool & the Gang took their funky groove all the way to the top with a mix of pop songwriting, fantastic vocals, and a killer horn section. Formed in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1964, brothers Robert “Kool” and Ronald Bell got their start in clubs, mastering a repertoire of jazz standards and Motown covers. In 1969, they signed to newly formed De-Lite Records and released the up-tempo instrumental “Kool & the Gang.” They subsequently released two live albums showcasing their ability to produce brilliantly crafted songs and blistering jams over an infectious beat. Their big break came in 1973 with the album Wild and Peaceful, which leaned deep into funky grooves, horn arrangements, and chanted vocals on the songs “Funky Stuff,” “Jungle Boogie,” and “Hollywood Swinging” – three instant dance floor classics. They slid easily into the growing disco scene, with their “Open Sesame” featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

In the 1980s, Kool & the Gang added lead vocalist James “J.T.” Taylor and released two massive hits, the bumping “Ladies Night” and the smooth “Too Hot.” With this, they accomplished something rare in the music industry – maintaining the fans who loved their funky roots, while reaching an entirely new audience tuned into their growing pop sensibilities. In 1980, they blew the roof off with the international hit “Celebration” and produced nineteen charting singles during the decade.

Kool & the Gang’s impact cannot be understated – from the throwback grooves of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars to the inclusion of the group’s songs in almost every party playlist. Countless samples of their music laid the foundation for some of hip-hop’s biggest hits by artists including Eric B. & Rakim, Tupac, Lil’ Kim, and JAY-Z.

Selected Discography

“Kool & the Gang,” “Let the Music Take Your Mind,” Kool and the Gang (1969) • “Funky Man,” Live at the Sex Machine (1971) • “Funky Stuff,” “Jungle Boogie,” Wild and Peaceful (1973) • “Ladies Night,” “Too Hot,” Ladies Night (1979) • “Celebration,” Celebrate! (1980) • “Get Down On It” (1981) • “Joanna” (1983) • “Fresh,” “Cherish,” Emergency (1984) • “Stone Love” (1986)