Kool & the Gang Inducted Into Songwriters Hall of Fame Share Thisi
The Songwriters Hall of Fame inducted Robert “Kool” Bell and his “Gang” of George Brown, brother Ronald Bell, and James “JT” Taylor into its ranks June 14th alongside the likes of Grammy-winning, ubiquitous artists like Alan Jackson, Jermaine Dupri, and John Mellencamp, among others. This occasion marked the first time in over 25 years that Taylor had been in the same room as his bandmates, let alone shared a stage with them. Putting their differences aside, Kool & the Gang shared the stage together as they celebrated the momentous occasion for the band.
“[Bell] has a lot of vision for what’s trending,” Brown said in a recent interview with Billboard magazine. “What he’s always done is bring those ideas to the band and expound upon them.” Using Bell’s formula, Kool & the Gang rose from their urban New Jersey roots to become a multi-platinum-selling, world-touring funk juggernaut.
The band’s longevity speaks for itself, and they’re still going strong. “We’ve been doing this over 50 years,” Bell said in the same interview. “We do 100 shows a year,” and with songs like “Celebration,” Ladies’ Night,” and “Jungle Boogie,” Kool and the Gang will never lack an audience to listen to their seemingly immortal hits.
Of said hits, none was bigger than “Celebration.” “‘Celebration’ comes from the end of ‘Ladies” Night’,” Ronald Bell said in the Billboard interview. The initial idea for “Celebration” came from the “Ladies’ Night” lyric, “Come on, let’s all celebrate.” From there, the writers took the idea and ran with it. “I actually saw that in a scripture I was reading where the creator of the universe that created man and the angels were all celebrating for doing so, and from that idea it sparked writing ‘Celebration’,” Bell said.
The rest is history. 50 years and 7.5 million RIAA-certified album sales later, Kool and the Gang still brings the funk.
Congratulations to Kool and the Gang on this outstanding achievement!