On Feb. 4 GRAMMY-nominated Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers will release The Royal Sessions, a collection of covers of classic R&B, blues and soul songs that he recorded at Willie Mitchell's Royal Studios in Memphis, Tenn. Ahead of the album's release, GRAMMY.com has your exclusive first listen to "That's How Strong My Love Is," which was written by Roosevelt Jamison and made famous in 1965 by GRAMMY winner Otis Redding.
"It is remarkable how a simple song can be so powerful," said Rodgers. "'That's How Strong My Love Is' carries a message that resonates with the broken-hearted and most of us have been there. My inspiration for performing this song was planted in my mind when I first heard Otis Redding's version in the '60s."
English singer/songwriter and musician Rodgers is best known for his work as the frontman for '70s rock bands Free and Bad Company. Free formed in London in 1968 and featured Rodgers, guitarist Paul Kossoff, bassist Andy Fraser, and drummer Simon Kirke. The band earned a Top 5 hit in 1970 with "All Right Now" from their Top 20 album Fire And Water. After Free disbanded in 1973, Rodgers and Kirke formed Bad Company with late bassist Boz Burrell and guitarist Mick Ralphs. The band's 1974 eponymous debut album climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200. That same year they earned their lone GRAMMY nomination to date for Best New Artist. Bad Company subsequently released three albums to chart in the Top 5: Straight Shooter (1975, No. 3), Run With The Pack (1976, No. 5) and Desolation Angels (1979, No. 3). The group went on hiatus after 1982's Rough Diamonds. During this time Rodgers released several solo albums, including 1983's Cut Loose and 1993's Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute To Muddy Waters, the latter of which featured guest appearances by Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Brian May, and Richie Sambora and earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Rodgers also performed and recorded as the vocalist for Queen, with whom he released 2008's The Cosmos Rocks.
The Royal Sessions marks Rodgers' first solo studio album since 2000's Electric. The collection features 10 covers, including Redding and Jerry Butler's "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)," Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Walk On By" and Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign." The album features musicians who performed on some of the original recordings, including organist Charles Hodges, guitarist Michael Toles and drummer Steve Potts, among others.