Kool & the Gang
Photo: Alison Buck/WireImage | Design: F Inomata/Recording Academy
Kool & The Gang On 50 Years, The Joy Of "Celebration" & Songwriters Hall Of Fame
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of GRAMMY winners Kool & the Gang, the group responsible for such everlasting, dance party-ready hits as "Celebration," "Ladies Night" and "Get Down On It."
They are also one of the most sampled artists of all time; the horns from their 1973 funky jam "Jungle Boogie" horns can be heard on over a hundred other songs, including rap classics like Luniz's "I Got 5 On It" and the Beastie Boys' "Hey Ladies."
"It's a blessing to be around for 50 years; some groups can't make it for 50 days. We did 50 years, that's an accomplishment," founding member Robert "Kool" Bell said.
"The gang was Kool, and we still cool, hopefully," group member Dennis Thomas added, laughing
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Earlier this month, the iconic funk/R&B group was honored with Philadelphia's prestigious Marian Anderson Award, joining the ranks of past recipients that include Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou. Last year, they were given the high honor of joining the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.
Before they took the stage at the GRAMMY Museum's Clive Davis Theater, the Recording Academy caught up with the Gang to learn more about the magic—and the masters—behind the hits. The special event, part of the Museum's star-studded programming, led to a lively conversation celebrating their 50 years that dove deep into the creation, genesis and legacy of the group.