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Kool & the Gang Announce New Album ‘People Just Wanna Have Fun’ Ahead of 60th Anniversary

In celebration of Kool & The Gang’s 60th anniversary next year, the iconic funk and soul group announced their new album People Just Wanna Have Fun on Wednesday. The record is set to release on July 14, 2023, and follows their single “Let’s Party” featuring Sha Sha Jones.

The 15-track album is helmed by founding members bassist Robert “Kool” Bell and keyboardist- drummer George “Funky” Brown. The set will be the band’s 34th studio album and features some of the last studio work by legendary founding horn players, Kool’s brother Ronald “Khalis” Bell and Dennis “D.T.” Thomas, who died in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Sha Sha Jones, Shawn McQuiller, Lavell Evans, Dominique Karan, Rick Marcel, Walt Anderson, and rappers Ami Miller & Ole’ provide lead vocals on the album.

Since their start in 1964, Kool & The Gang have garnered two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, a BET Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award, and star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Their newest project is a summation of the group’s career spanning from their roots to now. You’ve got the funk, you’ve got the jazzier tracks, we have a few ballads on there,” said Bell in a statement. “Then there are songs that cross over to a pop sort of thing. We go from the ‘70s, the ‘80s, right into now. It’s old school, it’s new school — we kinda captured it all here. With all our music over the years, people have had fun. So I’d say this album just about sums it all up.”

The band will embark on their Kool & the Gang Rock the World Tour, kicking things off on May 5 in Las Vegas and performing the grand finale in Saratoga, California on September 24. The international tour will also take the group to London, England and Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

In 2020, Bell’s brother and longtime bandmate Ronald Bell died in September. Less than a year later, the group lost another co-founder in saxophone player Dennis Thomas. “It’s not been easy,” Bell told Rolling Stone in 2022. “We’re trying to keep moving forward. But my brother and Dennis are key members over the years.”

“Some of the new members have been with me now for 25 years,” Bell added. “New members can be old members too. You got to keep movin.’ Keep it movin’, and keep it groovin.’”

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Kool & the Gang 2023 Tour Dates

May 5  — Las Vegas, NV @ Westgate Resort & Casino
May 6 — Las Vegas, NV @ Westgate Resort & Casino
May 11 — Hampton Beach, NH @ Hampton Beach Casino & Ballroom
May 12 — Westbury, NY @ NYCB Theatre
May 13 — Wallingford, CT @ Toyota Oakdale Theatre
May 14 — Boston, MA @ MGM Music Hall –
May 20 — Leesburg, VA @ Ion Arena
May 27 — San Antonio, TX @ The Majestic Theatre
June 1 — London, UK @ Indigo at The O2
June 3 — Margate, Great Britain @ Dreamland
June 9 — East Molesey, Great Britain @ Hampton Court Palace
June 11 — Cambridge, Great Britain @ Childerley Orchard
June 12 — Plovdiv, Bulgaria @ Ancient Theatre
June 30 — Detroit, MI @ Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre
July 1 — Youngstown, OH @ Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre
July 2 —  Charleston, NC @ Haddad Riverfront Park
July 14 — Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
July 15 — Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
July 22 — Corona, NY @ Flushing Meadows Corona Park
September 16 — Mableton, GA @ Mable House Barnes Amphitheater
September 24 — Saratoga, CA @ Mountain Winery

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