Kool & The Gang is set to celebrate 60 years as R&B and funk veterans in 2024. However, ahead of that monumental feat, the group is releasing a new album and will be embarking on an international tour.
People Just Wanna Have Fun is slated for release on July 14, towards the end of their 17-city tour.
Founding member, Robert “Kool” Bell, spoke on the new album, that’s been five years in the making, in a statement. “You’ve got the funk, you’ve got the jazzier tracks, we have a few ballads on there. Then there are songs that cross over to a pop sort of thing,” he explained. “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.”
George “Funky” Brown, fellow founding member and producer of the LP, added insight on the process during the height of the pandemic. “It’s all done live. Nothing was flown in. We made sure we had the ultraviolet lights and the sprays and the masks. Nobody got sick. We kept the number of people in the studio way down,” stated the 74-year-old.
The album’s lead single, “Let’s Party,” debuted back in October, but an Afrobeats remix is premiering on April 21. Both Bell and Brown view this project—the group’s 34th album—as a “summation of their long career” as it will be some of the last work from the band’s members, Ronald “Khalis” Bell and Dennis “D.T.” Thomas, who passed in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Since their start in 1964, the group has garnered two GRAMMYs, seven American Music Awards, a BET Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Plus, Kool’s bass guitar is featured in the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC and their 1980 hit, “Celebration” was inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2021 along with Janet Jackson’s Control, Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” and Nas’ Illmatic.
Their tour, dubbed “Kool and the Gang Rock the World Tour,” will hit major cities including Los Angeles, Orlando, and Las Vagas, as well as Mexico City and London. Tickets can be purchased here.
See the full dates below.
March 11: Cache Creek Casino Resort – Brooks, CA
March 18: Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort – Mount Pleasant, MI
March 24: Spotlight 29 – Coachella, CA
April 22: Parque Bicentenario – Mexico City, MX
April 29: SoCal Taco Fest – San Diego, CA
April 30: Disneyworld – Orlando, FL
May 1: Disneyworld – Orlando, FL
May 5: Westgate Resort & Casino – Las Vegas, NV
May 6: Westgate Resort & Casino – Las Vegas, NV
May 11: Hampton Beach Casino & Ballroom – Hampton Beach, NH
May 12: NYCB Theatre – Westbury, NY
May 13: Toyota Oakdale Theatre – Wallingford, CT
May 14: MGM Music Hall – Boston, MA
June 1: indigo @ The O2 – London, UK
June 3: Dreamland – Margate, Great Britain
June 11: Childerley Orchard – Cambridge, Great Britain
June 12: Ancient Theatre – Plovdiv, Bulgaria
July 14: Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, CA
July 15: Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, CA
July 22: Flushing Meadows Corona Park – Corona, NY
September 16: Mable House Barnes Amphitheater – Mableton, GA
September 24: Mountain Winery – Saratoga, CA