Interviews

Published on September 26th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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Kool & The Gang’s Robert “Kool” Bell On Touring With Van Halen & The Band’s 50th Anniversary

Officially launched in 1969 — following several years of playing together under different band names — Kool & The Gang is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. Thanks to iconic songs like “Celebration,” “Ladies Night,” “Get Down On It,” “Cherish,” “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging,” the group has amassed numerous Grammy Awards and American Music Awards, in addition to scoring 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits and 31 gold and platinum-selling albums.

By no means have things slowed down for Kool & The Gang in recent years. For starters, the band was part of a 50-city tour with hard rock legends Van Halen beyond other appearances alongside the likes of Kid Rock, Dave Matthews Band, Elton John and The Roots. In 2014, the group was honored with a BET Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2016, the group scored a charting hit on the Billboard Adult R&B chart with the one-off single release “Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours).”

The band’s bassist and co-founder Robert “Kool” Bell has also been successful as an entrepreneur beyond the earlier-mentioned musical accolades. For starters, he is the producer behind LeKool Champagne, a vintage Cuvée Grand Cru Champagne. Via the Just Kool Enterprises umbrella, he also has worked on projects related to solar energy, African tourism, cologne, and women’s cosmetics.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Robert “Kool” Bell by phone on September 17, 2019, and highlights from that interview are embedded below. More on Kool & The Gang — tour dates and LeKool Champagne included — can be found by visiting its official website at www.koolandthegang.com.


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About the Author

is a New York resident (and Long Island native) with over 15 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. In the years following, he worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer.Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Format Magazine, Businessweek, The Improper, the L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. He has been a member of the SATW and the IFWTWA organizations as a food and travel writer.Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host the recently-launched "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio.


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