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Jersey City Celebrates Kool & the Gang’s Induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame



Jersey City’s legendary musical group, Kool & the Gang, has achieved a milestone by being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a testament to their over fifty years of influence in the music industry. Renowned for their vibrant fusion of funk, soul, disco, and R&B, the band has produced some of the most iconic dance anthems that continue to resonate across generations.

The band, formed in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1964 by brothers Robert “Kool” Bell and Ronald Bell, began their journey in local clubs, mastering jazz standards and Motown covers. Their first major breakthrough came with the release of their self-titled album in 1969 under De-Lite Records, which featured the hit instrumental track “Kool & the Gang.”

Their success soared with the 1973 album Wild and Peaceful, which included timeless hits like “Funky Stuff,” “Jungle Boogie,” and “Hollywood Swinging.” These tracks not only dominated the charts but also became staples on dance floors around the world. The band’s adaptability was further showcased during the disco era, particularly with their contribution to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

In the 1980s, the addition of lead vocalist James “J.T.” Taylor marked a significant evolution in their music style, leading to chart-toppers like “Ladies Night” and the international hit “Celebration.” Throughout the decade, Kool & the Gang enjoyed a consistent presence on the charts, producing nineteen singles that further solidified their impact on the music scene.

In 2016, a section of Maple Street, where founding members Robert “Kool” Bell and Ronald Bell grew up, was officially renamed Kool & the Gang Way.

“Congratulations to #JerseyCity own @koolandthegang on joining the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” wrote Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “We are all very proud of them as a couple years ago we did a street dedication for where they grew up to make sure it is memorialized forever.”