Kool & The Gang Announce New Album Ahead Of 60th Anniversairy

4 May 2023 | 1:25 pm | Emma Whines

"With all our music over the years, people have had fun. So I’d say this album just about sums it all up.”

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R&B, funk and soul icons Kool & The Gang have announced a new album, People Just Wanna Have Fun, out July 14.

Today, they release the first single from the upcoming release titled, Let's Party, truly bringing back the funk ahead of their 60th anniversary next year. 

This collection will be the band’s 34th studio album, with both Bell and Brown viewing People Just Wanna Have Fun as a summation of their long career, during which they sold 70 million albums worldwide with hit singles like Celebration, Ladies Night, Get Down on It, Hollywood Swinging & beyond.

Bell says of the new album, “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. 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.”

Work on the album started five years ago at Brown’s Alley Cat Studio in Woodland Hills, CA and features some of the last studio work by founding horn players Kool’s brother Ronald “Khalis” Bell and Dennis “D.T.” Thomas.

Though the group recorded much of People Just Wanna Have Fun during the height of the pandemic, Brown says, “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.”

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From Newark to Nairobi, Kool & The Gang has performed longer than any R&B group in history and is the most sampled R&B band of all time. Over their 60 years, they've won two Grammy Awards and seven American Music Awards. Have had twenty-five Top 10 R&B hits, nine Top 10 Pop hits, thirty-one gold and platinum albums, a BET Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

This will be the first release for the band since founding member Ronald 'Khalis' Bell passed away, aged 68.

The influential soul and funk musician, who founded the iconic group in 1964 with his brother, Robert "Kool" Bell, passed away at his home in the US Virgin Islands. The singer, songwriter and saxophonist co-wrote some of the band’s biggest hits, including Jungle Boogie, Celebration and Get Down On It, and was last in the country in 2019 when Kool & The Gang toured in support of The Jacksons.

Stream or download the group's new single, Let's Party, here.