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PREVIEW: Kool & the Gang and En Vogue at Tanglewood on Sunday afternoon, June 23

Kool & the Gang will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of the 2024 class on October 19, 2024, at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lenox — Anyone who can read this has probably had at least one song by Kool & the Gang stuck in their head at some point over the last 55 years. For example, it will be difficult to find any adult in America who has not heard the song “Jungle Boogie,” from the group’s fourth album, “Wild and Peaceful” (1973)—or the U.S. No. 1 “Celebration,” from 1980. Whether you listen to top-40 radio or not, these hits have been a part of your life for decades—these and dozens of others. Although the group formed officially in 1969, they had been performing for five years under such names as the Jazziacs, The New Dimensions, The Soul Town Band, and Kool & the Flames.

The band’s discography includes 23 studio albums and almost 70 singles. In the United States alone, Kool & the Gang have sold 7.5 million albums and 4.5 million singles. Worldwide, they have sold 70 million albums. Unsurprisingly, they are considered the most sampled R&B band of all time.

The group’s awards include two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, and a Music Business Association Chairman’s Award for artistic achievement. They are in the New Jersey Hall of Fame and earned a Music of Black Origin award in Britain, the Soul Train Legend Award, the Marian Anderson Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2007 and will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of the 2024 class on October 19, 2024, at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.

Although Kool & the Gang have performed continuously for longer than any R&B group in history, this will be their first Tanglewood appearance.

R&B/soul trio En Vogue. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Opening for Kool & the Gang on the 23rd, the all-female vocal group En Vogue has sold 20 million records worldwide since forming in 1989. This is thanks mainly to a long string of radio hits starting with “Hold On,” from their 1990 debut album “Born to Sing,” which reached No. 2 on the U.S. Hot 100. Following up with “Funky Divas,” the group scored a U.S. number two hit with “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” as well as the top 10 hits “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” and “Free Your Mind.” The album also reached the top 10 in the United Kingdom. But the group’s most successful single, 1996’s “Don’t Let Go (Love),” reached number two in the U.S., and became their sixth number one hit on the US R&B chart. Awards include seven MTV Video Music Awards, three Soul Train Awards, two American Music Awards, and seven Grammy nominations.

In 1999, Billboard Magazine ranked En Vogue the 19th most successful recording artist of the 1990s and in 2015 the ninth most-successful girl group of all-time.

Hear Kool & the Gang and R&B/soul trio En Vogue at Tanglewood on Sunday, June 23, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available here.

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