The 15th annual event is scheduled to take place from 23rd to 25th June, 2011.
Originally signed by Motown Records in 1971 as the opening act for The Jackson Five, The Commodores were signed later that year by the label as a recording act and went on to sell over 75 million records worldwide. The group is credited with a host of Billboard Top 10 songs and is known for their funk and soul classics such as “Brick House,” “Three Times a Lady,” “Sail On,” “Lady (You Bring Me Up),” “Too Hot ta Trot,” “Fancy Dancer” and “Nightshift.” “Machine Gun,” an instrumental track from the group’s debut album, became a staple at American sporting events and has been featured in many films, including “Boogie Nights” and “Looking for Mr. Goodbar.”
Their first number one hit was the emotional ballad, “Three Times a Lady,” in 1978, followed closely by a number of Top Ten hits including two other ballads, “Still” and “Oh No” as well as the upbeat single, “Lady (You Bring Me Up).” Following the departure of popular band member Lionel Richie to pursue a solo career in 1982, lead guitarist Thomas McClary left the group in 1982 and former Heatwave vocalist J.D. Nicholas came aboard in 1984.
In 1985, the Commodores released their biggest hit ever, “Nightshift,” a tribute to Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson that earned the group a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals later that year. Today, the Commodores consists of original members Walter “Clyde” Orange and William “WAK” King along with James Dean “J.D.” Nicholas. Having been active since the group’s formation in 1968, the mighty, mighty Commodores are continuing to tour and are currently working on an all-new album.
“The world-class musical entertainment of the legendary Commodores will be a perfect fit for our Music Festival’s Crystal Anniversary event,” said Senator Ricky Skerritt, Minister of Tourism & International Transport. “One of the hallmarks of the St. Kitts Music Festival is the experience of a large crowd singing every word of the songs being performed on stage. The Commodores are world famous for crowd participation.”
Also performing on this year’s St. Kitts Music Festival are reggae icon Bunny Wailer, and British reggae acts Maxi Priest and Ali Campbell’s UB40.
Now in its 15th consecutive year, the festival attracts both locals and visitors alike. It features various musical styles on the popular market, including R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Gospel and Contemporary music. Past artists have included such prominent acts as John Legend, T-Pain, Michael Bolton, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Wyclef Jean, Ne-Yo, Air Supply, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Dionne Warwick, Billy Ocean, Sean Paul, Boyz II Men, King Konris, Stephen Marley, Regina Belle, Maxi Priest, Biggie Irie and Lord Nelson.
(This article was written with content incorporated from a St. Kitts Tourism Authority press release)