Lou Gramm: 'The Original Voice of Foreigner'

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Lou Gramm, founding member of Foreigner and one of the greatest singers in rock music, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 27, at Peabody Auditorium. Gramm's unique vocals and hit songs have placed Foreigner among Billboard’s top artists of all time. Their 16 Billboard Top 40 hit songs defined an era.

Gramm was the lead vocalist on all of Foreigner's hit songs including "Feels Like the First Time," "Cold as Ice," "Long, Long Way from Home," "Hot Blooded," "Double Vision," "Blue Morning, Blue Day," "Head Games," "Dirty White Boy," "Urgent," "Juke Box Hero," "Break It Up" and "Say You Will." He cowrote most of the songs for the band, which achieved two of its biggest hits with the ballads "Waiting for a Girl Like You," which spent 10 weeks at number two on the 1981-1982 American Hot 100, and "I Want to Know What Love Is," which was a number one hit internationally in 1985. Their first eight singles cracked the Billboard Top 20 (four went Top 10), making them the first group since the Beatles to achieve this in 1980.

Gramm released his first solo album in 1987, “Ready or Not,” which received critical acclaim and contained a top five hit single with "Midnight Blue." This was followed by the late-1987 Foreigner album, “Inside Information,” which reached number 15 on Billboard's album chart. Encouraged by his solo success, Gramm left the group in 1990 to form Shadow King with close friend and former Black Sheep bassist Bruce Turgon. The new group's 1991 self-titled album was released by Atlantic Records. Gramm returned to the group in 1992 to record three new songs for the compilation, “The Very Best of … and Beyond,” bringing a new energy back into the mix.

Gramm left Foreigner again in 2003 and has been touring the U.S., Canada and Mexico as well as performing occasional dates off the continent steadily since January 2004. As of 2013, Gramm continues to tour with his band, performing many of his old Foreigner hits. In May 2013, Triumph Books released Gramm’s autobiography, “Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock ‘n’ Roll.”