They also performed new songs from their new album: Now, Then and Forever. The three remaining original members of EWF for over 42 years shut the house down!
Verdine White brought his electric energy on the bass guitar; Philip Bailey wowed the audience with his powerful four-octave range while Ralph Johnson kept the crowd going with his smooth suave moves!
During an intimate interview with fans aboard the Soul Train Cruise, the super group talked to us candidly about Maurice White’s condition and one of Don Cornelius’ biggest regrets. As Philip stated, “We are at home, so we can talk like this, right?”
The crowd assured him that indeed he was, so he did. We found out the real reason they didn’t perform on Soul Train as well as their original thoughts behind their most requested song September.
The three were so down to earth with their fans. Their performance was a great experience! Everyone danced in the aisles while an overly excited older woman with a lot of spunk nearly put one of their vocalists in a half-nelson! Philip’s son was another vocalists and he gave a spectacular performance with his dad! They even performed songs from their new album which has a great sound.
“We make these albums for you all. We have new songs on our album, but what we love about this new record, it that is sounds like Earth, Wind & Fire,” said Verdine White.
If you missed them on the Soul Train cruise, be sure to visit: www.earthwindandfire.com for tour dates and concerts! As our associate, LaCora Stephens agreed with Philip:
“This was a rare occasion to be so close and personal with the mega-group! Seeing the love among the three was a sight to behold … true icons!”
The Soul Train Cruise, sponsored by Centric television network, was an event to remember. Supporters and fans said that the stars were in arms reach willing to talk, hug and sign autographs.
The Don Cornelius Foundation hosted the second Soul Train Voyage aboard Holland America Cruise Line to Cabo San Lucas & Puerto Vallarta with a sold out ship. They were even selling tickets for upcoming February 2014 cruise starring Charlie Wilson at discounted rates to guest aboard the trip, so it’s sure to be another sold out cruise. Tony Cornelius said that it leaves from Fort Lauderdale and is sure to be great!
Our associate LaCora Stephens found out that Jeffrey Osborne is an avid recipient of the EURweb daily newsletter! She enjoyed watching Jeffrey get close and personal with his fans by asking volunteers in the audience to “Whoo Whoo Whoo”; he was awesome! Osborne joined in on the tribute to Don Cornelius, led a drumming seminar with legendary drummers Darryl “Footz” Woolfolk and Ricky Lawson and participated in a Q & A with Jonathan Butler & Jennifer Holiday. Jonathan & Jennifer delighted the crowd with their effortless singing while Gladys Knight mesmerized the fans with her sex appeal… “Yes, she still got it!” She was joined by her hilarious brother onstage, whom stated, “It’s hard out here for a PIP”, but I guess it isn’t that hard; he’s featured on her new c.d. which is out now! Her new c.d.: Another Journey has a new sound with old school flavor for all ages to enjoy!
Earth, Wind & Fire brought the house down, playing all their hits and new songs from latest album: Now, Then & Forever. The energy was electrifying on stage and the love they share is undeniable.
The Whispers, The Ohio Players, Con Funk Shun, Lakeside, Bar Kays , Dazz Band and more were all spectacular! The Whispers mentioned that you should be a part of the Soul Train cruise for the gift bags and to meet the other wonderful fans! Also, Regina Belle, Freddie Jackson and Billy Paul wowed the people with their talent and humor. They are all transparent and down to earth. Some even participated in the Halloween costume contest, bingo, wine-tasting, mixology class, comedy show and even danced at Club Soul Train!
“This was an experience of a lifetime to see legends, trail blazers and icons perform and interview all together in the name of Don Cornelius’ Love, Peace & Soul. He is a man to whom we owe much respect and gratitude. Seeing them pay honor to his legacy Soul Train was beautiful!” explained, LaCora.
*Jeffrey Osborne may not be a fan of cruises, but he is a fan of Don Cornelius. So much so that the former L.T.D. frontman had no trouble signing on for his first “Soul Train Cruise” in light of one strong reason.
“It is Don Cornelius. That really inspired me, just being a part of it because it’s the first one. It’s always nice to be a part of the first one,” Osborne shared with EURweb’s Lee Bailey, while touting another factor in being on the cruise: “On top of that, to work with George. I mean George Duke is probably one of my all time favorite people in the world. He did produce my first three records. It just looks like something that I think everyone would like to be a part of. The list of artists on this is just ridiculous.”
In addition to Osborne and Duke, the 2013 “Soul Train Cruise” will include performances from Patti LaBelle, The O’Jays, Kool & the Gang, War, The Spinners, Jody Watley, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, Russell Thompkins Jr. & The New Stylistics, Cuba Gooding & The Main Ingredient, Gerald Alston of the Manhattans and The Intruders.
“For me, it’s gonna be fun to be able to mingle with all these people that I have worked with over the years and at the same time pay tribute to Don Cornelius, who, really, was the person that tied us all together and kept our careers going,” Osborne said. “Even when we weren’t hot, Don was still there for us. So for me, it’s just going to be a great event. I’m looking forward to it.”
Although he anticipates an enjoyable cruise, Cornelius’ death is still fresh in Osborne’s mind.
“I really didn’t want to believe it. It was one of those moments that you say ‘No. This can’t be,’ said Osborne, who was at home when he heard about the tragedy. “I think the way it happened shocked me even more. We just lost one of the greatest pioneers that ever came along. I think Don just opened up all of us in to millions of households where we would never have that opportunity.
“It hurt a lot to hear that he had passed,” continued the entertainer. “We lost a great person, a great pioneer, someone that was an incredible visionary. I’m just sorry to see it happen and sorry to see him go. So I am glad, very much so, to be a part of this first cruise because he meant a lot to my career and everyone else that is performing. I mean all of us. We got exposure that we wouldn’t get anywhere else through Don. So it means a lot. It was a sad moment. It was a sad moment in my life when he passed.”
With the Soul Train cruise on the horizon, Osborne is focused on enjoying himself, reuniting with old friends and rubbing elbows with fans. Still, the music maker has a humorous reason for not being keen on setting sail.
“I’m not a fan of cruises. I feel I do have to prepare myself before I go on a cruise,” Osborne revealed. “I think the hardest thing about being on a cruise is that you really are a captive. So as soon as you come out of your cabin, you are surrounded by people and you cannot escape. [laughs] … you gotta be able to handle that. I’m kinda used to that. I do enjoy people. I’m the youngest of 12 in my family so I grew up with nothing but people around me all the time. So I love people. I can get myself ready for that easily.”
All jokes aside, Osborne looks forward to watching his peers perform as well as entertaining music lovers.
“It’s great to sit down and reminisce and to go and see other people perform,” added the singer. “And it’s nonstop performances. That’s the great thing about a cruise. You got so many performances while you’re on that ship and they’re all usually great.”
Watch Jeffrey blow the audience away with his incredible live version of his classic hit, “Love Ballad”