Lou Gramm is an American rock vocalist and songwriter best known for being the original lead vocalist for Foreigner. Lou co-wrote many of the songs for Foreigner and went on to have a successful solo career as well. Gramm was the vocalist for many top-40 hits including “Cold as Ice”, “Waiting for a Girl Like You”, “I Want to Know What Love Is”, “I Don’t Want to Live Without You” and his solo hit “Midnight Blue”.
Gramm was born in Rochester, New York, and began his musical career in his mid-teens, playing in local Rochester bands. He later became front man for the band Black Sheep. Black Sheep had the distinction of being the first American band signed to the Chrysalis label, which released their first single, “Stick Around” in 1973. They were the opening act for KISS when an icy accident with their equipment truck on the New York State Thruway suddenly ended the band’s tour on Christmas Eve, 1975. Unable to support its albums with live performances, Black Sheep came prematurely to a screeching halt.
A year earlier, Lou Gramm had the opportunity to meet his future bandmate Mick Jones. Jones was in
search of a lead vocalist for a new band he was assembling and invited Gramm to audition for the job of lead singer. With the blessings of his Black Sheep bandmates, Gramm flew down to New York to audition for the still-unnamed band. With his powerful vocals, Lou easily got the Job with the band initially known as “Trigger,” and later renamed to Foreigner. Lou Gramm became one of the most successful rock vocalists of the late 1970s and 1980s. Circus magazine in 1978 upon release of “Hot Blooded” commented that Lou Gramm had a voice that Robert Plant might envy. His unique vocals have made Foreigner one of Billboard’s Top 100 Artists of All Time in hit songs history.
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 co-wrote 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 ten weeks at #2 on the American Hot 100, and “I Want to Know What Love Is”, which was a #1 hit internationally in 1985. Their first 8 singles cracked the Billboard Top 20, making them the first group since the Beatles to achieve this in 1980.
By 1987, Foreigner was struggling with ongoing internal conflicts. During this period, Gramm released his first solo album, Ready or Not, which received critical acclaim and contained a top five hit single with “Midnight Blue”. This was followed by the 1987 Foreigner album Inside Information, which reached number 15 on Billboard’s album chart. The extracted “Say You Will” was released late that year, and “I Don’t Want to Live Without You” followed.
Gramm left Foreigner for good and has been touring the U.S., Canada, and Mexico steadily since January 2004. As of 2013, Lou 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. On June 13, 2013, Gramm, along with Foreigner bandmate Mick Jones, were inducted in to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame where the two performed “Juke Box Hero” and “I Want to Know What Love Is”, marking their first performance together in nearly a decade.
Although Uptown Theatre has hosted Foreigner before, this is the first time Lou Gramm has performed at Uptown. Lou will be bringing his signature vocals along with the classic hits of Foreigner making for a powerful combination and exciting show.