Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. have enjoyed tremendous success through the years as recording artists, performers and authors. They have received 7 Grammy Awards and earned 15 gold and 3 platinum records, and enjoyed starring roles on television and stage. They have performed to sold-out concerts around the world. They are currently celebrating 40 years in the entertainment business with a musical tribute to the hits and productions that have made up their multi-faceted careers.
The husband and wife team celebrate 38 years of marriage in 2007. In 2004 the couple wrote a book, which shares their secrets of staying happy and committed to each other in Hollywood. It’s entitled Up, Up and Away…How We Found Love, Faith and Lasting Marriage in the Entertainment World. It was written in collaboration with Mike Yorkey and was released by Northfield Publishing Company. In it, they talk about how they met, their successful musical careers, and their major struggles behind closed doors, offering practical marriage advice and spiritual encouragement along the way.
As lead vocalists of one of the top singing groups of the late 60’s and early 70’s, The 5th Dimension, they recorded such classics as UP, UP & AWAY, AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN, WEDDING BELL BLUES, ONE LESS BELL TO ANSWER, and STONED SOUL PICNIC to name a few.
After a decade with The 5th Dimension, Billy & Marilyn decided to leave the group and establish themselves as a duo. They had immediate success with the single, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A STAR (TO BE IN MY SHOW). It was a #1 hit and earned them a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance By a Duo or Group.
That success peaked network interest and CBS-TV premiered THE MARILYN McCOO & BILLY DAVIS, JR. SHOW as a prime-time summer series in 1977. Marilyn & Billy entered the 80’s as an international success. They headlined in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Atlantic City, played to SRO crowds in concerts across the country and won the prestigious Grand Prize at the international Tokyo Music Festival. Back home, they were sought-after guests for every major television show.
In addition to the success they’ve had together, Marilyn & Billy have also enjoyed solo pursuits. McCoo hosted the popular 1980’s television music series, SOLID GOLD, for 5 years and Davis had the chance to realize a lifelong dream to record a religious album with gospel great, the Rev. James Cleveland, entitled, “Let Me Have a Dream”. He also began to explore theatrical opportunities, starring in the hit musical, BLUES IN THE NIGHT, at the prestigious Old Globe Theatre and in the role of James “Thunder” Early in a regional production of DREAMGIRLS.
Over the years, the talents of McCoo & Davis have been requested for important events on a national and global level. They were invited to perform for the Pontiff during the 1987 U.S. visit of Pope John Paul II, and have participated in inaugural celebrations for presidents.
In the early 90’s, Billy & Marilyn joined the original members of The 5th Dimension for a special reunion tour, and in August, 1991, the group was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. In 1997, Arista Records released an anthology CD of the group’s hit releases entitled UP, UP & AWAY: THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION. Also in the 90’s, Marilyn fulfilled one of her lifelong ambitions by appearing on Broadway in the revival of the musical SHOW BOAT, starring in the role of Julie.