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Ben E King

Ben E King

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Booking Ben E King

To book Ben E King or another Adult Contemporary for your private party, corporate event, fundraiser or other function, please fill out our Artist Request Form to quickly connect with one of our Booking Agents.

The staff of Headline Booking Group will work with you to produce a memorable event. Get started now by filling out our no-obligation Artist Request Form and we will work with you to book Ben E King or another Adult Contemporary for your event.

 

 


Biography

Possessing one of the most elegant baritone voices ever, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame alumnus Ben E. King’s imprint on the musical landscape is so indelible that an optimum barometer has been set for countless aspiring performers. From a youngster in Harlem to an embraceable solo artist,, Ben E. King’s contributions to the pop music spectrum are incalculable.

Born Benjamin Earl Nelson, in Henderson, North Carolina, young Ben’s family relocated to New York City when he was at the tender age of nine. While attending Jr. High School, he discovered a unique talent: singing harmony in a group with other gifted youngsters. Little did precocious Ben realize that these after school, impromptu doo-wop sessions were mere tune-ups for a dynamic musical career that would exceed his wildest dreams, span decades, and enchant millions of music aficionados the world over.

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In 1958 Ben reached the big-time as a member of the Five Crowns, a local group that opened shows for well-known groups. In that same year they were privileged to open an Apollo Theater concert for the most popular R&B group in the world, The Drifters. Because of the departure of their popular lead singer, then manager George Treadwell sensed a colossal vacuum and staleness in the group. His solution? Replace the whole Drifters group with members of the graceful Five Crowns! That daring move would open the door for Ben to sing lead for the greatest R&B group at that time and create full exposure for his musical compositions. Their first recording in 1959 was Atlantic Records’ trend-setting smash-hit titled There Goes My Baby ; that ballad (which Ben co-wrote with Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller) distinguished The Drifters as the first popular group to feature strings (violins) on major musical recordings.

As a member of The Drifters, Ben sang lead on such chart-stoppers as Dance With Me, This Magic Moment, Save The Last Dance, and I Count The Tears. In 1960, and in the midst of unimaginable success as a Drifter, Ben made the decision to aim even higher by pursuing a lifelong dream _ to choose and perform many of his own tunes as a solo artist,. This also called for Ben to create a stage name to distinguish the solo artist, from the Drifter. By shortening his original name, by using his middle initial, and by displacing his last name, he now became known universally as Ben E. King.

In 1961, as Ben E. King the icon that the world has come to cherish, his first hit was one that even the Queen of Soul was moved to cover, the magnificent Spanish Harlem. But his second heart-melting single, Stand By Me, reached gargantuan proportions. That # 1 R&B hit and top five pop jam (written by Ben E. King, Leiber and Stoller) has been sung or covered by almost everyone who ever walked into a recording studio.

In 1962 Ben E. King’s hits kept coming: Don’t Play That Song became another commercial success and was complimented by I Who Have Nothing and the Latin-flavored Amor.

While performing in Miami in 1975, head of Atlantic records, Ahmet Ertegun, caught one of King’s dazzling shows. He was so impressed that he encouraged King to re-sign with Atlantic Records. King acquiesced, and the result of this reunion was a # 1 on R&B charts and a top 5 on pop with the funk-laced groove titled Supernatural Thing, Part 1.

King’s first release of this century (2000) was the studio project, Person To Person, which is a tribute to his love of jazz and blues standards along with his passion for fine arrangements. This album is a live recording at New York’s famed Blue Note Club.

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