Living Colour is a quartet of young black men who formed one of the most popular rock bands of the late 80’s and early 90’s. They are probably most famous for their single “Cult of Personality”, which won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1989. Other accolades for the band include their MTV award for Best New Artist in 1989 and their number 1 single “Times Up” (from their second album) in 1990. In a time where rock and roll was reserved for white bands, Living Colour not only crossed the racial barrier but shattered it by reaching both critical and commercial success. Their popularity with the mainstream rock fan was solidified early, as following the release of “Cult” the band toured with Guns and Roses and the Rolling Stones.
"Cult of Personality" - Live (2008)
The four members of Living Colour all are uniquely gifted and talented performers. The lead singer, Cory Glover is an accomplished singer, Vernon Reid (the original creator of Living Colour) is widely regarded as one of the top 10 hard rock guitarists of all time, Will Calhoun (an honors graduate from the Berklee College of Music) is an accomplished drummer, and bassist Muzz Skillings more than held his own in this formidable group. The group disbanded in 1995 after releasing 3 albums and later reformed in 2000, releasing several albums and touring in the
Living Colour is a perfect example of people not falling into stereotypical roles. In a time when hard rock was dominated by white rock bands and black people were supposed to play r & b or rap on the mike, Living Colour played some of the hardest, creative rock of the time. They not only stayed true to their musical principles, they excelled at it and are still almost as popular today as they were 20 years ago.
For any black man who wants to be a guitarist, Vernon Reid is a shining example of what can be accomplished musically with hard work, determination and practice. Likewise, any group of young black men who want to form a band can look to Living Colour as an example of what can be accomplished. Learning to play instruments and singing is a viable and potentially lucrative alternative to rapping
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