Foreigner has sold over 75 million albums and achieved multi-platinum success around the world. The group was first formed in New York City in 1976 by Mick Jones, Ian McDonald, and Lou Gramm. Jones came up with the group’s name because he, McDonald, and Dennis Elliott were British, and Gramm, Al Greenwood, and Ed Gagliardi were from the US. As time moved on, though, the band changed configurations, and in 2005, Kelly Hansen joined as the iconic group’s new lead singer.
Like Foreigner, Hansen’s experience reaches several decades back. Answering an ad seeking a lead vocalist, Hansen joined the heavy metal group Hurricane in 1985. The group was signed to Enigma/Capitol during the late eighties and early nineties and recorded three critically acclaimed albums, racked up five Top 20 MTV videos, and landed the top 35 single, “I’m On To You.”
After Hurricane disbanded, Hansen worked in a group with Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille, toured as a vocal group arranger and backing vocalist with Liane Foly for her album Caméléon, and composed music for television. He sent an audition tape to Jones and signed on with the band in 2005.
As the new lead singer in Foreigner, Hansen explains, “I think there are times in life where the right combination of people come together at the right time, through luck, timing or for some other unknown reason to create something magical. What happens onstage with this group of guys is something that is rare and palpable. It’s like the old saying, ‘if I have to describe it, you wouldn’t understand.’”
Reflecting on his tenure with Foreigner, Kelly says, “I think we’ve done an amazing amount of work since 2005—we worked our asses off for six years and people have rediscovered us. I’m told there has been a huge increase in radio airplay that has propelled us into the Top 10 at Classic Rock Radio. Our appearances on video games such as Rock Band and parents turning their kids on to music they love have been a big help. When people come to our show, we give them an energetic, action-packed show, which is fun to experience.”
Foreigner returns to the Centre In The Square on Tuesday, September 3 @ 8PM. Get your tickets now to see this iconic group live!