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Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis Jr., and Darlene Love

Sunday, April 14, 2024 @ 7:00pm



Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC)
30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ 07631

Stars of the Stage and Screen Come Together for a Night of Pop & Soul Classics 

The performance is Darlene Love’s first appearance at bergenPAC since the grand re-opening in 2022. Love has been an annual trademark of the bergenPAC season for many years. A friend of theater and crowd favorite Darlene Love joined us at the groundbreaking ceremony of bergenPAC’s monumental renovation project.  

This date will mark 18 months since bergenPAC re-opened its doors to the public and welcomed back audiences to a newly renovated theater and incredible experiences and productions such as this one. 

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.  

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., are the 7-time Grammy Award-winning duo, known as "The First Couple of Pop & Soul". Marilyn began her career singing with Ray Charles, and Billy in churches, choirs and artist management, including Anna Mae Bullock, who became Tina Turner. Marilyn & Billy have been married for 51 years, and they launched the career of the original 5th Dimension as lead singers and co-founders of the legendary group. Their Pop/Soul classics include "You Don't Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show," "Up, Up And Away," (Grammy Hall of Fame, 2004) "Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In," (Grammy Hall of Fame, 2003) "Worst That Could Happen," "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Sweet Blindness," "Wedding Bell Blues," and "One Less Bell To Answer." While with The 5th Dimension, and after leaving the quintet, Marilyn & Billy paved the way for countless artists, and made history for the African American community, when The Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. Show on CBS became the first and only, to date, television series to star a Black married couple.  

Marilyn & Billy performed at the 1968 Harlem Cultural Festival, shared the stage with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and other Rock / Soul icons at the Monterey Jazz Festival, are winners of the Tokyo Music Festival, and are recipients of four Playboy Jazz Festival wins. Marilyn & Billy are the only couple to win a Grammy in both, R&B and Pop, and one of only two married couples to win a Grammy together in R&B, the other being Billy's protégé, Tina Turner and her former and late husband Ike Turner. Marilyn & Billy have 15 Gold 3 Platinum records to date. Blackbird: Lennon-McCartney Icons on EE1 BMG is the couple's first album in thirty years, is receiving extraordinary reviews. Music critics call Marilyn & Billy's voices, "bionic". New York Daily News describes blackbird as "passionate." Roger Friedman of Showbiz411 says Marilyn & Billy, "breathe new life into blackbird ... a knockout performance ... a gorgeous cover ..." "Amazing." 

Marilyn & Billy are celebrated in Questlove’s directorial feature, "Summer of Soul (...Or, when the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” which premiered at Sundance Film Festival, winning the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award, breaking festival records, going on to win an Oscar for Best Feature Documentary and a Grammy for Best Music Film.  Marilyn & Billy are the only African American married couple to appear in music and television for each of the last six decades, using their platform powerfully for "Civil Rights, which are Human Rights ... Fannie Lou Hammer famously said, 'none of us is free, until all of us are free.'" Marilyn & Billy's activism began in the segregated 1960s, and continues with the release of Blackbird: Lennon-McCartney Icons, "a plea for social justice that everyone deserves." 

Marilyn and Billy's Television credits are inclusive of every decade from 1960 when they performed on the Ed Sullivan Show to their recent appearance on the daytime drama, Days of Our Lives.  Their Television presence includes Solid Gold, Sonny & Cher, Dionne Warwick, Andy Williams Show, Dolly Parton & Friends, Ed Sullivan, Specials, as well as "Love Boat," "Jamie Foxx Show," "Night Court," "It Takes a Thief," "The Fall Guy," and "Punky Brewster" to name a few. 

 

Darlene Love 

Rolling Stone Magazine has proclaimed Darlene Love to be “one of the greatest singers of all time” and that certainly rings true, but perhaps Paul Shaffer says it even more concisely: “Darlene Love is Rock N’ Roll!” - which was made official when she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bette Midler, a great fan of her work, in 2011. During the celebration, the two ladies enjoyed performing “He’s A Rebel” together and as part of the festivities, Darlene also sang He’s A Fine, Fine Boy backed by another distinguished fan, Bruce Springsteen. 

 

At the Academy Awards, Darlene sang her powerful acceptance speech on behalf of all of the performers in the winning film “Twenty Feet From Stardom.” As she raised the Oscar, the entire house stood with a cheering ovation, led by the wildly applauding Bill Murray. It was another special moment in a great career. A Grammy award soon followed for the soundtrack of the film. 

 

Her Billboard hits include: He’s A Rebel, The Boy I’m Gonna Marry, Wait ‘Til My Bobby Gets Home, He’s Sure the Boy I Love and the #1 holiday classic Christmas Baby (Please Come Home). 




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