Champaign, IL – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees THE O’JAYS will perform live in concert at the historic Virginia Theatre, 203 West Park Avenue, Champaign, on Saturday, October 13, 2018, at 7:30 P.M. Reserved seating tickets are $69.50-$119.50 and are on sale now at the Virginia Theatre Box Office, online at thevirginia.org, or charge by phone at 217-356-9063. Presented by the Champaign Park District. The Virginia Theatre’s 2018-2019 Season Sponsors are The News-Gazette, WCIA, & WILL Illinois Public Media.
Original founding members Walter Williams and Eddie Levert first formed THE O’JAYS in Canton, Ohio, in 1963, and over 50 years later they’re still touring with the same electrifying energy and precise, melodic delivery, thrilling fans the world over. After first being signed to a major label in 1972, THE O’JAYS scored their inaugural number 1 hit, the million-selling “Backstabbers,” to be followed by a long run of legendary, chart-topping pop/R&B singles such as “Love Train”, “Put Your Hands Together”, “For The Love of Money” (“Money, Money, Money”), “I Love Music”, “Livin’ For The Weekend” and “Use Ta Be My Girl.” With their phenomenal record sales and heavy-rotation on commercial radio during the 1970’s and 80’s, The O’JAYS went on to became the first black vocal group to perform in stadiums and arenas throughout the nation.
THE O’JAYS Founding Members, Walter Williams and Eddie Levert
Walter Williams and Eddie Levert have enjoyed a unique, lifelong bond as both friends and creative partners for almost 65 years. As Walter said: “We still appreciate our friendship, dedication to each other and the group and our love for good music. We probably could have had great solo careers, but I don’t think either one of us could have ever have been as big as THE O’JAYS.” Walter Williams is a volunteer National Ambassador for the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society and a spokesperson for MS Active Source. He was diagnosed with MS in 1983 and has continued to both record and perform live in concert to the present day.
With one of the most recognizable voices in R&B, Eddie Levert has a vocal range that takes him from alto to second tenor. In addition to his life-long work in THE O’JAYS, Mr. Levert teamed up with his son Gerald for a duet on “Baby Hold On To Me”, which hit number one on the R&B charts in 1992. Today, Eddie continues to tour with both THE O’JAYS and in solo performance.
THE O’JAYS Awards:
- 10 albums certified Gold
- 9 albums certified Platinum
- 10 #1 hits
- Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 2005
- Vocal Group Hall of Fame, 2005
- Grammy Hall of Fame, 2016
- The Official R&B Music Hall of Fame, 2013
- Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, 2013
- BET Lifetime Achievement Award, 2009