Catapulted into the international limelight as a finalist on the first season of The X Factor, Northwest rock and soul singer LeRoy Bell has performed with some of the world’s most famous artists, including Joe Cocker, B.B. King, Sheryl Crow and Etta James.
Long before he stepped up to the mic and into millions of homes on the televised competition, Bell was already familiar with being on the top of the music charts. In the ’70s, he wrote the hits “Mama Can’t Buy You Love” and “Are You Ready For Love” for Elton John. He also collaborated on songs recorded by Gladys Knight and The Temptations. With his own soul group duo, Bell and James, he released three albums with a number of hit singles.
Travelling around the world with his family as an “army brat,” Bell first picked up the guitar in Germany when he was 13. While his father was stationed in Fort Lewis, Bell learned about his family’s musical roots-—his grandfather was formerly a doo-wop singer, and his uncle, Thom Bell, was a famous music producer in Philadelphia. His appearance on the 2011 season of The X Factor jumpstarted the second phase of his music career, swaying audiences with his heartfelt sound on such covers as Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.”
& His Only Friends, Saturday, February 1, 7:30 pm, Vashon Allied Arts
Tickets: $16 Member/Student/Senior, $20 General
VAA, Heron’s Nest, www.VashonAlliedArts.org