WHO ARE THEY: The Spinners are a pop, soul and R&B group from Detroit which scored its first hit in 1961 with “That’s What Girls Are Made For.” Four years later they had a hit in “I’ll Always Love You.” Greater success came for The Spinners in the 1970s with hits such as “It’s a Shame,” “I’ll Be Around,” “Could it Be I’m Falling in Love,” “One of a Kind (Love Affair),” “Then Came You,” “The Rubberband Man” and “They Just Can’t Stop it (Games People Play).”
WHO IS HE: With the help of his backup duo Dawn, New York native Tony Orlando became one of the biggest pop stars during the early 1970s. His hit singles include “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree,” “Halfway to Paradise,” “Bless You” “Happy Times (Are Here to Stay),” “Knock Three Times,” “Candida” and “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You.)” Orlando announced his retirement in 1977, and Dawn disbanded. The retirement proved to be short lived, however, and Orlando went back to work as a solo artist, although he never again achieved the same level of success he did with Dawn.
WHO ARE THEY: The Platters were known as the most romantic doo-wop group of the era. The Los Angeles-based group released an impressive string of hit singles including “Only You,” “The Great Pretender,” “My Prayer,” “Twilight Time,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and “Harbor Lights.” In 1990 The Platters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Over the course of their career, the group has sold more than 100 million records.
The all-male a cappella group Home Free apparently never heard of the three-strikes rule.
Elvis Costello — whose iconoclastic musical career has spanned the punk era of the ’70s pop collaborations with Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach, the acclaimed “Juliet Letters” with the classical Brodsky Quartet, and a recent experiment in hip-hop with The Roots — doesn’t pretend to be hewing to a particular creative path.
WHO IS HE: Jamie Foxx is an actor, comedian and musician who has had a diverse and very successful career since first making a name for himself in the sketch comedy television show “In Living Color.” He’s starred in films such as “Toys,” “Any Given Sunday” “Ali” and “Collateral,” and won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 film “Ray.” His performance in the film helped expose his abilities as a singer and in 2005, Foxx’s album “Unpredictable” reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The title track from the album made it to No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2008 Foxx followed up with “Intuition,” which was another hit album, reaching No. 3 on the charts. It contained the singles “Just Like Me,” “She Got Her Own” and “Blame It.” The album “Best Night of My Life” was released in 2010, debuting at No. 6 on the Billboard 200.
WHO IS HE: Jeffrey Ross is a stand-up comedian, actor and director who is well known for his appearances on celebrity roasts. Some of his most well-known roasteees include Hugh Hefner, Pamela Anderson, Jerry Stiller, Drew Carey, Donald Trump, William Shatner, Emmitt Smith, Flavor Flav and Rob Reiner. His also made numerous appearances on “The Jimmy Kimmel Show,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Ross also competed on the seventh season of “Dancing With the Stars.”
WHO IS SHE: Comic veteran Joan Rivers has enjoyed a diverse and immensely successful career which has spanned four decades. “The Queen of the one-liners” as she is sometimes referred, has won a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Talk Show Host, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording in 1985. She was also nominated for a Tony Award in 1994 for her lead role in “Sally Marr…and Her Escorts.” The Brooklyn, N.Y., native is also famous for her runway interviews and commentaries at major award ceremonies.
WHO ARE THEY: The Texas Tenors are a classical/country music hybrid which gained notoriety and exposure in 2009 as finalists on “America’s Got Talent.” The trio released its self-titled debut album in 2009 and a year later they began an extended engagement at the Starlite Theater in Branson, Missouri. In December 2013, The Texas Tenors released “You Should Dream,” which featured two original songs and covers of “God Bless America,” “Unchained Melody” and “Wild Horses.”
WHO IS HE: Johnny Winter is Grammy Award-winning blues guitarist and singer who made a name for himself in the late 1960s. He’s also known for his production work, having produced several albums for Muddy Waters. Winter was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 2003 and is regarded as a world-class guitarist.
WHO ARE THEY: Frankie Avalon was one of the first rock n’ roll teen idols to achieve popularity in the years in between Elvis Presley’s rise to fame and the Beatles arrival in America. The South Philadelphia native scored his first number one hit “Venus” in 1959 and wound up scoring six more top 40 hits that same year. In 1962 Avalon teamed up with Annette Funicello for a series of successful Beach Party movies.
WHO ARE THEY: Formed in 1989 by producers David Cole and Rober Civilles, C+C Music Factory is a hip hop dance group which achieved huge success with their debut album “Gonna Make You Sweat” in 1990 which featured rapper Freedom Williams. The single “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” topped the charts and has endured over the years as a dance staple. The album also contained the hits “Things That Make You Go Hmmm,” “Here We Go (Let’s Rock & Roll)” and “Just a Touch of Love.” 1994’s “Anything Goes!” was a less successful affair, peaking at number 106 on the Billboard 200. Cole passed away in January of 1995. After a long hiatus, C+C Music Factory re-emerged in 2010 with Eric Kupper replacing Cole.
WHO IS HE: Zappa Plays Zappa is a project that was put together by the late Frank Zappa’s son Dweezil Zappa. For over a year, Dweezil locked himself away in a studio, meticulously studying every nuance of his father’s music from its complex arrangements to its subtle tonalities in an attempt to fully understand the fundamentals of the music. When assembling the touring band, Zappa went out looking for a group of younger musicians who could help translate this music to the next generation of fans. Dweezil Zappa has released numerous albums, beginning in 1986 with “Havin’ a Bad Day” and continuing on through 2006’s “Go With What You Know” and the recent “F.O.H.3- Out of Obscurity.”
WHO ARE THEY: The Flamingos are a doo wop group that originally formed in Chicago in the early 1950s. After achieving success on the local scene the group eventually scored R&B hits with “A Kiss From Your Lips” and “I’ll Be Home.” It was in 1959 however, when The Flamingos achieved true national fame with their hit “I Only Have Eyes For You.” The success helped paved the way for more hit songs such as “Mio Amore,” “Your Other Love,” “Nobody Love Me Like You” and “I Was Such a Fool.” In 2001 The Flamingos were inducted into the Rock ’n Roll Hall of Fame.
Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure, Boardwalk Hall, 4 and 7 p.m. May 9. $35, $85. Watch a video.
Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” tour of North America has gotten off to a rocky start, after the pop star had to cancel the first two shows late last month because he lost his voice.
For someone who considers himself to be in the “back nine” of his career, Michael Bolton is keeping plenty busy.
Kanye West isn’t quite ready to give up on “Yeezus.” The headline-grabbing hip-hop performer. producer and Kim Kardashian baby-daddy is wrapping up his 2013 “Yeezus” tour with nine dates this month, including a stop 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Carlos Mencia has a new attitude about his stand up — and his life. The veteran comic, who’s best known for his four-season “Mind of Mencia” run on Comedy Central, has refashioned his act over the last few years to be less confrontational. His new attitude on stage has come along with a 70-pound weight loss and extensive therapy.
WHO IS HE: While attending the University of Arkansas, comedian Ralphie May won a radio station-sponsored talent show whose grand prize was an opportunity to open up for comic legend Sam Kinnison. The show went well and May was off and running. He hit the big time in 2003 when he came in second place on NBC’s reality television program “Last Comic Standing.” The obese comic is known for his hip-hop style and quick wit. He has appeared numerous times on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Night With Craig Kilborn” and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” May has also had several Comedy Central specials including “Girth of a Nation,” “Prime Cut,” “Austin-tatious” and “Too Big To Ignore.”
WHO ARE THEY: Asylum Fight League is an amateur mixed martial arts league dedicated to nurturing, preparing and showcasing east coast talent. Several Asylum fighters have gone on to successful professional careers. “The goal has always been that today’s Asylum stars are tomorrow’s UFC stars,” said AFL promoter Carl Mascarenhas. “That’s what the Asylum is all about.”
Country star Luke Bryan will come swaggering into town this weekend as part of his “That’s My Kind of Party Tour.”
Lou Gramm rightly bills himself as the voice of Foreigner, having contributed his impassioned vocals to hits such as, “I Want to Know What Love Is,” “Urgent,” “Hot Blooded” and “Cold as Ice.”
WHO IS SHE: This former Miss America released her debut album “The Right Stuff” in 1988 and has remained a popular fixture on the adult contemporary R&B scene ever since. Vanessa Williams released “The Comfort Zone” in 1991, which featured the hit single “Running Back to You” and her first No. 1 hit, “Save the Best for Last.” In addition to singing, Williams has also worked a great deal as an actress, starring in Broadway shows such as “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and movies such as “Dance with Me,” “Light it Up” and “Shaft.” In 1995, Williams recorded the song “Colors of the Wind” for the “Pocahontas” soundtrack which went on to win an Academy Award. She starred in the comedy series “Ugly Betty” from 2006 through 2010 and then began a two-year stint on “Desperate Housewives.”
WHO ARE THEY: Producer Jacques Morali came up with the concept for The Village People and assembled the group in 1977 as an attempt to attract gay audiences through a parody of stereotypes. The costumes worn by the Village People, depicting a policeman, Native American, construction worker, biker, cowboy and soldier, undoubtedly added to the group’s appeal. In 1978, the group scored its monster hit, “YMCA,” which remains an anthem to this day. In addition to “YMCA,” the group also had great success with the singles “Macho Man” and “In the Navy.”
WHO IS SHE: Nicknamed “The Loveable Queen of Mean,” comedienne Lisa Lampanelli worked for various magazines as a journalist before finally embarking on a career as a stand-up comic in the early 1990s. Her big break came in 2002 at the Comedy Central roast of Chevy Chase, where she delivered a hilarious monologue. She went on to star in the roasts of Pamela Anderson, Jeff Foxworthy and William Shatner, as well. She is a frequent guest on “The Howard Stern Show” and has appeared in films such as “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector” and “Delta Farce.”
WHO IS HE: Maxwell was a big part of the neo-soul movement in the late 1990s along with D’Angelo and Erykah Badu. The singer’s debut album “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite” was reminiscent of some of Marvin Gaye’s work during the 1970s. The album, which featured the hit single “Ascension (Never Wonder),” would up achieving platinum sales status and winning a Grammy. Maxell’s follow up album “Embrya” was also a success, debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard charts and containing the hit “Fortunate.” In 2001 “Now” was released and entered the charts at the top spot. Maxwell scored another hit single with “Lifetime. The album “BLACKsummers’night” was released in 2009.
WHO IS HE: After watching a Richard Pryor special at age 12, Jim Norton knew right then and there what he wanted to be when he grew up. He began performing as a stand-up comedian in the early 1990s and by the end of the decade was a regular guest on WNEW’s “The Opie and Anthony Show.” The New Jersey native also became a regular on Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” and has made appearances on the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Late Show With David Letterman.” Norton is currently an official member of “The Opie and Anthony Show” on XM Satellite Radio. He has released several comedy CDs and has authored two best-selling books.
WHO IS HE: Aaron Lewis is best known as the lead singer for the popular hard rock band Staind. The group came to prominence in the late 1990s with the release of their album “Dysfunction,” and soared to greater heights with their first hit single “Outside.” Staind’s 2001 album “Break the Cycle” has sold more than 8 million copies to date. In addition to being the front man, Lewis is the primary songwriter in the group. In March of 2011 he released the solo country EP “Town Line” which reached No. 7 on the charts. A year and a half later, Lewis followed it up with the full length “The Road,’ which included the single “Endless Summer.”
WHO ARE THEY: Damon Wayans is an actor, comedian and writer who rose to fame in the early 1990s as one of the stars and co-creators of “In Living Color.” The show was a huge success and helped paved the way for a film career that included starring roles in “The Last Boy Scout,” “Major Payne” and “The Great White Hype.” Beginning in 2001, Wayans starred in the ABC sitcom “My Wife and Kids” which ran for five seasons.
Kovalev vs. Agnew, Boardwalk Hall, 6:30 p.m. March 29. TBD.
Latin pop star Marc Anthony will kick off the 2014 leg of his “Vivir Mi Vida” World Tour this weekend in Atlantic City.
O.A.R. frontman Marc Roberge feels practically like a local, despite hailing from the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
WHO ARE THEY: 3 Doors Down is a rock band which had the fortune of experiencing success right out of the gate when their song “Kryptonite” reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 2000. The Mississippi based-band’s debut album “The Better Life” also contained the hits “Loser” and “Duck and Run.” 3 Doors Down released “Away From The Sun” in 2002 and the album featured the song “When I’m Gone,” which was another huge hit and went on to peak at No. 4 on the charts. 2005 saw the release of “Seventeen Days,” which was a platinum selling release yielding the singles “Let Me Go” and “Behind Those Eyes.” In 2008 the band’s self-titled album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and included the singles “It’s Not My Time,” “Train” and “Let Me Be Myself.”
WHO IS HE: Italian singer/songwriter Gigi D’Alessio began his recording career in 1992 with the album “Lasciatemi cantare” and since that time has gone on to sell more than 12 million albums worldwide. The single “Un cuore malato” brought him international stardom and in 2010 he began starring in his own one-man television shows. D’Alessio has also written and produced songs with singer Anna Tantangelo such as “Quando du si lasciano” and "Ragazza di periferia.”
Maxwell, Borgata, Event Center, 8 p.m. Feb 14, $65, $75, $95, $125. Watch a video.
It’s a common dilemma for veteran music acts: how to satisfy longtime fans’ desire to hear the hits — and often only the hits — without getting into a creative rut.
Janelle Monae plans to make a memorable first impression for her Atlantic City debut. This singular R&B singer-songwriter, who’s known for her all-tuxedo wardrobe, funky riffs and focus on life’s bigger questions, plans something “fresh” and “new” for her performance 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
WHO ARE THEY: This Buffalo, N.Y.-based trio began their career as a punk band in the vein of The Replacements, but found commercial success in the mid nineties with their album “A Boy Named Goo.” The album featured the hit single “Name,” which cracked the Top 5 and propelled the album to platinum sales status. The single “Iris” from the “City of Angels” soundtrack was a smash hit in 1998 and paved the way for their next album “Dizzy up the Girl” which featured the hits “Slide,” “Dizzy” and “Black Balloon.” The Goo Goo Dolls continued releasing albums in the 21st century with “Gutterflower” in 2002, “Let Love In” in 2006 and “Something For The Rest of Us” in 2010. In June 2013 the band released “Magnetic,” which included the single “Rebel Beat.”
Ten years ago, if you said Mike Tyson would be appearing on morning talk shows, be a New York Times best-selling author and the star of a hit one-man Broadway show, people would say you were delusional.
Cold War Kids fans will know that things were different for the band in making its latest CD, “Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,” because of a significant lineup change — with guitarist Jonnie Russell being replaced by Dann Gallucci.
WHO ARE THEY: Country music star Lyle Lovett has been recording music since his 1986 self-titled debut album and has been wowing critics and fans ever since. Lovett has won four Grammy over the course of his career and has also starred in films such as “The Player,” “Short Cuts,” “Pret-a-Porter” and “Cookie’s Fortune.” In 1993, Lovett became a household name when he married actress Julia Roberts. The Texan has six gold albums to his name including “Pontiac,” “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band,” “Joshua Judges Ruth,” “I Love Everybody,” “The Road to Ensenada” and “Step Inside This House.”
WHO ARE THEY: Curtis Stevens is a 28-year old middleweight boxer from Brooklyn, N.Y. who was the National Amateur Light Heavyweight champion in 2002. As a pro, Stevens holds a record of 25 wins with 4 losses and 18 knockouts.
WHO ARE THEY: Derric Rossy is a 33 year old heavyweight fighter from Medford, N.Y. who holds a professional record of 28 wins, 7 losses and 14 knockouts. His most recent fight was a 10-round unanimous decision defeat to Fres Oquendo.
WHO ARE THEY: Ring of Combat is a mixed martial arts competition organized by world kickboxing champion Louis Neglia. The events have proven to be quite popular and successful in Atlantic City. Past events have been set up as a Tournament of Champions, with the winners receiving cash prizes. Several top fighters including Matt Serra, Frank Edgar, Josh Koscheck and Kurt Pellegrino began their careers with Ring of Combat.
WHO ARE THEY: Andre and Cirell are a duo of singers, dancers, impressionists, story tellers, mimes and comedians. Their show harks back to the legendary nightclub days of the 1950s and features talented musicians backing them up.