Rose Royce eager to deliver for To Mom with Love
R&B group Rose Royce will perform at the To Mom With Love show on Mother's Day at the Jamaica Pegasus.

WHENEVER Kenny Copeland performs with Rose Royce the veteran singer makes sure to tell their audience about the rhythm and blues group's understated legacy.

Rose Royce, who performs at Jamaica Pegasus on the To Mom With Love show on Mother's Day, have been around since the early 1970s and have recorded some classic soul jams.

"I always remind the younger generation that we actually did these songs first. I tell them, 'For those of you who don't know, Mary J Blige didn't do I'm Going Down first. That's Rose Royce, the OGs, who did that song first,' " Copeland told the Jamaica Observer.

He gives similar 'lessons' re Wishing on A Star which was covered by Beyonce; Love Don't Live Here Anymore, which was a big hit for Madonna; and Car Wash, a hit for Christina Aguilera (featuring Missy Elliott).

Copeland is one of four original members in Rose Royce, which formed in Inglewood, Los Angeles, over 50 years ago. The others are drummer Henry Garner, trumpeter Freddie Dunn, and keyboardist Michael Nash.

He said Rose Royce does as many as 30 shows a year, a schedule that suits them. On many of those events they share the bill with contemporaries like Cameo and Con Funk Shun, or acts that were big in the 1990s such as Ginuwine and Keith Sweat.

While they record new songs Copeland says hitting the charts is not a priority for him and his colleagues.

"You can't leave your fan base; you can put out new songs but you can't sound like anyone else. We don't follow trends, we do what Rose Royce do — that's how we keep our fan base," he explained.

It will be their second appearance in Jamaica, where they have had a presence on radio since breaking through with the funky Car Wash in 1976.

Other sultry Rose Royce ballads such as I Wanna Get Next to You, Golden Touch and Famous Last Words are also favourites among Jamaicans.

By Howard Campbell Observer writer

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