Foreigner Biography

Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world, racking up scores of smash hits, multi-platinum albums, and sold out concert tours.

From "Cold As Ice" to "Hot Blooded," "Urgent" to "Jukebox Hero," "Waiting For A Girl Like You" to the chart topper "I Want To Know What Love is", Foreigner's thrilling mix of blustery blues and impeccably crafted pop continues to captivate generation after generation of music fans.

Today, over 70 million albums later, Foreigner is an ensemble of talented musicians each adding their individual credentials to the mix to make the band stronger and more powerful than ever.

The band:

Mick Jones
The architect behind Foreigner's extraordinary catalogue of smash hits, Mick has crafted some of rock music's most enduring songs and produced 10 multi-platinum albums. Grammy and Golden Globe nominated songwriter, performer and producer and winner of the prestigious Ivor Novello songwriter award in Britain in 1998, Mick first began playing guitar in his early teens. "I knew early on that I could never hold a regular job. I had to play guitar. I had to somehow make my way into music" he says.

After starting his own Blues/Rock band and opening for the Rolling Stones in pubs across South London, Mick's first big break came in 1964 when he moved to Paris and was hired to play with French singer Sylvie Vartan and later hired to work as musical director for French rock icon, Johnny Hallyday. Jones returned to his native England in the early 70's to reform the band Spooky Tooth with Gary Wright. After Spooky Tooth broke up, Mick moved to New York City and, in 1976, formed Foreigner with fellow Brits Ian Mc Donald and Dennis Elliott, and Americans Lou Gramm, Alan Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi.

"My initial musical vision for Foreigner was to combine Blues and R&B with British Rock and make it sound soulful and authentic. I'd grown up in England and had the English influence but I was also inspired by many elements of American music, from Mississippi Blues to Country and Western. Foreigner was the vehicle to get that musical blend across."

"I'm grateful to be surrounded by the talented musicians that make up Foreigner today. Now each night on stage brings Foreigner's music alive with energy and excitement. Thanks guys for making it all new again!"

Kelly Hansen
Answering an ad seeking a lead vocalist, Kelly joined Hurricane in 1985. Signed to Enigma/Capitol during the late eighties and early nineties, Hurricane recorded three critically acclaimed albums, racked up five Top 20 MTV videos and landed the top 35 single, "I'm On To You".

After Hurricane disbanded, Hansen worked in a group with Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille, toured as a vocal group arranger and backing vocalist with Liane Foly for her album, Caméléon and composed music for television.

As the new lead singer in Foreigner, Hansen explains, "the best part about being in this band is getting the chance to do something I feel I was meant to do. I feel extremely fortunate to be given this wonderful opportunity to play with such a substantial group of people, and it just keeps getting better. I think there are times in life where the right combination of people come together at the right time, through luck, timing or for some other unknown reason to create something magical. What happens onstage with this group of guys is something that is rare and palpable. It's like the old saying, "if I have to describe it, you wouldn't understand."

Tom Gimbel
A multi-instrumentalist, Tom plays rhythm guitar, keyboards, sax, and flute. It was the music of Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago that truly fired his interest in the sound of horns. Equally influenced by progressive rock bands, it was the groundbreaking work of big band trumpet player, Maynard Ferguson, that changed his life. "When I started playing sax I tried to sound like him, learning to nail the high notes," reveals Gimbel. "This was good training to play the solo on "Urgent" years later!"

After graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Tom began touring with Aerosmith playing keyboards and saxophone. With them, he did two world tours, numerous TV and film appearances including Woodstock 2, Wayne's World 2, Saturday Night Live and MTV unplugged.

"Foreigner just seems to keep getting better. These songs still resonate beautifully. Mick is really wailin' and Kelly is a phenomenal singer. Brian and Jeff Pilson are like a freight train. The sound is tough."

Jeff Pilson
Though best known for his work as an original member of seminal 80's rock band Dokken, Jeff has played bass and sung with a host of groups including rockers Dio and MSG, and his own bands War and Peace and Lynch/Pilson. Jeff also had a principal role, along with band mate Jason Bonham, in the 2001 Warner Brothers film Rock Star, alongside actors Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston.

Jeff sums up his experience with Foreigner: "It all feels so natural because I was a big fan of the band, and the music and style are a part of my blood. Foreigner, to me, was always the perfect combination of strong songs, great singing, intense heavy rock musicianship, with a touch of R&B added in. Plus the band has great chemistry. There's just no feeling in the world like going out and kicking butt every night. I feel like I've finally found my home!"

Michael Bluestein
Michael Bluestein began piano studies at age 9. Growing up he was exposed to a wide range of artists including Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Boston, Mozart, The Who, and jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. After studying at Berklee College of Music, Michael made his way out to Los Angeles where he has played with Boz Scaggs, Stevie Nicks, Enrique Iglesias, Anastacia, and with the house band on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Michael describes the experience of playing all the classic Foreigner songs as "truly surreal. I grew up hearing and loving all these songs, and never dreamed that I would have the chance to be in the band playing them! The energy on stage is amazing and I love looking out and seeing everyone singing along with every word".

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