Alabama (band)

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Alabama is a Grammy Award-winning country music and southern rock band from Fort Payne, Alabama, United States. The band was founded in 1969 by Randy Owen (lead vocals) and his cousin Teddy Gentry (bass guitar, background vocals), soon joined by Jeff Cook (guitar, fiddle, keyboards). In 1973, after Owen's graduation from Jacksonville State University, they gave up their day jobs and weekend gigs. The group, formerly known as "Wildcountry", left Fort Payne and Lookout Mountain to explore the possibilities of the club scene in surrounding coastal South Carolina.[1]

They were the most commercially successful country act in the 1980s.[citation needed] The band is often credited with bringing country music groups (as opposed to solo vocalists) into the mainstream, paving the way for the success of today's top country groups. Since its founding in 1972, Alabama has included Owen, Cook and Gentry.[1] Herndon was hired in 1979, and the band has had the same four members ever since.[citation needed]

The band's blend of traditional country music and southern rock combined with elements of gospel music, and pop music gave it a crossover appeal that helped lead to their unprecedented success. They also toured extensively and incorporated production elements such as lighting and "sets" inspired by rock concerts into their shows. The band has over 30 number one country records on the Billboard Magazine charts to their credit and have sold over 73 million records to date.[2]

Alabama was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

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