R&B legend Jeffrey Osborne discusses career, collaboration ahead of Fraze concert

R&B singer Jeffrey Osborne, known for Top 40 hits like “On the Wings of Love” and “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song),” performs at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Saturday, June 18.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Combined ShapeCaption
R&B singer Jeffrey Osborne, known for Top 40 hits like “On the Wings of Love” and “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song),” performs at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Saturday, June 18.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Soulful singer performs with Peabo Bryson Saturday.

More than 50 years into his music career, Jeffrey Osborne remains a dynamo on stage. The soulful R&B singer, co-headlining a concert with fellow R&B legend Peabo Bryson at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Saturday, June 18, continues to receive gushing social media comments from devoted fans saying how great his voice sounds and how energetic he is on stage.

Early in his career, the native of Providence, Rhode Island, was a member of LTD. His silky pipes and charisma turned the drummer and occasional vocalist into the R&B group’s primarily lead singer.

In 1980, Osborne embarked on a solo career that generated indelible Top 40 hits like “On the Wings of Love,” “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)” and “Love Power” with Dionne Warwick. These songs and others became wedding reception staples for generations of young newlyweds.

Osborne, 74, recently answered some questions from his home in California.

Q: How does it feel to know your songs have become an important part of people’s lives?

A: It’s an honor to hear people say they played my songs at their wedding or got married to one of my songs. I feel like that’s about the biggest compliment you can pay to an artist.

Q: You have a select number of dates through the summer and fall. Is that good for you?

A: Oh, without a doubt. We went through that period where there was nothing for almost two years and now everything is back open. Work is really picking up. I’m actually trying not to work as much. As the work is coming in, I’m passing on a lot of things because I’m already quite busy.

Combined ShapeCaption
R&B singer Jeffrey Osborne, known for Top 40 hits like “On the Wings of Love” and “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song),” performs at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Saturday, June 18.

Credit: ANNA WEBBER

R&B singer Jeffrey Osborne, known for Top 40 hits like “On the Wings of Love” and “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song),” performs at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Saturday, June 18.

Credit: ANNA WEBBER

Combined ShapeCaption
R&B singer Jeffrey Osborne, known for Top 40 hits like “On the Wings of Love” and “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song),” performs at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Saturday, June 18.

Credit: ANNA WEBBER

Credit: ANNA WEBBER

Q: How are the shows going?

A: It’s actually incredible. The only problem right now is COVID is going crazy again. It’s just popping up everywhere. One band member gets it, another one gets and it’s like, ‘Oh, man…’ It seems more contagious than ever.

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Q: There are so many social media comments saying you’re just a joy on stage and your love of performing is palpable. How have you maintained that enthusiasm?

A: There’s nothing like live performances to me. I still really enjoy it. There’s a whole different energy than being in the studio and recording. When you’re in front of people, you’re bouncing off of them and they’re bouncing off of you. The chemistry is the magic as it goes back and forth so my first love is actually performing live. As long as I enjoy it, I’ll keep doing it.

Q: Your Fraze Pavilion concert is one of several upcoming co-headlining dates with Peabo Bryson. What makes you two a good fit?

A: We’ve done a lot of shows together. I’ve been working shows with Peabo for the last 20 years, so we know each other really well. Peabo is a great talent so it’s great package. I think people would be happy to come out and get a real solid evening of music. And it’s been a while since I’ve been to Dayton.

Q: How long has it been?

A: Four or five years, at least, so I’m looking forward to going back there. Ohio is special. There are so many incredible musicians from Ohio. There are all those incredible groups from Dayton like the Ohio Players and Zapp and Roger (Troutman). The people that came out of Ohio are amazing, so I have a lot of respect for the audience there because I know they know great music.

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Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

HOW TO GO

Who: Jeffrey Osborne and Peabo Bryson

Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, June 18

Cost: $40 lawn & terrace, $78 side orchestra, $88 center orchestra and $98 plaza in advance, $45 lawn & terrace, $83 side orchestra, $93 center orchestra and $103 plaza day of show

More info: 937-296-3300 or www.fraze.com

Artist info: www.jeffreyosborne.com

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