Shalamar is an American music group.Their first hit was the 1977 Motown-inspired production "Uptown Festival," and released on Soul Train Records the success of which inspired Griffey and Don Cornelius to replace session singers with popular Soul Train dancers Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel to join original Shalamar lead singer Gary Mumford. Gerald Brown would take over the spot vacated by Mumford in 1978 for the Disco Gardens album which featured the hit "Take That To The Bank". After conflicts over lack of payment from Dick Griffey and Solar Records, Brown would leave the group. Brown was replaced by Howard Hewett in 1979.
The group was joined up with producer Leon Sylvers III in 1979, signed with Griffey's SOLAR Records and scored a US million seller with "The Second Time Around."
In the UK the group had a string of hits with songs such as "Take That to the Bank" (1978), "I Owe You One" (1980) and 1982's "I Can Make You Feel Good", "A Night to Remember", "There It Is" and "Friends". The album of the same title Friends was also a big seller in the UK in 1982 crossing the genres of pop, disco and soul. The band's record sales in the UK increased when Daniel demonstrated his body-popping dancing skills on BBC Television's music programme, Top of the Pops, premiering the Moonwalk on television for the first time. Michael Jackson was a fan of the group, in particular, Daniel and his dance moves, after watching him on Soul Train. Jackson and Daniel met after, and Jackson took his then 12 year old sister Janet to see Shalamar perform at Disneyland. Daniel co-choreographed Jackson's "Bad" and "Smooth Criminal" videosalong with Jackson himself.
The "classic" lineup of Shalamar (Hewett, Watley, and Daniel) scored a total of three gold albums in the US with Big Fun, Three for Love (which eventually went platinum) and Friends.
The group took a knock when Watley and Daniel separately left the band over conflicts within the group and other issues with Dick Griffey and Solar Records. Adding to the subsequent departure was Watley's increasing frustration with SOLAR Records and Dick Griffey shortly after the release of their next album, The Look, in 1983. Nonetheless, the album yielded a number of UK hit singles including "Disappearing Act", "Dead Giveaway" and "Over and Over". The album itself moved Shalamar into a more new wave/synthpop direction, with rock guitars to the fore. ButThe Look generally was not the success that Friends had been the previous year.
With a mid 1980s line-up change with Delisa Davis and Micki Free, Shalamar returned to the US Top 20 in 1984 with "Dancing in the Sheets" from the Footloose soundtrack, peaking at #17, and they won a Grammy for "Don't Get Stopped in Beverly Hills" from Beverly Hills Cop in 1984.
After Hewett left for a solo career in 1985 and was replaced by Sydney Justin, the band faded into temporary obscurity. The group recorded 1987's Circumstantial Evidence, which was a commercial disappointment, and faded away soon after the release of 1990s Wake Up.
Jody Watley launched her own influential solo career in 1987, winning the Grammy Award for Best New Artist Her hits include "Looking for a New Love," "Real Love," and "Friends" featuring Eric B & Rakim (noted to be the first Pop/R&B crossover single to include a rapper with the customized 16 bar verse, later becoming a popular formula in commercial music). Along with Janet Jackson and Madonna, Watley ranks as one of MTV Video Music Awards most-nominated female artists. Watley was also one of the few American singers to perform on the originalBand Aid record recorded by mostly British singers in November 1984.