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Cameo

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New York City, New York, United States (1974 – present)

Cameo is a group that was formed in 1974 in New York City, New York, United States. The band’s lineup has constantly fluctuated since its formation, with the only constant being Larry Blackmon, yet they continue to tour to this day. An outlandish, in-your-face stage presence, a strange sense of humor, and a hard-driving sound that criss-crossed a few musical boundaries earned Cameo countless initial comparisons to Parliament/Funkadelic. However, Cameo eventually wore off accusations of being derivative by transcending their influences and outlasting almost every single one of them.

Throughout the and , the group remained up with the times and occasionally crept ahead of them, such that they became influences themselves upon younger generations of R&B and acts. By the time the group’s popularity started to fizzle in the late 80s, a series of hits were left in the band’s wake, ranging from greasy, funky workouts to smooth ballads to swinging synthesized tracks and more. Further separating Cameo from their forebears was the fact that they didn’t have a diaper-clad guitarist. Instead, they had a codpiece-wearing lead vocalist in Larry Blackmon.

Today, the group’s iconic single “Word Up”, released in 1986 from the album of the same time, remains a radio staple. The U.S. Hot Dance Singles and U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart topper has also been famously covered by artists such as the band Gun and the group Korn.

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