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Kid Creole & The Coconuts

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Kid Creole and the Coconuts are an American band created and led by August Darnell. Their music incorporates styles like big band jazz, disco, and in particular Caribbean/Latin American salsa. The Coconuts are a glamorous trio of female backing vocalists whose lineup changes throughout the years.

Thomas August Darnell Browder (aka August Darnell, aka Kid Creole) was born in Montreal, Canada, on 12 August 1950, the son of a French Canadian mother and a father from the Caribbean island of Dominica, but was raised in the New York City borough of the Bronx.

Darnell began his career in a band named The In-Laws with his half-brother in 1965, which disbanded so August could pursue a career as an English teacher. He obtained a masters degree, but in 1974 again formed a band with his half-brother under the name Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band. They played to some initial success, reaching a gold and Top 40-charting album with their debut release, but could not match this on subsequent releases.

Darnell began producing for other artists before adopting the name Kid Creole (from the Elvis Presley film King Creole) in 1980, and forming The Coconuts, a trio of female backing vocalist/dancers, including his wife Adriana Kaegi, and a band including vibraphone player Andy Hernandez aka Coati Mundi. Cheryl Poirier joined that year as lead vocalist of the Coconuts, followed by Taryn Hagey as “Coconut #3” on background vocals in 1981. This line-up remained in place throughout the band’s heyday. Hagey left the group in 1985 and was replaced by Janique Svedberg.

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