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The O’Jays are an American R&B group from Canton, Ohio. They formed in 1958, and have undergone a great many lineup changes over the years.
Like a host of other R&B groups to have originally found success around the middle of the twentieth century – the likes of The Four Tops, The Ink Spots and The Temptations all spring to mind – The O’Jayss are now a bona fide R&B institution and continue to perform today, and unlike some of those aforementioned contemporaries, two of the original members – Eddie Levert and Walter Williams – remain with the group today. That kind of longevity is impressive in itself – it means that they’ve been going for longer than The Rolling Stones. But it’s the energy and vigour that the trio – currently completed by Eric Grant – continue to pour into their frequent tours that’s really striking.
With hits like ‘Love Train’, ‘Back Stabbers’, ‘I Love Music’ ‘Use ta Be My Girl’ and ‘Livin’ for the Weekend’ having made a genuine impact worldwide in their seventies heyday, it’s little wonder that The O’Jays can count themselves amongst the revered inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the recipients of a BET Lifetime Achievement Award. That’s not to mention, either, the renaissance they enjoyed in the early noughties, when their classic track ‘For the Love of Money’ was used as the theme to NBC’s global smash television show ‘The Apprentice’.