LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends
Alive After 5 is pleased to welcome LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends back to Bend. Bell is an accomplished composer, musician and live performing artist for passionate audiences across the country.
LeRoy was co-founder of “Bell and James” a duo soul group with Casey James that released three albums and reached #15 of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Livin’ It Up (Friday Night).” Bell and James co-wrote many songs for other artists as well, composing hits for The Spinners, The O’Jays, The Temptations, Gladys Knight and The Pips and Three Degrees.
Most notably, LeRoy Bell composed two songs that were recorded by Elton John. One was "Mama Can't Buy You Love" and the other "Are You Ready for Love" - both part of the Thom Bell Session in 1977. Elton John's version of "Mama Can't Buy You Love" went to the Top 10 in the general charts and #1 the Adult/Contemporary chart in the fall of 1979, earning Elton a Grammy Nomination for "Best Male R&B Vocal Performance". His song "Are You Ready for Love" was even a bigger hit. He has also composed songs for Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls and Jennifer Lopez.
Starting in the 2000s, he worked solo and toured extensively. In the process, he released various albums including his debut solo EP Spending Time (on his own label Martez Music Group), followed by Two Sides to Every Story in 2006, A Change Is Coming in 2008 and Traces in 2010.
In 2011, he was part of a project United in Song affiliated with USA For Africa to bring the best in World Music to celebrate peace and unity. The project included Angelique Kidjo, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Aurelio Martinez with Youssou N'Dour, Lila Downs, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, Razia Said, Abigail Washburn & the Shanghai Restoration Project, Luisa Maita, G Love & Special Sauce, and Vieux Farka Toure and LeRoy Bell contributing tracks to United in Song.
LeRoy took part in the American version of The X Factor in 2011 and finished 8th in the competition.
His studio and live band - LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends - with bassist Tery Morgan, drummer Davis Martin and his newest “Only Friend” keyboardist Daniel Walker – lay the powerful musical foundation for the sound of Rock & Soul.