The “World’s Greatest Party Band” is taking its final bow following an upcoming US summer tour. The B-52s are calling it quits, capping off a 45 year long career, during which the band sold over 20 million albums and amassed three Grammy nominations.

The new wave band, coined the “Kings of Kitsch” by Rolling Stone, is best known for hits such as Love Shack, Planet Claire, Rock Lobster, and Private Idaho.

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The band announced it is hitting the road in a 10 city farewell tour starting August 11 in Seattle and wrapping up in Atlanta on November 11. The tour is being called by the band “Their final tour ever of planet Earth.”

‘It’s Time For One Last Blow-Out’

Founding members Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider and Cindy Wilson are all returning for the tour. Fred Schneider said in a statement, “No one likes to throw a party more than we do, but after almost a half-century on the road, it’s time for one last blow-out with our friends and family… our fans. And with KC & The Sunshine Band and The Tubes on board, it’s going to be one hell of a farewell party at these concerts.”

Kate Pierson in a statement, said, “Who knew what started as a way to have some fun and play music for our friends’ at house parties in Athens in 1977 would evolve into over 45 years of making music and touring the world. It’s been cosmic.”

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“It has been a wild ride, that’s for sure,” said Cindy Wilson. “We feel truly blessed to have had an amazing career encouraging folks to dance, sing along with us and feel they can be whomever they are with our music.”

LGBTQI Pioneers

B-52’s founding members Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider and Cindy Wilson are all returning for the tour. Keith Strickland, another founding member, retired from the band in 2012, and the fifth founding member Ricky Wilson passed away from AIDS-related causes in 1985. Image: Facebook

The B-52’s first formed in 1976 in Athens Georgia and also included Keith Strickland, who retired from the band in 2012, and Ricky Wilson (Cindy Wilson’s brother). Ricky Wilson passed away from AIDS-related causes in 1985 at the age of 32. 

Four of the five founding members of the band, identify (or identified, in the case of Ricky Wilson), as LGBTQ and the B52s were hailed by Billboard as “LGBTQ pioneers.”

“We just did our own thing, Schneider told Billboard in 2018. “I guess subconsciously we were trying to say something. But it was sort of stream of consciousness, it was so out there.”

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The band achieved major success with the release of their album Cosmic Thing in 1989, which included their iconic track Love Shack. The song which became their first Billboard Hot 100 single, eventually peaked at number three on the charts, while the album went quadruple platinum and reached number four on the Billboard albums chart.

A Strong Australian Fan Base

The band maintained a strong Australian fan base and Love Shack held the number one spot on Australian charts for eight weeks. The album also made it to number one on the Australian charts.

The album also included the hit singles Deadbeat Club, Channel Z, and Roam.The success of the album led Strickland to tell Rolling Stone, “Unfortunately, being underestimated is nothing new for the band. Now maybe people won’t be saying we’re a novelty band.”

The B52s last album, Funplex, was released in 2008 and reached number 11 on the Billboard 200. The band also announced that a documentary based on their career is expected to be released in 2023.



 

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