2x Grammy Winner Jerry Bell Continues Shining in the Music Industry

Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
Jerry Bell is not only a 2x Grammy Winner, but has met a lot of great people along the way and singing background for popular groups such as The Spinners, The Delfonics and Marvin Gaye.  His passion of music isn’t just in his blood, but as a person of interest who always continue to make new music in a generation that is always changing.
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Artist Jerry Bell performing live with the band 
Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
TRGB Media: Tell us more about yourself?
 
Jerry Bell: I was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in a military hospital. My father was a career military man and my mother was a regular house wife for the time. My family traveled a lot when I was younger and it was in my formative years while I was undergoing vocal training that my passion for music began to blossom. I began to realize how vast the world was, as I reached adulthood, and my desire to experience different cultures began to take form. Due to this, I’ve traveled all across the world. I’ve lived in Japan for 18 years, on and off, and am fluent in Japanese. I’ve also lived in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia and traveled to places like: Budapest and the south of France. During my travels, I invested a large amount of my time to understanding the culture and adopting the practices of where I was. The culmination of this is my mastery of Shotokan karate, Okinawa Karate, Aikido, Judo, and Japanese archery called Kyudo. I hold many black belts in these martial arts and I have learned much about life from these practices. 
TRGB Media: How did you get started in the entertainment industry?
 
Jerry Bell: My family was a very musical family. We have produced gold and platinum records for nearly two decades. My family started The Sounds of Philadelphia and was once a part of Gamble and Huff; while it was still called “Gamble, Huff, and Bell” It was always expected of me to go into music, with all the influences around me. However, though I’ve always had a passion for music, what really drove me to becoming a musician was seeing James Brown perform. 
TRGB Media: Tell us a little bit about your groups “New Birth.” How was that created?
Jerry Bell: New Birth was originally two groups that came together to form something magical. It started as a band out of Louisville, Kentucky called the Nite-Lighters before merging with the vocalist group Mint Juleps. They were originally a backup band for Bobby Womack, before I was invited into the group in 1975 by the founders of the group: Tony Churchill and James Baker. When I was a part of the group from 1975-1979, it consisted of 13 people that were all amazing. However, it wasn’t until after New Birth that I broke out and became a star on my own.
TRGB Media: What was it like meeting Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5?
 
Jerry Bell: I knew Michael when he was young and when he was  much shyer than who everybody knew him as. In my early thirties, I was dating one of the sisters of the Jackson 5, and we all played on a softball team together called the Jackson’s. This was a lot of fun, because we played against other celebrities such as the Temptations. 
TRGB Media: Music is rapidly changing and so are artists. Since you are an “old school’ artist, how do you think music is different from different generations?
 
Jerry Bell: Well first of all, I’m not an old school artist; I’m an Original artist with original music. What they are portraying today is not music to me, because you cannot take something synthetic and make it natural and original. “Musicians” nowadays download sound clips on their computers and it doesn’t sound the same, it’s not real music. Sounds that were created by a computer are not real music; real music is played with the human body. Playing the piano or the drums; reading musical scores and writing musical notes, that’s what music is. 
TRGB Media: How was your experience at the Armenian Music Awards? 
 
Jerry Bell: Being at the Armenian Music Awards was a very heartwarming experience, especially knowing that their history mirrors my own. The Armenian people were persecuted and targeted for the Armenian Genocide in the early 1900’s that reflect how I feel about the treatment of black people in America. I try to reflect the plight of my people by reflecting the time period and highlighting the struggles that we have all been through.
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Jerry Bell performing center stage
Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
TRGB Media: Going through your bio, I noticed that you received lots of awards.  
 
Jerry Bell: In my time, I’ve been honored to receive two Grammy Awards. It was an exhilarating experience receiving the award, not for myself, but for the people who had come before me and had never had the chance to receive this prestige. In 2010, I was also inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame. Again, I was very honored and it felt special because it was something that I acquired through years of hard work. I felt that my years and years of persistence in creating music that would relate to people all over the world were recognized. My children have been the best reward, though, for the life that I have lived. They may not be an award, but they have been the best thing that have happened to me and I am most thankful for them at the end of the day. 
TRGB Media: What genre is your music?
 
Jerry Bell: My musical genre is romance, but most people would describe it as R&B. Romance to me covers a multitude of areas in our lives and is a far reaching power that I want to tap into. It helps people deal with emotions that they may not fully understand. 
TRGB Media: Since performing at different places with important people and in groups, what was your favorite highlight of your career thus far?
 
Jerry Bell: My greatest highlights were being with James Brown and Michael Jackson. One great story that I love to share is when I was accompanying him on tour in Japan. The fans spotted the bus that myself and Michael’s decoy were on and swarmed the bus; rocking it back and forth until it almost tipped over. They eventually made their way onto the bus, only to realize that Michael wasn’t on board, but only his decoy. 
TRGB Media: Are there any current projects you are working on? Any new music?
 
Jerry Bell: I am always working on new projects. Currently, I am working on finalizing a deal to broker financial backing for an entertainment park in China, along with a music academy to try and spread the teachings of music to other areas in the world. We are in the talks to partner with a major organization based in Los Angeles to broker this deal. As far as music, recently I have been inspired by news of the upcoming James Bond movie and am working on a cover of the famous Skyfall song by Adele. 
TRGB Media: What is next for Jerry Bell?
 
Jerry Bell: That is a question that I can’t spill my guts on. I can say that I am working on some musical programs that bring together artists of the past and present to reignite the feel of the “old school” sound. You’ll all just have to wait and see what I come out with!
TRGB Media: How can readers connect with you?
 
Jerry Bell: My website is JerryBellMusic.com, find recaps of my recent events on my Facebook page @OfficialJerryBell. 
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Dancer enjoys her time on stage with Jerry Bell
Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
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