Starting in 1967, well before all the hits started flowing, Chicago established a reputation for its powerful live show. Fueled by a passion for music, Chicago's members exploded the conventions of what rock music could or should be. The result was a groundbreaking new form, played by extraordinarily talented musicians. Early fans like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin were sufficiently impressed - they took the group out on their respective tours. Once the group began making records, fans rewarded the group with record sales of 100,000,000, 21 Top 10 singles, 5 consecutive Number One albums, 11 Number One Singles and 5 Gold singles. An incredible 25 of their 33 albums have been certified platinum. To date, Chicago is the first American band to chart Top 40 albums in five decades - a landmark accomplishment.
Of course, in 1967, success was measured in more modest terms. Each member had learned a variety of styles while playing for the many different racial and ethnic groups that populate Chicago. This musical fusion struck the lovely chord that became Chicago. Paramount for this nascent group was creating a rock 'n roll band with horns. At the time, R&B artists like James Brown were upping the ante for horn sections, but it had not been attempted within the context of a rock band. One of the band’s founding members, Walt Parazaider, held the first band meetings in his apartment. A De Paul University graduate, he was offered a job with the Chicago Symphony, but opted to stay with the band.
In recent years, Chicago toured extensively in North America and internationally, including headlining shows in Japan, Korea and the Philippines. Last year Chicago performed headlining shows throughout the United States, an extensive tour of Europe as well as dates in Mexico and Canada. This year, the band continues to tour throughout North America.
Chicago released their 33rd record in 2012 with their third album of holiday music, titled “O Christmas Three.” The album features special guests Dolly Parton, America, Steve Cropper, and BeBe Winans, and was produced by veteran producer Phil Ramone, one of the most respected and prolific music producers in the recording industry (Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Elton John, Paul McCartney). And in addition to organizations that the band regularly supports when touring, Chicago is joining forces again in 2012 for the third year with the American Cancer Society to create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. The band and the Society, which declared itself The Official Sponsor Of Birthdays®, will offer fans the experience of a lifetime, and the chance to contribute to the fight against breast cancer with the Sing With Chicago promotion. Fans in every city where the band is performing will be able to bid on a package that includes two premium tickets, backstage passes, and the opportunity to sing Chicago's worldwide #1 hit song "If You Leave Me Now" onstage with the band during the concert. Chicago and the Society are making this exciting experience available in dozens of U.S. cities through the end of the year using an online auction on Mission Fish, the charitable arm of E-bay. All proceeds will directly aid the Society's fight against breast cancer. Through it all, Chicago continues to be true ambassadors for their beloved hometown, carrying the city's name with pride and dignity around the world.