'Celebration' by Kool & the Gang Has a Religious Meaning

'Celebration' by Kool & the Gang Has a Religious Meaning

04/06/2022

During the 1980s, Kool & the Gang released most of their famous music, including the song “Celebration.” One of the members of the band revealed the song was inspired by a religious story. In addition, he said the song was written for all of humanity.

What Kool & the Gang’s Ronald Bell was reading when he wrote ‘Celebration’

Ronald Bell was a Muslim and a founding member of Kool & the Gang. During a 2016 interview with Songwriter Universe, he explained the origin of “Celebration.” “I was reading the scripture,” he recalled. “I remember exactly where I was when this happened. I was in the Sheraton Hotel on Seventh Ave. in Manhattan.”

Bell specifically said the song was inspired by the creation of humanity. “I was reading the scripture about where God called the angels together, and made an announcement that he was going to create this human—the human being,” he remembered. “He gathered the angels together and they said “We don’t know nothin’, but we just celebrate you, God — we celebrate and praise you.’”

What Kool & the Gang’s Ronald Bell thought of the passage of scripture he was reading

Bell discussed how he reacted to the passage he was reading. “I thought, ‘Wow … That’s big!,’” he said. “We’re talking about the origin of human beings … from this particular scripture. This was big.

“That’s where I got the song ‘Celebration’ from,” he added. “I thought, I’m going to write a song about that, (with the line) ‘And everyone around the world … Come on!’ That’s the intent [of this song] … that it was actually written for mankind. That was the initial idea behind it. Of course, it became a collaboration and everyone joined in.”

The way ‘Celebration’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

In the United States, “Celebration” became Kool & the Gang’s biggest hit. For two weeks, it topped the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the group’s only chart-topper. It stayed on the chart for 30 weeks in total. The track appeared on the album Celebrate! The album hit No. 10 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 44 weeks.

“Celebration” became a more modest hit in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the song reached No. 7 in the U.K. and lasted 13 weeks on the chart. Meanwhile, Celebrate! did not chart there. “Celebration” also appeared on the compilation album The Singles Collection. That album peaked at No. 28 in the U.K, and lasted on the chart for 13 weeks.

“Celebration” had an impact on pop culture. It appeared in “About Last Night…,” an episode of South Park. In the episode, Randy Marsh sings the song with new lyrics about President Barack Obama.

“Celebration” became a massive pop hit and it has an interesting connection to angels.

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