While perhaps best known as the lead singer of 80’s sensation, Twisted Sister, there is so much more to Dee Snider. He has starred in several reality TV shows including appearances in three seasons of Celebrity Apprentice; Gone Country with John Rich; MTV’s Rock The Cradle with his son Jesse; Growing Up Twisted, an A&E series featuring the entire Snider family and their Long Island lifestyle; ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap, and Celebrity Holiday Homes. He is also a frequent host on MTV Networks and his own long running nationally syndicated radio show House Of Hair is heard on more than 200 stations in North America.
Never setting limits, Dee wrote, produced and starred in the horror classic Dee Snider’s StrangeLand. He starred as himself in VH1’s original movie Warning: Parental Advisory, re-creating his role during the congressional record labeling hearings of the mid 1980s and carrying the banner of Dee’s Twisted Sister legendary anthem “We’re Not Gonna Take It”. His starring role on Broadway in the hit musical Rock Of Ages was followed by the album “Dee Does Broadway”, side by side with Broadway legends like Patti LuPone and Bebe Neuwirth. Dee’s hit song-writing credits extend to many genres of music and have been covered by major artists the world over. He continues to perform, both as a solo artist and as the front man of his band, Twisted Sister.
Kenny Loggins’ remarkable four-decade-plus career has brought him 12 platinum albums in a stunning variety of genres, a pair of Grammys, and hits on almost all the Billboard charts and on some of Hollywood’s favorite soundtracks.
From 1971 to 1976 Loggins was part of the prolific recording and touring duo Loggins and Messina. Their first album, Kenny Loggins With Jim Messina Sittin’ In, featured Loggins’ “Pooh Corner” and the beautiful ballad “Danny’s Song.” By 1977 Loggins recorded his solo debut Celebrate Me Home, which went platinum. He credits the duet with Stevie Nicks the following year, “Whenever I Call You Friend,” as “the moment that launched my solo career.” The hits just kept on coming. Loggins and Michael McDonald won a Best Song Grammy for “What a Fool Believes” in 1979. The following year, the pair picked up a second Grammy for “This Is It.”
In the 1980s, Loggins also earned a new title: king of the movie soundtrack. He provided the cult classic’s smash “I’m Alright” for Caddyshack.whipped up a No. 1 blockbuster for Footloose, and performed Top Gun’s indelible hit “Danger Zone.”
Since the 1980s Loggins has continued to record albums that were deeply personal and introspective. His song “Conviction of the Heart” was so powerful, it caught the ear of Al Gore, who later called it the “unofficial anthem of the environmental movement.” After a stunning run of solo discs, a Christmas album, and two LPs for children, Loggins reunited with his former partner Jim Messina for several tours, and since 2010, has recorded and been onstage with a country trio, Blue Sky Riders.
Born into a musical family, Sheila Escovedo (Sheila E.) has been driven by an inner rhythm her entire life. As a young girl, she was immersed in the diverse music scenes of the Bay Area—influenced and inspired by her percussionist father Pete Escovedo and godfather Tito Puente. At the age of 5, Sheila gave her first public performance for an audience of 3,000, appearing alongside her dad. It was while on that stage playing a drum solo that Sheila first realized she was going to be a percussionist. Five decades later, and the beat that has always driven her is showing no signs of slowing down.
Starting out, Sheila E. owned the stage as a drummer and percussionist. But her career took an exciting turn when she met Prince backstage after a gig. The singer-songwriter revealed he had been following her career for some time, and the two quickly became friends. Their friendship eventually led to Sheila E. lending her vocals on Prince’s song “Erotic City”—a move that prompted her to launch her own solo singing career. Her album The Glamorous Life Debut album spun off the Grammy Award-nominated top 10 hit of the same name, plus a second top 40 single “The Belle of St. Mark.” During her ‘80s tenure as drummer, songwriter and musical director for Prince’s backup band, Sheila E. released three more solo albums and scored two more classic hits with “A Love Bizarre” and “Hold Me.” Having been influenced by so many different genres of music over the years, from Latin, to jazz, to R&B, Sheila pours her heart and soul into every song. Her fierce, dynamic verve onstage has made her a major concert draw since the ‘90s.
Mickey Thomas is the owner of the soaring voice that propelled Starship through the decades of the 80’s and 90’s. With his soulful and compelling vocals, Mickey has established himself as one of Rock Music’s most recognizable stars. He made his mark in 1976 as lead vocalist on the mega-hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” with The Elvin Bishop Band. In 1979, Mickey joined the Jefferson Starship as lead vocalist, after the departure of Grace Slick and Marty Balin. Backed by the power of Mickey’s vocals, Jefferson Starship immediately scored a #1 hit with “Jane”. With this new sound and powerful new vocals, the group was renamed Starship and continued to record an amazing string of hits including “No Way Out”, “We Built This City”, “Sara”, and an Oscar Nomination for the #1 hit “Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now” from the movie “Mannequin”. Other top hits included “Find Your Way Back”, “Stranger”, “Laying It on The Line”, and “It’s Not Over Till It’s Over,” which became Major League Baseball’s theme in 1987.
Moreover, every Starship album released since 1979 has gone Gold, Platinum, or Multi-Platinum. Mickey’s stellar voice and video charisma on Starship’s video classics have become staples on MTV and VH1. Material covered in Starship’s live performance ranges from Mickey’s tenure with The Elvin Bishop Band and Starship, as well as songs from his two solo albums. Mickey will be backed by the band Starship featuring: Jeff Adams—Bass; John Roth—Guitar; Phil Bennett—Keyboards; Darrell Verdusco—Drums; and Stephanie Calvert—Vocals.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) is the pioneering synth-pop group – founded almost 40 years ago by two teenage Kraftwerk fans– that helped shape the dominant sound of that decade. Alongside the Human League and Gary Numan, OMD mapped out the musical landscape of the time and helped to mint this new genre with hits such as ‘Enola Gay’, ‘Electricity’ and ‘Souvenir’.
Described by The Quietus as “not just one of the best synth bands ever – they are one of the best bands ever”, OMD’s influence has become ubiquitous. “We did feel like we were doing something that was changing the world,” says Andy of those early days when OMD would shock TV audiences with their weird new-wave on Top of the Pops.
They recently released their thirteenth album ‘The Punishment of Luxury’, a daring collection of stylish synth-pop and masterful song craft that sees OMD edge out of their comfort zone without compromising their integrity. “It’s almost like we’ve gone back to being teenagers after all these years,” says Andy. “We just do whatever we want and there’s no record company to tell us what we can or can’t do.”
Terri Nunn and Berlin return to The 80s Cruise in 2019 by popular demand after rocking the ship the past two years with their electrifying live performances. The Los Angeles-based synth pop group, founded by bassist John Crawford, singer Terri Nunn, and keyboard player David Diamond, made its first national impression with the provocative single “Sex (I’m A…)” from the gold-selling debut EP Pleasure Victim in 1982. Berlin’s first full-length LP was the gold Love Life in 1984, featuring the hit “No More Words.” Other hits include “The Metro,” “Masquerade” and “It’s My Turn,” but Berlin topped the charts in 1986 with the classic single “Take My Breath Away,” the love theme from the Tom Cruise movie Top Gun. The original Berlin lineup is currently working on a new album and will be performing together on The 80s Cruise.
The FIXX has been often heralded as one of the most innovative bands to come out of the MTV era. Instantly recognizable, The FIXX sound is unmistakably unique and stands out among the thousands of artists filling the airwaves. Songs such as “One Thing Leads To Another”, “Red Skies”, “Stand Or Fall” and “Saved By Zero” remain everyday staples in television, films and on the radio stations that continue to break new acts inspired by the era The FIXX helped to define. The FIXX were then, and still are now; Cy Curnin on vocals, Rupert Greenall on keyboards, Jamie West-Oram on guitar, Adam Woods on drums, and bassist Dan K. Brown.
The English Beat is a band with an energetic mix of musical styles and a sound like no other. The band’s unique sound has allowed it to endure for nearly three decades and appeal to fans, young and old, all over the world.
The English Beat (known simply as The Beat in their native England) rushed on to the music scene in 1979, a time of massive social and political unrest which set the stage for a period of unbridled musical creativity. Thanks in large part to the Punk movement, artists like The Beat spoke out in songs such as “Stand Down Margaret” and “Get A Job”, and created classic hits like “I Confess” and “Save It For Later”. The Beat was prominent as founding members of the British Two Tone Ska movement, making them an overnight sensation and one of the most popular and influential bands of that movement. They crossed over fluidly between soul, reggae, pop and punk, and from these disparate pieces they created an infectious dance rhythm.
Consummate showman that he is, singer-songwriter Dave Wakeling has continued to keep The Beat alive and strong. Dave continues to tour the world as The English Beat with an amazing all-star ska backing band playing all the hits of The Beat, General Public (a band formed by Dave with Ranking Roger, the toaster from The Beat), and songs from his new album “Here We Go Love”. You just can’t stop The English Beat!
Emerging from the South Bronx in the early 1970s, Grandmaster Flash is inarguably one of Hip Hop’s original innovators. In the earliest days of the genre, he manipulated music by placing his fingers on the vinyl, perfected beat looping, and discovered many of the most iconic beats still commonly sampled today. It’s no surprise that The New York Times calls him Hip Hop’s first virtuoso.
Today, he’s the voice of an entire generation of 1970s hip hop pioneers. From his electric live shows, to his production role on Netflix’ The Get Down, Grandmaster Flash is at once a historian, a storyteller, and a cultural force.
Formed in 1985, the Grammy nominated rock band Cutting Crew will always be remembered for their classic songs “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” and “I’ve Been in Love Before” (number 1 and 9 in USA).
Original singer and writer Nick van Eede performs every gig now with his amazing guitarist, Gareth Moulton. The past few years have brought appearances/duetting with Chaka Khan and Roger Hodgson of Supertramp, plus concert tours of Germany and USA with ABC, Berlin and Wang Chung. Their great live show has reached the hearts of audiences across the world.
R&B-pop band Club Nouveau was formed in 1986 in Sacramento, California. The band’s name (French for “New Club”) was changed from its original incarnation, Jet Set, to exploit the breakup of the Timex Social Club. From its debut album, 1986’s Life, Love, and Pain, the group scored four consecutive hits: “Jealousy”, “Situation #9,” a chart-topping cover of Bill Withers’s “Lean on Me,” and “Why You Treat Me So Bad.” The latter two both made it to #2 on the Billboard R&B chart the next year, with “Lean on Me” becoming a big Billboard Hot 100 hit. Club Nouveau was nominated for two Grammy’s (song of the year “Lean on Me” & best new act). “Lean on Me” won a Grammy award, a Bammy Award, a BRE Drummer award, two Narm awards, a Bay Area Star award, and was nominated for two American music awards.
The group’s next albums—beginning with 1988 Listen to the Message—were laced with an evolving social consciousness, though the later albums were not as successful commercially as the group’s debut. Notable recordings from the group’s next albums include a dancehall-influenced version of the gospel classic “Oh, Happy Day” from the 1992’s A New Beginning, “Let It Go” from 1995’s Everything Is Black album, and “You Ain’t No Friend Of Mine” from 1989’s Under A Nouveau Groove.
The current Club Nouveau roster consists of original vocalists Jay King, Valerie Watson English, and Samuelle Prater. In 2015 they completed the new Club Nouveau album Consciousness.
When it comes to the 80s, Jessie’s Girl has it covered, and they are bringing their highly acclaimed “Back to the Eighties Show” back aboard The 80s Cruise in 2019! Based out of New York City where they perform every Saturday night at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, the 80s tribute band covers the hits of this amazing decade while dressed as many of the artists their fans adore – think Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince! When not performing at private parties for the likes of Jamie Foxx and Neil Patrick Harris and at some of the hottest venues throughout the country, Jessie’s Girl takes to the stage from time to time with the hit makers themselves, including Tiffany, Bret Michaels, MC Hammer, Tone Loc and Taylor Dane. A crowd favorite, Jessie’s Girl will be rocking the ship!
Trial By Fire is a Los Angeles based classic rock group. Growing up in the 80’s, brothers Bill & Eric Mondragon had a strong rock ‘n’ roll background listening to groups like Journey, Van Halen and many others. In the early millennium they teamed up with the group Steel Rod which members are Jonny Reyes, Whit Petrell and Rod Pantajo who were playing the local circuit in Los Angeles. This classic rock and R&B trio consists of some of the best rock ‘n’ roll musicians in Los Angeles. With the soulful vocals of Eric and Bill of DW3 and the driving rock force of Steel Rod it was a perfect combination.
Season 3 winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Alonzo Bodden keeps the boat rolling—in laughter, rest assured—as comedian-in-residence for The Smooth Jazz Cruise. With a resumé that includes numerous appearances on the late-night circuit (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien Show, The Late Show with Craig Kilborn, The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show, and Comedy Central among others), television hosting gigs, voice-over roles and film credits, Alonzo entertains an audience masterfully. His talent has earned him international acclaim and presented the New York native with opportunities to perform in Canada, Ireland, Australia and the U.K., along with stops in Iraq and other places around the world where U.S. troops are stationed.
Tiffany’s iconic number one hit single I Think We’re Alone Now captured the heart of a nation and catapulted her to pop superstardom. The legendary pop star has set a record as the youngest female artist to top the Billboard charts with her debut album and has sold over 15 million albums to date. Tiffany obtained a long and storied career in a short amount of time, and today her goal is to continue writing songs for herself and others, cementing her status in the industry as a powerhouse hit maker and go-to songwriter.
For someone who has spent her life touring around the world, it’s surprising to discover Tiffany’s fear of flying. Consequently the singer is always in her car and it’s in the car where she gets her inspiration and does most of her writing. Those personal journals and stories inspired both her music and to name her new album after all those miles she’s driven… A Million Miles. Luckily, she has no fear of cruising—so we’re thrilled to welcome her back by popular demand to The 80s Cruise!
Claudia Wells is an actress who was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but grew up in San Francisco, CA. Wells gained celebrity notoriety by starring in the 1985 film BACK TO THE FUTURE as Jennifer Parker, Marty McFly’s girlfriend. Also in 1985, Wells co-starred in STOP THE MADNESS, an anti-drug music video sponsored by the Reagan administration, featuring several famous musicians, actors and athletes. The following year, she appeared in the television movie BABIES HAVING BABIES and played the lead in the short-lived series FAST TIMES, a television adaptation of the popular 1982 film FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. Claudia took a break from acting when her mother was diagnosed with cancer, and that tragic experience spurred her toward taking an active role in charities, the most recent of which is called KidsInTheSpotlight.org. To date, Claudia has amassed over 50 credits/episodes in film, TV and theater, but she considers her true on-screen entertainment career to still be ahead of her as she seeks out gritty roles that shy away from convention and push the envelope. When she is not working with charities or serving as an actress on set, Claudia oversees her fine clothing store for men called Armani Wells.
When a fledgling music video channel debuted on cable television in the 1980s, Nina Blackwood became one of a select few faces the world associated with the revolutionary station, MTV. Blackwood’s experience as an original VJ (video jockey) for MTV makes her an ideal host of The 80s Cruise where she’ll share her expertise on and love for the music and Artists of this great decade with fellow passengers. These days, Blackwood headlines daily shows on SiriusXM’s “Big 80s On 8.” She also hosts her own syndicated radio shows – “Absolutely 80s” and “New Wave Nation” – on weekends in the United States and Canada via United Stations Radio Networks. Live concerts are another avenue through which the music aficionado spreads her wealth of knowledge on the people, places and history of music. Blackwood studied piano and orchestral harp from the age of five and has herself performed as a musician. She also trained as an actor at the Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles and secured some modeling work and appearances on television series and movies early in her career. More recently, Blackwood has done music commentary on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and hosted her own “Rock Report” on Entertainment Tonight. In 2013, she and fellow MTV VJs collaborated with Rolling Stone contributing editor Gavin Edwards on “VJ-The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave.” The book tells the story of MTV’s early years and hit the New York Times bestseller list in May 2013. Beyond the music scene, Blackwood is a dedicated animal lover with several parrots, cats and an Alaskan Malamute.
The 80s Cruise is ecstatic to welcome Mark Goodman on deck as one of our celebrity hosts. Though he launched his successful career in radio, Goodman is best recognized as an original VJ (video jockey) for MTV, where he spent much of the 80s interviewing some of the biggest names in the music industry – Paul McCartney, Sting and Bruce Springsteen included. In that same capacity, he became the face for several of the network’s hit shows including “The Week In Rock,” “120 Minutes” and the first show ever syndicated to broadcast by MTV, “The Top 20 Video Countdown.” After leaving MTV, the music personality had stints in film, television and internet radio. Today Goodman broadcasts from Sirius Satellite Radio’s 80s channel as well as its Classic Rewind and The Spectrum stations. Additionally, recent forays into the music supervision business have had him orchestrating soundtracks for film and television, including Touchstone/ABC’s hit series, “Desperate Housewives.” In 2013, Goodman and his fellow original MTV VJs co-authored “VJ-The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave,” a behind-the-scenes look at the network’s early years. Expect Goodman to continue regaling audiences with these stories and other fascinating anecdotes as we journey back the 80s together.
Just as he hooked audiences in the 80s as one of MTV’s original VJs (video jockey), Alan Hunter is sure to captivate guests of The 80s Cruise from behind the mic on the highly anticipated voyage at sea. Since leaving MTV in 1987, our cruise emcee has maintained his hosting chops as a personality on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s The 80s on 8 and Classic Rewind channels. Additionally, he has served as the face of Encore’s “Big 80s Movies Weekend” and “Looking for Stars” on Starz. Hunter also dabbles in the film industry through his production company, Hunter Films, which received an Academy Award nomination in 2003 for the short film “Johnny Flynton.” Other titles produced by the company include “Dreamland,” “Best Worst Movie” and “Lifted.” Devoted to his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, Hunter co-created the downtown entertainment complex WorkPlay and co-founded of the city’s Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. He now lives in Chicago with his wife and children.
Michael Knight has quickly become the premier Michael Jackson tribute artist. His years of meticulous focus and the studying of every iconic nuance has propelled him to the top of the list of impersonators. Knight has continued his studies through 2013-2014 when he contracted multi-award winning Travis Payne, backup dancer and choreographer for Jackson and Principle Choreographer of Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson IMMORTAL. Knight’s training also includes current vocal training with Jackson’s long time vocal trainer, Seth Riggs. Finally, he gained additional insights on costuming and make-up application from America’s Next Top Model’s Sutan Amrull. Knight is now a veteran of performing for fans as part of the entertainment package for cruises. A repeat performer for TEC and Legends In Concert’s NCL, he has charted over half of a year of his life aboard ship. Knight truly enjoys the interaction that he gets with the passengers throughout the concert and the cruise. Knight has focused his talents for Legends In Concert over the past two years. His lengthy contracts have cemented his brand in Branson, MO. He is currently highly sought after for the lead in a number of touring concerts including 2018’s release of Resurrecting the Legend.
Since 1998, James Biko (formerly known as DJ Needles) has been delivering his signature afro-progressive style to crowds far and wide. The founder of afro-soul DJ collective “The Soulition” rocks shows, events and parties in and outside of St. Louis appealing to a diverse group of music lovers thirsty for culture-forward sounds and dance-driven beats. As creator of the well-received Outkast/ATCQ blend project “A Tribe Called Kast” in 2013, The Foreign Exchange/Notorious B.I.G. blend project “The Notorious Exchange” in 2014 and the wildly popular Camp Lo/Bobby Schmurda blend “Schmuchini” in 2015, Biko has received worldwide acclaim for his string of seemingly random pairings of different artists’ music. The 11-time RFT Music Award winner for Best DJ is a highly respected figure in the St. Louis art & music scene continuing to expose audiences to vintage classics as well as showcase new music from artists of today. As touring DJ for Black Spade and Hawthorne Headhunters, James has hit SXSW stages as well as other performances around the country – including opening for Hiatus Kaiyote, Anderson .Paak, The Internet, and more. With a work ethic that allows little to no downtime, Biko plans to continue creating and spreading progressive vibes one party, event, show, festival and concert at a time.
Brian Wilk began playing piano as early as he could reach the EBONY AND IVORY, but classical music gave him GROWING PAINS. So when the 80’s hit, he was a MANIAC for MTV and 80’s TV theme songs. He gave up riding the MORNING TRAIN and his 9 TO 5 life to pursue music, playing top 40 and performing with the ComedySportz improv troupe. But he was an OWNER OF A LONELY HEART until dueling pianos said you CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELING and he found his TRUE COLORS. Brian started his career at Lucille’s Blazing Keys, then moved on to Howl At The Moon Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and eventually Orlando.
Then one day he announced, “WE ARE THE WORLD, not just one city, and should share our music with new places.” So Brian set off for the WILD WILD WEST and took his BETTE DAVIS EYES and ability to WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN all around the country. There is almost no song Brian doesn’t know (or can make up the words to). He’s been described on stage as Robin Williams meets Howie Mandel, and with both ADD and OCD, you can see Brian meticulously organize and alphabetize your requests—yet at the same time… “Wanna ride bikes?” He never forgets to thank his parents, JACK & DIANE, who are extremely proud of him. When Brian looks at the MAN IN THE MIRROR, he knows that in his quest to bring the 80’s to dueling pianos, he’s on THE A-TEAM.
When Brad Heron was born, Dr. Feelgood took one look at his Flock of Seagulls hairdo and said, “This kid is destined for 80’s greatness!” His parents nurtured this gift with diligence: keeping
him swaddled in red and black Thriller onesies, playing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in his crib, and pushing him around in a mini DeLorean stroller. He was soon reaching for that Casio keyboard,
impressing everybody with his pop music covers (his favorites back then were Guns’n’Roses, Madonna and one half of Wham–we just don’t know which half). There was no stopping the music after that.
As Brad grew to manhood, the 80’s stayed with him. He took any job he could find, learning a lot but ultimately being let go because of his insistence on wearing Devo hats and randomly shouting, “I feel the need for speed!” But it was all for the best, because eventually his gift for music led him to working as an entertainer for Disney Cruise Lines, and then to Rockey’s Dueling Piano Bar in Gainesville, where he can be found playing any song you ask for and can
sometimes be seen phoning home. And true to his 80’s birthright, you can be sure that when the heat is on, Brad will be ready with a song at the piano and a Rubik’s Cube in his back pocket!
Kevin Hamel picked up his first guitar at 15 and has spent his musical career transforming his passion for music into a lifelong drive to becoming a truly diverse entertainer, playing in rock cover bands in New England in his college days to high-energy acoustic shows at clubs and bars from Maine to Key West, including: Sloppy Joe’s; Irish Kevin’s; Willie T’s and Sugarloaf Mountain, to name a few.
Focusing on the audience, his wide repertoire of genres and ability to play most of his show through requests, helps to make the connection with the crowd and make them part of the show. Add in some infectious sing-alongs and the music you once sang into a hair brush in front of the mirror (and maybe still do) and you’ve got an experience that will make you put your phone away and sing like a Rockstar!
Kevin was a paratrooper in the US Army. He currently lives in Bangor Maine with his 2 children, Riley and Kayla.