R&B balladere Jeffrey Osborne will perform during Claflin University’s 18th Annual Presidential Scholarship Gala on Friday, Nov. 18.
The scholarship fundraising event will be held in the Tullis Arena of the Jones T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center. The event begins with a silent auction at 6 p.m. and the Gala begins at 7 p.m. Tickets, which are selling fast, are currently on sale for $200 per person and available by calling Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dr. Iris D. Bomar at (803) 535-5312.
The Gala provides scholarships for the University’s Presidential Scholars. Additionally, the event pays tribute to outstanding leaders with the induction of new members to the Claflin University Hall of Fame and provides a special social event for alumni and the Orangeburg community.
“We are extremely excited about this year’s gala,” said Gala Chair Laura Keith. “We have some exciting new things planned for attendees as we raise money for these deserving youths and honor our Hall of Fame inductees.”
Osborne, known as the “the number one hit maker of the 1980s,” has been making music for a long time. Beginning with Jeffrey Osborne, his 1982 debut A&M solo album featuring the hit singles, “I Really Don't Need No Light” and the instant standard ballad, “On The Wings Of Love,” Osborne has charted a sure and passionate musical course. A&M and Arista albums such as Stay With Me Tonight, Don’t Stop, One Love, One Dream and Only Human and singles like “Stay With Me Tonight,” “We’re Going All The Way,” “The Last Time I Made Love” and “Only Human” easily transcended being hits to become R&B/pop classics.
Osborne – who as a teen augmented local bands as a self-taught drummer before concentrating on development as a vocalist – has been a prominent figure on the pop music scene since 1976, when L. T. D. (Love, Togetherness and Devotion), the band he fronted, broke through with the Billboard R&B #1 and pop #20 hit, “Love Ballad.” Osborne’s mighty voice was the center of a series of subsequent gold and platinum L.T.D. albums, including Love to the World, Something To Love, Togetherness and Devotion and the funky 1977 barn burning single, “Back In Love Again.” Indeed, it was during Osborne’s stellar vocal performances on such tracks as “(Won't Cha) Stay With Me,” from Something to Love and “We Both Deserve Each Other’s Love” and “Concentrate on You,” both from the 1978’s Togetherness, that the Osborne legacy was established. In 1982 he left the band to pursue a solo career and hasn’t looked back since
His long-awaited new CD, Music is Life, not only has the distinction of being the christening release of Jay Oz Records, his own recording label, the collection, co-produced and co-written by Osborne, marks the 30th year since the release of his very first album as the drummer for the R&B group L.T.D. in 1973.
“This record will surprise people,” Osborne said. “It is the record I've wanted to make for a while now, and finally said, ‘It’s now or never.’ I wanted to do something that was more youthful musically while maintaining my lyrical integrity, and I wanted to do it on my own label for a change – take a chance on myself.”
For more information about Homecoming events, visit www.claflin.edu.