Dec. 18, 2017 – Masters of Funk Tour presented by Next Millennium Entertainment made its final tour stop this year in Memphis. The concert, was held at Memphis Cook Convention Center and featured seven legendary funk, soul, and R&B bands. The highlight of the evening was the introduction of the new lead singer of The Bar-Kays who replaced the iconic Larry Dodson, 65, as he begins his retirement.
“After a worldwide search, the search brought us back home to Memphis, TN to the man who will lead this band front stage,” said Dodson.
Dodson introduced 44-year-old Chris J. as the man who will take over as the new lead singer. After 30 albums, dozens of hits, and 47 years as the lead singer of the legendary Bar-Kays, Dodson passed the mic to the Memphis native. A new album is already being planned with Chris J. at the helm of the band.
“This opportunity is such a blessing from the OG’s Larry Dodson and James Alexander to little old me from North Memphis. But I will definitely make the world proud,” said Chris J.
James Alexander is the only original member of The Bar-Kays after a plane crash in Madison, Wisconsin which killed the renowned soul singer Otis Redding and members of the Bar-Kays on Dec. 10, 1967. Alexander will continue to play the bass for the band. He and Dodson will continue to manage the band.
“Chris J is a constant professional, and we wouldn’t give him the keys to the car if he couldn’t drive,” said Alexander.
The evening of funk kicked off at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 with electrifying performances by The Original Lakeside, Cherrelle, Brick, Yarbrough and Peoples, Steve Arrington of Slave, Rose Royce, and The Bar-Kays.
The event was co-hosted by nationally celebrated journalist Roland Martin and author Katrina Walker.
“It was an amazing night of music and fun. I was happy to be a part of it and to see the BarKays’ baton passed to a new generation,” said Martin.
“I saw a happy Memphis and the funk did not allow anyone to sit down,” said Walker.
The history-making event attracted the attention of the entertainment industry and fans from across the country, as many was in the city of Memphis to celebrate The Bar-Kays as they transition to a new era as Dodson passed the torch to the new lead singer live on stage.