Lots of acts go solo, but for every George Michael (of Wham!) success, there’s an Andrew Ridgeley (of Wham!) flop. But here are some singers who did so well that they left their formerly well-known bands in the dustbin of history.
Ray Parker, Jr.
Before hits like “The Other Woman” and the #1 hit theme song from Ghostbusters, Parker fronted a late ‘70s R&B group called Raydio. The group scored four gold albums and three top 10 hits, including “Jack and Jill” and “A Woman Needs Love.”
Oddly enough, Watley won the Best New Artist award at the 1987 Grammys…but she was hardly new. Over the previous decade, she’d been the singer in the pop group Shalamar. That band recorded seven albums (including two that went gold) and scored 15 hits on the R&B chart. After all that, Watley struck out on her own.
He’s a staple of soft rock radio for hits like “On the Wings of Love.” But before that, he was the lead singer of the soul band LTD, who had a #4 hit in 1977 with “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again.”
The hard rock icon (and outspoken weapons-rights advocate) began his career in the 1960s with the psychedelic band the Amboy Dukes. They had one real hit, a pro-drug song called “Journey to the Center of the Mind.” Nugent, who has claimed to never do drugs, was young and naïve and at the time thought the song was about “reflection.” Nevertheless, he left the group behind for a hard rock solo career in the ‘70s with hits like “Cat Scratch Fever.”