Kool and the Gang

*When news broke that R&B band Kool & the Gang had been chosen to open for rock group Van Halen on their current tour, fans of both bands were left scratching their heads.

“We’re not that worried about it,” co-founder Robert “Kool” Bell tells Billboard.com. “We had big hits in the 80s, and so did they. They’ve been kind of like a party band on the rock side, with their audience, and their audience is 60 percent female and we have songs like ‘Ladies’ Night’ and ‘Celebration’… and our audience is at least 80 percent a pop audience.

“Most of the time we have a crowd that’s 80 percent white. Plus we do a lot of international dates with Def Leppard, Meat Loaf, Uriah Heep, Chicago, Elton John…A lot of people don’t know that ’cause they don’t really see it.

“So I think we’ll survive.”