Vocalist Rai Ragland is a professional singer/songstress with a vast repertoire of songs from the: 60's 70's, 80's, 90's and includes the songs of today. Her main focus is in the genres of: R&B, Jazz, and Pop.
Hailing from Northern New Jersey, vocalist Rai Ragland began singing at the age of eight. It was during her early years that she was inspired and encouraged by her Mother along with her Music Teacher/Mentor, Ms. Edith Philips in Jersey City, NJ; to pursue her singing talent as a professional singer.
Her true progression as a Professional Singer, began when she was 15 years of age. Her mother encouraged her to audition for a well known local Music Touring Production Troupe called the “Soul-Town Review” where she sang as a lead singer with the backing band called the “Soul-Town Band” now known as “Kool and The Gang”.
Here is where she gained the experience, that developed her talent of performing live in front of large audiences on a constant and professional level.
During her teenage years she met, fell in love, and later married her late husband of 30+ years, the lead guitarist of the “Soul-Town Band/Kool & The Gang“, Claydes(Charles)Smith(although at that time while still teenagers, the band was evolving from various names into finally Kool & The Gang, changing their direction from jazz to funk.).
With marriage, and with the arrival of children, she voluntary stepped away from the stage and placed her focus primarily on her family as to the raising of their children and supporting her late husbands' successful music career as he traveled the world performing their many well known top charting hits(Celebration, Ladies Night, Jungle Boogie, Cherish, Joanna, Summer Maddness, Hollywood Swinging, etc).
As time passes by, and the children grown(mission completed) she has returned to the stage well preserved and in rare form producing first class/top-notch performances.
Now a residing in the Atlanta, Ga. Metro Area, she is featured with her own band, under the direction of Band Leader/drummer Vernard (“Sticks”) Hoover, performing at various venues which includes but not limited to: Festivals, Hotels, Night Clubs, Country Clubs along with Private Events, and is periodically featured on the Comcast Cable TV Show “Atlanta Jazz & Blues”.
Known for her smooth supple voice , her distinctive style, and unique performances, she is a song-stylist, that utilizes, the Classic and the Contemporary musical styles in her arrangements of: Jazz, Pop, and R&B favorites in the musical genre of ‘Smooth Adult Contemporary” music.