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Jeffrey Osborne remembers paying dues early in his career: “10 of us lived in a one-bedroom place”


Kevin Winter/ImageDirectNow in his fifth decade as a recording artist, Jeffrey Osborne has a new album, Worth It All, and he feels his sacrifices were “worth it all,” including living with his entire band in an apartment designed for one person.

In the early ’70s, he drove cross-country from New York City with his group, LTD. 

“We got to L.A. finally, and 10 of us lived in a one-bedroom place,” the four-time Grammy nominee tells Osborne remembers the band was lucky to survive the trip.  

“In Flagstaff, Arizona, the U-Haul flipped and broke the bumper and went down the side of a mountain,” he recalls. “We’re sitting there, with no money, trying to figure out how we’re going to repair this car and get the U-Haul trailer back up the hill.”

LTD toured with The Gap Band, and the “On The Wings of Love” singer says he has great admiration for the band’s former leader, Charlie Wilson. 

“I have so much respect for him, to see him shining like he is now,” the 70-year-old singer says. “There’s a lot of guys from that era still doing it, but there’s not a lot of them that still sound good. I pay homage to people like Charlie.”

Osborne left LTD in 1980 to launch his solo career, but while he was still with the band, he recalls one of his favorite tours was in 1979, when they opened for The Jacksons, right after Michael Jacksonreleased Off the Wall.

“He would do 30 minutes with the Jacksons, then come out and do Off the Wall,” Osborne says. “I’d never worked with anybody that big in terms of the fanatic frenzy that he created. I watched people throw themselves on top of his limo.”

Osborne is currently on tour through September 14 in Dallas.

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