Lou Gramm PhotoFirst rising to prominence as the frontman for platinum-selling hard rock combo Foreigner, Lou Gramm later mounted a successful solo career, cracking the Top Five in 1987 with "Midnight Blue." Born in Rochester, NY on May 2, 1950, Gramm first surfaced as the drummer with the band Black Sheep, assuming lead vocal duties prior to recording the group's self-titled 1975 Capitol debut; although neither the album nor its follow-up Encouraging Words earned much mainstream notice, they did capture the attention of journeyman guitarist Mick Jones, best known for his stint with a latter-day incarnation of Spooky Tooth.

Jones soon tapped Gramm to front his new group Foreigner, and together they began writing songs, co-authoring the smash "Cold as Ice" from their best-selling 1977 eponymous debut LP. Gramm's powerfully distinctive vocals were inescapable in the years to follow as Foreigner reeled off an impressive series of pop radio hits including "Hot Blooded," "Double Vision," "Urgent," and "Waiting for a Girl Like You," culminating in 1984's chart-topping power ballad "I Want to Know What Love Is." With Foreigner on hiatus, Gramm made his solo debut in 1987 with Ready or Not, scoring a major hit with "Midnight Blue"; that same year, Foreigner issued Inside Information, but with the success of the 1989 solo effort Long Hard Look and its attendant single "Just Between You and Me," the singer left the group to form his own band, Shadow King, which released its self-titled debut on Virgin in 1991.

Shadow King proved short-lived, however, and in 1994 Gramm and Jones revived Foreigner for Mr. Moonlight. In the spring of 1997, on the eve of the band's planned Japanese tour, Gramm was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor; surgery preceded a year of rehabilitation and radiation treatment, although the singer made a full recovery and resumed touring in 1999. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide