One of the top selling rock bands of all-time will make a stop at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines Sunday night. Since 1976, Foreigner has sold more than 70 million albums. Today, the only original member still in the band is guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones. Kelly Hansen became the band’s lead singer in late 2005.
"They basically sent me a karaoke CD, which was a bunch of Foreigner hits, and said put your voice on it," Hansen said. A short time later, Hansen was hired. Now, he’s singing all the hits sung by Lou Graham, Foreigner’s original lead singer. Hansen says he never intentionally tries to sound like Graham.
"I guess if I’m singing the same material, some people are going to relate that to sounding like Lou," Hansen said. "I think that we have similar timbre in our voices and I think that’s one reason I might be a good match for the band, but I’m definitely not trying to be someone else. I’m just being me." Since Hansen joined the band, Foreigner’s been on a nearly nonstop tour.
In the last three years, the band has played in 35 countries on five continents. Hansen says Foreigner’s set at the Iowa State Fair will definitely include hits like Head Games, Cold As Ice and Juke Box Hero – but will also inclued a newly release single, titled "Too Late."
The song is part of a two C-D Foreigner retrospective released in July. The album is called "No End in Sight." The opening act for Sunday’s 8 p.m. show is Night Ranger.