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Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honors The Chi-Lites with Hollywood Walk of Fame star

Last month the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored Chicago’s The Chi-Lites with a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star. Hollywood Chamber Chair of the Board Nicole Mihalka was the emcee for the event, and guest speakers were actor Jimmie Walker and radio personality Jeff Fox.

According to the Hollywood Walk of Fame website, the star was dedicated in the category of  ”Recording.”The star was accepted by Marshall Thompson, the founder of The Chi-Lites, who was joined by the current touring group: Tara Thompson, Fred Simon, Warren Tipton and Mack Miller. Former original Chi- Lites, now deceased, Eugene Record, Robert “Squirrel” Lester and Creadel “Red” Jones were also remembered.

“We are taking it ‘Old School’ with the iconic group, The Chi-Lites! We take great pride in our Recording category, and this is our chance to show off to the world the many musical legends that we honor on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame,” stated Ana Martinez, Producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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MARSHALL THOMPSON POSES with his plaque during the ceremonies held in Hollywood, California.

The Chi-Lites History: It started in 1959 at Hyde Park High School when Marshall Thompson formed a vocal group called the “Hi-Lights” in his hometown of Chicago with fellow members Eugene Record, Robert “Squirrel” Lester and Creadel “Red” Jones. After releasing several singles on local labels, the group changed their name in 1964 to “Marshall &The Chi-Lites.”

By the time the group changed their name to The Chi-Lites in 1969, they were signed by Nat Tarnopol and Carl Davis to Brunswick Records, where they would soon become international superstars.

The Chi-Lites
CHICAGO CRUSADER ENTERTAINMENT Editor, Elaine Hegwood Bowen, second from right, and Regina Alexander pose with The Chi-Lites after the group performed in the mid-70s on the South Side.

Between 1969 and 1974, The Chi-Lites scored eleven Top Ten singles on the Billboard R&B charts, with hits like “Have You Seen Her,” “Give It Away,” “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People,” “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So),” “A Letter To Myself,” “The Coldest Days of My Life,” “Stoned Out Of My Mind,” “Oh Girl” and 37 other Billboard-charted singles throughout their career. During the 1970s, The Chi-Lites were featured on television shows such as “Soul Train,” “American Bandstand,” “The Midnight Special,” “Sammy and Company,” the “BBC’s Top of the Pops,” and the very popular “Flip Wilson Show,” where they debuted their #1 pop smash “Oh Girl.” All of The Chi-Lites’ hits were written or co-written by lead singer Eugene Record, who would also become Brunswick’s Vice President of A&R.

In 2000, The Chi-Lites were inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame followed by their induction into Vocal Groups Hall of Fame in 2004. They have also appeared on screen in the 1996 feature film “Original Gangsters” with Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, Pam Grier, and Richard Roundtree, as well as the 2003 docu-movie “Only The Strong Survive” by Miramax films. Their music is currently featured in the MAC Cosmetics-Cruella campaign.

Search for walkoffame.com/thechilites to view a video from the event.

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