Formed in 1967, signed in 1971, and fronted by iconic vocalist Kevin Cronin since 1972, REO Speedwagon is a band where the main constant over the decades is a never-ending desire to give their all to their fans, year in and year out.
Formed loosely in the late ‘60s at college in Champaign, IL, REO (named after the precursor to the light truck) rode to gigs in station wagons, hopping from small gigs to even tinier gigs, just to get their name out. It worked, as fans quickly realized there was much more going on here than your average college party band.
By the early ‘70s, the band’s unrelenting drive, as well as non-stop touring and recording, jumpstarted the burgeoning rock movement in the Midwest. It carved a path that was eventually followed by Styx, Kansas, Cheap Trick, and more. Platinum albums and freeform FM radio staples such as “Ridin’ The Storm Out” followed, setting the stage for 1980’s explosive Hi Infidelity (received the Recording Industry Association of America®’s 10X Diamond Award for surpassing sales of 10 million units in the U.S.). REO rode the top of the charts with a RIAA-certified 22 million albums sold in the U.S. and 40 million around the globe, with a string of gold and platinum records and international hit singles.
In 1994, when many rock bands of their era had either broken up, or were feeling like their days were numbered, the REO team came up with a co-headline tour concept that breathed new life into the world of touring. The “Can’t Stop Rockin’” amphitheater tour featuring Fleetwood Mac, REO, and Pat Benatar was a huge success and blazed the trail for the very popular co-headline tours that are seen nationwide today.