Creators of some of the smoochiest, most romantic ballads of all time, the Commodores' sentimental sound is still heard regularly at a certain time in the evening when the slow dances are played at weddings and parties. The group originally met as freshmen at Tuskegee Institute in 1968, their funky style impressing so much on a tour supporting the Jackson 5 that they were signed by the Motown label. Originally called The Jays (the changed their name to avoid confusion with the O'Jays) the line-up featured Lionel Richie and Water Orange as co-lead vocalists and, through the mid-1970s, the group were primarily noted for upbeat dance material like Movin' On and Brick House. Then they hit upon the smooth, close harmony ballads for which they're now best-known, resulting in the 1977 smash Easy and, the following year, Three Times A Year - a Number 1 all over the world. Richie left in 1982 and with various other personnel changes, the group continued with former Heatwave singer J.D. Nicholas sharing vocals with Orange. In 1986 they won their first Grammy Award for Nightshift, and have managed to remain a popular live act right through to the present day.