Donnie Iriswas born as Dominic Ierace in Ellwod City, Pennsylvania. Donnie is an American rock star who began singing at the age of five at weddings and by the age of eight he was singing on local television and entering talent contests. After his voice changed he began playing the drums but later started singing again. He was a self taught guitar player and formed his first band called Donnie and The Donnells when he was in college.
Donnie is well known for his work with The Jaggerz and Wild Cherry in the 1970's. He is also known for his solo’s in the 1980's. He wrote the number 2 Billboard hit, The Rapper. He was also a member of the group, Wild Cherry after they released the number one hit, Play That Funky Music. Iris released five solo albums in the 1980's and is still releasing new material. He tours the Ohio River valley area and maintains many loyal fans.
Donnie first got his national notoriety when he was the lead singer of the group, The Jaggerz. After they broke up he toured with Wild cherry. It was at this time that he met his partner, Mark Avsec, who was playing keyboard for Wild Cherry. The group broke up when they failed to have any more hits after a decade. Donnie and Mark began writing songs together. They released, Bring On the Eighties and Because of You, in 1979 but they did not get much attention. They then formed a band with three other members and called themselves Donnie Iris and The Cruisers. The band was together for about five years. Their first album was, Back On the Streets, and was released in 1980 on the Midwest Records label. MCA noticed the band after their first release and signed them to a five album deal. They also went on tour to promote their album in the summer of 1981. Their followup album, King Cool, was released in 1981 and took the band to even higher success. Their singles, My Girl, Love is Like a Rock, and Sweet Merilee all hit the Billboard Hot 100. Donnie got the nickname King Cool from this album. The album itself charted at number 84. The album they released one year later was, Fortune 410. It contained the hit single, Do You Compute?.
Donnie Iris and The Cruisers celebrated their 25th anniversary with a new album, 25 Years, and they performed live at the Chevrolet Amphitheatre in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The album was released in 2001. The group is one of few that has lasted for this long. They have left their mark in the music world and continue to record. Their newest album, Elwood City, was released in 2006. Wonder what is next in store for Donnie Iris and The Cruisers?
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