Peabo Bryson Performs with the Columbus Symphony Tonight, 7/21

Over the course of a career spanning more than 40 years, the two-time Grammy winner has amassed a fan base, critical acclaim, Gold albums, and an avalanche of awards. From ballads of sweet soul music such as "Feel the Fire" and "I'm So Into You" to the chart-topping hits such as "If Ever You're in My Arms Again" and "Can You Stop the Rain" to the Oscar-winning duet collaborations with Celine Dion ("Beauty and the Beast") and Regina Belle ("A Whole New World"), Bryson has proven himself the consummate vocal professional.

The 2012 Nationwide Insurance Picnic with the Pops presents Peabo Bryson at the Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion in the Columbus Commons (160 S. High St.) tonight, July 21, at 8pm.

Tickets are $23 for adults when purchased in advance by phone at 614.228.8600, online at, or in person at the Ohio Theatre Ticket Office (39 E. State St.). Adult tickets are $25 at the gate on the night of the show. Tickets for children ages 3-14 are always $8 regardless of when or where they are purchased. Children 2 and under are free.

Central Ohio Kroger Ticketmaster locations will offer Picnic with the Pops tickets at a discounted price of $20 for adults. The $8 children's tickets are also available for purchase at these locations.

This world-renowned balladeer got his start as a star of the traveling revues. In 1976, Bryson released his debut LP, Peabo. Nearly all the songs were composed by Bryson (some with the great Thom Bell), a young Luther Vandross was among the background vocalists, and film star Tamara "Cleopatra Jones" Dobson graced the back jacket.

With back-to-back Gold albums Reaching for the Sky (1977) and Crosswinds (1978), he pentrated the hearts of soul fans everywhere with the title tracks as well as "Feel the Fire" and "I'm So Into You." He was paired with Natalie Cole for the 1979 project, We're the Best of Friends, and a year later with Roberta Flack for the double-LP Live & More. Bryson delivered four more albums before making a second album with Flack titled Born to Love, a Gold-seller that featured the smash hit "Tonight I Celebrate My Love" (Top 5 R&B and #16 Pop). That led to four more albums, the second of which featured the crossover smash hit "If Ever You're in My Arms Again" (Top 10 Pop and R&B).<

In 1989, Bryson's album All My Love earned him his first R&B #1 sing with a remake of the late Al Wilson's "Show & Tell." He hit the top of the R&B chart a second time with "Can You Stop the Rain," the title track of his R&B chart-topping album.

But it was two songs for Disney animated films that earned Bryson his two Grammys, and the songs won two Oscars. The first was 1991's "Beauty and the Beast" with international pop singer Celine Dion which also topped the pop chart. The next year, Bryson earned Gold and a Grammy with the Oscar-winning song "A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme)" with Regina Belle.

Since these two milestones, he has been eve more sought after as a guest vocalist and duet partner, resulting in work with Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga on "We Kiss in The Shadows" (#1 on the Classical Crossover Chart from a new recording of The King and I score), Melissa Manchester's "Lovers After All," Kenny G's "By the Time This Night is Over" (from the chart-topping contemporary jazz CD, Breathless), and Jim Brickman's "My Heart Belongs to You."

Bryson has also since starred on stage in the lead role in Raisin, as the Wizard in The Wiz, and was featured in the Michigan Opera's 100th anniversary production of Porgy and Bess. He also released three Christmas CDs of music he's performed for several years in the annual touring holiday extravaganza The Colors of Christmas.

After the 1999 release of Unconditional Love, Bryson took an eight year hiatus before releasing Missing You, the 20th soul album of his career, in 2007. With his tremendous crossover success, he has transitioned into "a whole new world" of international acclaim.