Foreigner is a hard rock band formed in New York City in 1976 by veteran musicians Mick Jones and Ian McDonald, along with then unknown vocalist Lou Gramm (Louis Grammatico).
The band is led by British journeyman rocker Mick Jones (former member of Nero and the Gladiators, Spooky Tooth, and The Leslie West Band) who in early 1976 met with ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald and formed Foreigner with Lou Gramm, Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood, and Ed Gagliardi as a sextet.
The band's debut album Foreigner sold more than four million copies in the United States and stayed in the Top Twenty for a year with such hits as "Feels Like the First Time", "Cold as Ice", and "Long Long Way From Home". Their sophomore effort, Double Vision, topped their previous selling five million records and spawned "Hot Blooded" and title track "Double Vision". Their third album, Head Games, is a more back-to-basics effort, which Gramm refers to as their "grainiest" album. This album was also successful due to the thunderous "Dirty White Boy" and another title track hit "Head Games".
1980 brought personnel changes so that now the band was a quartet and Rick Wills played bass. Gagliardi reportedly fainted when he was dismissed from the band. He and Greenwood went on to the failed band Spys.
Foreigner's next album, aptly named 4, was their biggest hit containing "Jukebox Hero", "Waiting for a Girl Like You", and "Urgent". Their next album, Agent Provocateur, released in 1984, gave them their only #1 hit, a gospel-inspired ballad backed by the New Jersey Mass Choir, "I Want to Know What Love Is". In the late 1980s Jones and Gramm each put out solo efforts and the band went on hiatus. But in 1987 Foreigner regrouped and released Inside Information; spawning hits such as "Say You Will" and "I Don't Want To Live Without you". But then, reportedly due to the egos of Gramm and Jones the band, once again, dissolved.
In 1990 Mick Jones reformed Foreigner with a new lead vocalist, Johnny Edwards. This edition of Foreigner released the album Unusual Heat in 1991. This was their worst selling album and only climbed as high as #117 on the Billboard 200, although "Lowdown and Dirty" was a minor mainstream rock hit. But by 1992, however, Lou Gramm rejoined Foreigner and produced, the band's second greatest hits album, "The Very Best and Beyond". Three years later Foreigner released what was supposed to be the band's comeback album, Mr. Moonlight. This album fared even worse than Unusual Heat due to the rising popularity of alternative and grunge rock, although the ballad "Until the End of Time" was a minor hit. The reformed band stayed together through the hard times and toured throughout the United States until 2002.
In 2003, Gramm again left Foreigner to embark on another solo career and formed the Lou Gramm Band. Jones, the only remaining original member of Foreigner, decided to reform the band once again, and hired Kelly Hansen to replace Gramm as lead vocalist for the group in 2005.