Jefferson Starship is an American rock band that was popular in the 1970s and 1980s. It evolved from a science fiction-themed Paul Kantner concept album entitled Blows Against the Empire which was issued before the first break-up of the original Jefferson Airplane who called themselves Jefferson Starship. The band redefined their music with more of a hard-rock edge. In 1984, they renamed themselves Starship, releasing three studio albums before manager Bill Thompson finally dismantled the band in 1990. Kantner began performing again in 1991 with Tim Gorman and Slick Aguilar of the KBC Band, calling themselves "Paul Kantner's Wooden Ships". As the band continued to add more members, Kantner renamed the band Jefferson Starship once again.
In June 1984, Paul Kantner, the last remaining founding member of Jefferson Airplane, left Jefferson Starship, and then took legal action over the Jefferson Starship name against his former bandmates. Kantner settled out of court and signed an agreement that neither party would use the names "Jefferson" or "Airplane" unless all members of Jefferson Airplane, Inc. agreed to it (Bill Thompson, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady). The band briefly changed its name to "Starship Jefferson" while legal proceedings occurred, but ultimately the name was reduced to simply "Starship".
The next album, Knee Deep in the Hoopla was released in October 1985 and scored two #1 hits. The first was "We Built This City", written by Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis Lambert, and Peter Wolf; the second was "Sara". No previous incarnation of the band had ever had a #1 hit. The album itself reached #7, went platinum, and spawned two more singles: "Tomorrow Doesn't Matter Tonight" (#26), and "Before I Go" (#68).
In 1987, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" was featured in the film Mannequin and hit #1, although only Slick and Thomas (plus Craig Chaquico's guitar solo) appeared on it. At that time, the song made Slick the oldest female vocalist to sing on a number-one Billboard Hot 100 hit, at the age of 47. She held this record until Cher broke it at the age of 52, in 1999 with "Believe".) The following year, the band's song "Wild Again" (which reached #73 on the Billboard singles chart) was used in the movie Cocktail.
Starship's No Protection was not released until well after "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" (its most popular single) had peaked on the charts, but still went gold; in addition to "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" (#1), it featured the singles "It's Not Over ('Til It's Over)" (#9), and "Beat Patrol" (#46). The last song on the album, "Set The Night To Music", would later become a huge hit when re-recorded as a duet between Roberta Flack and Maxi Priest. For the No Protection tour, Brett Bloomfield was brought in to replace Sears and Mark Morgan was their new stage keyboardist.
In 1992, Kantner established Jefferson Starship - The Next Generation, a group that would, at times, include various former Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship members, to tour and perform. After the first couple of years, the band dropped the use of "The Next Generation", and now perform as Jefferson Starship.
As of 2008 Jefferson Starship continues to tour with a lineup of Paul Kantner (vocals, guitar), David Freiberg (vocals, guitar), Cathy Richardson (vocals), Slick Aguilar (lead guitar), Chris Smith (keyboards) and Donny Baldwin (drums). The band sometimes features guest musicians such as Balin, Gould, Gorman and former Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten. [wikipedia]