One Baytonian will make his musical return home when he steps onto the city’s biggest stage for a 4th of July performance.
Robert Louis Bell, known simply as R.L., will kick off the second day of celebrations at Bicentennial Park when he performs at 4 p.m. with his band R.L. and DeepSoul.
“It’s a blessing for one thing. It’s a blessing to be able to come back to Baytown and give back,” Bell said. “I was raised here, so just being able to come back is exciting, but to perform for the city’s biggest event is even better.”
R.L. and DeepSoul will perform popular songs from the likes of Prince, Lionel Richie and even Willie Nelson. Bell said he even plans to perform a song with students from each of the three high schools.
“It’s really exciting to be able to be part of this event in Baytown,” Bell said. “A lot of people are enthusiastic about the kind of music we will be performing out there, and I just really want to do well.”
As a solo artist, Bell has classified himself as jazz and R&B, and some have compared his stylistic resemblance to Luther Vandross.
Bell has shared his talents as a contestant on America’s Got Talent (eliminated in the Judge Cuts portion of the show), has appeared on several TV shows such as Gimme the Mike, Karaoke Battle USA and performed on the game show Family Feud.
Bell started out singing like many in the church at the age 3, alongside his brothers. Since his father is a practicing reverend and his mother is a church musician, the Bell brothers would sing at Thompson Chapel Church in Baytown and McGowen Temple in McNair. His parents also encouraged him to enter singing competitions and talents shows.
Bell is a graduate from Robert E. Lee High School, where he was in the high school band. He was a massage therapist during his time on America’s Got Talent but is focusing on his entertainment career.
Bell released his debut album in 2001, called Love Songs, but said he’s working on another album that could be released soon.
“I play all sorts of genres because I believe every genre tells a different story,” Bell said.
For more information about Bell, visit his RL Bell Facebook page.