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Ruth Eckerd Hall welcomes Air Supply on Jan. 8.

CLEARWATER — Multi-platinum recording artists Air Supply will perform Friday, Jan. 8, 8 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater.

Tickets are priced at $100, $70 and $50. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.

In May 1975 — on the first day of rehearsals for “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Sydney, Australia — Graham Russell met Russell Hitchcock and they became instant friends with their common love for The Beatles and singing. After each day’s performance, they would play pizza parlors, coffee bars and night clubs with just one guitar and two voices. They quickly gained a reputation for great harmonies and for original songs that Graham was constantly writing.

They made a demo on a cassette featuring the songs “Love and Other Bruises” and “If You Knew Me.” They shopped it around to every record company in Sydney. They met with plenty of rejection until they found someone at CBS Records who admired their unique style.

In one afternoon, they recorded a single. It shot to No. 1 on the national charts. Air Supply was born.

Later that same year, Russell and Hitchcock were opening for Rod Stewart across Australia and then throughout the U.S. and Canada playing all of the famous huge venues. The tour introduced them to legions of new fans, but they still found it difficult to break into the U.S. market.

Returning to Australia, Air Supply recorded their record “Life Support,” featuring songs such as “Lost in Love” which went Top 10 in Australia and somehow found its way to music industry executive Clive Davis in New York.

Davis immediately signed Air Supply to Arista Records and in 1980, “Lost in Love” became the fastest selling single in the world, leaping to the top of all of the charts. Now Air Supply was on their way. The second single was “All Out of Love,” and that went up the charts even quicker.

Seven top-five singles later, Air Supply at that time had equaled The Beatles’ run of consecutive top five singles. The albums “Lost in Love,” “The One That You Love,” “Now & Forever,” and “The Greatest Hits” sold in excess of 20 million copies. “Lost in Love” was named Song of the Year in 1980, and, with the other singles, sold more than 10 million copies.

Air Supply is constructed around the trademark sound of Hitchcock’s soaring tenor voice and Russell’s simple yet majestic songs. Their live performances mesmerize audiences around the world. They were the first Western group to tour China, Taiwan, and countless other countries that before would not allow pop music across their borders. In 1983, they recorded “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All” by Jim Steinman which solidified the group as a permanent force in modern music. This song was released on the “Greatest Hits” album which soared past 7 million copies.

In May 2010, the long-awaited album “Mumbo Jumbo,” also the duo’s first studio recording in eight years, was released. Among the 14 tracks, released by Odds On’s label, was the first single “Dance With Me,” which earned Air Supply a prominent feature article in Billboard magazine titled “Still Supplying The Hits After 35 Years.”

Just weeks after composer and vocalist Graham Russell was honored with a BMI Million-Air Certificate recognizing 3 million performances of the duo’s hit “All Out of Love,” Air Supply’s new song was the No. 1 most added track on the FMQB AC40 Chart and also one of the most added on the R&R (Radio and Records) AC Chart as well as the Mediabase AC chart.

The duo continues to play more than 150 shows a year worldwide including stops in England, Ireland, Israel, Philippines, Korea, Japan, Canada, the U.S. and beyond. In 2014, the band released their first high definition live concert film, “Air Supply – Live in Hong Kong.”