Starship (also known as Jefferson Starship) is an American rock band formed in the early 1970s. The band has undergone several major changes in personnel and genres through the years while retaining the same Jefferson Starship name. The current Jefferson Starship, led by co-founder Paul Kantner, more closely resembles its original mix of psychedelic and electric folk music than the pop-driven tunes it was widely known for in the early to mid-1980s.
Starship would be a spin-off of Jefferson Starship featuring former co-lead singer Mickey Thomas and Grace Slick. In 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. The band briefly changed its name to Starship Jefferson while legal proceedings occurred, but ultimately the name was reduced to Starship.
In 1985, Knee Deep in the Hoopla was released and scored two No.1 hits, "We Built This City", and "Sara". The album itself reached #7, went platinum, and spawned two more singles: "Tomorrow Doesn't Matter Tonight" , and "Before I Go". The band had not had a No.1 hit record since the original Jefferson Starship released Red Octopus in 1975.
In early 1987, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" was featured in the film Mannequin and hit #1, although only Slick and Thomas 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. The following year, the band's song "Wild Again" was used in the movie Cocktail. Starship's No Protection was not released until well after "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" had peaked on the charts, and featured the singles "It's Not Over ('Til It's Over)", and "Beat Patrol".
In 1988, Grace Slick left Starship and joined the reformed Jefferson Airplane for one album before announcing that she was retiring from music. With Slick's departure, Thomas became sole lead singer. The revamped lineup released Love Among the Cannibals in 1989. After the Cannibals tour wound up in 1990, Chaquico, the last remaining original Jefferson Starship member, handed in his notice. Thomas attributes the comparative lack of commercial success of the last album to the interruption of the tour, among other factors.
Thomas revived Starship in 1992 as "Mickey Thomas' Starship" before settling on Starship featuring Mickey Thomas with different personnel and has toured steadily ever since.