City of Inkster creates sign in honor of ‘The Funkateers’ dance trio

Dance group had all of the right moves

These guys were big business back in the day. The legendary dancing group, The Funkateers, will forever go down in Detroit history. But they’re finally getting the recognition they deserve in their hometown of Inkster.

INKSTER, Mich. – The group of five to six dancers called The Funkateers changed the landscape of dance in the ‘80s.

Today, three of the original members, Michael Kelly, Ed Miller, and Tony Warren, are all brushing the snow off of a new sign that’s just been created in their honor.

“It feels so good,” said Kelly. “I can’t even describe it in words, to just be immortalized. We’re so honored, so humbled, so unbelievably blessed.”

But before all of the success came, the group initially got together for a talent show at Inkster High School.

“It just took off,” Kelly said. “We won the talent show, and that night we were asked to do a cabaret at the DAV Hall on Jefferson in Detroit, and we did that. It was so amazing that we made $500 at 19 years of age. And he said he wanted to manage us, so that started the ascend right there.”

From there, the group made multiple appearances on the classic Detroit TV show, “The Scene,” throughout the show’s existence.

“It was beautiful to have a dance that we made up, and it was the same dance as our group name,” said Miller. “The Funkateer was just a different dance, leg movements, all this, stuff like that.”

“It was kind of like a culture that evolved right here from Inkster,” said Warren.

Sadly, one member would pass away, leading to the city of Inkster to take a closer look at the legends it helped to create.

“Feels like he’s having a conversation with God saying ‘bless my boys God. Keep it up for them,’” Kelly said. “And we’re also missing a couple of the other guys. Tony Lacey and Jeffery Healey, they’re a part of the group also.”

Despite that, their legacy lives on.

“We were always told we were ahead of our time,” Warren said. “We brought a unique style, and we paved a lane that wasn’t there before we got there.”

The Funkateers would like to thank the city of Inkster, especially the mayor, for helping to make the dedicated sign possible.

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.