Sounds of Blackness
is a Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...
-winning vocal and instrumental
An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics or singing, although it might include some non-articulate vocal input; the music is primarily or exclusively produced by musical instruments....
ensemble from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota who perform music from several genres music including gospel, R&B, soul, and jazz. The group scored several hits on the Billboard R&B chart and Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the 1990s. One of the group's current members is Cynthia Johnson
Cynthia Maria Johnson is an African American singer, best known to many as the lead singer for the late 1970s/early 1980s band Lipps Inc.-Beginnings:...
, who rose to fame with Lipps, Inc.
The group was founded in 1969 by Russell Knighton at Macalester College
Macalester College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It was founded in 1874 as a Presbyterian-affiliated but nonsectarian college. Its first class entered September 15, 1885. The college is located on a campus in a historic residential neighborhood...
in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the group was called the Macalester College Black Voices. It was in 1971 when current director Gary Hines
Gary Hines was a Canadian politician, who was elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in the 2003 provincial election. He represented the electoral district of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank as a member of the Progressive Conservatives....
took leadership over the ensemble, and the group name was officially changed to Sounds of Blackness (SOB). The group had acquired local celebrity status throughout the years though never signed with a record company because of various reasons including the fact that many companies were not comfortable with the group's name. Some companies even suggested to Hines that the group's name be changed to "The Sounds of Music."
The chief lead singer of the group was Ann Nesby
Ann Nesby is an American R&B, gospel, and dance music singer and actress. She is the former lead singer of Sounds of Blackness; a songwriter with credits including hits sung by Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight; plus she co-starred in the 2003 romance musical The Fighting Temptations with Cuba...
until 1995 when Nesby left the group to pursue a solo career. The group continues to perform internationally.
Awards and honors
The group has received three Grammy Awards, four Stellar Awards
The Stellar Awards is the first Gospel Music Awards show in the country, honoring Gospel Music Artists, writers, and industry professionals for their contributions to the Gospel Music Industry. The Stellar Awards ranks high in status as the only Gospel Music television awards program syndicated in...
, one Emmy nomination, the International Time for Peace Award, the International Dance Music Award and five NAACP Image Award
An NAACP Image Award is an accolade presented by the American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to honor outstanding people of color in film, television, music, and literature....
Sounds of Blackness's "Time For Love" was nominated for the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards
The Independent Music Awards is an international program that honors top-ranked independent artists and releases in more than 50 Album, Song, Music Video and Design categories....
for R&B Song of the year.
- The Evolution of Gospel
The Evolution of Gospel is the critically and commercially acclaimed studio album by the Sounds of Blackness, released May 7, 1991, on A&M Records. It has been widely praised for its use of multiple genres of African-American music, including gospel, spirituals, blues, ragtime, jazz, R&B and hip hop...
- The Night Before Christmas...A Musical Fantasy (Perspective, 1992)
- Africa To America - The Journey Of The Drum (Perspective, 1994)
- Time For Healing (Perspective, 1997)
- Reconciliation (Zinc, 1999)
- Soul Symphony (Sounds Of Blackness, 2002)
- The Night Before Christmas II (Atomic K, 2004)
- Unity (SLR/Lightyear, 2005)
- Kings & Queens - Message Music From The Movement (P-Vine, 2007)
- The 3rd Gift - Story, Song & Spirit (CC Entertainment, 2009)
- Journey Of The Drum Remix Collection (Perspective, 1995)
- The Very Best Of Sounds Of Blackness (A&M, 2001)
- The Collection (Spectrum, 2003)
- The Best Of Sounds Of Blackness - The Millennium Collection (20th Century Masters) (A&M, 2007)
- Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix
Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix is a 2004 tribute album featuring various artists performing the music of Jimi Hendrix.-Track listing:...
(Image Entertainment, 2004)
- Grammy Awards of 1992
The 34th Grammy Awards were held on February 26, 1992. They recognized accomplishments by musicians from the previous year . Natalie Cole was the big winner winning three awards including Album of the Year.-Award winners:*Record of the Year...
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart