Take 6

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Take 6
Take 6 performs at the White House.jpg
Take 6 performs for U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush during a Black Music Month celebration at the White House on June 30, 2001.
Background information
Origin Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.
Instruments Voice (vocal bass, vocal percussion, mouth trumpet)
Years active1985–present
Website www.take6.com
  • Alvin Chea
  • Khristian Dentley
  • Joey Kibble
  • Mark Kibble
  • Claude V. McKnight III
  • David Thomas
Past members

Take 6 is an American a cappella gospel sextet formed in 1980 on the campus of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama. [1] The group integrates jazz with spiritual and inspirational lyrics. Take 6 has received Grammy Awards well as Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award and nominations for the NAACP Image Award. The band has worked with Ray Charles, Nnenna Freelon, Gordon Goodwin, Don Henley, Whitney Houston, Al Jarreau, Quincy Jones, k.d. lang, Queen Latifah, The Manhattan Transfer, Brian McKnight, Luis Miguel, Marcus Miller, Joe Sample, Ben Tankard, CeCe Winans, and Stevie Wonder. All original members grew up in the Seventh-day Adventist church. [1]

Gospel music is a genre of Christian music. The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. Gospel music is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, and as an entertainment product for the marketplace. Gospel music usually has dominant vocals with Christian lyrics. Gospel music can be traced to the early 17th century, with roots in the black oral tradition. Hymns and sacred songs were often repeated in a call and response fashion. Most of the churches relied on hand clapping and foot stomping as rhythmic accompaniment. Most of the singing was done a cappella. The first published use of the term "gospel song" probably appeared in 1874. The original gospel songs were written and composed by authors such as George F. Root, Philip Bliss, Charles H. Gabriel, William Howard Doane, and Fanny Crosby. Gospel music publishing houses emerged. The advent of radio in the 1920s greatly increased the audience for gospel music. Following World War II, gospel music moved into major auditoriums, and gospel music concerts became quite elaborate.

Oakwood University university

Oakwood University is a private, historically black Seventh-day Adventist university in Huntsville, Alabama. It is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Huntsville, Alabama City in Alabama, United States

Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County and south into Morgan County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 census. Huntsville is the third-largest city in Alabama and the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area, which at the 2013 census estimate had a total population of 683,871. The Huntsville Metropolitan Area's population was 417,593 in 2010 to become the 2nd largest in Alabama. Huntsville metro's population reached 441,000 by 2014.



Oakwood College years

In 1980, Claude McKnight, older brother of R&B musician Brian McKnight, formed an a cappella quartet, The Gentlemen's Estates Quartet, at Oakwood College (now Oakwood University), a Seventh-day Adventist university in Huntsville, Alabama, where he was a freshman. He auditioned students for the group. While rehearsing in a campus bathroom to prepare for a performance, Mark Kibble heard them singing. He joined the harmonizing, adding a fifth part with them onstage that night. [2] Kibble invited Mervyn Warren to join the group, which performed under the name Alliance. Alliance performed in local churches and on campus with a changing roster of members. In 1985, the lower half of the group (bass, baritone, and second tenor) left after graduating. Alvin Chea, Cedric Dent, and David Thomas joined.

Seventh-day Adventist Church Protestant Christian church founded in 1863

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination which is distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the seventh day of the week in Christian and Jewish calendars, as the Sabbath, and its emphasis on the imminent Second Coming (advent) of Jesus Christ. The denomination grew out of the Millerite movement in the United States during the mid-19th century and it was formally established in 1863. Among its founders was Ellen G. White, whose extensive writings are still held in high regard by the church.

Mervyn Warren American singer

Mervyn Edwin Warren is an American film composer, record producer, music conductor, music arranger, lyricist, songwriter, pianist, and vocalist. Warren is a five-time Grammy Award winner and a 10-time Grammy Award nominee. Warren has written the underscore and songs for many feature and television films and has written countless arrangements in a variety of musical styles for producers Quincy Jones, David Foster, Arif Mardin, and dozens of popular recording artists, including extensive work on Jones' Back on the Block,Q's Jook Joint, and Q: Soul Bossa Nostra.


The band signed a contract with Warner Alliance [3] in 1987 and changed its name to Take 6 after a search revealed the name "Alliance" was in use. Their eponymous debut album (1988) won Grammy Awards in the gospel and jazz categories and three Dove Awards. They contributed to the film Do the Right Thing and sang on the album Back on the Block by Quincy Jones. The band's second album, So Much 2 Say (1990) appeared on the gospel, jazz, and R&B charts of Billboard magazine. The band then signed with Reprise. [3] In 1991, after the release of So Much 2 Say, Mervyn Warren left the group to pursue a career as a record producer and was replaced by Joey Kibble, Mark Kibble's younger brother. The group added instrumentation to their a cappella sound on the album He Is Christmas.

Warner Alliance was a Contemporary Christian imprint of Warner Music Group. Its operations were suspended in 1998. Artists on the label included Steve Taylor, Kim Boyce, Michael English, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Caedmon's Call, Sarah Jahn, Donnie McClurkin, First Call, Wayne Watson, Take 6, Mid South, and The Worldwide Message Tribe. Albums released on the label are now controlled by Word Entertainment.

<i>Do the Right Thing</i> 1989 film by Spike Lee

Do the Right Thing is a 1989 American comedy-drama film produced, written, and directed by Spike Lee. It stars Lee and Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, and Samuel L. Jackson, and is the feature film debut of Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez. The story follows a Brooklyn neighborhood's simmering racial tension, which culminates in tragedy on a hot summer day.

<i>Back on the Block</i> 1989 studio album by Quincy Jones

Back on the Block is a 1989 studio album produced by Quincy Jones. The album features legendary musicians and singers from across three generations, including Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul, Ice-T, Big Daddy Kane, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick, Barry White, Chaka Khan, Take 6, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Al B. Sure!, James Ingram, El DeBarge, Ray Charles and a 12-year old Tevin Campbell.

In 2006 the group started the label Take 6 Records; Feels Good, the first album on their new label, was released the same year. In 2007, they recorded with Eros Ramazzotti for his album ("Eros al quadrato"). A year later Take 6 released The Standard, which ventured into more traditional jazz territory.

Eros Ramazzotti Italian musician and singer-songwriter

Eros Walter Luciano Ramazzotti is an Italian musician, singer and songwriter. Ramazzotti is popular in Italy and most European countries, and throughout the Spanish-speaking world, as he has released most of his albums in both Italian and Spanish.

<i>e²</i> (album) 2007 greatest hits album by Eros Ramazzotti

is a greatest hits album by the Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti, released in Europe and Latin America on 26 October 2007. This is his fourteenth album, and his second greatest hits album after Eros in 1997. The first single released from the album was "Non siamo soli", a vocal duet with the Latin singer Ricky Martin.

Believe (Sono, 2016), produced by Claude Villani and Ross Vannelli, charted in six categories on Billboard in its first two weeks of release. [4] Iconic (Sono, 2018), produced and arranged by the band, was its first album to chart at No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart.[ citation needed ] The first singe was a cover version of "Change the World" by Eric Clapton and debuted on the Contemporary Jazz Song chart in the top 30. The second single, "Sailing", is a cover of the Christopher Cross classic.

Change the World 1997 single by Eric Clapton

"Change the World" is a song written by Tommy Sims, Gordon Kennedy, and Wayne Kirkpatrick whose best-known version was recorded by the English singer Eric Clapton for the soundtrack of the 1996 film Phenomenon. The track was produced by R&B record producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. The Clapton release, recorded for Reprise and Warner Bros. Records, reached the Top 40 in twenty countries and topped the charts in Canada, as well as Billboard magazine's Adult Contemporary and Adult Top 40 charts in the United States. The single won eight awards, including three Grammy Awards at the 39th annual ceremony in 1997.

Eric Clapton English musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist

Eric Patrick Clapton, is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". He was also named number five in Time magazine's list of "The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players" in 2009.


Tenor is a male voice type in classical music whose vocal range lies between the countertenor and baritone. The tenor's vocal range extends up to C5. The low extreme for tenors is roughly A2 (two As below middle C). At the highest extreme, some tenors can sing up to the second F above middle C (F5). The tenor voice type is generally divided into the leggero tenor, lyric tenor, spinto tenor, dramatic tenor, heldentenor, and tenor buffo or spieltenor.

A baritone is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice types. Originally from the Greek βαρύτονος (barýtonos), meaning heavy sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C (i.e. F2–F4) in choral music, and from the second A below middle C to the A above middle C (A2 to A4) in operatic music, but can be extended at either end. The baritone voice type is generally divided into the baryton-Martin baritone (light baritone), lyric baritone, Kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble baritone, and the bass-baritone.




1988 Take 6 714138 Warner Alliance US: Platinum
1990 So Much 2 Say 722282Warner Alliance
1991 He Is Christmas 10084 Reprise
1994 Join the Band 861717RepriseUS: Gold
1996 Brothers 71Reprise
1998 So Cool 928Reprise
1999 We Wish You a Merry Christmas Reprise
2000 Tonight: Live  Reprise
2002 Beautiful World 14 Warner Bros.
2006 Feels Good 10Take 6 Records
2008 The Standard 62 Heads Up
2010 The Most Wonderful Time of the Year 7040
2012One15 Shanachie
"—" denotes that a release did not chart


Video releases

1992All AccessWarner RepriseVHS
2009 Michael McDonald – A Tribute to Motown [Live]E1 EntertainmentGuest

Awards and nominations

Grammy Awards

1988Best Soul Gospel Performance – Duo, Group, Choir or ChorusTake 6Won
1988Best Jazz Vocal Performance – Duo or Group"Spread Love"Won
1988Best Gospel Performance – Duo, Group, Choir or Chorus"The Savior Is Waiting"Won
1988New ArtistNominated
1989Best Jazz Vocal Performance – Duo or Group"Like the Whole World's Watching"Nominated
1990Best Contemporary Soul Gospel AlbumSo Much 2 SayWon
1991Best Jazz Vocal PerformanceHe Is ChristmasWon
1992Best Jazz Vocal Performance"I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"Nominated
1994Best Contemporary Soul Gospel AlbumJoin the BandWon
1994Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance - Duo or Group"Biggest Part of Me"Nominated
1995Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance - Duo or Group"All I Need (Is a Chance)"Nominated
1996Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s)"When You Wish Upon a Star"Nominated
1996Pop Vocal Group"When You Wish upon a Star"Nominated
1996Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s)"When You Wish Upon a Star"Nominated
1997Contemporary Soul Gospel AlbumBrothersWon
1997R&B Group Vocalist"You Don't Have to Be Afraid"Nominated
1999Contemporary Soul Gospel AlbumSo CoolNominated
2002Contemporary Gospel Album of the YearBeautiful WorldNominated
2002Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals"Love's in Need of Love Today" (with Stevie Wonder)Won
2003Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)Comes Love (with Gordon Goodwin and Brian McKnight)Nominated
2004Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals"Moon River" (with Stevie Wonder)Nominated
2009Best Gospel Performance"Shall We Gather at the River"Nominated
2009Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)"Grace"Nominated
2009Best Jazz Instrumental Solo"Seven Steps to Heaven"Nominated

GMA Dove Award wins

1988Contemporary Gospel AlbumTake 6
1988Group of the Year
1988Contemporary Gospel Song"If We Ever"
1988New Artist of the Year
1990Contemporary Gospel Song"I L-O-V-E You"
1990Contemporary Gospel AlbumSo Much 2 Say
1990Contemporary Gospel AlbumHe Is Christmas
1992Contemporary Gospel AlbumHandel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration
1994Contemporary Gospel AlbumJoin the Band
1996Special Event AlbumTribute: The Songs of Andrae Crouch (various artists)

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