Take 6

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Take 6
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]



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.


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.

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.

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.





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)


  1. 1 2 Ostling, Richard N. (March 20, 1989). "Religion: Evangelism And All That Jazz". TIME. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  2. "Take 6 Contemporary Christian A Cappella Group". Singers.com. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  3. 1 2 Ginell, Richard S. "Take 6". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  4. "Take 6 Believe scores big on the Billboard charts during debut week". sonorecordinggroup.com. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  5. 1 2 Richard S. Ginell. "Take 6 | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved December 24, 2013.