Tennessee State University’s marching band has made history as the first HBCU marching band to win a GRAMMY award. The Aristocrat of Bands scored two gramophones in the category of “Best Roots Gospel Album” for The Urban Hymnal, and for their feature on J. Ivy’s “The Poet Who Say By The Door.”
TSU is also nominated for “Outstanding Gospel/Christian Song” and “Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album” for the 54th annual NAACP Image Awards, set to air on Feb. 25. The Urban Hymnal was co-produced by songwriter/producer Dallas Austin, artist/songwriter/producer Sir the Baptist and TSU professor Larry Jenkins.
“You see the Grammy’s, You see the NAACP Image Award nominations, all of these amazing things that are expanding the culture, expanding the brand,” stated Professor Larry Jenkins, Assistant Band Director, per WSMV 4.
“This means a lot as well because it’s rooted in the culture. You have the highest award in music, and in this culture, that we’ve been able to tap into,” he added.
Although all members of the band weren’t present at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles to receive the award, Sir the Baptist accepted the award on their behalf. See below.
“These kids worked so hard,” he expressed. “And to be honest with you guys, HBCUs are so grossly underfunded, to where I had to put my last dime in order to get us across the line. My cousin got us across the line, even when I gave all. We’re here with our pockets empty, but our hands aren’t!”
Jenkins also added his sentiments with praise for his students, “Your hard work and dedication created the pen that allowed you to write your own page in the history books. We all know we made history, but this is also February. We also made Black history.”
On Sunday (Feb. 5) TSU held a GRAMMY watch party. Students and staff jumped with joy as the Aristocrats of Bands’ name was called as the winner in the respective categories. “AOB! AOB!” the students chanted.
“This win was so important to us, because not only — yeah, this time it’s TSU,” Sir the Baptist elaborated. “Next time, it needs to be all HBCUs, right?”
Check out TSU’s marching band receiving their first GRAMMY award above.
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