Grammy goes to Tennessee State band for gospel album

The Tennessee State University Marching Band, The Aristocrat of Bands, picked up a Grammy on Sunday night.

Less than a year after crafting a gospel album, the Tennessee State Aristocrat of Bands has won a Grammy for its album “The Urban Hymnal.”

The album won a Grammy in the Best Gospel Roots Album category on Sunday night. 

“The Urban Hymnal” was produced by gospel star “Sir The Baptist” and executive produced by legendary producer Dallas Austin. It was recorded back in 2022 and released that fall.

The album was conceptualized at Tennessee State homecoming 2021 by “Sir The Baptist.”

“It was definitely homecoming that just reminded me that the culture of Black people and music and HBCUs, all of that coming together was really amazing,” he told HBCU Gameday last summer. “I saw then that it was needed for the gospel community as well. So all of this music, R&B, hip hop, everything comes from gospel. It’s what kept us from the cotton fields to wearing the finest cotton. It’s kind of helped us get through it all.”

Sir then reached out Austin, and the rest is history. 

“After I came to the game, I was just like, man, I got to get Dallas on this. Because he hasn’t touched marching bands since Drumline. Like he needs to get back on this. And it just happened to be the 20th anniversary of Drumline, so he jumped in, Prof came down to meet him at his house. Once we all met, he loved Prof and the band and all of that, so he jumped straight in and helped us move the project along as well.”

“Every single Friday, he drove from his home to Nashville. Every Friday. He brought in guests. Dallas joined us for several calls. So he was very much locked in, but Sir was definitely dedicated out of this world,” assistant band director Larry Jenkins told HBCU Gameday.

And now, that collaboration has resulted in popular music’s highest honor.

Grammy goes to Tennessee State band for gospel album
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