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Take 6 History

Take 6

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Based in: Nashville, United States.

Members: Joey Kibble, Alvin Chea, Mark Kibble, Claude McKnight, David Thomas, Khristian Dentley
Former Members: Mervyn Warren, Cedric Dent


Back in 1980, Claude McKnight formed an a cappella quartet, The Gentlemen's Estate Quartet, at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, where he was a freshman. He auditioned fellow students for the hobby group. The Gentlemen were rehearsing in a campus bathroom, getting ready for a performance, when Mark Kibble walked by and heard them singing. He joined the harmonizing, adding a fifth part, and ended up singing with them onstage that very night. Mark later invited Mervyn Warren to join the group, and the sound of Take 6 was born. Although the sonic structure was now firmly in place, the name was not; the group performed under the moniker "Alliance."

The group performed in local churches and on campus over the next years, with members changing due to college's inevitable comings and goings. In 1985, the lower half of the group (bass, baritone, and second tenor) left upon graduating. At that time, Alvin Chea, Cedric Dent, and David Thomas joined.

The group was signed to Warner Brothers, Nashville in 1987, and quickly changed its name to "Take 6" after a name search revealed that "Alliance" was already being used. Their eponymous debut album, released in 1988, won them two Grammy Awards and resulted in top ten appearances on both the Billboard Contemporary Jazz and Contemporary Christian Charts. Take 6's swinging, harmony-rich gospel sound attracted a flurry of attention, and the group went on to record or appear with a number of luminaries, including Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder. In 1991 Mervyn Warren left the group to pursue a career as a producer, and Joey Kibble, Mark's younger brother, was invited to round out the vocal lineup. The group added instrumentation to their purely a cappella sound beginning with the record "So Much To Say"; "He Is Christmas," "Join The Band" and "Brothers" continued their streak of success, and Take 6 amassed a total of seven Grammys and eight Dove awards, as well as topping the Downbeat Magazine's Reader's and Critic's poll for seven years' consecutively!

Take 6's 1998 release, "So Cool," brings the group back to its a cappella origins. The group will be touring worldwide beginning in October, and will be appearing on various television entertainment programs as well as high-profile commercials ("Gatorade" with Michael Jordan, as well as others). This is the tenth anniversary of their first release, and from their modest beginnings as an a cappella gospel group to their current status as multiple Grammy Award winners, Take 6 has redefined the standards for vocal music. Indeed, the vocal group craze that's currently sweeping the R&B world was touched off in part by the revelatory emergence of Take 6 in 1988. Hot contemporary R&B acts like "Boyz II Men" and "Coming of Age" cite Take 6 as a major influence. The group themselves, never content to rest on their substantial laurels, continues to grow and evolve; one of the members even earned his Doctorate in Music! Their talent, hard work and Christian faith has earned them their place as one of the most enduring and best-loved groups in all a cappella.

Awards
1988 - Grammy Winner - Best Gospel Performance by a Group - Take 6
1988 - Grammy Winner - Best Jazz Vocal Performance Group - Spread Love
1990 - Grammy Winner - Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album - So Much 2 Say
1991 - Grammy Winner - Best Jazz Vocal Performance - He is Christmas
1994 - Grammy Winner - Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album - Join the Band
1997 - Grammy Winner - Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album - Brothers
2002 - Grammy Winner - Best R&B Performance by Group with Vocal