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A cappella sensation TAKE 6 defies category. The instantly recognizable and irrepressible GRAMMY and Dove Award winners are a perfect representation of what Duke Ellington called “Beyond Category.” TAKE 6 has earned the distinct honor of “the most GRAMMY nominated vocal group in history,” and is truly unique in their sound: Six angelic and refined voices united in crystal clear harmony, against a rip tide of syncopated rhythms, ornate arrangements, and funky grooves that bubble into an intoxicating brew of gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop flavor.
The TAKE 6 story began in 1980 at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, when Claude McKnight formed a quartet known as the Gentleman’s Estate Club. When tenor Mark Kibble heard the group rehearsing in the campus bathroom, he joined in the harmonies and performed on stage with the group that same night. Mervyn Warren joined shortly after, and they briefly took the name of Alliance, performing locally for several years, as older members graduated and new voices arrived on campus.
In 1987, the group signed with Warner Brothers and changed their name to TAKE 6. The group's swinging, harmony-rich gospel sound attracted a flurry of attention, and the group went on to record or perform with numerous jazz luminaries, including Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder.
The group added instrumentation to their purely a cappella sound beginning with the 1991 holiday release, He Is Christmas. Since that time their albums have included guest appearances by R&B luminaries Aaron Neville and Brian McKnight (Claude's brother), as well as veteran jazzmen George Benson, Al Jarreau and Jon Hendricks. "While we sing lyrics that always exemplify our spiritual and moral convictions, what we really are at the core is a jazz vocal group," says Dave Thomas, a member of the Take 6 lineup since 1985.
To date, TAKE 6 has won 10 GRAMMY Awards, 10 Dove Awards, one Soul Train Award, received two NAACP Image Award nominations, and holds the distinct honor of being the most GRAMMY nominated vocal group in history.