Take 6 (1980- )

Take 6
Take 6

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A cappella doo-wop, gospel sextet Take 6 was formed on the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Seventh Day Adventist campus of Oakwood University in 1980 in Huntsville, Alabama. The ensemble’s repertoire includes jazz, doo-wop, Contemporary R&B, Negro Spirituals, and Classical European genres of music.

Trombonist/ tenor Claude McKnight, a freshman musician at the time (born October 2, 1962, in Brooklyn, New York), invited fellow schoolmates to audition for a performance. Eventually he selected bass Alvin Chea, tenor Cedric Dent, baritone Khristian Dentley (who later replaced Dent), tenor Mark Kibble, baritone Mervyn Warren, tenor Joel Kibble (who later replaced Warren), and tenor David Thomas.

Take 6’s first album Take 6 was released in 1988 on Reprise Records and slod more than one million copies. They followed with a string of gospel hits in the 1990s: in 1990 it was “IL-O-V-EU” from the album So Much 2 Say which peaked at no.19 on the Billboard R&B chart. Two singles off the 1994 album Join the Band, “Biggest Part of Me” and “All I Need” reached no. 36 and 89 on the R&B chart. In 1995, “You Can Never Ask Too Much” from the same album only reached no. 103 on the R&B and “You Don’t Have to Be Afraid” from the 1997 album Brothers peaked at no. 113 R&B, suggesting that their popularity was declining.

Nonetheless, on June 30, 2001, Take 6 was invited to the White House by United States President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush for a Black Music Month celebration.

Take 6 has been the recipient of a Soul Train Award, two NAACP Image Awards, 10 Dove Awards, and 10 Grammy Awards, which includes the “Best R&B Performance by A Duo or Group” for their single “Love’s in Need of Love Today” in 2002. Also, the ensemble received nominations in the R&B, gospel, pop, and jazz categories.

Take 6 established its own label, Take 6 Records in 2006, and soon released their album Feels Good on it. In 2014 Take 6 was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.