The Tennesee State marching band and Beyonce now have something in common.
They both are Grammy Award winners.
“Aristocrat of Bands” won the award for Best Roots Gospel Album at Sunday’s pre-telecast ceremony in Los Angeles for “The Urban Hymnal.” They were the first marching band to win in the category.
“Hymnal” was co-produced by songwriter/producer Dallas Austin, artist/songwriter/producer Sir the Baptist and TSU professor Larry Jenkins.
While accepting the award, Sir the Baptist praised the band’s efforts.
“These kids worked so hard,” he said. “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 spoke about the historical significance of the honor for HBCUs.
“Your hard work and dedication created the pen that allowed you to write your own page in the history books,” he said. “We all know we made history, but this is also February. We also made Black history.”