Only the best music artists make it to the Grammys! Check out the Mormons who have won a Grammy Award or been nominated.
1. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Photo from mormontabernaclechoir.org
We're used to hearing them sing at general conference, but did you know the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has won a Grammy Award and was nominated for four more?
The choir, which started recording in 1910, won a Grammy Award in 1959 for Best Pop Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus for their rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Since then, the choir has been nominated for four more Grammys:
1967: "Bless This House," Best Classical Choral Performance
2007: Spirit of the Season, Best Classical Crossover Album
2007: Spirit of the Season, Best Engineered Album, Classical
2009: Noel (Josh Groban, featuring the choir), Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Over the years, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has had 12 albums hit #1 on one or more of Billboard's "Classical," "Classical Crossover," and "Christian" charts, including This Is the Christ, Glory! Music of Rejoicing, Heavensong: Music of Contemplation and Light, He Is Risen, and Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends.
Watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform "Battle Hymn of the Republic" in the video below:
2. Gladys Knight
Photo courtesy of Gladys Knight
The legendary "Empress of Soul," who joined the Church in 1997, has won seven Grammy Awards over the span of her epic musical career.
Knight began singing at age 4, and at just 7 years old had her first taste of fame when she won Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour TV show contest in 1952. The next year, she, her sister Brenda, her brother Merald, and cousins Eleanor and William Guest formed a musical group called the Pips—named after her cousin, James “Pip” Woods.
After some changes in band members, Gladys Knight & the Pips eventually enjoyed several hit singles, including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Friendship Train,” “I Don’t Want to Do Wrong," R&B chart-topper “Midnight Train to Georgia,” as well as “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination,” and “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.” The group amicably disbanded in 1989, with the Pips retiring and Knight embarking on a successful solo career. (They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.) During her time with the Pips, Knight won three Grammy Awards:
1973: "Midnight Train to Georgia," Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group, or Chorus
1973: "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye), Best Pop Vocal Performance bya Duo, Group, or Chorus
1988: "Love Overboard," Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
As a solo artist, Knight won three more Grammy Awards:
1986: "That's What Friends Are For," Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
2001: At Last, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album
2004: "Heaven Help Us All," Best Gospel Performance
When Knight joined the Church in 1997, her desire to add “a little something” to Church music eventually inspired her to create an all-volunteer, multicultural LDS choir that would bring a new level of energy and cultural awareness to traditional hymns. The choir, called the Saints Unified Voices, is comprised of more than 100 people and has a two-fold purpose. First, they aim to spread the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ by providing an opportunity for people who wouldn’t otherwise enter an LDS meetinghouse to feel the Spirit. Second, they desire to help members of the Church embrace the cultural diversity of people worldwide coming into the Lord’s kingdom.
“Never in a million years did I ever dream that I would be the director of a choir like this—one that showcases the energy, the fire, and the heart of the music of our culture,” she told LDS Living.
Gladys Knight & the Saints Unified Voices won a Grammy Award in 2005 for Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album for their album One Voice.
Though choirs abound worldwide, only one is directed by the renowned singer and entertainer Gladys Knight--The Saints Unified Voices. With the sole purpose of spreading the light, joy, and inner peace that can only come through Jesus Christ, Gladys Knight directs the choir (affectionately known as the 'SUV' choir) with vigor, leading the audience on an extraordinary adventure of music and testimony reflective of the choir's cultural diversity.
Begun in 2002 and based in Las Vegas, Saints Unified Voices travels the country to share its message and music with enthusiastic audiences.