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Jackson, MS –Malaco Music Group Recording Artists The Sounds of Blackness receives two NAACP Image Awards Nominations for Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration and Outstanding World Music Album for their self-titled, current CD. NBC will broadcast the 43rd NAACP Image Awards, a live, two-hour special on Friday, February 17 (8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET) that will showcase the best achievements and performances of people of color in the arts featuring a star-studded lineup of performers, winners and presenters.

The Sounds of Blackness have been bringing hope and inspiration to people through its music globally for the past four decades. The group has awed audiences on five continents with the depth and breadth of its artistry, covering all forms of African-American music from gospel and soul to jazz, R&B, reggae, hip-rop, rock and blues, to ragtime, field hollers, work songs and traditional spirituals. As Sounds of Blackness celebrates 40 years of music and inspiration, the group offers a superb self-titled 15-track CD that is a dazzling showcase for its all-encompassing musicality.

The five-time NAACP Image Award nominees’ latest album focuses on the themes of reconciliation and healing. “Music can be our primary method, mode and means of avoiding annihilation and achieving peace,” explains group’s founder, Gary Hines. “Music is God’s perfect form of communication, because what comes from the heart reaches the heart. What comes from the soul reaches the soul and what comes from the spirit reaches the spirit.”

The Sounds of Blackness is filled with material that celebrates life and offers encouragement during trying times. In addition to serving as executive producer for the album, Hines was co-producer on most of the tracks on the project. However, like all of the group’s projects, it was a collective effort.

Over the past 20 years, the group’s accomplishments include garnering three Stellar Awards, one Soul Train Award, five NAACP Image Award nominations, an Emmy nomination, three GRAMMY Awards and five GRAMMY Award nominations. They’ve performed at the White House on five separate occasions and have been seen performing before more than one billion people worldwide on televised events such as the 1996 Olympics, the 1994 World Cup and the 1998 World Figure Skating Championships.

The list of artists with whom the group has performed or recorded includes: Quincy Jones; Stevie Wonder; Sting; Santana; Eric Clapton; Usher; Elton John; Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber; Aretha Franklin; Anita Baker; Dolly Parton; Vince Gill; Bob Dylan; Patti LaBelle; Earth Wind & Fire; Shirley Caesar; Yolanda Adams; Kirk Franklin; Kenny G; Lena Horne; Isaac Hayes; Little Richard; B.B. King; Johnny Mathis; Billy Crystal; Robin Williams; Jim Carrey; Whoopi Goldberg; Robert Duvall; Maya Angelou and many others.

Reflecting on the past four decades, founder Hines says, “To quote the Gospel song, ‘How I Got Over,’ my soul looks back and wonders…I know it’s by the grace of God that Sounds Of Blackness has thrived, and it’s incomprehensible to me that as an original member, it’s been forty years.”

Now proud to be associated with Malaco Music Group, whose commitment to black music in its many forms also stretches back over decades, The Sounds Of Blackness present a self-titled album that is a fit for the challenging times, while offering energy, optimism, compassion, and as always, giving praise. “This ranks amongst our best work,” says Hines proudly. “We’re incredibly excited about it. Lyrically, musically and thematically, it’s on time and it embodies the spirit of togetherness, healing, Ubuntu and inspiration that is at the heart of who we are.”

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