Sounds of Blackness is a vocal and instrumental ensemble from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota who perform music from several genres music including gospel, R&B, soul, and jazz. The group scored several hits on the Billboard R&B and Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts in the 1990s. Cynthia Johnson of Lipps Inc. and Ann Nesby are the group's most prominent alumni.
The group was founded in 1969 by Russell Knighton at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the group was called the Macalester College Black Voices. It was in 1971 when current director Gary Hines took leadership over the ensemble, and the group name was officially changed to Sounds of Blackness.
The group has received three Grammy Awards, four Stellar Awards, one Emmy nomination, the International Time for Peace Award, the International Dance Music Award, five NAACP Image Award nominations and 1 NAACP Image Award.
Sounds of Blackness's "Time For Love" was nominated for the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards for R&B Song of the year.
Sounds of Blackness has been honored with a star on the outside mural of the Minneapolis nightclub First Avenue, recognizing performers that have played sold-out shows or have otherwise demonstrated a major contribution to the culture at the iconic venue. Receiving a star "might be the most prestigious public honor an artist can receive in Minneapolis," according to journalist Steve Marsh.