By Harry Colbert, Jr., Managing Editor
Mint Condition, the preeminent soul R&B band of the past 25 years, was nominated for a 2017 Grammy in the category of Best R&B Album for the LP, “Healing Season,” and the soulful trio, KING, earned a nomination in the category of Best Urban Contemporary Album for its first full-length project, “We Are King.”
The two groups with a shared lineage will find out if they bring home the Grammy hardware on Feb. 12.
For each, this is not their first experience with the Grammys, but in previous years those experiences were shared, whereas this time around the groups are being recognized solely for their independent efforts.
“It’s always wonderful to get nominated and to have been in this business for 25 years and still be relevant; it’s a blessing,” said Mint Condition bass player, writer and vocalist, Ricky Kinchen. “We’ve been able to have Top 10 records in three straight decades, so that along with this latest recognition is amazing.”
Mint Condition was previously nominated for a Grammy for “Not My Daddy,” a song that appeared on albums of both Kelly Price and Mint Condition.
In one of the most anticipated albums ever, KING’s “We Are King” lived up to the hype, earning the group its second Grammy nomination. KING earned a Grammy for its contribution to Robert Glasper Experience’s “Black Radio,” which took home the trophy for Best R&B Album in 2012.
Comprised of Minneapolis natives, Paris Strother and Amber Strother, and Los Angeles native, Amber Bias, KING took the soul music world by storm in 2011 with the group’s three-song EP release, “The Story.” The EP caught the attention of many, including his royal badness himself, Prince, who took the trio of young ladies under his wing. Prior to his death in April, KING had plans to perform with Prince at Paisley Park. Paris Strother said earning a Grammy nomination for the long-awaited project further validates the group’s decision to not rush the project.
“We’re so thrilled. It feels so amazing, especially as indie artists. The album was made in our home studio, completely independently written, recorded, produced, released and self-funded,” said Paris Strother, who was touring in Tokyo at the time of the announcement. “I found out on Twitter because my phone kept getting notifications. (It’s) such a surreal moment, I didn’t believe it at first.”
Paris Strother said with the nomination KING is living up to Prince’s dream for the group.
“One of the first things Prince said to us was that he wanted us to get the Grammy for the album, and we’re so proud that he got to hear the finished version before he so sadly departed,” said Paris Strother. “It’s incredible to think that his intention for us could be coming true.”
To bring home the trophy KING is competing witgh reigning queen and princess – Beyoncé and Rihanna – who are nominated in the category along with Anderson .Paak and Gallant.
Alongside Mint Condition; BJ the Chicago Kid, Lalah Hathaway, Mya and Terrace Martin are vying for Best R&B Album.