Music database


Claude McKnight

born on 2/10/1962 in Brooklyn, NY, United States

Claude V. McKnight III

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Claude V. McKnight III

Claude V. McKnight, III is a Jazz, R&B, and Gospel Music Singer, as well as the founding member of the award-winning a cappella performing group Take 6.[1][2]

Early Life

Claude was born on October 2, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York to Claude Jr. and Elaine. He was the oldest of four boys (the others being Fred, Mike, and Brian). He lived and grew up primarily in Buffalo and Orlando. He received his earliest musical influences in Buffalo, mostly from his grandfather, Fred Willis Sr., who was the choir director at his church. His earliest musical memories are from going to rehearsal with his mom every Friday night. He was able to learn parts and harmonize and see how his grandfather was able to lead a group of people.

While in fourth grade, McKnight decided that he would learn to play the trombone, although he found it cumbersome. Playing the trombone, however, enabled him to start training his ear for his future musical career. He played trombone throughout high school, and after his sophomore year, his family moved to Orlando, Florida, where he continued to play and sing in the chorus. At that time, one of his goals was to play in the Tonight Show band with Doc Severinson. McKnight also played basketball in school, and upon graduation had to make the choice of going to school to play ball, or to pursue music. Instead, he chose to attend Oakwood College, his parents' alma mater, despite the college not being known for its music or athletic programs at that time. His youngest brother Brian is also a musician.

Take 6

One of the first things he did during his freshman year was to put together a freshman quartet, singing mostly barbershop style harmonies. A story goes that Mark Kibble came into a bathroom where they were rehearsing and added a fifth part to what they were doing, and subsequently joined the group. From there, Mervyn Warren joined the group, making it a sextet. Over the years, people came and went from the group as students graduated, but from 1985 the group has had primarily the same lineup, apart from Joey Kibble replacing Mervyn Warren in 1991.

In addition to starting Take 6, he has also been involved in producing, writing, and doing voice-over work.

Musical Influences: The Singers Unlimited, The Hi-Los, Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, The Yellowjackets, Brian McKnight, The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan


  1. Ginell, Richard S.. [Claude V. McKnight III at All Music Guide Biography: Take 6]. Allmusic. Retrieved on 3 May 2010.
This page was last modified 25.01.2012 05:47:01

This article uses material from the article Claude V. McKnight III from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.