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HSRA nominated with Sounds of Blackness for 48th Annual NAACP Image Award

Posted December 15, 2016

HSRA and Sounds of Blackness hit song gains national recognition

High School for Recording Arts had the great fortune to partner with Grammy Award winning Sounds of Blackness to create a song called Royalty that put forth a message of positive African American history, image and identity. Royalty has now achieved national recognition by being nominated for two NAACP Image Awards in the categories of “Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration” and “Outstanding Song - Contemporary”. Within these categories, we will be competing against the best of popular music, including Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars and Common!


Now that we have been bestowed with this incredible honor, we are privileged with the task of bringing four HSRA students/graduates who were featured on Royalty to the NAACP Image Award ceremonies on February 10-11, 2017 in Los Angeles. Our students' presence at the ceremony will be a once in a lifetime experience. It will also be a great opportunity for them to speak to the nation and world about not only their experience working with Sounds of Blackness and the other partners that were a part of this project, but also about their experience attending a leading public charter high school that is transforming the lives of young people, most of which would not have graduated from high school, but now, instead, each possessing an acceptance from a college or university!


Please support our effort to bring our students to the NAACP Image Award ceremonies. The cost for each student is approximately $2000 (event $500; hotel $500; airfare $500; clothes, food, etc. $500) for a total of $6000. We will certainly make all contributors proud when you see our students and graduates live on television representing the best of the Image Awards. You will be even more proud when they take the stage as winners thanking you and all their supporters! Thank you!!!!

You can make your donation through the PayPal Giving Fund with 100% of your gift benefitting High School for Recording Arts. You will also receive a tax deductible receipt of donation.

Make Checks Payable to:


High School for Recording Arts

1166 University Avenue West

Saint Paul, MN 55105 USA

RE: Image Awards


Thank you for your support!


Tony Simmons

Executive Director

High School for Recording Arts



High School for Recording Arts (HSRA), a St. Paul public charter high school, is pleased to announce that its collaboration with 3-time Grammy Award-winning music group Sounds of Blackness on the hit song ‘Royalty’ has resulted in two 48th Annual  nominations for Best Contemporary Song and Outstanding Group Duo Collaboration.  'Royalty' was made possible by Minnesota Legacy and Heritage Fund in collaboration with KMOJ Radio.  The nominees were announced today in Los Angeles, California.  

Winners will be announced during the two-hour star-studded event hosted by Anthony Anderson, which will broadcast LIVE on TV ONE on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 9pm/8c as a two-hour special. A 90-minute pre-show will air live from the red carpet at 7:30pm/6:30c.

Over 200 HSRA students and staff members sat mesmerized on Tuesday afternoon in an impromptu all-school assembly as HSRA executive director, Tony Simmons, and HSRA school founder, David “T.C.” Ellis, announced the national award nomination to the student body.  “This award is indicative of what every one of you is capable of,” Ellis stated to a jubilant audience.  

“The Image Awards is the premier showcase for art and advocacy reflecting the depth and diversity of the African-American experience. It is an American prism through which we see a breadth of culture d color reflected in film, television, music and literature in ways that reveal our shared humanity. At a moment when America is so divided, the Image Awards represents an hour that brings us together,” stated Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO, NAACP.

"Royalty" will be competing in the same category with such luminary artists as Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Common and Bruno Mars!  Executive Director Tony Simmons stated to the students how they deserve to be in the same space as those artists since they too are superstars! He also went on to thank our collaborators Sounds of Blackness, Rock the Cause Inc. 501c3 and Professor Mahmoud El-Kati.