The world of HBCU bands never gets old. In fact, it’s getting better. Song selections are getting more diverse. Band directors and arrangers are getting ever more creative.

And it’s for that reason, for the third consecutive year, that the arduous task of selecting the 20 best cover songs performed by HBCU marching bands was so unbelievably challenging.


After seeking input from social media outlets and select HBCU message board communities, we began the process of reducing a list that initially consisted of over 70 songs.

As subjective as the process may be, knowing that everyone isn’t going to agree with the final results, the ultimate goal was to recognize the very best performances of the 2017 marching band season. We think we’ve managed to come up with a pretty compelling list of performances.

Top 20 Cover Songs of 2016 by HBCU Bands

Top 10 Cover Songs of 2015 by HBCU Bands

Below are the top 20 cover songs of 2017 performed by HBCU bands.

20. Alcorn State, “All I Do Is Think of You” (Troop)

19. Talladega College, “Redbone” (Childish Gambino)

18. Grambling, “Rockstar” (Post Malone)

17. Jackson State, “Versace on the Floor” (Bruno Mars)

16. Prairie View A&M, “Location” (Khalid)

15. North Carolina A&T, “Week/Rain” – Medley (SWV)

14. Texas Southern, “Whatever You Need” (Meek Mill, feat. Chris Brown & Ty Dolla $ign)

13. Jackson State, “Love Galore” (SZA)

12. Tennessee State, “Red Light Special” (TLC)

11. Alabama State, “Congratulations” (Post Malone)

10. Southern, “Dreamin'” (Vanessa Williams)

9. Miles College, “Nothing Even Matters” (Lauren Hill, feat. D’Angelo)

8. Bethune-Cookman, “Back In My Arms” (Jaheim)

7. North Carolina A&T, “Love Under New Management” (Nikki Howard)

6. Norfolk State, “I Can’t Wait” (Outkast, feat. Sleepy Brown)

5. Miles College, “F***in With Me” (Tank)

4. Jackson State, “Flight 76’” (Walter Murphy)

3. Southern, “The Weekend” (SZA)

2. Southern, “Going The Distance” – from the movie, “Rocky” (Bill Conti)

1. Miles College, “Perfect Praise” (Walt Whitman & The Soul Children of Chicago)

Kenn Rashad
Founding Editor & Publisher of HBCU Sports and a graduate of Grambling State University.

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5 Comments

  1. Nothing against the song, its a great song with a great singer. But in a cover song for a band, I would like to hear the band and not a singer if we rating the bands.

  2. Congrats to the Purple Marching Machine of Miles College. Well deserved!!!

  3. […] on our list of the top 5 halftime shows from Week 12 Ranked No. 4, No. 13 and No. 17 on our list of top 20 cover songs of 2017 by HBCU bands Ranked No. 2 and No. 6 on our list of the top 10 HBCU band halftime shows of […]

  4. […] Ranked No. 7 and No. 15 on our list of the top 20 cover songs of 2017 by HBCU bands […]

  5. […] Top 20 Cover Songs of 2017 by HBCU Bands […]

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