Those damn HBCU marching bands.

Just when you think you’ve figured them out – assuming that there isn’t too much more that can be creatively arranged – they always seem to find a new creative wrinkle that manages to change the game.


The goal in selecting this year’s top 20 list (from a list that began with nearly 80 submissions based on feedback and nominations from social media and HBCU message board communities) was the same as it has been in previous years: to recognize the very best musical performances of the 2018 marching band season.

Will you see some bands on the list more than once? Yes. Is it possible that your favorite band didn’t make the list at all? Yes.

Subjective as it may be, we think this list is an accurate reflection of the best musical performances by HBCU marching bands of 2018.

Top 20 Cover Songs of 2017 by HBCU Bands

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 2018 performed by HBCU bands.

20. Texas Southern, “Medicine” (Queen Naija)

19. Bethune-Cookman, “Best Part” (Daniel Caesar & H.E.R.)

18. Tennessee State, “Broken Clocks” (SZA)

17. Norfolk State, “You Know What’s Up” (Donell Jones)

16. Southern, “Don’t Disturb This Groove” (The System)

15. Alabama A&M, “Beauty” (Dru Hill)

14. Stillman College, “I Could Use a Little Love (Right Now)” (Freddie Jackson)

13. North Carolina A&T, “No Tears Left to Cry” (Ariana Grande)

12. Grambling State, “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” (Mint Condition)

11. Miles College, “Practice What You Preach” (Berry White)

10. Alabama A&M, “Space Age Pimpin'” (8Ball & MJG)

9. Grambling State, “You Got Me Wide Open” (Bootsy Collins & Bernie Worrell)

8. Miles College, “The Light” (MihTy, Jeremih, Ty Dolla $ign)

7. Jackson State, “25 Or 6 to 4” (Chicago)

6. North Carolina A&T, “Boo’d Up” (Ella Mai)

5. Alcorn State, “Do What I Gotta Do” (Ralph Tresvant)

4. Jackson State, “Silly Love Song” (Enchantment)

3. Southern – “I Love The Lord” (Whitney Houston)

2. Jackson State, “Circle of Life” (Carmen Twillie & Lebo M.)

1. Southern, “The Batman Theme” (Danny Effman)

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

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