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Attention historically Black college grads and supporters, there’s some excellence on the way and it’s going down in Alabama.

2017 Honda Battle Of The Bands

Source: Prince Williams / Getty

Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB), the nation’s premier marching band showcase, will be held for the first time on an HBCU campus at Alabama State University. The annual celebration returns LIVE and via Livestream on February 18, 2023, for its 18th iteration.

After 100,000 votes were cast nationwide online and after additions from the HBOB committee, the 2023 HBOB Invitational Showcase will feature high-energy performances from the following six bands:

Alabama State University Mighty Marching Hornets – 7th appearance

Langston University Marching Pride – 4th appearance

Morgan State University Magnificent Marching Machine – 1st appearance

Savannah State University Powerhouse of the South – 7th appearance

Texas Southern University Ocean of Soul – 3rd appearance

Virginia State University Trojan Explosion – 10th appearance

Additionally, each HBCU represented by the six bands will receive an institutional grant from Honda to support their music education programs, as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to the Invitational Showcase.

To top things off, legendary comedian, award-winning radio host and ASU alum Rickey Smiley will serve as the host for the 2023 HBOB live event. Loni Love, the Emmy and two-time NAACP Image Award-winning host, comedian, actress, author, and Prairie View A&M University alumna, will host the live stream.

“It is an honor to host the iconic Honda Battle of the Bands event, which has a long history of inspiring and energizing fans of music and Black culture across the country,” said Smiley. “HBOB is a one-of-a-kind experience for these talented student musicians and will be an unforgettable day for everyone.”


As you can imagine, HBOB execs are ecstatic about bringing the showcase to Alabama State University’s campus and ASU’s President is equally excited as well.

“Congratulations to all of the finalists! Honda is excited to carry on the HBOB tradition of bringing together students, alumni, and fans to recognize the talents of these spectacular marching bands and dance teams,” said Yvette Hunsicker, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion & Diversity at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “For over 30 years Honda has supported HBCUs in their unique and critical role of providing higher education and opportunities for advancement to the Black community, so hosting HBOB on an HBCU campus for the first time feels like coming home.”

“We are very excited to host the 2023 Honda Battle of the Bands Showcase and provide a buzzing atmosphere of HBCU pride and culture on Alabama State University’s campus,” said ASU President Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr.


Tickets for the HBOB Invitational Showcase are on sale at


Fans can join the conversation using #HBOB and follow along as the final six bands’ journey commences to the Invitational Showcase on official HBOB social media channels:

· Facebook –

· Instagram – @the_honda /

· Twitter – @The_Honda /



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