The Roots

Citizen-Artist
2013

The Roots are the influential and critically acclaimed Philadelphia-based band -- described by Rolling Stone as "one of the greatest live acts in the world."  The band has won numerous awards for its jazz-influenced, eclectic approach to hip-hop, including two Grammy's and a 2007 NAACP Image Award.  They currently serve as the house band of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

The Roots have been active with Philadelphia-based foundations such as the GrassRoots Foundation, Triple Threat Foundation and D.A.S.H. Annually, they organize and perform at the Roots Picnic Festival in Philadelphia and at the Philly 4th of July Jam concert. The Roots have been strong advocates for arts education and support the work of the Save the Music Foundation.

Since their debut album "Organix" in 1993, The Roots have played such notable venues as NYC's Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center and the Apollo Theater, performing over 200 shows annually. In 2010, they collaborated with R&B singer John Legend on the album Wake Up! Their 1999 release "Things Fall Apart" reached No. 4 on the Billboard chart and 2004's "The Tipping Point" debuted in the same position.

The Roots' lineup includes original members rapper/MC Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, who were classmates at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts. They later added Owen Biddle, James "Kamal" Gray, Frank "Knuckles" Walker, Kirk "Captain Kirk" Douglas, Damen "Tuba Gooding Jr." Bryson and James Poyser.

The Roots receive the 2013 Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors Citizen Artist Award.