Sounds of Blackness

About Optimistic

"Optimistic" is a song by American vocal and instrumental ensemble Sounds of Blackness, recorded for their debut studio album The Evolution of Gospel (1991). It was written and produced by Gary Hines, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and features vocals from Ann Bennett-Nesby, Carrie Harrington, Coré Cotton, Patricia Lacy, and Jamecia Bennett. The urban contemporary gospel song was released as the group's debut single and reached the top three on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart.


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Keep, keep on
Never say die

When in the midst of sorrow
You can' t see up when looking down
A brighter day tomorrow will bring

You hear the voice of reason
Telling you this can't never be done
No matter how hard reality seems
Just hold on to your dreams

Don't give up and don't give in
Although it seems you never win
You will always pass the test
As long as you keep your head to the sky
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky
Be optimistic

If things around you crumble
No, you don't have to stumble and fall
Keep pushing on and don't you look back

I know of storms and strive
I been around them all of life 
Just think ahead and you'll be inspired
To reach higher and higher.

You'll always do your best
If you learn to never say never
You maybe down, but you're not out.

Don't give up and don't give in
Although it seems you never win
You will always pass the test
As long as you keep your head to the sky
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky (you can win child!)
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky
Be optimistic

Don't you let no body stop you
Be optimistic

You can win, yes
Never say die.

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Sounds of Blackness

Sounds of Blackness is a Grammy Award-winning vocal and instrumental ensemble from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota who perform music from several genres music including gospel, R&B, soul, and jazz. The group scored several hits on the Billboard R&B chart and Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the 1990s. One of the group's current members is Cynthia Johnson, who rose to fame with Lipps, Inc in the early 1980s. more »

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Written by: Gary Dennis Hines, James Samuel Harris, Terry Steven Lewis

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

Genre Classification
"Optimistic" is categorized under the genre of Gospel and R&B music. The song beautifully blends elements of soul, gospel, and upbeat modern R&B, providing a distinctive flavor.
Release Date
The song was released in the year 1991 as part of the group's third studio album, "The Evolution of Gospel".
Chart Performance
"Optimistic" achieved notable chart success in the United States. It peaked at number 3 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart and number 6 on the Dance Club Songs chart.
Grammy Success
The album "The Evolution of Gospel", which includes "Optimistic", won the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album.
Peak Popularity
The song reached significant popularity during the early 90s, particularly within the African American community, due to its uplifting and positive lyrics drawing from gospel and spiritual motifs.
Artist Profile
The group performing this song, Sounds of Blackness, showcases a wide spectrum of African American music which ranging from jazz and blues to rock and roll, besides gospel and R&B. They are known for their inspiring lyrics and powerful vocals.
Lyricist and Composers
"Optimistic" was written by the talented duo of Gary Hines and Terry Lewis alongside James "Jimmy Jam" Harris, who are acclaimed producers and songwriters.
Cultural Impact
The song is considered a cultural touchstone, particularly for the Black community in America. Its message of hope and resilience resonated deeply, especially during challenging periods.
Even after decades of its initial release, "Optimistic" remains a popular and influential song. It has frequently featured on playlists and in media, including television shows and films.
Select Covers & Samples
The song has been covered and sampled by various artists over the years, showcasing its enduring influence in music. Notable examples include August Greene (a collective featuring rapper Common, pianist Robert Glasper, and drummer Karriem Riggins) who covered "Optimistic" in 2018.

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    "Optimistic Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Nov. 2023. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/6359636/Sounds+of+Blackness/Optimistic>.

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