A brief overview of African-American influence on the music industry:
In the early 20th century, blues music was born. Shortly after, jazz music started to become popular in black communities which had a large influence on swing music and rock and roll. Starting in the 1950's, Chicago blues rose in popularity. Muddy Waters, known to be the "father" of Chicago blues influenced artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and more. Aretha Franklin influenced various artists because of her unique vocals. Additionally, even artists like Elvis Presley was influenced by African-American artists and composers. "The Godfather of Soul," James Brown, used blues and gospel to create a one of a kind sound.
Considered to be some of the most influential artists of the century, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder took the industry by storm in the 70's. In the 80's, Michael Jackson arose as the "King of Pop." Another name from the 80's that we can't forget is Whitney Houston. She paved the way for various artists including Janet Jackson and Beyonce.
Additionally, in the 90's hip hop began to rise. This is the time where Notorious B.I.G and Tupac came about. When looking at influential women during this time, Lauren Hill and Tracy Chapman's voices became a huge part of the early 2000's. Today, rap and pop are the biggest music genre's and you can tell how much African-American artists have influenced today's biggest artists. It's so important that we acknowledge and appreciate these influences because without them, music would not be what it is today.
We want to use our platform to be able to spotlight some amazing black women who are artists, producers, and managers in the music industry. To start, we have created a collaborative playlist of some of our favorite Black women artists. You can listen to it and add some songs here.
And remember, Black Lives Matter today, yesterday, tomorrow and forever.