Powerhouse voices, big hair, smooth dance moves, glamorous dresses, beautiful songwriting, torch songs, female empowerment, fierceness, diva attitude and breaking down barriers in the music industry are what black women in the music industry represent.Now many black female legends have touched the hearts of others and moved generations with their music and artistry — from the gospel of Mahalia Jackson; the lady blues of Billie Holiday; the soulful sounds that get you caught up in a rapture with Anita Baker; the bridging the gap of R&B, and Rock and Roll of Etta James; the soulful leadership of Gladys Knight; the powerful vocals of Patti Labelle; and the eclectic, political sounds of Nina Simone.
In celebration of Black Music Month, compiled a list of 15 black women in music who managed to become some of the most popular solo acts in music ever!
This list is based on record sells (albums and singles), longevity, legacy and overall popularity in both mainstream and urban-marketed music. All of her hits (including with Rufus) have a soulful yet funky sound to it — explaining honorific title. Notable Hits: “Sweet Thing” “Tell Me Something Good” “I’m Every Woman” “I Feel For You” She left behind quite the legacy. Notable Hits: “Back and Forth” “One in a Million” “Try Again” The smooth sounds of Warwick dominated the music charts during the rock era.
She’s one of the most awarded female artists of all time and definitely one of the most respected — dominating soul music in the 60s and 70s with one of the greatest voices ever.
Notable Hits: “Respect” “Chain of Fools” “Think” “I Never Love a Man (The Way I Love You)” Janet, Miss Jackson if you’re nasty is the second best selling artist of the 1990s and one of Billboard’s top 10 greatest artists of all time.
The Jackson family’s youngest sibling has definitely held her own over the past five decades.
Jackson helped break the barriers for black artists crossing over into mainstream music.But although she lived an extravagant lifestyle, she has so many hits under her belt and multi-platinum albums as well.Notable Hits: “Breathe Again” “Let It Flow” “You’re Makin’ Me High” “Un-Break My Heart” She burst on the scene with “Fallen” in 2001 and picked up five Grammys with her debut album.Now she’s one of the greatest artists of the R&B/hip hop era.And she came on the scene during a time when Hip Hop and R&B music were crossing over — creating a whole new sub-genre of urban music. Notable Hits: “Real Love” “Not Gon’ Gry” “Family Affair” “Be With You” She proven her status as Queen Bey time and time again. Notable Hits: “Crazy in Love” “Irreplaceable” “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It” “Drunk in Love” (Many More) She’s pop and urban music’s bad girl.Notable Hits: “I Will Always Love You” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” “Saving All My Love for You” (Many more) Carey tops the list for her vocal range, divaness, iconic songs, songwriting and having more number ones than any other solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 with a total of 18.