Black Music In The Red, White And Blue
June is officially African-American Music Appreciation Month, so GMR teamed up with the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame to showcase the contributions of some of the finest musicians in American history.
- Blues - Robert Johnson. You'd be hard-pressed to find a blues musician who hasn't been touched by the enigmatic, short-lived King of the Delta Blues. Some say he sold his soul to the devil, but his music can only be
described as godly. Influenced: Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton. Debut release: 1937. Total albums: 0; 29 recorded songs.
- Jazz - Miles Davis. Jazz was already gaining popularity before he got involved, but nobody presented it like Miles Davis. Experimental, complex, and spontaneous. Miles inspired pure progression in the most innovative
bands. Influenced: Pink Floyd, Jerry Garcia, Radiohead. Debut release: 1947. Total albums: 48.
- Soul - Ray Charles. it's impossible to overstate the importance of ray Charles. he's in the same ballpark as Elvis Presley and John Lennon - unfathomable genius. You can't listen to the radio for ten minutes without
hearing his influence. Influenced: James Brown, Steve Winwood, Elton John. Debut release: 1949. Total albums: 55.
- Funk - Parliament-Funkadelic. George Clinton turned funk into an overwhelming aesthetic with his two-headed monster, Parliament and Funkadelic. They're the exact same group, but he couldn't fit that much funk in
one place. Influenced: Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, OutKast. Debut release: 1970. Total albums: 24; 19 parliament + 15 Funkadelic.
- R&B - Prince. Prince falls into a lot of genres - funk, pop, dance, even rock on occasion. But R&B describes him best for one reason: pure sex. Don't let the blouse deceive you; he's the stuff of legend. Influenced: D'
Angelo, Pharrell, Justin Timberlake. Debut release: 1978. Total albums: 25.
- Hip-Hop - Tupac Shakur. Tupac was one of the greatest voices of his time. He wrote so much material that his estate was able to release seven albums after his death. If only holograms could write. influenced: Nas,
Eminem, Jay-Z. Debut release: 1991. Total albums: 1 (4 while alive + 7 posthumous).
- Noteworthy singles. African-American artists have been topping the charts since the charts were born. These tracks are just the tip of the iceberg.
Nat King Cole "Mona Lisa" (1950).
The Platters "Great Pretender" (1955).
Ray Charles "Georgia on My Mind" (1960).
The Supremes "Stop! In the name of Love" (1965).
Jackson 5 "ABC" (1970).
Minnie Riperton "Lovin' You" (1975).
Michael Jackson "Rock With You" (1980).
Stevie Wonder "Part-Time Lover" (1985).
Whitney Houston "I'm Your Baby Tonight" (1990).
Boyz II Men "On Bended Knee" (2000).
Aaliyah "Try Again" (2000).
Kanye West "Gold Digger" (2005).
Jay-Z "Empire State of Mind" (2010).
- Top 10 artists. Each decade has included multiple African-American artists in its Top 10 overall.
1950s - Fats Domino, the Platters.
1960s - Ray Charles, the Supremes, James Brown, Marvin Gaye.
1970s - Jackson 5, James Brown, Stevie Wonder.
1980s - Michael Jackson, Prince, Lionel Richie.
1990s - Janet Jackson, Boyz II Men, Whitney Houston, R.Kelly, TLC, Puff Daddy.
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