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12 Women in Black Music History You Should Know6/30/2014
Ethel Waters June is Black Music Month. According to the website for the National Museum of A...
|Sister Rosetta Tharpe|
Known as "The Godmother of Rock n' Roll", she would influence musicians such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Johnny Cash. Her earliest recordings had the spiritual lyrics of gospel mixed with a steel guitar. Her song "Strange Things Happening Every Day" is said to be the first rock song. Watch her performance of "Up Above My Head" here.
Although she is best remembered for her role as Catwoman in the 1960's, she was also an accomplished singer. She spoke seven languages and sang in four. One of her best known recordings is the French song "C'est Si Bon". Watch her performance of "C'est Si Bon" here.
As a lesbian blues singer during The Harlem Renaissance, she was known for her bold display of sexuality, raunchy lyrics, and deep vocals. Langston Hughes once praised her performing skills when her career was taking off. Listen to Gladys' song "Worried Blues" here.
As one of the pioneers of hip-hop, she is known for her strong freestyle skills. At the age of 14, she recorded her most well known song "Roxanne's Revenge", in one take. The song was one of the first rap battle songs. Listen to "Roxanne's Revenge" here.
|Big Mama Thornton|
She was many things; a singer, dancer, actress, World War II French spy, and mother to children of different ethnicities that were known as "The Rainbow Tribe". She was the first African American to star in a motion picture and the first to become a world famous entertainer. Her influence can be seen in modern female entertainers like Beyoncé and Keri Hilson. Watch her film performance of "Dreams" here.
Known as 1.8.7, this transgender DJ and producer is one of the first well-known drum and bass musicians. She rose to fame in the mid-90's with her album When Worlds Collide. Her work has influenced dubstep and electronic rock musicians such as Bassnectar and Celldweller. Listen to her track "Rainbow's Not Enough" on Soundcloud here.