Top 5 Black/African American Artists of All Time!

Black musicians have been the root of jazz, pop, soul, R&B, gospel, hip-hop, disco and folk music. These artists have been influential in creating today's most popular genres, trends and musicians. None of this would have been made possible without the most influential black musicians of the 20th century. They have laid the groundwork for our favorite music today.

  1. Little Richard (1932-2020)

Most Popular Song: Tutti Fruitti

Little Richard was an influential figure in pop music and culture for 7 decades. His single Tutti Frutti had been one of the very first tracks to break racial barriers and succeeded with a white American audience. He had been an inspiration to rock'n'roll artists such as Elvis, Buddy Holly, Elton John, and Bob Dillan. He was nicknamed The Originator and The Innovator.

2. Chuck Berry (1926-2017)

Most Popular Song: Johnny B Goode

Chuck Berry was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist who pioneered rock'n'roll. His hit song such as Johnny B Goode, Roll Over Beethoven, and Maybellene practically created the genre of rock'n'roll. He was an incredible guitarist who inspired many artists to come to pick up a guitar and make music.

3. James Brown (1933-2006)

Most Popular Song: Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine

James Brown was an American singer, dancer, musician, record producer, and bandleader. He was the central progenitor of funk music. He was also a crucial founder of hip-hop. He was also a major figure for 20th-century music. He is often referred to as Godfather of Soul, Soul Brother No. 1, and Mr. Dynamite. This man was much more than a singer and musician, he was a great dancer; he was doing the moonwalk long before MJ.

4. Ray Charles (1930-2004)

Most Popular Song: I Got A Woman

Ray Charles Sr. was a singer, songwriter, pianist and composer. He is known as one of the most influential and iconic singers ever. He was often referred to as The Genius, but he had preferred to be called Brother Ray. He was a very tall man, born blind and loved rythm'n'blues music in the 50s. He was a founding father of the soul genre and was one of the first African American musicians singing country. He also took part in the jazz and funk genres. He even owned his own record label. He was one of the most influential black musicians to lots of future stars.

5. Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

Most Popular Song: I Say A Little Prayer

Aretha Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. She was referred to as The Queen of Soul. She was ranked 9th twice in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". She was one of the best 60s female singers, and one of the best singers of all time. She had grown up singing in her father's church and she had a strong connection to gospel music. She used her gospel roots in the genres of jazz, blues, R&B and rock'n'roll. She was an influence on modern-day artists such as Ariana Grande and Dolly Parton with her beautiful voice.

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