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Inspirational Artists

5 Black Musical Artists to Listen to in Honor of Black History Month



February is Black History Month, 28 days dedicated to learning about and celebrating the African-American impact in the United States. A great way to celebrate Black History Month is to listen, support and enjoy music by Black artists. While there are many more talented Black artists in the world, here is a list of five Black female artists to incorporate into your playlist!


Coco Jones

Coco Jones is an R&B dance-pop singer-songwriter who began her career in the acting world. While she is widely known as a musical artist now, some may recognize her portrayal of the character Roxie in the Disney Channel original movie “Let It Shine.” She is also a 2024 Grammy Nominee for the categories Best New Artist, Best R&B Album and Best R&B Song, as well as an incredibly talented up and coming vocalist and performer. She has been releasing music for many years now, but her most recent work is an EP titled “What I Didn’t Tell You” which is an R&B/Soul album that is definitely worth a listen. 


SZA

Solána Imani Rowe, known professionally by her stage name SZA, is another great R&B/Soul artist who has contributed her incredible talent to the genre, and inspired young artists to do the same. Two of her biggest and most popular bodies of work include her 2017 EP “CTRL” and her 2022 album “SOS.” Both these collections of music have songs for just about anybody, versatile and beautiful lyrics and a range of different musical sounds that expand over not just R&B, but also rap, pop and rock. She took home the Grammy for Best R&B song during the 2024 awards show, which is deserved given her range and talent as a singer and performer. SZA is certainly an artist everybody should check out. 


Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill is an incredibly renowned artist who has been and continues to be an inspiration. She is a rapper, singer and songwriter who has an expansive discography with songs across a few different genres, including hip-hop and R&B. Hill is the most-awarded female rapper, having won eight Grammy Awards in total, three with the group The Fugees and five from her solo career, including the prestigious Album of the Year award. She is the most recent Black woman to win album of the year in 1999 for her 1998 album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”, a powerful and meaningful collection of music that has become one of the best selling albums in history. Her music has been influential for years and is a staple in the R&B and hip-hop genres.


Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston is known as one of the strongest vocalists in the history of music. She was trained in and grew up singing gospel music, but ended up settling in the pop and R&B genre when she was older. Houston has six Grammy awards and is highly regarded in the music industry. Her incredible talent and strong voice was able to connect with fans, with songs like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “I Will Always Love You” still enjoyed today, inspiring artists old and new. She was the first artist to achieve seven consecutive Billboard #1 Hits and the first woman to enter the Billboard Top 200 at number one. All her music displays her amazing vocal talent and must-listens for anyone. 


Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, often named the “Queen of Soul,” was an immensely talented singer who paved the way for Black female artists. An 18-time Grammy winner, Franklin has music across many genres, such as jazz, soul, gospel, pop and R&B, which had global sales of over 75 million records. Franklin’s impact on the music industry has long been an inspiration for artists today. Her iconic songs “Respect” and “Think” are anthems of the Civil Rights Movement, influencing not only the world of music, but also political change. Franklin is an icon in the music industry and an essential artist for all to listen to.

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Andy Poll

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