Hip-hop Media training

Black Music Month: Best All-Around Performer

Hip-Hop Media Training

This June marks the 30th anniversary of BlackMusic Month. Kenny Gamble of the popular R&B songwriting and productionteam Gamble & Huff is responsible for encouraging former President JimmyCarter to officially designate June as a time to acknowledge the contributionsBlacks musicians have made to the art form.

While most of the emphasis on Black music today is placed oncontemporary artists, the original intent of the proclamation was to rememberthe evolution of Black music in America.

As enslaved Africans were brought to America musicplayed a significant role in communication. Listeners and speakers continued toexercise the call-and-response exchanges that were common practice in West Africa during musical, religious, and politicalassemblies.

During the 17th and 18th centuriesslaves who attended church also applied the call-and-response style of musicwhen singing hymns and psalms. This approach extended to singing that occurredin the plantation fields and eventually created the Negro Spirituals and otherareas that impacted popular American music.

By the beginning of the 20th century, African-Americanswere on the verge of establishing genres including ragtime, jazz and blues.

These influences can still be heard in the works of manyBlack recording artists of the last several decades. Throughout June, Yahoo!Music will highlight some of their works and would love to get your input onyour favorite contributions to the history of Black music.

Today, we will focus on Best All-Around Performers in Blackmusic history. From the likes of James Brown, Michael Jackson and Beyonce, whichperformer has inspired you the most?


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