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Black Music has been a staple in entertainment for over a century. While having an intricate journey, the original playmakers of our African-American race broke barriers in order for their voices and talents to bring such value to the art form of music.

Dating back to our roots in Africa, music has always been an element of life.  The African diasporic experience became a gateway for the African culture to become a great influence in America.  Today, we recognize an incredible range of genres and styles black music has to offer – from the soulful melodies of rhythm and blues and the captivating lyricism of hip-hop to the improvisational brilliance of jazz, and the infectious grooves of funk. Each of these forms represents the resilience, creativity, and expression of a race that has endured centuries of oppression, yet found solace, and celebration in the power of music.

At the heart of black music lies a rich oral tradition, where the spoken word, call-and-response, and the ability to “tell a story” through song have been passed down across generations.

Beyond its sociological and political significance, Black music has also made immeasurable contributions to the evolution of popular music more broadly. Some of our leading musicians of today have an African-American heritage. But they would not be here if it weren’t for the trailblazers who came before them, who broke barriers for our race to be recognized across the biggest stages.

In honor of Black Music Month, our team at Black America Web created a list of the various accomplishments and the first black musician to it.

Check out the ‘First Black Artist to Ever..’ List Below!

 


The post Black Music Month: First Black Musician to Ever…. appeared first on Black America Web.

Black Music Month: First Black Musician to Ever….  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

1. Francis Johnson – First African-American published music composer (1817)

2. Ethel Waters – First African American to star in their own television program: The Ethel Waters Show (1939)

Ethel Waters - First African American to star in their own television program: The Ethel Waters Show (1939) Source:Getty

3. Count Basie – First African-American Grammy Winner: Male (1958)

Count Basie - First African-American Grammy Winner: Male (1958) Source:Getty

4. Ella Fitzgerald – First African-American Grammy Winner: Female (1958)

Ella Fitzgerald - First African-American Grammy Winner: Female (1958) Source:Getty

5. Joshua White: First African-American Artist to perform at the White House (1941)

6. Mills Brothers – First African-American group to have a #1 song on the Billboard charts (1943)

Mills Brothers - First African-American group to have a #1 song on the Billboard charts (1943) Source:Getty

7. Count Basie – First African-American solo artist to recieve sole credit for a #1 song on the Billboard charts (1947)

Count Basie - First African-American solo artist to recieve sole credit for a #1 song on the Billboard charts (1947) Source:Getty

8. Nat King Cole – First African-American solo singer to have a #1 song on the Billboard charts

Nat King Cole - First African-American solo singer to have a #1 song on the Billboard charts Source:Getty

9. Marian Anderson – First African-American member of the Metropolitan Opera (1955)

Marian Anderson - First African-American member of the Metropolitan Opera (1955) Source:Getty

10. Leontyne Price – First African-American singer to appear in a telecast opera (1955)

Leontyne Price - First African-American singer to appear in a telecast opera (1955) Source:Getty

11. Marian Anderson – First African-American woman to perform at a presidential inauguration: John F. Kennedy’s inauguration (1961)

Marian Anderson - First African-American woman to perform at a presidential inauguration: John F. Kennedy's inauguration (1961) Source:Getty

12. Michael Jackson – First First African-American artist to have a video shown on MTV (1983)

13. Aretha Franklin – First African-American woman, and first woman, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987)

Aretha Franklin - First African-American woman, and first woman, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987) Source:Getty

14. Whitney Houston – First African-American woman, and first woman, to have an album debut at number one on the Billboard 200: Whitney (1987)

Whitney Houston - First African-American woman, and first woman, to have an album debut at number one on the Billboard 200: Whitney (1987) Source:Getty

15. Whitney Houston – First African-American, and first person, to have seven consecutive number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 (1988)

Whitney Houston - First African-American, and first person, to have seven consecutive number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 (1988) Source:Getty

16. Natalie Cole – First African-American woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year: Unforgettable… with Love (1992)

Natalie Cole - First African-American woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year: Unforgettable... with Love (1992) Source:Getty

17. Whitney Houston – First African-American artist, and first artist, to have an album sell a million copies in a single week: The Bodyguard (1992)

Whitney Houston - First African-American artist, and first artist, to have an album sell a million copies in a single week: The Bodyguard (1992) Source:Getty

18. Whitney Houston – First African-American woman to win as artist and producer for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year: The Bodyguard (1994)

Whitney Houston - First African-American woman to win as artist and producer for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year: The Bodyguard (1994) Source:Getty

19. Michael Jackson – First African American, and first person, to have a song to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: ‘You Are Not Alone’ (1995)

20. Whitney Houston – First African-American woman to make more than $10 million a motion picture: The Preacher’s Wife (1996)