To mark the end of Black History Month, we are highlighting the most influential black female singers and musicians of all time. Featuring a variety of genres that include jazz, soul,hip-hop, pop, R&B and much more.
Aretha Franklin also known as the Queen of Soul, went on to release several popular singles, many of which are now considered classics. In 1987, she became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2008 she won her 18th Grammy Award, making her one of the most honoured artists in Grammy history.
One of the most recognisable figures in contemporary music, Beyoncé rose to fame as the central member of pop-R&B group Destiny’s Child, before embarking on a multi-platinum, record-breaking solo career in 2001 with her debut album Dangerously in Love. She became one of music’s top-selling artists with sold-out tours and a slew of awards.
Grammy-winner Tina Turner rose to fame in the 1960s by singing and performing with then-husband Ike Turner, later enjoying an international solo career with hits like What’s Love Got to Do With It.
As a solo artist, Diana Ross is one of the most successful female singers of the rock era. She has won several major awards, including a Golden Globe, a Tony and several American Music Awards. Ross was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 as part of the Supremes. Ross was awarded for her hard work again in 2007 when she was presented with Black Entertainment Television’s Lifetime Achievement Award
American singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, received wide fame in the late 1980s and 1990s with songs like Give Me One Reason and Fast Car. The album’s most popular single, Fast Car, landed at number 5 on the U.K. charts and number 6 on the U.S. charts. Several years later, Chapman released New Beginning, another widely acclaimed album, which was carried by the hit song Give Me One Reason. Though her 1995 success has yet to be matched, Chapman stays busy as an activist, speaking and performing on behalf of various organizations.
Missy Elliott, original name Melissa Arnette Elliott, American rapper and music producer, who made a mark on the male-dominated hip-hop world with her talents for writing, rapping, singing, and music production. In addition to her four Grammy wins, Elliott collected the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Award for best female hip-hop artist numerous times, and her music videos earned her accolades as well as a regular presence on MTV.
Whitney Houston, American singer and actress who was one of the best-selling musical performers of the 1980s and ’90s. Her debut album, Whitney Houston, yielded three number one singles in the United States: Greatest Love of All, which became her signature; Saving All My Love for You; and How Will I Know. Whitney delivered four more number ones and earned herself a Grammy Award, for the single I Wanna Dance with Somebody.