Women who inspired the music industry

written by Adete Roshni January 6, 2019

Bille Holiday- A Jazz Legend

Raised in poverty, sexually assaulted, school dropout yet one of the most inspiring voices of Jazz. Billie Holiday named Eleanora Fagan after her birth.
In spite of living a troubled life, she found solace in music; she uses to listen and sing along to the records of Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong, both of them were the primary influence on her singing. Around 1930, she started working as a vocalist in local clubs and renamed herself as ‘Billie’ after the actress Billie Dove.
During her performance at Harlem jazz club, John Hammond recognized her flair. From there her journey of flying started she became a major star in the jazz world, which was supposed to be ruled by males at that time. She has one of the most distinctive voices of all time; her unique slow singing style touched millions of hearts, it was the emotional power she had in her voice which has been an influence on many performers and singers.
Not only her singing style but her courage and bold personality made her a legend; she boldly expressed her statements through her music, she wrote songs at that time when it was considered as unusual for a woman.
she is an excellent example for every one of raising and shining above the troubles.

Ella Fitzgerald- First Lady Of Song

Rising above the troubled childhood, Ella made herself a shining star of the music industry. To support her family who was struggling financially, she started working. However, she was inclined to make her career in the entertainment industry she entered as an amateur contestant at Harlem’s Apollo theater. There she wowed the audience by singing the Hoagy Carmichael tune “Judy” and “The object of my affection,” which made her win the contest.
Her career began to take off in 1946 when she started working with Norman Granz. Her unique, velvety voice and ability to mimic instrumental sounds helped popularize the vocal improvisation of scatting, which became her signature style, separating her from other stars of her time.

Fitzgerald’s voice made her one of the legendary singers of Jazz. She recorded more than 200 albums and around 2,00 songs in her lifetime. Fitzgerald was the first African-American woman to win Grammy award, in-total she accoladed with 14 Grammy awards, which includes a lifetime achievement in 1967 and Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ella Fitzgerald was the first African-American woman to perform during Super Bowl Halftime.

Apart from superb singing style, she broke boundaries and stand for social issues, and dominated bebop with her versatile voice.

Aretha Franklin- The Queen Of Soul

A legend who gave her voice in Respect, Freeway of love and I say a little prayer, Aretha Franklin was known to be the Queen Of Soul. Artha Franklin has a powerful voice, marvelous vocal flexibility, piano-playing skills which made her an influence over the range of the audience.

She recorded some of her earlier records at the age of 14. she accoladed by several awards and Recognition. in 1987, she became the first female ever to be introduced into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Aretha was nominated 44 times for the Grammy award and won 18 times which includes MusiCares person of the year in 2008, making her one of the most honored artists in the Grammy history. In 2010, she ranked first on the Rolling Stone magazine of the ‘100 greatest singers of all time’.

Franklin’s voice did not just entertained people but inspired others and set afire the musical career of some of the greatest singer we have now. She not only sang but was involved in the struggle for civil rights and women’s rights, she fought back against social injustice.

Aretha Franklin’s powerful voice has been an influence she is gone, but her music isn’t.

Dolly Parton- A Country Rocker

A singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and philanthropist, Dolly Parton is a great inspiration for everyone. Dolly Parton has successfully made her name in country music, which is an extremely male-dominated music genre. Parton with her beautiful voice range took the heart of country and pop music fans, making her one of the most honored female country performers of all time.

She started performing professionally at the age of 10, she began appearing on local television and radio shows. Her singing career started highlighting when she partnered with Porter Wagoner on The Porter Wagoner Show.

Dolly Parton has composed nearly 3,000 tracks and has been nominated for 47 Grammy nominations and received 9 times, and a Grammy lifetime achievement award in 2011. She has been introduced into 15 different Hall of Fames and has had 25 songs reach no1 on the Billboard country music charts, which is a record for a female artist.
Parton has always influenced her fans and encourage them to be the leader of their careers.

Madonna -¬ Queen Of Pop

She rose from the flames and made an A-List career for over 30 years. Madonna Louise Ciccone, a legendary pop star became a sensation of the ’80s when music was very much in control of males in all genre. Madonna accepted as a cultural icon globally and considered as the influential and iconic music artist of all time, her legacy goes beyond music.

Madonna’s contribution to the entertainment industry made her a role model of novice artists. Rihanna, Shakira, Beyonce, Taylor Swift are some of the biggest names who inspired and influenced by Madonna.

Over 300 million of her records has been sold worldwide, which sets a prominent example of her impact. In January 2008, she became World’s wealthiest female musician by Forbes magazine.

Madonna has won 7 awards from 28 Grammy nominations and hold 16 Guinness world records.
She not only became a musical icon who influenced artists but also became an Icon in various other industries such as the Fashion Industry and the Feminist Political Movement. She is an icon for minority groups such as the Gay Community and became an inspiration for performers in other art forms such as Drag Queens.

Mariah Carey- Songbird Supreme

This pop has influenced many of today’s artists that includes Ariana Grande, Beyonce and many more. Her unique vocal range is music to ears. Mariah holds the record for most No. 1 debuts in Billboard Hot 100 history and the biggest selling female artist of all time. But one cannot ignore the cultural impact this pop diva has had, Mariah is one of the first divas to embrace hip-hop music genre she collaborated with hip-hop artist in her tracks which helped take hip-hop to the next level.
After that hip-hop music style went to mainstream success and Mariah is considered to be one of the divas who made it possible.

She accoladed by 5 Grammy awards, 19 World Music, 14 Billboard, and 10 American music awards. Mariah is not only a talented singer but a songwriter too, she has written many of her songs which inspired women of the music industry to put pen to paper. Her expendable talent of songwriting gave the world the iconic ‘ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS’ song.

Beyonce- Queen Bey

From a lead vocalist of the R&B group Destiny’s Child to establish herself as a powerful solo superstar, Queen Bey, in her 20 years of industry career has accomplished everything an artist can do in their life. Queen Bey is known to be one of the best living entertainers, her songs not only entertain but socially aware the audience from her powerful and soulful lyrics.

Beyonce has been nominated 63 times for Grammy and won 22 times, the 2nd most Grammy awarded female artist of all time.
She dropped her album Beyonce without any prior announcement making it a true surprise for fans. Beyonce album has themes of feminism throughout its 14 tracks. A few years later, the superstar released album Lemonade, the stunning visuals, and topics covered throughout the album have made an important statement influencing millions across the globe.

She always raises the bar with everything she does. With great power and strength, she inspires people to speak their mind and do and feel proud of what you are.

Adele- British Queen Of Soul

A talented singer-songwriter who has released three albums but broke many awards, Adele has sold millions of records worldwide. Adele is the first female artist to have two entries in the top five charts (on both the single and album charts).

Her stunning voice quality has received praises from critics as well, whenever you go to her concert and see her performing it is all about her and her voice. She always appears raw and real to her audience, her voice touches the soul of her audience.  Spice Girls, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, and Roberta Flack are the significant influence on her singing.

She has been nominated for 18 Grammys and won 15 at the awards ceremonies in 2009, 2012(she became the second female artist to win six awards in one night) and 2017. She also received Oscar award for the James Bond track “Skyfall.” Adele holds 11 Guinness World Record.

Her undeniable talent, universal appeal, and a refusal to stick to emerging trends in the pop industry make her a true Queen Of Pop.

Rihanna- Caribbean Queen

The voice of Umbrella, SOS, Take a Bow, Only Girl (In the World), Diamonds, and  Work a global pop star Rihanna is an icon.

From a teen singing to establish as a singing idol, Rihanna has become one of the best-selling artists of all time. She has an influential artist not only in the music industry, but in culture in general, and she knows how to utilize her platform to do what she believes.

Rihanna has a fantastic voice her music dominantly includes pop, R&B, reggae, dubstep, hip-hop and EDM, music genre. She has won multiple accolades in music, including Grammy and MTV awards.

Taylor Swift- T-swizz

Taylor Swift, Born on December 13, 1989, is a globally loved pop star. Inspired by Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, and Carly Simon, influenced Taylor Swift to music.  Tim McGraw was her first single released in 2006, and the song became a Top 10 hit on the country charts and received critic praises for her debut single.

Taylor Swift is not only  a powerful singer but a businesswoman and a powerful cultural force, whether if it is about to make a bold move by openly asking Apple to pay artists during its three-month free trial of Apple Music, taking fan interacting to another level or standing strong for feminism Taylor Swift is an ultimate inspiration for the youth.

Taylor has won 10 awards from 31 nominations, and 5 MTV awards.

Miley Cyrus- Simely Miley

Miley Cyrus is another example of a young strong and empowered female who makes her path and prefer to walk on it. She speaks what she believes in and is a supporter of many important movements and groups.

Recently, being a mentor of the reality show, The Voice she chooses to make all girls team, She had told Yahoo of her group of budding stars, “I’m really proud to say I’m the first one in Voice history to have an all-female team. I want to celebrate females in this industry, because I think sometimes we can get lost, and people can tell you that you have to change who you are to market yourself.”

Miley’s step is an effort to spread awareness to the nation about the yawning gender gap, the industry has. Being an artist, she realizes her responsibility and power of her what she has, that makes her an influential artist of a young generation.

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