Think of a summer day. Now think of the song “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince or the song “Hot Fun In the Summertime” by Sly and the Family Stone. Isn’t there something about those songs that makes a great summer day even better? That’s the essence of black music. If you’ve fallen in love, or fallen out of love, then you know the power of a great song to transform. Even in these times, when technology and gossip seems to overshadow the music as an art form, there’s still somebody out there making music and performing for the love of it. There are more live televised singing competitions than ever before and more legendary artists performing their hits on those shows.
This year, Jennifer Holiday and “American Idol” runner-up Jessica Sanchez put on a singing duel on the show’s season finale that led viewers to contend that it was the greatest live performance in the show’s history.
This past week featured Hot 97’s famous Summer Jam concert in New York, The Roots’ annual picnic in Philadelphia and the “Watch The Throne” tour with Kanye West and Jay-Z in Paris all going on at the same time. The weekend before, Beyonce performed in Atlantic City and so did New Edition. Frankie Beverly and Maze are still touring after four decades and in a month, the Essence Festival, one of the biggest summer showcases of Black music, will be heading into its 17th year this 4th of July weekend. The “Marley” documentary, an intimate look at the late reggae phenomenon’s life and music, was released to critical acclaim in April. Nas and Usher, two artists who began their careers as teenagers and seen them have last through their adulthoods, both release brand new albums this month.
Black music has gone through many incarnations, but it remains the powerful soundtrack to our lives. From the song stylings of the doo-wop groups of the 50’s to Motown to the street testimony of hip-hop’s great poets, black music has evolved into so many different forms and genres and influenced so many. Rock ‘n roll would not exist without the blues. Rhythm and blues would not exist without gospel. Hip-hop would not exist without reggae and roots music. The storytelling in country music is reflected in both R&B and hip-hop. Today’s pop music is now heavily dominated by acts based in hip-hop.
Pop sensation Adele, a white woman from the United Kingdom, and teenage superstar Justin Bieber (discovered and mentored by Usher) have sold more albums than just about anyone else as of late and both are heavily influenced by R&B. Even Lady Gaga can claim a connection to black music – she was discovered by producer (and Tamar Braxton’s husband) Vincent Herbert and signed through Akon’s label.
Black music is not going anywhere anytime soon. It will continue to evolve and grow and astonish it’s listeners with its many incarnations and the amazing talents of its artists. No matter how much the world changes and no matter whether we listen to music on a cell phone, a computer, a tablet or through the speakers in a club or on a stage, black music will continue to be the first choice at the backyard barbeque, the wedding the graduation party and all of the celebratory gatherings of our lives.
As the O’Jays once sang:
I love music
Any kind of music
Long as it's swinging
All the joy that it's bringing
We love music and we know you do, too. Join us as we celebrate the history and legacy of black music this month.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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