FEATURE: Respect: Black, Female and Powerful: A Playlist of Incredible Tracks Through the Decades




Respect: Black, Female and Powerful


IN THIS PHOTO: Janet Jackson/PHOTO CREDIT: Warwick Saint for ESSENCE  

A Playlist of Incredible Tracks Through the Decades


IN my final piece before next week...


 IN THIS PHOTO: Diana Ross & the Supremes in 1965/PHOTO CREDIT: Art Shay Photography

I wanted to celebrate the iconic and new black female artists alike who often get overlooked. The media often puts female artists second and we know how hard it is for women to get their voices heard. There is a long way to go before we see equality in the industry and I do wonder whether enough progress is being made. Not only is there imbalance regarding gender but there is a big issue regarding race. Black artists have never truly gained the respect they warrant and, in 2019, we are still talking about black musicians and whether there will be any change. The Grammys, held recently, showed there is a race issue in music – Hip-Hop and Rap artists not treated as fairly as other genres/artists. I feel black women in music incur the biggest struggle of all. Even though icons like Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin and Beyoncé have inspired generations and provided some of the most powerful music around, their voices are often minor if you look at the way male icons are expressed.


IN THIS PHOTO: Grace Carter/PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

By that, I mean the biggest male artists tend to get the main focus and there are so many black female artists who, socially or politically, have helped create change and discussion. Today, there is a fantastic new wave of black female artists who are hungry, incredible passionate and command respect. Because of that, I have assembled a playlist dedicated to the finest black female artists through the ages. If I have missed any then I apologise – suggestions are always welcome… – but I think I have included most. Maybe there will be artists you have never heard from and songs that are fresh to you. At the very least, here is a fascinating and memorable playlist from some of the most powerful female artists…



THE music world has seen.