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Posted under: News Culture

Black History Is Now: Spotify Celebrates Black Women Who Carved a Seat at the Table

Check out these women who paved their own path in the music industry.

Music wouldn’t be where it is today without Black women, and that’s not up for debate. From pop to rock ‘n’ roll and R&B, Black women have shaped how we’ve embraced and feel the tunes that reach our ears everyday. Artists such as Janet Jackson, Sade, Lauryn Hill, H.E.R, Missy Elliott, Mariah Carey and more have made us all feel every emotion from joy and self-empowerment to nostalgia and love. 

They’re the foundation of music. 

It would be impossible to celebrate the Black experience without recognizing Black women who have influenced how we’ve consumed music in the past and present. In 2020, Spotify is acknowledging these queens by giving them their flowers while they are living (and some posthumously) through their Black History Is Now platform. It’s time they get the credit they deserve. 

Artists like Beyoncé and Lizzo have used their gift over the last year to define pivotal moments in culture and shape the way music is experienced globally. Beyoncé released The Lion King: The Gift, which gave a new outlook on the classic movie. The album celebrates the true sound and lyricism colloquial to our ancestral home, Africa. She had every brown skin girl acknowledge and present to the world the true queen who lives within. The icon even created a remix to the classic song, “Before I Let Go”, originally mastered by Frankie Beverly & Maze. The rendition caused an eruption of professional and homemade dance videos across social media platforms called the #BeforeILetGoChallenge, where thousands of people recorded their own version to share with the world. 

Also, pop star Lizzo’s music inspired her listeners to love themselves unapologetically and ushered in a spotlight on body positivity. With songs like “Good As Hell” and “Truth Hurts”, the Grammy-award winning artist gained widespread popularity in 2019 with the help of TikTok, too. “Truth Hurts” created a #DNATestChallenge, based off the lyrics of the song where users put a creative spin on the song and caused it to be even more of a viral sensation. Lizzo’s music also empowers fans to stay persistent in a craft and keep creating, since “Truth Hurts” was originally released in 2017 and inspired by a romantic breakup. The single didn’t pop until it’s re-release in 2019 contributing to a fresh new presence — a black woman playing a flute is just what the music industry needed. 

Black women are phenomenal and they’ve broken down barriers in the male-dominated music industry by elevating their voices one note at a time. 

Their impact on the culture and across various genres should not go unnoticed. 

Spotify is highlighting these groundbreaking artists and many more through their Black History Is Now playlist hub so users can experience why Black women reign supreme in music. Click to enjoy music from the past and present at the Black History Is Now hub.
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Brianna Rhodes is the branded content writer for Blavity. Feel free to contact her at brianna@blavity.com