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Celebrating African-American Musicians on Juneteenth!

Free at last, free at last! Thank God almighty, we’re free at last!

Whether you’re hanging poolside with a slice or barbecuing hot links with your family, we hope you enjoy this Juneteenth, celebrating the freedom of our African-American ancestors! 🎉

Did you know that June is also African American Music Appreciation Month?! Since its official recognition on June 7, 1979 by former President Jimmy Carter, the United States has honored the many contributions Black musicians have made to American music and culture.

Looking for notable artists to add to your Juneteenth playlist? Keep reading below!

1. Ella FitzgeraldSinger

As the Queen of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald’s voice will soothe and bring you to eternal bliss. Fitzgerald is known as the most popular female jazz singer of her time. She received 13 Grammys, and sold over 40 million copies of her albums! Fitzgerald’s world-renowned music broke barriers, bringing people of all races, nationalities, religions, and classes together. Press play on Summertime as you start your day!

2. Kendrick Lamar Rapper

Whatever life throws at us, rapper Kendrick Lamar is here to remind us, “We gon’ be ALRIGHT!” Lamar made headlines in 2015 for his BET performance of his song Alright. The performance featured tattered American flags amidst graffitied police cars, giving his audience, and those affected by constant police brutality, an anthem to hold on to during trying times. His latest album, DAMN, is currently certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

3. Jimi Hendrix – Guitarist

With a music career spanning a few short years, Jimi Hendrix pioneered the numerous possibilities of the electric guitar! As an entirely self-taught musician, Hendrix combined fuzz, feedback, and controlled distortion, creating a new sound on his instrument. Hendrix’s rise to fame happened amazingly overnight, with a 1967 performance with his band at the Monterey International Pop Festival. You can hear his amazing skills in his song, All Along The Watchtower.

4. Beyonce – Entertainer

A stranger to no one, Beyonce started her career as the lead singer in the all-female group, Destiny’s Child. Beyonce then broke out as a solo artist, and has been making music for the culture ever since. With her record-breaking Coachella performance, dubbed “BeyChella,” Beyonce brought the beauty of HBCUs on stage – hiring an all black orchestra. Last Juneteenth weekend, Beyonce released Black Parade, which we think is a must for your weekend playlist this year as well!

5. Aretha Franklin – Singer

Initially a gospel singer, Aretha Franklin stole the hearts of many by becoming one of the most notable soul singers of the 1960s; however, Franklin’s music didn’t stick to just one genre! From blues to jazz, Franklin never failed to leave her listeners speechless. Her cover of Otis Redding’s Respect solidified her place in music, and is easily one of her most recognizable songs today! It’s a timeless anthem that all generations can relate to and enjoy!

6. Erykah Badu Singer

A living music icon, Erykah Badu effortlessly combines soul, hip-hop, and jazz elements into her music. In 1997 her debut album, Baduizm, marked a shift in music, creating an entirely new genre in what is now known as neo-soul. The album received numerous awards including a Grammy for best R&B album, and best female R&B vocal performance for her song On & On.

7. Stevie Wonder Musician

Born blind, Stevie Wonder is a musical genius. With a wide range of instruments under his belt (piano, harmonica, bass, and drums), Wonder has earned more than 20 Grammys, cementing his place in music history! At age 12, Wonder had his first hit, Fingertips (Part 2), and continued thereafter, producing hit after hit with his impressive musicality and singing ability. 

8. Miles Davis – Trumpeter

Miles Davis was a jazz pioneer whose impressive improvisational skills were unlike anyone before him! With over 60 studio albums, Davis’ commitment to his craft is evident; and with 8 Grammy wins, his talent – undeniable. As you wind down this Juneteenth weekend, listen to Freddie Freeloader for its peaceful melodic sounds.

Explore more influential music this weekend when you download The @MelaninHaircare App, available on Google Play and The App Store! We’ve just added TWO NEW wash day Playlists, with over 4 HOURS of music that celebrate our Caribbean and African-American culture in the month of June!

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