Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Beyonce are a few famous American singers.

Music is a field which has been constantly evolving since time immemorial. The rich history of American music has witnessed several significant changes over the past few centuries. Many individuals of African American descent have made waves in the recent past for their prowess in music and have earned many accolades including prestigious awards for their efforts. The most popular example would probably be the king of pop Michael Jackson, who revolutionized world music with his style. His tracks such as ‘Beat It’, ‘Thriller’, ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Black or White’ are anthems among the youth even today. Michael, or MJ as he’s popularly known, is a recipient of 13 Grammy awards. He has also been felicitated with 26 American music Awards for his incredible talent. Many of his songs have topped the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ charts. The legendary Ray Charles is another legendary musician who has millions of followers worldwide. He was also mentioned in the list of ‘100 Greatest Artists of All Time’, published by the ‘Rolling Stones’ magazine. Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Beyonce and Nina Simone are a few other African American singers who have made their community proud. Some of these singers also enjoy a major fan following on social media platforms as well. Scroll below to know the names of singers of African American descent who have changed world music in a great way. Some of their works have influenced many famous singers of today.
Aretha FranklinAretha Franklin
(Singer)

25 March 1942

American

Michael JacksonMichael Jackson
(Singer)

29 August 1958

American

Kanye WestKanye West
(Rapper, Singer-Songwriter, Record Producer)

08 June 1977

American

Tupac ShakurTupac Shakur

16 June 1971

American

Will SmithWill Smith
(Actor)

25 September 1968

American

The Notorious BThe Notorious B.I.G.
(Rapper)

21 May 1972

American

Whitney HoustonWhitney Houston
(Singer)

09 August 1963

American

Jay-ZJay-Z
(Rapper)

04 December 1969

American

Snoop DoggSnoop Dogg
(Actor)

20 October 1971

American

Tina TurnerTina Turner

26 November 1939

American

Ice CubeIce Cube
(American rapper)

15 June 1969

American

Dr. DreDr. Dre
(American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur)

18 February 1965

American

AaliyahAaliyah
(Singer, Dancer, Actor & Model)

16 January 1979

American

Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrix
(Singer & Musician)

27 November 1942

American

Janet JacksonJanet Jackson
(Singer-Songwriter)

16 May 1966

American

Stevie WonderStevie Wonder
(Musician)

13 May 1950

American

Lauryn HillLauryn Hill

26 May 1975

American

Lenny KravitzLenny Kravitz

26 May 1964

American

Marvin GayeMarvin Gaye
(Singer, Musician)

02 April 1939

American

Quincy JonesQuincy Jones
(Musician, Conductor, Producer, Arranger, Composer, Film Composer)

14 March 1933

American

Queen LatifahQueen Latifah
(Singer, Songwriter, Rapper, Aactress,)

18 March 1970

American

James BrownJames Brown
(Musician, recording artist, producer, dancer, bandleader)

03 May 1933

American

Ray CharlesRay Charles
(Singer and Composer)

23 September 1930

American

CiaraCiara
(Singer-songwriter, Musician, Composer, Model)

25 October 1985

American

Nina SimoneNina Simone
(Singer-songwriter, Composer)

21 February 1933

American

Smokey RobinsonSmokey Robinson
(Singer)

19 February 1940

American

LudacrisLudacris

11 September 1977

American

Otis ReddingOtis Redding
(Singer)

09 September 1941

American

Louis ArmstrongLouis Armstrong
(Musician)

04 August 1901

American

Missy ElliottMissy Elliott
(Rapper)

01 July 1971

American

NellyNelly
(Rapper, Singer, Songwriter)

02 November 1974

American

Robert JohnsonRobert Johnson
(Musician, Songwriter)

08 May 1911

American

Chuck BerryChuck Berry
(Guitarist)

18 October 1926

American

Ja RuleJa Rule

29 February 1976

American

John ColtraneJohn Coltrane
(Jazz saxophonist and composer)

23 September 1926

American

Nat King ColeNat King Cole
(Vocalist, Pianist)

17 March 1919

American

Josephine BakerJosephine Baker
(Dancer)

03 June 1906

French

Ben HarperBen Harper

28 October 1969

American

CoolioCoolio
(Rapper, Actor, Record Producer, Chef)

01 August 1963

American

Lena HorneLena Horne
(Singer)

30 June 1917

American

Duke EllingtonDuke Ellington
(Composer, Pianist and Bandleader)

29 April 1899

American

Cab CallowayCab Calloway
(Singer)

25 December 1907

American

Thelonious MonkThelonious Monk
(Jazz Pianist & Composer)

10 October 1917

American

Paul RobesonPaul Robeson
(Singer, Actor & Civil Rights Activist)

09 April 1898

American

PrincePrince
(Singer)

07 June 1958

American

Chuck DChuck D
(Rapper)

01 August 1960

American

Dizzy GillespieDizzy Gillespie
(Bandleader)

21 October 1917

American

Bessie SmithBessie Smith
(Singer)

15 April 1894

American

Scott JoplinScott Joplin
(Composer and Pianist)

24 November 1868

American

Aaron NevilleAaron Neville
(Singer & Musician)

24 January 1941

American

Charles MingusCharles Mingus
(Jazz Musician)

22 April 1922

American

Marian AndersonMarian Anderson
(Singer)

27 February 1897

American

Jessica DimeJessica Dime
(Rapper)

27 January 1986

American

Orlando BrownOrlando Brown
(Actor, Voice Actor, Singer)

04 December 1987

American

Ike TurnerIke Turner
(Guitarist, Pianist, Actor, Singer-songwriter, Bandleader, Conductor, Singer, Record producer)

05 November 1931

American

Mos DefMos Def
(Singer, Actor, Songwriter, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Rapper, Television actor, Record producer, Film actor)

11 December 1973

American

Busta RhymesBusta Rhymes
(Musician, Actor, Rapper, Singer)

20 May 1972

American

Isaac HayesIsaac Hayes
(Singer, Actor, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Film actor, Television actor, Pianist, Film score composer)

20 August 1942

American

Herbie HancockHerbie Hancock
(Singer-songwriter, Bandleader, Conductor, Jazz musician, Keyboardist, Actor, Musician, Pianist, Film score composer)

12 April 1940

American

ChamillionaireChamillionaire
(Musician, Actor, Businessperson, Rapper, Singer, Television actor, Record producer, Composer)

28 November 1979

American

John Lee HookerJohn Lee Hooker
(Guitarist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Composer)

22 August 1917

American

Bo DiddleyBo Diddley
(Guitarist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Composer)

30 December 1928

American

Sarah VaughanSarah Vaughan
(Singer, Jazz musician, Pianist)

27 March 1924

American

ChingyChingy
(Rapper, Musician, Actor, Singer, Television actor, Businessperson)

09 March 1980

American

Dinah WashingtonDinah Washington
(Singer, Jazz musician)

29 August 1924

American

Lester YoungLester Young
(Clarinetist, Saxophonist, Composer, Jazz musician, Musician)

27 August 1909

American

DMXDMX
(Rapper)

18 December 1970

American