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.
Michael JacksonMichael Jackson
29 August 1958, American
Singer
Will SmithWill Smith
25 September 1968, American
Actor

Tupac ShakurTupac Shakur
16 June 1971, American
Rapper

Snoop DoggSnoop Dogg
20 October 1971, American
Actor

Kanye WestKanye West
08 June 1977, American
Rapper, Singer-Songwriter, Record Producer

AaliyahAaliyah
16 January 1979, American
American singer
Whitney HoustonWhitney Houston
09 August 1963, American
Singer

Jay-ZJay-Z
04 December 1969, American
Rapper

Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrix
27 November 1942, American
Singer & Musician

Lenny KravitzLenny Kravitz
26 May 1964, American
Musician
Tina TurnerTina Turner
26 November 1939, American
 

The Notorious B.I.G.The Notorious B.I.G.
21 May 1972, American
Rapper
Missy ElliottMissy Elliott
01 July 1971, American
Rapper

Ice CubeIce Cube
15 June 1969, American
American rapper

Stevie WonderStevie Wonder
13 May 1950, American
Singer-songwriter
Dr. DreDr. Dre
18 February 1965, American
American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur

Marvin GayeMarvin Gaye
02 April 1939, American
Singer, Musician
Queen LatifahQueen Latifah
18 March 1970, American
Singer, Songwriter, Rapper, Aactress,

Quincy JonesQuincy Jones
14 March 1933, American
Musician, Conductor, Producer, Arranger, Composer,

Janet JacksonJanet Jackson
16 May 1966, American
Singer-Songwriter
Louis ArmstrongLouis Armstrong
04 August 1901, American
Musician

Ray CharlesRay Charles
23 September 1930, American
Singer and Composer
Aretha FranklinAretha Franklin
25 March 1942, American
Singer

Lauryn HillLauryn Hill
26 May 1975, American
 

James BrownJames Brown
03 May 1933, American
Musician, recording artist, producer, dancer,

CiaraCiara
25 October 1985, American
Singer-songwriter, Musician, Composer, Model
LudacrisLudacris
11 September 1977, American
 
Ja RuleJa Rule
29 February 1976, American
 

Nina SimoneNina Simone
21 February 1933, American
Singer-songwriter, Composer

Chuck BerryChuck Berry
18 October 1926, American
Guitarist

NellyNelly
02 November 1974, American
Rapper, Singer, Songwriter
Smokey RobinsonSmokey Robinson
19 February 1940, American
Singer

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Robert JohnsonRobert Johnson
08 May 1911, American
Musician, Songwriter

Otis ReddingOtis Redding
09 September 1941, American
Singer

Ben HarperBen Harper
28 October 1969, American
 

John ColtraneJohn Coltrane
23 September 1926, American
Saxophonist, Composer
Nat King ColeNat King Cole
17 March 1919, American
Vocalist, Pianist

Lena HorneLena Horne
30 June 1917, American
Singer
Josephine BakerJosephine Baker
03 June 1906, French
Dancer

Duke EllingtonDuke Ellington
29 April 1899, American
Composer, Pianist and Bandleader

CoolioCoolio
01 August 1963, American
Rapper, Actor, Record Producer, Chef
Aaron NevilleAaron Neville
24 January 1941, American
Singer & Musician

Paul RobesonPaul Robeson
09 April 1898, American
Singer, Actor & Civil Rights Activist
Cab CallowayCab Calloway
25 December 1907, American
Singer

Thelonious MonkThelonious Monk
10 October 1917, American
Jazz Pianist & Composer

Dizzy GillespieDizzy Gillespie
21 October 1917, American
Bandleader

Bessie SmithBessie Smith
15 April 1894, American
Singer

Scott JoplinScott Joplin
24 November 1868, American
Composer and Pianist
Chuck DChuck D
01 August 1960, American
Rapper

PrincePrince
07 June 1958, American
Singer

Charles MingusCharles Mingus
22 April 1922, American
Jazz Musician

Marian AndersonMarian Anderson
27 February 1897, American
Singer
Jessica DimeJessica Dime
27 January 1986, American
Rapper

Orlando BrownOrlando Brown
04 December 1987, American
Actor, Voice Actor, Singer
Ike TurnerIke Turner
05 November 1931, American
Guitarist, Pianist, Actor, Singer-songwriter,

Busta RhymesBusta Rhymes
20 May 1972, American
Musician, Actor, Rapper, Singer

Mos DefMos Def
11 December 1973, American
Singer, Actor, Songwriter, Singer-songwriter,
Isaac HayesIsaac Hayes
20 August 1942, American
Singer, Actor, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Film

Herbie HancockHerbie Hancock
12 April 1940, American
Singer-songwriter, Bandleader, Conductor, Jazz
Tisha Campbell-MartinTisha Campbell-Martin
13 October 1968, American
Actress

Al B. Sure!Al B. Sure!
04 June 1968, American
Singer-songwriter

Marques HoustonMarques Houston
04 August 1981, American
Singer
John Lee HookerJohn Lee Hooker
22 August 1917, American
Guitarist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Musician,

Bo DiddleyBo Diddley
30 December 1928, American
Guitarist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Composer
ChamillionaireChamillionaire
28 November 1979, American
Musician, Actor, Businessperson, Rapper, Singer,

ChingyChingy
09 March 1980, American
Rapper, Musician, Actor, Singer, Television actor,

Sarah VaughanSarah Vaughan
27 March 1924, American
Singer, Jazz musician, Pianist

Merry ClaytonMerry Clayton
25 December 1948, American
Actress
Dinah WashingtonDinah Washington
29 August 1924, American
Singer, Jazz musician
Petey PabloPetey Pablo
22 July 1973, American
Rapper

Lester YoungLester Young
27 August 1909, American
Clarinetist, Saxophonist, Composer, Jazz musician,

Ken PageKen Page
20 January 1954, American
Actor

DMXDMX
18 December 1970, American
Rapper