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.
Michael JacksonMichael Jackson
(Singer)

29 August 1958

25 June 2009

Gary

American

Virgo

Janet JacksonJanet Jackson
(Singer-Songwriter)

16 May 1966

Gary, Indiana, U.S.

American

Taurus

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

08 June 1977

Atlanta

American

Gemini

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

25 October 1985

Austin

American

Scorpio

Tupac ShakurTupac Shakur

16 June 1971

13 September 1996

New York City, New York, U.S

American

Gemini

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

18 February 1965

Compton

American

Aquarius

Ice CubeIce Cube
(American rapper)

15 June 1969

Los Angeles

American

Gemini

Will SmithWill Smith
(Actor)

25 September 1968

West Philadelphia

American

Libra

Snoop DoggSnoop Dogg
(Actor)

20 October 1971

Long Beach

American

Libra

Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrix
(Singer & Musician)

27 November 1942

18 September 1970

Seattle, Washington, US

American

Sagittarius

LudacrisLudacris

11 September 1977

Champaign, Illinois, U.S.

American

Virgo

Marvin GayeMarvin Gaye
(Singer, Musician)

02 April 1939

01 April 1984

Washington, D.C., United States

American

Aries

Stevie WonderStevie Wonder
(Musician)

13 May 1950

Saginaw

American

Taurus

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

21 May 1972

09 March 1997

Clinton Hill, New York City, New York, U.S.

American

Taurus

Whitney HoustonWhitney Houston
(Singer)

09 August 1963

11 February 2012

Newark

American

Leo

AaliyahAaliyah
(Singer, Dancer, Actor & Model)

16 January 1979

25 August 2001

New York City

American

Capricorn

Louis ArmstrongLouis Armstrong
(Musician)

04 August 1901

06 July 1971

New Orleans

American

Leo

Missy ElliottMissy Elliott
(Rapper)

01 July 1971

Portsmouth

American

Cancer

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

03 May 1933

25 December 2006

Barnwell

American

Taurus

Tina TurnerTina Turner

26 November 1939

Nutbush, Tennessee

American

Sagittarius

Ray CharlesRay Charles
(Singer and Composer)

23 September 1930

10 June 2004

Albany

American

Virgo

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

14 March 1933

United States

American

Pisces

Lenny KravitzLenny Kravitz

26 May 1964

New York City

American

Gemini

Chuck BerryChuck Berry
(Guitarist)

18 October 1926

18 March 2017

St. Louis, Missouri, United States

American

Libra

Lauryn HillLauryn Hill

26 May 1975

South Orange, New Jersey, United States

American

Gemini

Aretha FranklinAretha Franklin

25 March 1942

Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.

American

Aries

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

18 March 1970

Newark, New Jersey, USA

American

Pisces

Ja RuleJa Rule

29 February 1976

New York City

American

Pisces

John ColtraneJohn Coltrane
(Jazz saxophonist and composer)

23 September 1926

17 July 1967

Hamlet

American

Virgo

Robert JohnsonRobert Johnson
(Musician, Songwriter)

08 May 1911

16 August 1938

Hazlehurst, Mississippi

American

Taurus

NellyNelly
(Rapper, Singer, Songwriter)

02 November 1974

Austin, Texas, United States

American

Scorpio

Nat King ColeNat King Cole
(Vocalist, Pianist)

17 March 1919

15 February 1965

Montgomery

American

Pisces

Otis ReddingOtis Redding
(Singer)

09 September 1941

10 December 1967

Dawson, Georgia, U.S.

American

Virgo

Duke EllingtonDuke Ellington
(Composer, Pianist and Bandleader)

29 April 1899

24 May 1974

Washington, D.C.

American

Taurus

Jay-ZJay-Z
(Rapper)

04 December 1969

Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

American

Sagittarius

PrincePrince
(Singer)

07 June 1958

21 April 2016

Minneapolis

American

Gemini

Josephine BakerJosephine Baker
(Dancer)

03 June 1906

12 April 1975

St. Louis, Missouri, U.S

French

Gemini

Bessie SmithBessie Smith
(Singer)

15 April 1894

26 September 1937

Chattanooga

American

Aries

Thelonious MonkThelonious Monk
(Jazz Pianist & Composer)

10 October 1917

17 February 1982

Rocky Mount, North Carolina, United States

American

Libra

CoolioCoolio
(Rapper, Actor, Record Producer, Chef)

01 August 1963

Compton

American

Leo

Dizzy GillespieDizzy Gillespie
(Bandleader)

21 October 1917

06 January 1993

Cheraw, South Carolina, United States

American

Libra

Lena HorneLena Horne
(Singer)

30 June 1917

09 May 2010

Bedford-Stuyvesant

American

Cancer

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

09 April 1898

23 January 1976

Princeton, New Jersey, U.S

American

Aries

Scott JoplinScott Joplin
(Composer and Pianist)

1868 AD

01 April 1917

Texas

American

Charles MingusCharles Mingus
(Jazz Musician)

22 April 1922

05 January 1979

Arizona, United States

American

Taurus

Ben HarperBen Harper

28 October 1969

Pomona, California, United States

American

Scorpio

Cab CallowayCab Calloway
(Singer)

25 December 1907

18 November 1994

Rochester

American

Capricorn

Aaron NevilleAaron Neville
(Singer & Musician)

24 January 1941

New Orleans

American

Aquarius

Chuck DChuck D
(Rapper)

01 August 1960

Queens, New York

American

Leo

Marian AndersonMarian Anderson
(Singer)

27 February 1897

08 April 1993

Philadelphia

American

Pisces

Nina SimoneNina Simone
(Singer-songwriter, Composer, Pianist, Autobiographer, Jazz musician, Singer)

21 February 1933

21 April 2003

Tryon

American

Pisces

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

20 May 1972

New York City

American

Taurus

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

11 December 1973

New York City

American

Sagittarius

Ella FitzgeraldElla Fitzgerald
(Singer-songwriter, Composer, Conductor, Bandleader, Jazz musician, Singer)

25 April 1917

15 June 1996

Newport News

American

Taurus

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

20 August 1942

10 August 2008

Covington

American

Leo

Mary J. BligeMary J. Blige
(Singer-songwriter, Actor, Singer, Television actor, Model, Record producer)

11 January 1971

New York City

American

Capricorn

Luther VandrossLuther Vandross
(Singer, Singer-songwriter, Record producer, Composer)

20 April 1951

01 July 2005

New York City

American

Aries

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

12 April 1940

Chicago

American

Aries

Smokey RobinsonSmokey Robinson
(Singer, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter, Musician, Record producer)

19 February 1940

Detroit

American

Aquarius

Darius RuckerDarius Rucker
(Singer-songwriter, Musician, Singer)

13 May 1966

Charleston

American

Taurus

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

05 November 1931

12 December 2007

Clarksdale

American

Scorpio

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

28 November 1979

Washington, D.C.

American

Sagittarius

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

22 August 1917

21 June 2001

Clarksdale

American

Leo

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

30 December 1928

02 June 2008

McComb

American

Capricorn

Natalie ColeNatalie Cole
(Actor, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Songwriter, Jazz musician, Film actor, Pianist, Television actor, Writer)

06 February 1950

31 December 2015

Los Angeles

American

Aquarius

Sarah VaughanSarah Vaughan
(Singer, Jazz musician, Pianist)

27 March 1924

03 April 1990

Newark

American

Aries

Dinah WashingtonDinah Washington
(Singer, Jazz musician)

29 August 1924

14 December 1963

Tuscaloosa

American

Virgo

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

09 March 1980

St. Louis

American

Pisces

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

27 August 1909

15 March 1959

Mississippi

American

Virgo

DMXDMX
(Rapper)

18 December 1970

Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.

American

Sagittarius

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