Famous Black Composers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Composers

 1 Ray Charles

Ray Charles
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter & Musician
Birthdate: September 23, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Albany, Georgia, United States
Died: June 10, 2004

Ray Charles went on to become a great singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist, despite suffering blindness due to glaucoma early in his life. One of the most respected and decorated musicians of all time, Ray Charles has been named in lists, such as 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. He pioneered the soul music genre, which remains his greatest contribution.

 2 Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 20, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 1, 2005

Luther Vandross was an American record producer and singer-songwriter. As a background vocalist, Vandross contributed to the success of several songs recorded by artists like David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Judy Collins. Regarded as a singer with one of the greatest voices in recorded history, Luther Vandross' works have influenced many artists like D'Angelo, Jaheim, Ne-Yo, John Legend, and Usher.

 3 Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois
Ten-time Grammy-winning funk/R&B/disco artist Chaka Khan, or the Queen of Funk, soared to fame as the frontwoman of the band Rufus. Known for her hit track I Feel for You, Khan has sold 70 million records and has ranked 17th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll list.

 4 Don Shirley

Don Shirley
0
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: January 29, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pensacola, Florida, USA
Died: April 6, 2013

 5 John Coltrane

John Coltrane
0
Famous As: Saxophonist, Composer
Birthdate: September 23, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hamlet
Died: July 17, 1967
Jazz saxophonist John Coltrane is remembered for his significant influence on modern jazz. He was initially part of the Navy band and eventually collaborated with musicians such as Miles Davis. He won a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and was canonized by the African Orthodox Church.

 6 Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 26, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingstree, South Carolina, USA
Died: January 13, 2010

 7 Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron
0
Famous As: Singer, Writer, Composer, Poet, Pianist
Birthdate: April 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: May 27, 2011
You May Like

 8 D'Angelo

D'Angelo
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 11, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States

 9 Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie
0
Famous As: Bandleader
Birthdate: October 21, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cheraw, South Carolina, United States
Died: January 6, 1993

Jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and singer Dizzy Gillespie developed the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge, modifying it with innovative harmony and rhythm. He popularized the bebop style of music and was famous for his signature horn-rimmed spectacles. His contribution to modern jazz earned him the title of the Ambassador of Jazz.

 10 DJ Jazzy Jeff

DJ Jazzy Jeff
0
Famous As: Club DJ, Disc jockey, Actor, Television actor, Record producer, Composer
Birthdate: January 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia

 11 Labrinth

Labrinth
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 4, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London Borough of Hackney Hackney, London, England

 12 Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley
0
Famous As: Guitarist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Composer
Birthdate: December 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: McComb
Died: June 2, 2008

 13 Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Marianne Jean-Baptiste
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 26, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 14 Dwayne Wayans

Dwayne Wayans
0
Famous As: Composer, Actor, Musician, Writer
Birthdate: July 20, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City

 15 Joan Armatrading

Joan Armatrading
0
Famous As: Guitarist, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Record producer, Music arranger
Birthdate: December 9, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Basseterre

 16 Toro y Moi

Toro y Moi
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 7, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Columbia, South Carolina, United States

 17 Hugh Masekela

Hugh Masekela
0
Famous As: Trumpeter, Composer, Jazz musician
Birthdate: April 4, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Witbank

 18 Chingy

Chingy
0
Famous As: Rapper, Musician, Actor, Singer, Television actor, Businessperson
Birthdate: March 9, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: St. Louis

 19 Luther Campbell

Luther Campbell
0
Famous As: Music executive, Actor, Record producer, Composer
Birthdate: December 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Miami

 20 Jelly Roll Morton

Jelly Roll Morton
0
Famous As: Pianist, Bandleader, Composer, Conductor, Jazz musician
Birthdate: October 20, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gulfport
Died: July 10, 1941

 21 Art Blakey

Art Blakey
0
Famous As: Drummer
Birthdate: October 11, 1919
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died: October 16, 1990

 22 Youssou N'Dour

Youssou N'Dour
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 1, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dakar, Senegal

 23 Judith Hill

Judith Hill
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 6, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

 24 Timati

Timati
0
Famous As: Rapper, Singer, Record producer, Composer
Birthdate: August 15, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Moscow

 25 Solomon Burke

Solomon Burke
0
Famous As: Singer, Priest, Guitarist, Songwriter, Composer
Birthdate: March 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: October 10, 2010

 26 Max Roach

Max Roach
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pasquotank County, North Carolina, U.S.
Died: August 16, 2007

 27 McCoy Tyner

McCoy Tyner
0
Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: December 11, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 6, 2020

 28 Grover Washington, Jr.

Grover Washington, Jr.
0
Famous As: Saxophonist
Birthdate: December 12, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States
Died: December 17, 1999

 29 Freddie Hubbard

Freddie Hubbard
0
Famous As: Trumpeter
Birthdate: April 7, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died: December 29, 2008

 30 Oritsé Williams

Oritsé Williams
0
Birthdate: November 27, 1986
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: West End of London

 31 Seu Jorge

Seu Jorge
0
Famous As: Actor, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Screenwriter
Birthdate: June 8, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Belford Roxo

 32 Horace Silver

Horace Silver
0
Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: September 2, 1928
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.
Died: June 18, 2014

 33 Solomon Linda

Solomon Linda
0
Famous As: singer, songwriter, composer
Birthdate: 1909 AD
Birthplace: South Africa
Died: October 8, 1962

 34 Yusef Abdul Lateef

Yusef Abdul Lateef
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: October 9, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
Died: December 23, 2013

 35 Eubie Blake

Eubie Blake
0
Famous As: American composer
Birthdate: February 7, 1887
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: February 12, 1983

 36 Jackie McLean

Jackie McLean
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 17, 1931
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: March 31, 2006

 37 Milt Jackson

Milt Jackson
0
Famous As: Jazz vibraphonist
Birthdate: January 1, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: October 9, 1999

 38 Florence Price

Florence Price
0
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: 1887 AD
Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Died: 1953 AD

 39 Milton Nascimento

Milton Nascimento
0
Famous As: Singer, Composer, Guitarist
Birthdate: October 26, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro

 40 Archie Shepp

Archie Shepp
0
Famous As: Jazz Saxophonist
Birthdate: May 24, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States

 41 J. J. Johnson

J. J. Johnson
0
Famous As: Trombonist
Birthdate: January 22, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died: February 4, 2001

 42 Barry Harris

Barry Harris
0
Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: December 15, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

 43 James Reese Europe

James Reese Europe
0
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 22, 1880
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States
Died: May 9, 1919

 44 Anthony Braxton

Anthony Braxton
0
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: June 4, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 45 Hank Jones

Hank Jones
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 31, 1918
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vicksburg, Mississippi
Died: May 16, 2010

 46 Nat Adderley

Nat Adderley
0
Famous As: Jazz Trumpeter
Birthdate: November 25, 1931
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Died: January 2, 2000

 47 Albertina Walker

Albertina Walker
0
Famous As: Gospel singer
Birthdate: August 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: October 8, 2010

 48 Richard Berry

Richard Berry
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 11, 1935
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Extension, Louisiana, United States
Died: January 23, 1997

 49 Aurlus Mabélé

Aurlus Mabélé
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 26, 1953
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
Died: March 19, 2020

 50 Mbongeni Ngema

Mbongeni Ngema
0
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa