Famous Black Lyricists & Songwriters

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

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 1 Prince

Prince
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Famous As: African-American Singer
Birthdate: June 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: April 21, 2016

Singer-songwriter, dancer, and musician, Prince is is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. He was considered a guitar virtuoso and could also play several other instruments. With worldwide sales of over 150 million records, he is ranked among the best-selling music artists of all time. He was also well known for his flamboyant persona.

 2 Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: April 9, 1999
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 3 Seal

Seal
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Seal is a British singer and songwriter. He has received several prestigious awards over the course of his career. Also known for his charity work, Seal has performed at several charity events in an attempt to help non-profit organizations, such as the Make It Right Foundation.

 4 Mel B

Mel B
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 29, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Mel B is an English television personality and singer-songwriter. She gained international recognition as part of the popular pop girl group Spice Girls, which has sold more than 85 million records. Over the years, Mel B has been an important TV personality, appearing in several reality series as a participant as well as a judge.

 5 Khalid (Singer)

Khalid (Singer)
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 11, 1998
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Khalid is an American singer-songwriter whose work in Logic’s hit single 1-800-273-8255 earned him a nomination at the Grammy Awards. He has also received prestigious awards, such as Billboard Music Awards, MTV Video Music Award, and American Music Awards. In 2019, he was named in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People.

 6 Akon

Akon
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

Akon is one of the most successful R&B, hip hop and rap singers in the world. His albums Trouble, Konvicted, Freedom, El Negreeto and Akonda have many chartbusters songs. He has also founded record labels Akonik Label Group, KonLive Distribution and Konvict Mizik. He courted controversy in 2007 for an onstage act involving simulated sex with a 15-year-old girl.

 7 Nina Simone

Nina Simone
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Composer
Birthdate: February 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: April 21, 2003

Widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Nina Simone was a pioneering recording artist whose career was characterized by improvisational genius and fits of outrage. Nina continues to be an important musician and has influenced several artists like Elton John, Adele, David Bowie, Madonna, and Aretha Franklin. She was also a civil rights activist.

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 8 Brandy Norwood

Brandy Norwood
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Composer, Actor, Record producer
Birthdate: February 11, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

The singer of chartbuster songs like The Boy Is Mine, I Wanna be Down and Sittin' Up in My Room, Brandy Norwood is known for her raspy and husky voice. Most of her songs are about love, relationships and heartache. She was involved in a car accident in 2006, leading to multiple lawsuits, which were eventually settled out of court.

 9 The Weeknd

The Weeknd
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 16, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Canadian

One of the most successful Canadian recording artists, singer-songwriter, the Weeknd, holds several chart records and has won numerous awards, including three Grammy Awards. Despite a difficult childhood marred by drug abuse and violence, he persevered and worked hard to emerge as a beloved music star. He is actively involved in philanthropy.

 10 Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg
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Famous As: Rapper, Songwriter, Record Producer
Birthdate: October 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

Snoop Dogg is a famous American rapper whose life is a perfect example of rags-to-riches story. As a child, he did various odd jobs to help his family make ends meet. He started rapping as a young boy to distract himself from his unstable family life. He ran into trouble with the law as a teenager. However, once he released his debut album, there was no looking back.

 

 11 Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

Widely regarded as the queen of neo-soul, Erykah Badu is an American singer-songwriter whose debut studio album Baduizm helped popularize neo-soul in the late-1990s. Thanks to her popularity, Erykah Badu serves as a subject for street art in several places, including Greater London, England. Also an actress, Badu has appeared in popular films, such as The Cider House Rules.

 12 XXXTentacion

XXXTentacion
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: January 23, 1998
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: June 18, 2018

A rapper and singer, XXXTentacion, gained fame with the success of the song, Look at Me, and release of albums like 17 and ?. In his personal life, he faced multiple legal issues from the beginning. He was shot dead at the young age of 20. XXXTentacion had a cult following among the youth owing to his depression and alienation thematic driven music.

 13 Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

R&B and hip-hop singer Teyana Taylor gained fame with MTV's My Super Sweet 16. She signed with Kanye West’s label and also appeared on the reality show Teyana and Iman, with her husband, NBA player Iman Shumpert. In December 2020, she announced her retirement from music through Instagram.

 14 Kanye West

Kanye West
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Famous As: Rapper, Singer-Songwriter, Record Producer
Birthdate: June 8, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

Creative from a very young age, Kanye West dreamed of becoming a rapper since very early in his life. He became an award winning American rapper whose creativity in music is widely appreciated by critics. However, his outspoken views, comments and behaviour have quite often landed him controversies.

 15 Saweetie

Saweetie
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Famous As: Rapper, Songwriter
Birthdate: July 2, 1993
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

Saweetie is an American rapper gained recognition when she posted her debut single Icy Grl on SoundCloud. Subsequently, the video of the song broke the internet as it went on to gather 100 million views on YouTube. She was then signed by Warner Records, which increased her popularity. She is also signed to Artistry Worldwide, her manager Max Gousse's record label.

 16 Faith Evans

Faith Evans
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Famous As: American singer
Birthdate: June 10, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
R&B and hip-hop artist Faith Evans is the first female artist to sign with Sean Combs’s label. She was married to rapper The Notorious B.I.G., who was killed in a shooting. Evans later won a Grammy for the song I'll Be Missing You, released in memory of her late husband.

 17 Eazy-E

Eazy-E
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: March 26, 1995

Widely regarded as the godfather of gangsta rap, Eazy-E was a rapper and record producer. He played a major role in popularizing gangsta rap and West Coast rap by forming N.W.A, which is considered one of the most influential and greatest hip hop groups of all time. Eazy-E died at the age of 30 after being diagnosed with AIDS.

 18 Roddy Ricch

Roddy Ricch
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: October 22, 1998
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

Trap sensation Roddy Ricch is best known for his mixtape Feed Tha Streets II, which featured the Billboard Hot 100-charting track Die Young. Nipsey Hussle's track Racks in the Middle, featuring Ricch, got him a Grammy Award. Fans also loved Ricch's Hot 100-topping single The Box from his debut album.

 19 DaBaby

DaBaby
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 22, 1991
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

American rapper and songwriter DaBaby gained critical acclaim and commercial success with his debut album Baby on Baby. Later, his two other albums Kirk and Blame It on Baby became huge successes and made him one of the biggest rappers in the US. Earlier his single Light Show and Baby Talk series of mixtape attracted quite a lot of attention.

 20 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Actor, singer-songwriter, and comedian, Jamie Foxx became internationally famous for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray, a role that earned him an Academy Award. He is also known for hosting his own television sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show. Besides acting, he is also a Grammy Award-winning musician who has released four albums.

 21 Tay-K 47

Tay-K 47
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: June 16, 2000
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Rapper Tay-K is best known for his Billboard-charting and platinum-certified track The Race. The same day the song was released, U.S. marshals arrested him on murder charges in New Jersey. He was convicted in the case involving the death of Ethan Walker and was later indicted for another murder.

 22 2 Chainz

2 Chainz
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

2 Chainz is an American rapper, media personality, songwriter, and basketball player. One-half of the now-defunct hip hop duo Playaz Circle, 2 Chainz is credited with founding The Real University, his own independent record label. Also an entrepreneur, 2 Chainz owns Dabbing Sweaters, his own line of sweaters, and CEO Millionaires, a line of hoodies.

 23 Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix
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Famous As: Singer & Musician
Birthdate: November 27, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: September 18, 1970

One of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix began playing guitar at the age of 15. As his career progressed, he became the first musician to use stereophonic phasing effects in recordings. Rolling Stone ranked him as the greatest guitarist and the sixth greatest artist of all time. He died under mysterious circumstances at the age of 27.

 24 will.i.am

will.i.am
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Famous As: Rapper, Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: March 15, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Rapper and music producer William James Adams Jr., better known as “will.i.am,” is a founding member of the Black Eyed Peas. He went solo later and released tracks such as the NBA Live theme Go! The seven-time Grammy-winning artist also wrote Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign theme Yes We Can.

 25 Donna Summer

Donna Summer
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: May 17, 2012

 26 Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: July 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Four-time Grammy-winning rapper Missy Elliott, known for her chartbusting tracks such as Get Ur Freak On, was ranked fifth on Billboard’s 100 Greatest Music Video Artists of All Time list. She was initially part of the R&B group Sista and then collaborated with Timbaland in the collective Swing Mob

 27 André 3000

André 3000
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 28 Master P

Master P
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: April 29, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 29 Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 30 Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 5, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Rapper-singer Pharrell Williams began his career with The Neptunes, the record-production duo he had formed with Chad Hugo. He was also part of the band N.E.R.D., as its lead vocalist. He is known for his Academy Award-nominated song Happy from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack and his 13 Grammy wins.

 31 Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 32 T-Pain

T-Pain
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 30, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Faheem Rasheed Najm, better known as T-Pain, shot to fame with the US Billboard 200-topping album Epiphany. The two-time Grammy-winning artist is known for his signature use of the auto-tune effect. He has delivered hit singles such as I'm on a Boat and has played minor roles in several films.

 33 Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa
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Famous As: Rapper & Songwriter
Birthdate: September 8, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Rapper Wiz Khalifa shot to fame with his Billboard-topping track Black and Yellow. His single See You Again was part of the soundtrack of Furious 7 and topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks. The Grammy-nominated artist is a supporter of cannabis usage and a martial arts enthusiast.

 34 Ciara

Ciara
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 25, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Ciara is an American singer-songwriter whose debut single, Goodies, earned her the title Princess of Crunk&B. Her songs, Goodies and Yeah!, are credited with introducing the substyle of contemporary R&B and crunk music called crunk&B to music lovers. Also a dancer and model, Ciara has had a major impact on the American entertainment industry for the past 10 years.

 35 Berry Gordy

Berry Gordy
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Famous As: Record Executive
Birthdate: November 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 36 DJ Yella

DJ Yella
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 37 Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: August 20, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: August 10, 2008

 38 Pusha T

Pusha T
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 39 Jidenna

Jidenna
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 4, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Nigerian, American

Jidenna is a Nigerian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Interested in music from an early age, he co-founded the rap group Black Spadez when he was in high school. As a young man, he worked full-time as a teacher before becoming a popular rapper. He is also a founding member of the social club Fear & Fancy

 40 Eve

Eve
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: November 10, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 41 Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 8, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 42 Tech N9ne

Tech N9ne
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: November 8, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Rapper Aaron Dontez Yates, better known as Tech N9ne, formed the record label Strange Music with Travis O'Guin. His stage name was inspired by a TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun gifted to him by rapper Black Walt. His music has been featured in video games, TV shows, and films.

 43 Lil Mosey

Lil Mosey
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: January 26, 2002
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Lil Mosey is an American singer, songwriter, and rapper. Known for his melodic flow of music, Mosey has released singles, such as Blueberry Faygo, which featured on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number eight. The song has been certified platinum in the US and Australia and 4× platinum in Canada.

 44 Sheck Wes

Sheck Wes
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 10, 1998
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Rapper Sheck Wes is best known for his hit Mo Bamba. He has signed with the labels of Kanye West and Travis Scott and also modeled for Birkenstock. In late 2020, he joined the French basketball club Paris Basketball, which competes in the LNB Pro B.

 45 Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Ghanaian, British

 46 Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 26, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: January 13, 2010

 47 Summer Walker

Summer Walker
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 11, 1996
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 48 Vince Staples

Vince Staples
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: July 2, 1993
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 49 Monica

Monica
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 24, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 50 Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti
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Famous As: Multi-instrumentalist
Birthdate: October 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Nigerian
Died: August 2, 1997
Political activist and Afrobeat inventor Fela Kuti initially performed with his band Koola Lobitos and later renamed it Nigeria '70. He was inspired by the Black Power movement, which also gradually transformed his musical style. He married 27 women in 1978, to mark the anniversary of the Kalakuta Republic attack.