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The Top 8 Best And Popular African-American Musicians

Music soothes the heart, music brings together people, and music mends broken hearts. There is so much that music can do. And all this would not be possible if we did not have musicians who come up with the lyrics and go on and sing the songs as well.

African- American musicians are known worldwide over for their great songwriting skills as well as vocal prowess. Some of them even though deceased, their music will forever play on. Mentioned below, are some of the best and popular African-American musicians who are deserving of all the fame and accolades that they have managed to be awarded with, during their musical careers.

Best and Popular African-American Musicians

  • The Notorious B.I.G
  • Rihanna
  • Alicia Keys
  • LL Cool J
  • Toni Braxton
  • Roberta Flack
  • Michael Jackson
  • Whitney Houston

1.The Notorious B.I.G

B.I.G was one of the best African-American musicians of all times. He was dubbed as the best storyteller in hip-hop in the 1990s. Hip-hop music really identified with African-Americans during those times, hence his popularity. His real name was Christopher Wallace. He was murdered in 1997. Some of his popular tunes include: ‘I got a story to tell’, ‘One more chance’, ‘Juicy’, and last but not least, ‘Mo money, Mo problems.’


best African-American musicians

Since she got into the music industry ten years ago, Rihanna has been a force to reckon with especially in the pop and R&B music fields. She has topped the Billboard hot 100 thirteen times.

She is also one of the biggest selling artists having sold over 100 million records in a span of ten years. Rihanna deserves all that has come her way since she is a hard worker and her music resonates with her audience quite well.

‘Umbrella’, ‘we found love’, ‘Live your life’, are some of the songs that pushed her into the limelight among others not mentioned.

3.Alicia Keys

This soft spoken singer prides herself on not only being a famous musician but also a song writer, pianist, and philanthropist. She has won many accolades in her musical career and she is famed for being the first new artist of the millennium who changed music by incorporating classical piano into her combination of soul, jazz, hip-hop, and R&B.

Some of her memorable songs include the likes of: ‘Karma’, ‘Fallin’, ‘No one’, among many others. She also serves as a coach on the musical show, ‘The Voice’.

4.LL Cool J

LL Cool J is a noted solo rapper who has effortlessly managed to stay relevant in the music industry. He has over time fallen into the category of famous African-American musicians for maintaining the status quo in his musical career which now spans 30 solid years.

Not only has he earned repute as a great musician, he is also an actor and hosts the annual music industry’s biggest event, the Grammy awards. Quite impressive.

A few of his songs include the likes of: ‘I’m bad’, ‘Mama said knock you out’, among others.

5.Toni Braxton

When it comes to mentioning African-American best musicians, Toni tops the list. She has been one of the biggest best-selling artists of the 1990s where she sold over 40 million albums. With her song, ‘un-break my heart’, being among the top ten best-selling singles by a female artist.

She has also been able to perform at the prestigious Super Bowl (SB XXXIV) in the year 2000. Some of her popular songs include: ‘Breathe Again’, ‘He wasn’t man enough’, and ‘You mean the world to me’.

6.Roberta Flack

Roberta was quite the music sensation back in the 1970s when the likes of Rihanna and Alicia Keys had either not been born or had not made up their minds to pursue music as a career.

She kept releasing track after track. And every song that she released was a classic hit. Both three of her songs namely; ‘The first time ever I saw your face’, ‘Killing me softly with his song’, and ‘Feel like making love’ won record and songs of the year in the Grammy awards.


As if that was not enough, all songs reached the number one position on the Billboard pop charts, making her the first ever African-American solo female musician to have three solo hits. Roberta Flack is legendary.

7.Michael Jackson

best African-American musicians

Although his life was filled with so much controversy until the time he met his untimely death, Michael Jackson was a musical legend, a great performer, and a recording artist. Having been born in a musical family, Michael nurtured his musical talent and emerged as the best not only among his siblings but also, across the world. It is not a wonder that his sixth studio album is still the best- selling album of all times with over 100 million copies having sold across the globe.

From the above inferences, it is right to say that the late Michael Jackson was one of the best African –American musicians. He set the bar so high and left very big shoes to be filled by the other musicians. His recording label is still a major force to reckon with in pop culture as it still produces music and carries on with his philanthropic endeavors.

8.Whitney Houston

Every time her music plays on the radio, many hearts break with longing and imagination of how many more songs she would have sung had she been alive today. She had the most iconic voice of all times. Being one of the most famous African-American musicians, Whitney never disappointed.

best African-American musicians

Her song writing and vocal prowess were top notch. She gave many female musicians of her time a run for their money every time she released a song. To prove that she is indeed a legend, she is the most awarded female musician. She is also famed for being one of the greatest pop stars in the globe having sold a cool 200 million records during her musical career.

The amazing thing about her music is that it still lives on. This claim is irrefutable because her debut album is still the best-selling album ever released by a female artist.

Her songs such as the likes of: ‘I look to you’, ‘I will always love you’ and ‘Where do broken hearts go’ among many others continue to gain recognition posthumously.


In Conclusion

It is quite evident that many African-American artists have beaten so many odds such as racial discrimination to be the great musicians they were or are today. It is quite evident that the best and popular African-American musicians mentioned above are deserving of all the awards and recognition that they have received.

This is because of their tireless efforts, funds, time and endless hours of practice channeled into their musical careers. It is true to say, all the efforts paid off.


Written by How Africa

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