We just celebrated Black Music Month, but we can’t stop uplifting these Black queens who have given us such great music. As far back as history goes, music has served as a unifying source of joy. Black music on its own has served as a radical movement of change, healing, and the ever-evolving nature of love. As we round out Black Music Month, here are some women who have blessed our ears and playlists with their impeccable vocals, lyrical prowess, and revolutionary star power. This list is non-exhaustive and written in alphabetical order.

Aaliyah

Aaliyah is still being talked about today because she is one of the most revolutionary artists of all time. Her artistry, vision and overall aura.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The goat😁 (@aaliyah_the_greatest)

Amerie

Amerie has always been an artist who is all about creative control throughout her career. She has given us amazing songs throughout her career.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 2000s (@2000s.era)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by COME GET A SIP! (@comegetasip)

Alicia Keys

This famous New Yorker has serenaded us with countless songs for over two decades, and this list would not be complete without pointing out her timeless influence.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 90s & Early 2000s Era (@2000s.vibes)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys)

Angélique Kidjo

With her extraordinary talent, five-time Grammy award winner Angélique Kidjo brought the heart and soul of African rhythm to the forefront.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Angelique Kidjo (@angeliquekidjo)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Angelique Kidjo (@angeliquekidjo)

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin is revered as one of the best-selling music artists of all time, and rightfully so. Her soulful voice and energy have served as a blue print for decades in the music world.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Aretha Franklin (@arethafranklin)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Aretha Franklin (@arethafranklin)

Ashanti

Ashanti made the early 2000s nostalgic and memorable. She left an indelible mark on every song that she hopped on, and made songs even more catchy and easy to memorize. Her catalogue is undeniable.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 90s & Early 2000s Era (@2000s.vibes)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 2000s (@2000s.era)

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith, also known as the “Empress of the Blues” was an American blues in the 1920s and 1930s, and blazed a trail for other women who wanted to pursue the genre.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bessie Smith (@bessiesmithofficial)

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday was an American jazz and activist. Her unique voice was inspired by jazz instrumentals, and she is also revered for her civil rights activism. Her iconic hair gardenia is equally as iconic.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by RBR.Music (@rbr.music)

Beyoncé

This list would be incomplete without any mention of Beyoncé, who has solidified herself as one of the most revolutionary and influential artists of all time.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)

Brandy

Brandy is a cultural icon. In the span of her career, she has become a force in both TV and film, and her legacy is forever embedded in music worldwide.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Mighty 90s 📟 (@themighty90s)

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan’s amazing stage presence and her artistry have made her a fan-favorite for decades.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by FUNK LORDZ (@funk.lordz)

Chloe Bailey

Chloe Bailey has become the face of raw talent and musical prowess. Her growing confidence in herself and her artistry is especially empowering.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chlöe (@chloebailey)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chlöe (@chloebailey)

Ciara

Ciara will forever be that girl. Her talent, dance techniques and good form are forever ingrained in the emblems of pop culture.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 2000s (@2000s.era)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 2000s (@2000s.era)

Diana Ross

Diana Ross represents the heart and soul of 80s music and will forever be one of the greatest pop culture icons of all time.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @legrenieramusiquedejp

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald was a well-respected American jazz singer, and was sometimes called the “First Lady of Song.” Her smooth, jazzy voice and impeccable diction  garnered her critical acclaim.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ella Fitzgerald (@firstladyofsong)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ella Fitzgerald (@firstladyofsong)

Erykah Badu

Perhaps the most powerful about Erykah Badu, apart from her music is her confident essence and powerful aura.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Daniel Tamenpi (@sopedradamusical)

Etta James

Etta James was known as a multi-talented singer who was versatile enough to sing in a variety of genres such as gospel, blues, jazz, R&B, rock and roll, and soul. Her stellar story-telling ability through song was also remarkable.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Etta James (@ettajamesofficial)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Etta James (@ettajamesofficial)

Eve

Eve was an entire era on her own in the early 2000s. Her flow, delivery, confidence and disposition left a significant impression on the music indistry.

Foxy Brown

Foxy Brown is undoubtedly one of the trailblazers for female rap and artistic expression. Her grit, audacious flow, tempo and rhythm are undeniable.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 90s & Early 2000s Era (@2000s.vibes)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Foxy Brown (@illnanafoxy)

Halle Bailey

Halle Bailey’s vocal strength, acting chop and elegance have quickly made her a pioneer in this generation of celebrity.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Halle Bailey (@hallebailey)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Halle Bailey (@hallebailey)

India Arie

India Arie’s soulful voice and ability to connect with her fans on a real and soulful level has made her one of the most respected female artists of all time.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 2000s (@2000s.era)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by India Arie (@indiaarie)

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson is a fearless trendsetter, fierce performer and trailblazer for generations of future female performers. Her artistry served as a blueprint for other artists.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara)

Jazmine Sullivan

It’s amazing to see that Jazmine Sullivan is continuing to get the recognition and praise that she deserves. Her beautiful lyricism, phenomenal tone and soul are what true music is made of.

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson’s powerful voice is one of the most riveting in the musical industry. She is also a part of an elite club of artists who are EGOT members. An EGOT is an artist who has an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony Award.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jennifer Hudson (@iamjhud)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jennifer Hudson (@iamjhud)

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is the voice of a generation. Not only has she created an indelible mark in Christmas music, she also has a remarkable legacy as one of the vocal greats.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by mariahvocal (@mariah.vocal)

Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige has devoted herself to empowering women who felt broken, torn down and defeated. Her deeply soulful, deeply emotional voice has served as a healing. soothing salve to many.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by C E S S I A (@cessia_ent)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Gina Brooks (@theurbanleak)

Nicki Minaj

Onika Tanya Maraj, popularly known as Nicki Minaj, forever changed the rap game when she came on the mainstream rap scene. Her name will forever be revered as one of the greatest of all time, and a pioneer.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by دلين♡ (@onikagiovanni)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj)

Rihanna

Rihanna has become a movement and has forever revolutionized show business.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by DrippyA$$ (@phant0mtroup3)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @rihsong (@rihsong)

Sade

Sade’s Rhythm and Soul was always in a lane of its own. Her calm, soothing voice and intonation always made every record she jumped on a hit.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 2000s (@2000s.era)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chic Nonchalance (@chicnonchalance)

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston has been called “The Voice” for decades by industry greats. Her magnus opus “I Will Always Love You,” alone explains why Whitney will always be remembered as the greatest vocal talent of all time.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Whitney Houston (@whitneyhouston)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Whitney Houston (@whitneyhouston)

beyonceblack girl magicmary j. bligenicki minajrihanna