MUSIC

Women in the music industry have always been pushed to the sidelines rather than positions of leadership. In the past, certain instruments like drums and the bass were considered off limits for women, although there were always women who defied these societal norms.


  • Women shaped the Civil Rights Movement Through Music. Music helped empower black women to lead formal leadership positions and gave voices to express their feelings. 

    • For Instance, Nina Simone sang Mississipi Goddam in 1964 which gave a voice to those who were fighting for their rights during the Civil Rights Movement. 

  • In 2019, Forbes reported that women make up 21.7% of artists, 12.3% of songwriters and 2.1% of producers. 

    • Through these statistics, it can be seen that the music industry is a heavily male dominated industry.

 

FAMOUS FEMALE MUSICIANS

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 ELLA FITZGERALD 

(BORN APRIL 25, 1917-JUNE 15, 1996)

  • She is known as “The First Lady of Song”

  • One of the most famous and popular female jazz singer in the United States

  • She won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums

  • Known as the Queen of Jazz and she contributed to different styles of music, such as swing and bebop and made over 100 albums

  • She was the first African-American singer to get a Grammy Award

DOLLY PARTON
(BORN JANUARY 19, 1946)

  • One of the most successful country singers of all time

  • Business woman, singer, songwriter, record producer, plays numerous instruments, author and humanitarian

  • Composed over 3000 songs 

  • Has received nominations for an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony

  • She received the distinguished Living Legend Award from the U.S Library of Congress

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CAROLE KING
(BORN: FEBRUARY 9, 1942)

  • She started out in the late 1950s

  • Songwriter and song producer for other artists

  • She soon built her own career and became a famous recording and performing star

  • In 2013, she was the first ever woman to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress.

MA RAINEY 
(BORN: APRIL 26, 1886 - DECEMBER 22, 1939)

  • She is known as the Mother of the Blues

  • She is one of the first Blues singers to actually record and release music and made over 100 singles which are still very well known today.

  • She is also a successful business woman who owned three entertainment venues.

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MADONNA

  • She was the first female musician and pop star that displayed an image of drive, fierce independence, and determination.

  • She is known for her continual evolution in music production, song writing and visual presentation at concerts.

  • She left Michigan in 1978 with barely any money and somehow found her way as a background singer and dancer

  • She made her first break with her single “Holiday”

  • She is known for always pushing boundaries and her financial independence

ADELE
(BORN: MAY 5, 1988)

  • Adele is one of the most popular performers and musicians of the 21st century who is known for her emotive voice and songs.

  • She is one of the world’s best-selling artists, with over 120 million records sold worldwide.

  • She has received nine Brit awards, an Academy award, a Golden Globe Award, fifteen Grammy awards, eighteen Billboard Music Awards, give American Music Awards and two Ivor Novello Awards.

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