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The Pearl Post

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The Pearl Post

5 revolutionary black artists who continue to inspire

Pete Souza | Wikimedia Commons
Stevie Wonder, an influential musician who plays despite his blindness, was awarded many Grammy awards and other achievements for his soulful music.

Black artists have changed the world through their music. In celebration of Black History Month, we are honoring five incredible artists who have dedicated their lives to making a difference through song.

Aretha Franklin (Mar. 25, 1942 – Aug. 16, 2018)

Aretha Franklin was an influential singer, pianist and songwriter referred to by Rolling Stone magazine as “the greatest singer of all time.” At 18, she wrote her debut song “Today I Sing the Blues” (1960). “I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Love You)” (1967) became her first-ever best-seller. In 1987, she was the first woman ever to be welcomed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During her lifetime, she was given a Kennedy Center Honor, a National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Beyoncé (Sept. 4, 1981 – Present Day)

Beyoncé Knowles is a feminist who stands for equality as a singer-songwriter and actress. In 1990 at age nine, she formed the girl group Destiny’s Child. In 1997, the group debuted their album, winning them the hit single “No, No, No Part 2.” In 1999, they released “The Writing’s on the Wall,” winning them two Grammy awards. The group eventually parted ways, allowing Beyoncé to write her first solo album “Dangerously in Love” (2003). One year later, Beyoncé won five Grammy awards. Beyoncé has played many television roles such as “The Pink Panther,” “The Lion King” and “King Richard.” Her movies won her multiple Golden Globes, Academy Awards and Oscars.

Rihanna (Feb. 20, 1988 – Present Day)

(Robyn) Rihanna Fenty uses her incredible talents as a Barbadian singer, businesswoman, actress and songwriter to spread awareness and the sound of music. At 15 years old, she formed a girl group with two of her friends and auditioned for music producer Evan Rogers. Less than a year later, she left Barbados to move in with Rogers in Connecticut to pursue recording an album. In 2005, her first single “Pon de Replay” placed No. 2 on the Billboard Singles chart. A year later, her next album, “A Girl Like Me,” became her first No. 1 single. Rihanna won and earned her first Grammy ever from her hit song “Umbrella” (2007).

Stevie Wonder (May 13, 1950 – Present Day)

Stevie Wonder is an incredible singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who changed people’s views worldwide because he displayed his musical prowess despite being blind from birth. At 12, he debuted his first album and charted a hit single with his song “Fingertips (Part 2).” In the 70s, he released his albums “Innervisions” (1973), “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” (1974) and “Songs in the Key of Life” (1976), winning him Grammy awards and album of the year for each. In 1989, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and from there he was awarded the Polar Music Prize for lifetime achievement, a Kennedy Center honoree, a Grammy award for lifetime achievement, the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Jimi Hendrix (Nov. 27, 1942 – Sept. 18, 1970)

Jimi Hendrix incorporated blues, jazz, rock and soul into his incredible music, pushing rock, guitar and singing together. He was an instrumentalist who played the electric guitar. He was discovered at a New York City club and brought to England. His band the Jimi Hendrix Experience had a top ten single, “Hey Joe” and he soon rose to fame. Luck soon disappeared when legal complications from an old contract froze his recording royalties. On the verge of solving both of these problems, he died due to overdose at the age of 27. His incredible work lived on as he inspired other musicians everywhere when his band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

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About the Contributor
Serena Elkins
Serena Elkins, Staff Writer
Serena Elkins is a staff writer in her sophomore year of high school and first year on The Pearl Post staff. She is the sophomore Class President, Head of Membership in PTSA and Leadership Council Secretary. She loves to plan and volunteer at school community events. Outside of school, she enjoys painting, baking and archery. She is very excited to be a part of The Pearl Post staff and get to know the other staff members and editors while writing and taking photos.
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