5 FEMALES WHO CHANGED THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
It's no secret we love female icons around here. But do you know how some of the biggest names in music got to where they are today? In honor of Women's History Month, we decided to give y'all a little history lesson on 5 of our faves (in no particular order).
Cher started her career as one half of the hubby-wife folk duo Sonny & Cher. While they we're killing that game, she decided to release her first solo single "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)", while also starring on the hit TV show The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. Multi-task much? By 1998, Cher had amassed countless chart-topping singles, and basically invented auto-tune when she released her iconic single "Believe". No seriously. People called it the "Cher-effect" for years. Besides winning a Grammy, an Emmy, an Academy Award, three Golden Globes, and countless fashion and other awards, Cher is known and celebrated for her progressive political views and philanthropic work with the LGBT community and HIV/AIDS preventions. Snaps for that!
Basically, invented auto-tune.
Considered one of the most-loved (and most influential) Latin crossover artists of all time, Selena is something of a legend. When she began performing Tejano (Tex-Mex folk music) songs in venues around Texas, she was often refused bookings because it was a typically male-dominated genre. All that changed in 1987 when she won the Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist, which helped springboard her music into the Billboard charts. This Mexican-American diva is also regarded for her boundary-pushing style and sex appeal and non-profit work with charities in Texas.
Bidi Bidi Awesome.
3. Diana Ross
Born in Detroit, Diana Ross rose to fame in the 1960s as the lead singer of The Supremes AKA the best-selling girl group of all time. No big deal. When she went solo in 1970's, she reached #1 on the Billboard charts with "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", and continued to release banger after banger for the next 40 years- even starring in a few blockbuster films. She's listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Most Successful Female Artist of All Time, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and has been inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame- just to name a few achievements. Her wide-spread success made it possible for other African-American artists to achieve mainstream success, and for that we salute her.
We salute you.
4. Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton had humble beginnings as youngest daughter from a family of 12 in Tennessee. The day after she graduated high school, she moved to Nashville to become a songwriter, where she gained popularity writing for other country artists, before launching her solo career in 1967. She's also one of the few people EVER to be nominated for an EGAT (AKA one Emmy, Grammy, Acadamy Awards and an Emmy)! While Dolly has been an avid supporter of bald eagle preservation, she is most well known for her literacy program: Dolly Parton's Imagination Library - which was just recognized in 2018 for sending out it's 100 millionth book. Yes, you read that right. 100 million.
5. Whitney Houston
She's sold over 200 million records. She was the first woman to debut an album at #1 on the Billboard charts. She starred as Rachel Marron in the legendary film The Bodyguard, singing "I Will Always Love You." But all you 90s babies out there, probably remember her best as The Fairy Godmother in the 1997 made-for-TV adaptation of Cinderella. What you probably didn't know is that Houston's production company sought out to make that movie "to show aspects of the lives of African-Americans that have not been brought to the screen before" while improving how African-Americans are portrayed in film and television.
We will always love you, girl.