black music

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The Grammys just made it crystal clear: It values music that is plain, safe and white.

Beyoncé’s Lemonade went into the night a critical favorite by far, but every time it went up against Adele’s 25, it lost. Adele’s “Hello” took best pop solo performance over Beyoncé’s “Hold Up;” it also took song of the year over “Formation,” making for a clean sweep for Adele.

The Lemonade visual album — arguably the most powerful aspect of Beyoncé’s release, and a film widely hailed as one of the most ambitious and profound creations in that medium — was beat out by a Beatles tour documentary for best music film.

We’ve seen this special brand of erasure year in and year out at the Grammys. For the past eight years, white artists have taken the show’s album of the year award over black artists. 

Adele’s win simply reinforces the norm and provides even further proof that Grammy voters have trouble recognizing quality black art. Read more (Opinion)

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Beyonce and Solange let you know that whether its the sun and the moon, Oshun and Yemaya, the Black Madonna or the Last Supper, black women {black mommas} are divine  

Tribe and Busta let you know they’re not backing down to Agent Orange, they’re not playing by his “rules”, and broke down a wall on stage in defiance

the many shades of black resistance

Portrait of soprano Leontyne Price in Mozart’s opera, “Don Giovanni.” Printed on front: “Fayer, Wien.” Stamped on back: “Photo, Fayer, Wien I, Opernring 6. Handwritten on back: "Salzburg, 1960. Don Giovanni.”

  • Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library

Black Girls Classics

The Playlist Series: African American/Black American Weddings, The First Dance

Requested By: riamonaee15

Etta James: At Last
K-Ci & JoJo: All My Life
Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You
John Legend: Stay With You
Patti LaBelle: If Only You Knew
SWV: You’re Always On My Mind
The Isley Brothers: For the Love of You
John Legend: You & I
Beyonce: Halo
Faith Evans: I Love You
Four Tops/Whitney Houston: I Believe In You and Me
Tammi Terrel & Marvin Gaye/Cheryl Lynn & Luther Vandross: If This World Were Mine
Anita Baker: Sweet Love
Percy Sledge: When a Man Loves a Woman
New Edition: Can You Stand the Rain
Rufus & Chaka Khan: Sweet Thing
Jill Scott: He Loves Me
Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole: Unforgettable
Whitney Houston: You Give Good Love
Jaheim: Anything
Rose Royce: Wishing on A Star
Ginuwine: Differences
The O'Jays: Stairway to Heaven
Mariah Carey: When I Saw You
Aaliyah: At Your Best (You Are Love)
Dru Hill: These Are the Times
Babyface: Every Time I Close My Eye
Brian McKnight: Back At One
Minne Riperton: Loving You
India Arie: Ready For Love
Troop: All I Do Is Think of You
Prince: Adore
Kindred The Family: Where Would I be
Chaka Khan: Through the Fire
Jagged Edge: Promise
Dondria: You’re the One
Kevon Edmonds: 24/7
Kem: I Can’t Stop Loving You
Stevie Wonder/Luther Vandross/Donell Jones: Knocks Me Off My Feet
Tony! Toni! Tone!: Whatever You Want
Musiq Soulchild: Dontchange
Beyonce: Speechless
Seal: Kiss From A Rose
Case: Happily Ever After
Kem: Share My Life
Keyshia Cole: Love
Gerald Levert: Made to Love You
Musiq Soulchild: Love
The Deele: Two Occasions
Mawell: Fortunate
Xscape: The Arms of the One Who Loves You
India Arie: The Truth
Tendy Pendergrass: Love T.K.O
Kenny Lattimore: For You
SWV: Weak
Musiq Soulchild: sobeautiful
Mariah Carey: Vision of Love
Aretha Franklin: You’re All I Need
Gladys Kinght & The Pimps: Best Thing That Happened to Me
Beyonce: Rather Die Young
Luther Vandross: Here and Now
Pressure: Love And Affection
Heatwave/Luther Vandross: Always & Forever
Chaka Khan: Ain’t Nobody
John Legend: All of Me
Alicia Keys: If I Ain’t Got You
Luther Vandross: All The Woman I Need
Ruff Endz: Someone to Love You
Stevie Wonder: You and I
Beyonce: Dangerously In Love
Avant & Keye Wyatt: You & I
Shanice: I Love Your Smile
Maria Carey: Open Arms
Musiq Soulchild: Teachme
Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway/Beyonce & Luther Vandross: The Closer I Get to You
John Legend: P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care)
Stevie Wonder: Signed, Sealed Delivered (I’m Yours)
Atlantic Starr: Always
Luther Vandross & Mariah Care: Endless Love
Blackstreet: Let’s Stay in Love
John Legend: So High
Lionel Richie & Diana Ross: Endless Love
Whitney Houston: Greatest Love of All
Mariah Carey: Underneath the Stars
Jagged Edge: Good Luck Charm

Songs You May Have Forgot About

J-Kwon - Tipsy

Kardinal Offishall ft Akon - Dangerous

Destiny’s Child - Girl

John Legend ft Andre 3000 - Green Light

Justin Timberlake - Señorita

Alicia Keys - No One

Gnarls Barkley - Crazy

The Game - Wouldn’t get far

Rihanna - Take a bow

Juvenile - Slow motion

Paula DeAnda - Walk Away

Amerie - One Thing

Estelle - American Boy

Gwen Steffani - Rich Girl

Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love

Akon - Don’t Matter

Mariah Carey - It’s like that

Colby O'donis ft Akon - What you got

View of soprano Leontyne Price in Puccini’s opera, “Tosca.” Stamped on back: “NBC photo.” Handwritten on back: “Miss Price in Act II.”

  • Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library

Black Girl Classics

The Playlist Series: Songs You Will Hear at an African American Family Function

Sister Sledge: “We Are Family”
Frankie Beverly & Maze: “Before I let Go”
S.O.S. Band: “Don’t Stop the Music”
Slave: “Just A Touch of Love”
One Way: “Cutie Pie”
Patrice Rushe: “Forget Me Nots”
The Isley Brothers: “For the Love of You”
Juvenile: “Back that Ass Up”
Curtist Mayfield: “Pusherman”
Al Green: “Let’s Stay Together”
Stevie Wonder: “Isn’t She Lovely”
R. Kelly: “Step in the Name of Love”
Luther Vandross: “Never Too Much"
Shalamar: “Make That Move”
Teena Marie: “Square Biz”
Kool & the Gang: “ Get Down On it”
Sugar Hill Gang: “Rappers Delight”
Earth, Wind & Fire: “Reasons”
Strafe: “Set it Off”
The Gap Band: “You Dropped A Bomb on Me”
Chic: “Good Times”
Montel Jordan: “This “is How we Do It”
Evelyn Champagne King: “Love Come Down”
Club Nouveau: “Why You Treat Me So Bad”
McFadden & Whitehead: “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”
Sly and The Family Stone: “Family Affair:
Al Green: “Love and Happiness”
Switch: “I Call Your Name”
68 Boyz: “Tootsee Roll”  
The O'Jays: “Love Train“
Carl Carlton: "She’s A Bad Mama Jama”  
The Whispers: “Rock Steady”
Johnny Kemp: “Just Got Paid”
Kool & the Gang: “Celebration”
Ohio Players: “Love Roller Coaster”
Al Green: “Tired of Being Alone”
Marcia Griffiths: “ Electric Boogie (The Electric Slide)”
Roger:  "I Want to Be Your Man”
Ohio Players: “Fire”
Earth, Wind & Fire: “September”
The Commodores: “Brick House”
Michael Jackson: “Billie Jean”
Chaka Khan: “Ain’t Nobody”
Whitney Houston: “I wanna Dance With Somebody”
Parliament: “Flashlight”
DJ Casper: “Cha Cha Slide”
Zap: “ Computer Love”
The Whispers: “And the Beat Goes On”
S.O.S.: “Just Be Good to Me”
Frankie Beverly & Maze: “Happy Feelings”
Cameo: “Candy”
Vaughan Mason & Crew: “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll“
Guy: “I Like”
Cheryl Lynn: “Got to Be Real”
Cupid: “Cupid Shuffle”
The Gap Band: “Outstanding”