As Black Music Month ends, let’s reminisce on some of the musical contributions made by African-Americans.

Established by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, Black Music Month was founded on the eve of the R&B/Soul Era. R&B/Soul music, arguably pioneered by African-Americans, combined classic funk era vibes with powerful vocals over smooth electronic beats. Black artists continuously topped charts during this period.

Below are a few artists whose influence will never be forgotten:

Michael Jacksons album, Off the Wall, released in 1979. Known for his gifts in music and dance, Jackson won 22 awards for his work throughout his career.

Luther Vandross

Michael Jackson

Prince

Sade

Whitney Houston

Anita Baker

Marvin Gaye

Though we’re sad to have seen many of these artists pass away, their legacies live on through music today.

Here are some powerful soul artists that are still making music!

“Welcome Home Heroes” was Whitney Houston’s first solo televised concert. Houston, in 2009, was the most awarded female act of all time.  

Jill Scott

Erykah Badu

Tamar Braxton

John Legend

Mary J. Blige

New Edition

Boyz II Men