Atlanta’s home to so many incredible, female influencers in the music industry.
Atlanta has a thriving music industry and is considered the capital of hip-hop including crunk and trap music. As well as this, it has influenced the worlds of R&B, neo-soul, gospel, rock and pop music. The city was even a major center for country music in the 1920s up to the 1950s.
Within these genres, many Atlantan superstars who dominated were female. In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating these women who’ve shaped Atlanta’s music scene.
TLC is an Atlantan girl group whose original line-up consisted of Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Crystal Jones. They were founded in the capital of hip-hop back in 1990. Their hits include ‘Creep’, ‘Waterfalls’, ‘Unpretty’ and our favorite, ‘No Scrubs’.
2. Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae is well known for her hit songs like ‘Tightrope’ and ‘You Make Me Feel’. Her new song ‘Turntables’ puts the racial injustice seen in the US in the much-needed spotlight. Another great addition to the political musical messages that’ve come from Atlanta.
3. Indigo Girls
This folk rock music duo from Atlanta were founded in 1986. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers met in elementary school and began performing together as high school students in Decatur. After releasing nine albums with major record labels from 1987 through 2007, they have now resumed self-producing albums with their own IG Recordings company.
4. Gladys Knight
The ‘Empress of Soul’ is from Atlanta, Georgia! Gladys Knight is most famous for her band Gladys Knight & The Pips. Knight has recorded two number-one Billboard Hot 100 singles (‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ and ‘That’s What Friends Are For’)
Although she was born in Austin, Ciara traveled around the world before settling in Atlanta. Her first professional gig was in the girl group Hearsay. Ciara released her debut studio album in 2004, and has been dropping hit after hit ever since.
6. Brenda Lee
If you like vintage sounds then Brenda Lee is for you. Performing rockabilly, pop and country music, she had 47 US chart hits during the 1960s and is ranked fourth in that decade, surpassed only by Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Ray Charles.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Monica began performing at the age of ten. She was the youngest recording act to ever have two consecutive chart-topping hits on the Billboard Top R&B Singles chart. This was due to her first two singles, which includes the smash hit ‘Before You Walk Out Of My Life’.
8. Ma Rainey
Gertrude “Ma” Rainey was one of the early African-American professional blues singers. Her voice and credentials makes her the ‘Mother of the Blues’. She was part of one of the first generation of blues singers to record their music. There’s a Netflix movie dedicated to the musician starring Viola Davis.
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