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African Americans in the Field of Music

Here's a list of African Americans in the field of music
Buzzle Staff May 2, 2020
Louis Armstrong (1901 – 1971) 
 Jazz trumpeter | Singer 
Louis Armstrong had a difficult   childhood, as his father abandoned the family after his birth, and his mother often turned to prostitution to support the family.
Due to his economic condition, he had to quit school and work odd-jobs, such  as selling newspapers and supplying coal to the red-light district. Louis had a passion for music, and a Jewish family, the Karnofskys, encouraged him   to pursue his passion.
It was in the year 1918 that Louis was able to focus completely on his music career as he joined one of the most popular bands in New Orleans - Kid Ory. In the following years, Louis became one of the most distinguished trumpeters of his time, and gave jazz music a new definition.
He died in 1971, but the impact he left on the jazz scene continues to this day.
Josephine Baker (born Freda Josephine McDonald) (1906 – 1975)
Dancer | Singer | Actress
Josephine was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She faced extreme poverty in her childhood, and had to work odd-jobs to support her family.
When she was growing up, she realized her interest in dancing and honed her skills. Josephine gained success in Broadway, and soon found herself on the way to Paris, where she achieved enormous success.
She gained international recognition with her performance in "La Folie du Jour", where she danced wearing a skirt made of sixteen bananas. She died of cerebral hemorrhage in April, 1975.
Count Basie (William 'Count' Basie) (1904 – 1984)
Jazz pianist | Organist | Bandleader | Composer
William Basie was the leader of the Kansas city style swing band.
He had interests in drums and piano, but decided to opt for the latter. He formed his own jazz orchestra in 1935 and remained its leader for a period of fifty years. A radio announcer called him 'Count', and the name stayed on.
Benny Carter (1907 – 2003)
Saxophonist | Clarinetist | Trumpeter | Composer | Bandleader
Benny Carter was a respectable figure in the jazz scene, and was sometimes referred to as the "King".
He has a Grammy Lifetime Achievement to his name, and was conferred with the NEA Jazz Masters Award in 1986. Carter could play the saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, piano, and the trombone.
Ray Charles (1930 - 2004)
Musician, Ray Charles, was the pioneer of the genre of soul music. He had the ability to combine genres such as blues, gospel, and jazz to create soulful melodies.
The song "Georgia on My Mind" and "Hit the Road, Jack," still mesmerizes his fans. He died in 2002 of a liver disease.
George Clinton (born 1941)
Songwriter | Bandleader | Music producer
Starting a doo-wop group called 'The Parliaments' in a barber shop during his teen years, George Clinton came a long way to become one of the innovators of funk music.
His first solo album "Computer Games" gave the world hits like "Loopzilla" and "Atomic Dog".
Clinton's popularity began waning with time, but saw a resurgence in 1990s as young rappers including Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur began sampling his work.
He was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
Dorothy Dandridge (1922 – 1965)
Actress | Singer
Dorothy Dandridge was the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for best actress.
She started her career as a singer with the Harlem's Cotton Club and Apollo Theater. She, along with her two sisters, performed at various clubs in Los Angeles, and later Dorothy began to appear in small roles in films.
After a troubled marriage, she began singing at nightclubs again and got her first lead role in the 1953 film, "Bright Road". Dorothy's second movie "Carmen Jones" made her a household name in the US, and got her nominated to the Academy Awards.
Although she acted in more than thirty films, many believe she didn't get good roles because of racial discrimination.
She died on September 8, 1965, allegedly due to an overdose of prescription pills. HBO paid a tribute to this beautiful African-American actress with their production "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge", starring Halle Berry.
Read more on Famous African-American Personalities in the story linked below.