The Most Influential Soul Music Artists of All Time
Soul music is a type of music that has roots in the African-American community in the United States. The music has evolved from African-American gospel music and rhythm and blues. Its distinctive vocals, catchy melodies, and sultry tone make it very appealing. However, it is not just African-American music that is considered soulful.
One of the most influential soul artists of all time is Sam Cooke, an American singer who made his name as a pioneer of soul music. His songs were very emotional, and they became instantly recognizable thanks to his unique voice. Sam Cooke’s songs were influenced by African-American spirituals.
Cooke was also an activist. He supported the Civil Rights Movement and the abolition of segregation. He became friends with Malcolm X, and used his success to help fight against racism. He supported Jim Brown and Muhammad Ali, two of the most prominent African-American leaders of their day.
At an early age, Cooke began singing in church choirs. He was part of a gospel group called the Soul Stirrers and later became the lead singer of the group. In the 1950s, he replaced gospel tenor R.H. Harris, which led to his signing to Specialty Records. Cooke’s early gospel work reflected the gospel music he grew up listening to.
Al Green was a popular singer during the 1970s and early 1980s. The songs he recorded for his albums were often gospel-inspired. The artist’s early career had been focused on soul music, but personal problems led him to switch his focus to gospel music. He subsequently released six albums for Christian label Myrrh Records, winning his first of eight Grammy Awards.
Al Green had a unique voice that transported you to church and everywhere else. He had a charismatic stage presence and always had top-notch musicians backing him. His music made a lasting impression on the world.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, Womack has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts. His latest album, The Bravest Man in the Universe, was released in 2012. It was produced by Damon Albarn and XL’s Richard Russell and received numerous critical accolades.
The soul icon has also penned many classic songs that were featured in films, including Jackie Brown. He also contributed the song score to the 1972 blaxploitation movie, Across 110th Street. The title track became one of his most popular hits. He also contributed guitar parts to the albums of rockers Janis Joplin and Sly and the Family Stone. His soulful style was also instrumental in the resurgence of soul music.
After Sam Cooke’s death, Womack started a solo career. He earned several Top 40 hits and backed up artists as diverse as Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin. He also had ties to the Rolling Stones, contributing vocals to several of their albums.
Curtis Mayfield’s music is a genre in its own right, a hybrid of secular and spiritual soul music. It speaks to the aspirational foot-soldiering of the Black Power movement and the democratic idealism of the 1960s and ’70s. Curtis Mayfield was a Chicago native who became famous as a member of the soul group The Impressions. He was also a producer and wrote material for a variety of other artists, including Jerry Butler and Major Lance.
Curtis Mayfield, who remained active in the 1970s, was credited with introducing social commentary to soul music. Unfortunately, he suffered a tragic stage accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Although his voice had gone a bit rusty, he continued to tour regularly and was even able to record a solo album – New World Order – in his home studio.
James Brown was an American singer, musician, dancer, bandleader, and record producer. He helped create the funk music genre and was a pivotal figure in the 20th century. His influence on the music industry is undisputed, and his music is still loved by people around the world. However, his contributions to soul music aren’t limited to this genre.
“Soul Brother #1” demonstrates the range of James Brown’s music. The song starts with massive horns and then moves into a romantic ballad, with vocals displaying his full expressiveness. The track made it to the top of the R&B charts.