Black Girls Rock

Black girls rock.

Black Girls Rock

Generally, when you think of rock stars, you think of white men. But there have been black women who’ve daringly made a stylistic leap from their pop/R&B roots into the “heavier,” “more masculine” world of “real” music– “rock music.” For some odd reason, white men have a hard time accepting anyone but fellow white men as being true rock stars, when in reality, the world is much bigger than just white men. Indeed, black women can like rock music and they sure can make rock music.

Here are some examples where black girls rock:

“Prejudice? Wrote a song about it…like to hear it? Here it go: Free Your Mind!” En Vogue, the funky divas of soul, proved black women rock with their huge hard rock 4-part harmonious 1992/1993 hit, “Free Your Mind.”

“What I really wanna know is– Are you gonna go my way?” If you saw the music video for “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz in the 1990s, you saw Cindy Blackman rockin’ the drums. Blackman earned her right to be considered one of today’s top drummers. While she enjoys recording jazz albums, she’s always ready to rock, too, and is married to (and performs with) Carlos Santana.

“I’ve got the stuff that you want, I’ve got the thing that you need, I’ve got more than enough to make you drop to your knees, ‘Cause I’m the queen of the night!” Whitney Houston– God rest her soul– was known for ballads and dance-pop songs, but around the same time she was known for “I Will Always Love You,” from The Bodyguard soundtrack, she had a hard rock hit with “Queen of the Night.”

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“Black cat, nine lives, short days, long nights, livin’ on the edge, not afraid to die, heart beat, real strong, but not for long, better watch your step or you’re gonna die!” Janet Jackson wrote “Black Cat” herself and figured since she grew up listening to rock music from the likes of Led Zeppelin that she could pull off her own hard rock song– and she did. It hit #1 on the charts.

“I know it’s only rock-n-roll, but I like it, I like it, yes I do!” Tina Turner is, hands down, one of the most famous and beloved rock stars in the world. She has done it all– country, disco, R&B, and, of course, rock, where she found huge success with her strong voice, dance moves, and legendary legs. It has been said Mick Jagger got his signature dance moves from Tina.

“Didn’t it rain, children? How it rained. I said it rained!” Sister Rosetta Tharpe didn’t look like your typical rock star back in the 1960s, but white kids in Europe loved this strong singer playing her guitar and mixing Gospel with blues and rock. If you didn’t know her name, now you know…

Black girls rock!

–Mark Weber Music Blog

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