This is a very exciting time for country music. This great American tradition is evolving at a rapid pace, and fans of the genre couldn’t be more enthused. Singers and songwriters from various ethnic backgrounds are coming together to share their talents in this authentic musical tradition. Interestingly, many talented Black Female Country Singers women today are getting involved in this genre of music. Some of the finest vocalists and songwriters of our time in country music are Black Female Country Singers. In this article, we will take a quick look at the lives and works of the top ten African American women in the country music field.
Top Ten Female Country Singers Of African Descent
Mickey Guyton was born in Arlington, TX, in 1983. In her early years, she travelled all around Texas due to her father’s demanding engineering job. Guyton absorbed the sounds and sights of this historic state, and she was inspired by vocalists like LeAnn Rimes, Dolly Parton, and Whitney Houston. Guyton began singing in gospel choirs at local churches when she was only 5-years-old. She knew from an early age that all she wanted to do with her life was sing. So, after high school, she travelled to Los Angeles to pursue her dream. In between work and study at Santa Monica College, however, it was hard for Guyton to see any hope of her dream becoming a reality. Luckily, one day she met a man named Julian Raymond who put her in contact with the producers of country superstars Faith Hill and Lady Antebellum. Guyton impressed all of these producers right from the start, and she headed off to Nashville in 2011 to make her dream a reality. Guyton is perhaps best known today for her single “Better Than You Left Me” which she co-wrote and performed at the Grand Ole Opry in 2018. This song, which was subsequently released in a music video format, went as high as 56 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. Guyton is currently signed with Capitol Nashville and she has been nominated for the Best New Female Vocalist at the 2018 Academy of Country Music Awards.Rissi Palmer
Although Rissi Palmer is known for her country music vocals, she was actually born in Pittsburgh, PN, in 1981. Later she moved to a suburb in St. Louis, MO. Palmer was already singing country music professionally at the age of 16 at the Arkansas State Fair. Palmer first hit the big time in 2006 when Starbucks Entertainment produced her first EP. Her first album, simply called Rissi Palmer, was then released in 2007. Many of Palmer’s songs and singles have landed spots in the 50s and 40s on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Although Palmer has not lost her country style, she is experimenting with fusing country with other genres like soul, gospel, and even R&B in her latest studio recordings.Miko Marks
Mississippi-born Miko Marks burst onto the country music scene with her single “Freeway Bound” in 2005. She then released an album of the same name, and went on to release other singles like “Mama” and “Kickin’ Back.” Although Marks has earned great critical acclaim, her works have not been as popular as some of the other artists on this list. Marks actually won the award for Best Country Artist of 2006 from the New Music Weekly Awards.Tina Turner
Tina Turner is one of the most famous entertainers of the 20th century. She was born in 1939 in Nutbush, TN, and her career has lasted for 50 years. Although many people know about her later R&B, soul, and rock hits, Turner also sang a great deal of country music in her long career. One of her best-known country albums is Tina Turner Sings Country, released in 1973. Turner’s biggest hits include “Proud Mary,” “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” and “The Best.” She has performed around the world and received world-wide acclaim for her dancing, singing, and songwriting. Currently, Turner resides in Switzerland and is a practitioner of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism.Vicki Vann
Vicki Vann was born in Los Angeles in 1980. Her father was the founder of the gospel group Mighty Clouds of Joy, but Vann developed an interest in country music early on in her life. Vann was incredibly shy for most of her adolescent and early adult years. She went to school to study both psychology and education, and ended up working as a kindergarten teacher for awhile. Later on, however, Vann decided to pursue her dream of being a country singer full-time. Eventually she released her first studio album with Miracle. She has released many more albums and traveled the world since then. Her stunning beauty has earned her the nickname the “Cinderella” of the country music world.
Many people may know Anita Pointer from the famous group she was a part of called The Pointer Sisters. Anita Pointer was born in Oakland, CA, in 1948. She formed the group The Pointer Sisters with her two younger sisters June and Bonnie. They reached nationwide acclaim with their single “Yes We Can Can” in 1973, and in 1974 The Pointer Sisters became the first African American female group to perform at the Grand Ole Opry with the song “Fairytale.” The Pointer Sisters went on to explore various genres, including R&B, Jazz, and pop in their later studio recordings. Anita herself has kept active in the music world in her own right by teaming up with Earl Thomas Conley to record the hit country song “Too Many Times.” Anita Pointer continues to write her own songs and perform across the country.Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks was born in 1989 in Phoenix, AZ. Sparks is known all around the world for being the youngest contestant to ever win the popular TV singing competition American Idol in 2007. Sparks immediately followed that success with her platinum album called Jordan Sparks. While most of Sparks’s music is considered pop, she did sing a couple of country hits on American Idol. Most notably, she covered the song “A Broken Wing” by Martina McBride.
Jaki Graham was born in Birmingham, England, in 1956. She is of Nigerian ethnicity. Most of Jaki Grahm’s vocal style is a mix of R&B and pop. She was first revealed to the British public in the early 1980s when she sang “Heaven Knows” and “Once More With the Feeling” on the BBC. Since then, Graham has released many hit songs that have topped the charts not only in the UK but also in the USA. She recorded three full albums with EMI, then joined AVEX International in 1993 for an amazingly successful tour of Asia and Australia. Graham now works on the BBC Radio show “Soul on Sunday,” and she sings on various cruise ships around the world.
Yolanda Diamond calls herself the “First Black Country Western Singer.” She has covered many country standards in her career, including Bonnie Raitt’s “Something To Talk About.” She has also performed around various country bars and casinos throughout the country in the 1980s. She won many country karaoke contests when she began her career all around Texas. Diamond told interviewers she loves the story-telling aspect of country music. She still sings at various casinos all across the USA.Esther Phillips
Esther Phillips was a very talented African American singer who sang in many different musical genres. She was born in Galveston, TX, in 1935 and began winning local vocal contests at the age of 14. Her first big hit was the R&B song “Double Crossing Blues” released in 1950. Country fans probably know Phillips best for her song “Release Me” which was released in 1962. She also released her major country album The Country Side of Esther in 1966 for country music fans. Phillips is also known for her jazz, soul, and pop songs. She was even contacted by the Beatles after she re-worked their song “And I Love Her.” Unfortunately, drug and alcohol abuse took its toll on Phillip’s body, and she died of kidney and liver failure in 1984.
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