BMI is proud to celebrate Black History Month, the annual recognition of Black achievements and their importance in American history and culture. Since its founding in 1939, BMI’s repertoire has been distinguished by Black songwriters and composers across every genre, and we have been truly honored to represent innovators like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Etta James, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Vickie Winans, Fred Hammond, Dottie Peoples, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Douglas Miller, Mavis Staples, Sam Cooke, Al Green, Isaac Hayes, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Curtis Mayfield, Diana Ross, Quincy Jones, Nile Rodgers, Rev. Run, Janet Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, John Legend and so many other visionaries. The contributions of these and countless other Black songwriters, composers and artists have shaped American music, from blues, jazz and gospel music to R&B, hip-hop, pop, rock ’n’ roll and beyond.
Throughout the month, we will be looking back at some of BMI’s pioneering music creators in celebration of Black History Month. Please see below and be sure to visit BMI’s social platforms for more in the coming weeks.