Essay on Bessie Smith : The Prince Of The Blues

Essay on Bessie Smith : The Prince Of The Blues

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Bessie Smith was born April 15, 1894 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She later in life became known as the “Empress of the Blues”. At the age of eighteen she being traveling with a group by the name of Moss Stokes Company. While with the group she met Ma Rainey who also became a friend and mentor to her. After traveling with the group, in 1923 she was discovered by Columbia Records. After signing with Columbia, she released her first song Downhearted Blues. The song Downhearted Blues went on to sale over 800,000 copies and became one her most popular songs. During the 1920s and 1930s she had become one of the most famous blues singers in America. During that time period Bessie recorded over 160 tracks. Because of the time period many black singers like Bessie was often not recognize for their work. Bessie did not receive her awards until after her death or later. Back in 1989, she was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Her most famous song "Downhearted Blues" has won countless awards. In a biography written about Bessie in the Rock and Roll hall of fame website is states that “In 2001, it was named one of the Songs of the Century by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2002, it was placed on the National Recording Preservation Board by the Library of Congress, and in 2006 it was placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame”. Along with Bessie Columbia Records included the first recording of another very famous artist.
Aretha Franklin was born March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. She is also known to the world as the “Queen of Soul”. She went on tour with her father’s traveling revival and later released her very first recording under the album, Spirituals, when she was 14 years old. Similar to Bessie Smith, Aretha F...


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...e Bessie inspired was Janis Joplin. Because of her great work “Janis credited Bessie for leading her to singing in the first place” (Suer, 2011). Bessie has used blues and jazz to express her feelings and life. Because Bessie used her music to give a strong message, many music artists was able to relate to her. Like Bessie, Aretha has had a great influence on singer, rappers, and bands. Since she sung gospel and R&B Aretha has had a worldwide influence on past and present artists. Aretha music has been simple and cover by different music artists. She has inspire artists such as Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Adele, and a lot of others singers. Many artist has often used her top hits to cover for shows, auditions, and as a guideline when there are recording. Just like Bessie, Aretha also has a movie about her life and career and the works.

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