March is Women’s History Month. So, in honor of the numerous amazing women in history, we at Aschcraft Studios would like to recognize six talented and influential women throughout music history. This week we’re talking about Marian Anderson, Patsy Cline, Diana Ross, Madonna, Dolly Parton, and Ella Fitzgerald.
The first African American woman to sing at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955, Marian Anderson is an American contralto known for her fight for racial equality within the music industry during the mid-twentieth century. She first garnered national attention in 1939 when, with the help of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, she performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to an integrated audience of over 75,000 people on Easter Sunday.
Considered one of the most influential country music artists in the 20th century, Patsy Cline was the first to successfully bridge the gap between country and pop music. After a lifetime of dedication to the music industry, Cline is celebrated as a forerunner for women within the country music genre. Because her contributions to the genre Cline became the first woman to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973.
Detroit native Diana Ross first gained popularity as the lead for the well known vocal group The Supremes. Having a successful career as both a vocalist and an actress, Ross was recognized as the “Female Entertainer of the Century” in 1976 by Billboard. In 1988 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of The Supremes and holds a spot with the Guiness Book of World Records for being the female artist with the most hits in the music on the music charges.
The “Queen of Pop,” is known worldwide for her talents in singing, songwriting, and acting. Madonna is known for pushing boundaries and taking charge in every aspect of her career. Since her debut in 1983 with her self-titled album, Madonna has taken the world by storm garnering awards and recognition along the way. The Rolling Stone named her as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time as well as the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. The Guinness Book of World Records reports her as the best-selling female recording artist of all time. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2012 VH1 named her the greatest woman in music and in 2020 she was ranked as the greatest music video artists of all time by Billboard.
American singer, songwriter, actress, author, and humanitarian, Dolly Parton is a legend in the music industry. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999, Parton is an inspiration to many female artists throughout the country. She holds forty-four Top 10 Country albums, ten Grammy Awards, ten Country Music Association Awards, and five Academy of Country music awards. She is also known for her humanitarian efforts such as the Dollywood Foundation to promote literacy throughout the United States.
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