On Friday, June 1, President Barack Obama proclaimed June African-American Music Appreciation Month for the third year in a row, carrying on a celebration of African-American musicians that Jimmy Carter began during his presidency.
“As a long-cherished piece of American culture, music offers a vibrant soundtrack to the story of our people and our Union,” Obama said in his Presidential Proclamation. “African-American musicians have left an indelible mark on this tradition, and during African-American Music Appreciation Month, we pay special tribute to their extraordinary contributions.”
Over the years, the U.S. Postal service has featured many groundbreaking African-American singers, songwriters, composers, and lyricists, paying tribute to an important piece in the diverse array of American music.
One of the most distinctive and instantly recognizable singers of both jazz and popular tunes, Ella Fitzgerald was widely known as “the first lady of song.” Her extraordinary vocal range and flexibility, combined with her gift for pitch, rhythmic sense, and flawless diction, made her a favorite of fans, songwriters, and other singers.
This month, we honor the African-American musical visionaries who helped shape our culture.