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Black History Is Now: Phenomenal Black Music Spotify Playlists & More

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In celebration of Black History Month, Spotify’s ongoing Black History Is Now hub presents a collection of playlists, podcasts and more honoring the legacy and influence of Black musicians. This week’s Saturday Stream highlights Black History Is Now playlists curated by Rihannan Giddens, Russell Wilson, Keke Palmer, 2 Chainz, Kenyon Harold Sr. and more.

Some of the most unparalleled expressions of music across genres have been created by Black artists. From songs that build community and anthems that comment on political resistance to artists who have made us listen, sing out loud and dance to their beat. This year, for Spotify’s ongoing Black History Is Now campaign, we are celebrating some of the phenomenal songs and artists that shape culture on a global scale. — Spotify Black History Is Now statement.

Giddens curated the “Our Roots” playlist featuring “a list of revered women of color who have contributed to the evolution of roots music.” Among Giddens’ selections were songs recorded by such legends as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone and Memphis Minnie along with those who have followed in their footsteps like Brittany Howard, Esperanza Spalding, Valerie June, Allison Russell, Yola and others, including Giddens herself. Stream Giddens’ “Our Roots” playlist below:

Actress/singer Keke Palmer curated the “Queen” playlist “for the Queens by a Queen.” Palmer’s selections consist of songs by such iconic Black vocalists as Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and Aaliyah, alongside next-generation voices like Rihanna, SZA, Doja Cat and Summer Walker. Palmer also appears on her “Queen” playlist, which can be streamed here:

NFL quarterback Rusell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks was tapped to put together a “King” playlist that of course includes a track by his wife Ciara. The QB’s set also features Bob Marley & The Wailers, Prince, The Spinners, 2Pac, Michael Jackson, Ms. Lauryn Hill, The Notorious B.I.G., Leon Bridges, JAY-Z, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and more, including 2 Chainz. Representing a “legacy of strength & power” stream Wilson’s “King” playlist below:

2 Chainz was tasked with creating a playlist honoring Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), which includes the rapper’s alma mater Alabama State University. The HBCU anthems include tracks by Erykah Badu, Bell Biv DeVoe, Maxwell, Guy, Lizzo, Gucci Mane, Meek Mill and many more. 2 Chainz’s “Money Maker” featuring Lil’ Wayne also appears on the “I Love My HBCU” playlist below:

Jazz trumpeter Kenyon Harold Sr. created the “Black Lives Matter” playlist for Spotify. Harold’s 14-year-old son, Keyon Harrold Jr., was wrongfully accused of stealing an iPhone at Arlo SoHo Hotel in New York City. The accuser, Miya Ponsetto, was later arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, attempted assault, attempted robbery and attempted grand larceny. Harold Sr.’s set of “songs of empowerment and pride” brings together tracks by Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Gil Scott-Heron, plus songs by Beyoncé, Anderson .Paak, Alicia Keys, J.Cole, D’Angelo, Common, H.E.R., Trey Songz, Jill Scott and others. Harold Sr. appears on a few of the selections as well, all of which can be streamed in the “BLM” playlist below:

Visit Spotify’s Black History Is Now hub to check out more playlists like the “Black Love Mixtape” co-curated by Lucky Daye and Ari Lennox and “celebrating Black love, one song at a time” as well as special Black History Month podcasts and more.

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