Black Music Month Artist Of The Day- Marvin Gaye

June is Black Music Month there fore each day we will spotlight one of our favorite black music artists.

ARETHA FRANKLIN NAMED GREATEST SINGER EVER

She’s already the Queen of Soul, but now Aretha Franklin has been named the greatest singer of the rock era in a poll conducted by Rolling Stone magazine.

Franklin, 66, came in ahead of Ray Charles at No. 2, Elvis Presley at No. 3, Sam Cooke at No. 4 and John Lennon at No. 5, according to the magazine’s survey of 179 musicians, producers, Rolling Stone editors, and other music-industry insiders.

The 100-strong list will be published on Friday, when Rolling Stone hits the newsstands with four different covers.

The issue includes testimonials from musicians. R&B singer Mary J. Blige, for example, writes that Franklin is “the reason why women want to sing.” Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, who was No. 15 on the list, describes Presley’s voice as “confident, insinuating and taking no prisoners.”
Besides Franklin, the only other living people in the top 10 were Bob Dylan at No. 7 and Stevie Wonder at No. 9. Marvin Gaye was No. 6, Otis Redding No. 8, and James Brown No. 10.

Other notables included Paul McCartney at No. 11, one place ahead of his idol, Little Richard; and Mick Jagger at No. 16, also one ahead of a key influence, Tina Turner. Among the top 25, 50-year-old Michael Jackson was the youngest, coming in at No. 25.

Voters included Metallica frontman James Hetfield, folk singers David Crosby and Yusuf Islam, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, punk rock veteran Iggy Pop and English pop star James Blunt. They each submitted their top 20 choices, and an accounting firm tabulated the results.
SOURCE: YAHOO NEW; REUTERS

Songwriter Of Classic Motown Dies

Norman Whitfield, who co-wrote a string of Motown classics including “War” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” has died. He was 67.

Norman Whitfield was one of Motown’s leading writers and producers.

A spokeswoman at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center says Whitfield died there Tuesday. He suffered from complications of diabetes and had recently emerged from a coma, The Detroit Free Press reported.

Whitfield was a longtime Motown producer who during the 1960s and ’70s injected rock and psychedelic touches into the label’s soul music. Many of his biggest hits were co-written with Barrett Strong, with whom he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.

The two won the Grammy in 1972 for best R&B song for the Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” Whitfield won another Grammy in 1976 for best original TV or motion picture score for “Car Wash.”

Whitfield also worked as a producer for the Temptations and others.

Many of Whitfield’s songs from that era, including Edwin Starr’s 1970 “War” and the Temptations’ 1970 “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today),” have a strong political tone.

In a statement, Motown great Smokey Robinson hailed Whitfield as “one of the most prolific songwriters and record producers of our time. He will live forever through his great music.”

Among Whitfield’s other songs, according to the Songwriters Hall Web site, are “Beauty Is Only Skin Deep,” “Cloud Nine” and “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me),” all hits for the Temptations; and “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby,” a 1969 hit for Marvin Gaye.

Just last week, Gaye’s version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” from 1968, was ranked at No. 65 in Billboard magazine’s compilation of the top singles of the past 50 years. It was also a hit for Gladys Knight and the Pips, in 1967.

source:ap, cnn