Pink (b. 1979) is one of the best-selling music
artists of all time. She has had numerous number-one hits during a career of
more than three decades, and has won three Grammys and seven VMAs for her work.
Her debut single, “There You Go”, was released in 2000 and
immediately made the top-ten of the Billboard Hot 100. Critics and fans have called her ‘the most
trailblazing artist of the pop generation’. She is a vocal animal rights
activist, as well as a campaigner for human rights and LGBT rights.
Janet Baker (b.
1933) is an English mezzo-soprano. She is best known for her portrayal of the
tragic heroine Dido in Berlioz’s Les Troyens.
She made her debut in 1956 with the Oxford
University Opera Club. For her outstanding career in opera, spanning three
decades, she was made a member of the Order of the British Empire and received
numerous awards, such as the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society.
Redžepova (1943-2016) was
a Macedonian singer, known as Queen of the Gypsies for her promotion of
Roma music and culture. Her career lasted over five decades and helped
popularise traditional Roma songs.
She began her
musical career after singing a song in Romani on public radio at the age of 13,
the first time such a song was aired in the country. She later founded a school
where disadvantaged boys were trained in music, and was an honorary president
of the Macedonian Red Cross for her work with Romani refugees in Kosovo.
Peggy Jones (1940-2015),
also known as Lady Bo, was a musician, considered a pioneer of rock and roll.
She was sometimes called the Queen Mother of Guitar.
She played rhythm guitar in Bo Diddley’s band
in the 1950s and 60s, becoming one of the very few female guitarists visible in
the world of rock and roll. Her independent project, the band the Jewels, was a
top R&B band on the east coast scene.
Gabriela Montero (b. 1970) is a Venezuelan pianist. She is best known for her skilful improvisations on complex musical
She began playing from a very young age and
gave her first public performance at the age of five. At the age of nine, she
was awarded a government scholarship to study in the USA, and later attended
the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2009, she played at the inauguration
of President Barack Obama.
Janelle Monáe (b. 1985) is an
award-winning musician and actress. She has released three studio albums and
starred in two highly acclaimed films, Moonlight and Hidden Figures.
Among her many awards are a VMA, 2 Black Reel
Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Additionally, she has been nominated
for a Grammy 6 times. In 2018 she was named “Trailblazer of the Year”
at the Billboard Women in Music event.
Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-1847) was a prolific German pianist
and composer. Even though she composed almost 500 musical pieces throughout her
life, many of them were originally published under the name of her brother
She showed great musical talent from a young age;
her teacher praised her piano skills as by saying that “she plays like a man”. Even
while recognizing her talent, her father stated that, while music would become
Felix’s profession, it would always be just a pastime for her. Therefore, her
brother published several of her works under his own name in order for them to
be released to the world.
Camilla Williams (1919-2012) was a soprano
who paved the way for African-American musicians in opera. She was the first
African American to receive a contract from a major opera company in the United
States, and the first to sing a major role with the Vienna State Opera.
She was born
in a poor family, but went to study music education at Virginia State
University. She received numerous awards for her performances, and made her debut
with the New York City Opera in 1946. She was appointed Professor of Voice at
Indiana University in 1977, the first African American in the position.
Domna Samiou (1928-2012) was a Greek folk musician and
researcher. She not only performed traditional Greek music, but collected and
recorded it for over 50 years.
in the folk section of the National Radio Foundation and started her musical
career in the early 1970s. A foundation was established in her name in 1981,
aiming to preserve and promote the traditional music of Greece.