From the Mother of the Blues Ma Rainey, the Father of Black Gospel Music Dr. Thomas A Dorsey, the Architect of Rock ‘n’ Roll Little Richard Penniman, the Godfather of Soul James Brown, the Crown Prince of Soul Otis Redding and the Genius Ray Charles to tenor and composer Roland Hayes, old-time country musician Fiddlin’ John Carson, lyricist and songwriter Johnny Mercer, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Brenda Lee and celebrated soprano Jessye Norman, Georgia’s musical pioneers have shaped the fabric of American music.
Atlanta’s world-renowned hip-hop and rap scene has produced 2 Chainz, Arrested Development, B.o.B, Future, iLoveMakonnen, Jermaine Dupri, Janelle Monae, Killer Mike, Goodie Mob, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Migos, Outkast, Silento, T.I., TLC, Waka Flocka Flame and Young Jeezy, among many others. R&B and neo-soul superstars Ciara, Gladys Knight, India.Arie, Keri Hilson, Monica, The Tams and Usher also launched their careers in Georgia’s capital city.
The Allman Brothers Band, Atlanta Rhythm Section, the B-52s, Black Crowes, Collective Soul, drivin ‘n’ cryin, Drive-By Truckers, Mother’s Finest, R.E.M. and Widespread Panic are among the rock greats associated with the Peach State. Georgia metal bands with international followings including Black Tusk, Kylesa, Mastodon and Sevendust and influential indie bands today include Black Lips, Coathangers, Deerhunter, Futurebirds, Manchester Orchestra, Monsoon, Manchester Orchestra and Quiet Hounds.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has earned 26 GRAMMY® Awards while mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, soprano Leah Partridge and Morris Robinson are consistently hailed as a new generation of opera singers. Georgia’s jazz pioneers include bandleaders Fletcher Henderson and Harry James, pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams, singer Joe Williams and saxophonists Sahib Shihab and James Moody, while contemporary jazz artists include pianist Freddy Cole and guitarist Earl Klugh.
Georgia lays claim to country music legends Bill Anderson, Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt and Trisha Yearwood and current chart-toppers Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Billy Currington, Brantley Gilbert, Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum, Sugarland and Zac Brown Band. Folk and Americana singer/songwriters include Caroline Aiken, Norman Blake, Indigo Girls, Shawn Mullins, Michelle Malone and the late Vic Chesnutt.
Southern Gospel roots run deep in Georgia with Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters, The LeFevres, The Lewis Family and Hovie Lister and the Statesmen Quartet among the early acts. Gospel and Christian charts today are filled with Georgia-based artists including Casting Crowns, Tasha Cobbs, Jeff & Sherri Easter, Jamie Grace, Karen Peck & New River, Lecrae, Laura Story, Chris Tomlin and Third Day.