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The women who pioneered gospel music (Rebroadcast)

Grammy-winning singer Tamela Mann was inspired by gospel singers of the past, including the Clark Sisters.
Grammy-winning singer Tamela Mann was inspired by gospel singers of the past, including the Clark Sisters.

From its origin, women pioneered the sound of gospel music.

Artists like Mahalia Jackson and Rosetta Tharpe elevated the popularity of the genre in the mid-1900s, treading the path for gospel singers with crossover, secular appeal, like Aretha Franklin. Sisters often banded together to create the faith-based music too, including the Clark and Davis sisters.

Despite their successes, women in the genre didn’t always get the same opportunities as men. They also made contributions to the genre off-stage that have gone unacknowledged.

We discuss the women who shaped gospel music and the singers making waves today.

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