10. Donna Summer was born on New Year’s Eve 1948. Her biggest hits were released in the 1970’s. She became one of the premiere female disco singers, but in our opinion she would have succeeded in any era. “Love to Love You Baby”, “It’s Raining Men” and “Last Dance” are some of her huge hits.
9. Gloria Gaynor was born September 7, 1949. She is another of the disco queens of the 1970’s. Her biggest hit was “I Will Survive” and to this day rings true to a lot of folks. “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “Let Me Know (I Have a Right)” are another couple of big songs for Gloria.
8. Mariah Carey was born on March 27, 1970 in New York City. Her biggest hits include “Always Be My Baby”, “We Belong Together” and “Fantasy”. She popped on the national scene and has almost every conceivable award since. She is currently still a huge force in music.
7. Janet Jackson was born May 16, 1966. Her brothers were already superstars by the time Janet released her first album in 1982. It wasn’t until she hooked up with two of the men behind “Prince” (Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis) that she became a star. She released the album “Control” in 1986, which yielded five hit songs, videos choreographed by Paula Abdul. Her first nominations and awards came from “Control”. Janet still sells music to this day. But who will ever forget that Superbowl "Wardrobe Malfunction"?
6. Patti Labelle was born May 24, 1944 as Patricia Holt. She was the driving force to Patti Labelle and the Bluebelles in the 1960’s. When the Supremes needed a replacement for Florence Ballard they grabbed Cindy Birdsong from the Bluebelles. Patti and Cindy did not talk for eighteen years because of that. Their biggest hit was “Lady Marmalade” in the 1970’s.
5. Whitney Houston was born August 9, 1963. Considering the magnitude of her talent it will always be her rocky on and off relationship with husband Bobby Brown and drug problems that immediately come to mind at the mention of her name. Her self titled album in 1985 yielded five hit singles. Her last big album was released in 2002. At one point in the 80’s she had seven number one hits in a row breaking a record shared by The Beatles and the Bee Gees.
4. Martha Reeves was born July 18, 1941. She and her two friends were back-up singers to Marvin Gaye in the early 60’s. When Mary Wells didn’t show to record a song, they had Marvin’s back-up singers try it. It became the first hit from Martha Reeves and the Vendellas. Some others include “Dancing in the Street”, “(Love is Like a) Heat Wave” and “Nowhere to Run”.
3. Tina Turner started with husband Ike and had some huge hits with him. “Proud Mary” was the biggest of the era. It was an abusive relationship she later made a movie about that included some of her biggest hits of the 1980’s titled “What’s Love Got to Do with It”. Her Mad Max and the Thunderdome soundtrack was very successful as well. Tina was born on November 26, 1939. Her “Private Dancer” album was a huge 80’s work as well. Her first greatest hits album was titled “Simply the Best”.
2. Diana Ross was as good as a Motown ladies group leader got. Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard and she started the Supremes. Mary Wilson was lead singer until a record contract was at stake. Berry Gordy moved Diana to the lead spot. Mary Wilson would write in her book it was because of Diana and Berry’s personal relationship. However since they broke up in 1970, how many big Mary Wilson hits have there been? The Supremes had hits like “Where Did Our Love Go”, “Baby Love” Come See About Me” and on it goes. Diana’s solo career has been big as well. “Touch Me in the Morning”, Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) and “Love Hangover” are some of her solo hits. She played Billie Holiday in “Lady Sings the Blues” and Dorothy in “The Wiz”. Diana was born on March 26, 1944.
1. Aretha was born “The Queen of Soul” on March 25, 1942. No one has ever been a bigger soul artist. She has recorded twenty number one R&B singles. Her biggest and signature song is “Respect”. Other hits included “Chain of Fools”, “Baby I Love You” and “(You Make Me feel Like) A Natural Woman. Steely Day in “Hey Nineteen” complained that a young lady did not know who “The Queen of Soul” was. And I never bought it. I bet even today, all these years later, a nineteen year old knows Aretha. OR perhaps they just don’t like music.
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