African-American record producers

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  1. Ciara



    Ciara Princess Harris (born October 25, 1985), known mononymously as Ciara (pronounced /sˈɛrə/, see-ERR), is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, actress and fashion model. Born in Austin, Texas, she traveled around the world during her childhood, eventually moving to Atlanta, Georgia where she joined the girl group Hearsay; however, the group disbanded after having differences. It was at this time Ciara was noticed for her songwriting. In 2002, Ciara met music producer Jazze Pha. With his help, she signed a record deal with LaFace Records.

  2. Jay Z

    Jay Z


    Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known by his stage name Jay Z (formerly Jay-Z), is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America. In 2014, Forbes estimated Jay Z's net worth at nearly $520 million. He is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records, while receiving 21 Grammy Awards for his musical work, and numerous additional nominations. Consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers ever, he was ranked number one by MTV in their list of The Greatest MCs of All-Time in 2006. Three of his albums, Reasonable Doubt (1996), The Blueprint (2001), and The Black Album (2003), are considered landmarks in the genre with all of them featured in Rolling Stone‍ '​s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

  3. Whitney Houston

    Whitney Houston


    Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 million records sold worldwide. She released six studio albums, one holiday album and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts, as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know", influenced several African American women artists who follow in her footsteps.

  4. Tupac Shakur

    Tupac Shakur


    Tupac Amaru Shakur (Previously known as Lesane Parish Crooks)(/ˈtpɑːk ʃəˈkʊər/ TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and (briefly) Makaveli, was an American rapper, author, actor, and poet. As of 2007, Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide. His double disc albums All Eyez on Me and his Greatest Hits are among the best selling albums in the United States. He has been listed and ranked as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone which ranked him 86th on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers ever, as well as one of the most influential rappers of all time.

  5. Nelly



    Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. (born November 2, 1974), better known by his stage name, Nelly, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, investor and occasional actor from St. Louis, Missouri. Nelly embarked on his music career with Midwest hip hop group St. Lunatics, in 1993 and signed to Universal Records in 1999. Under Universal, Nelly began his solo career in the year 2000, with his debut album Country Grammar, of which the title-track was a top ten hit. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 and went on to peak at number one. Country Grammar is Nelly's best-selling album to date, selling over 8.4 million copies in the United States. His following album Nellyville, produced the number-one hits "Hot in Herre" and "Dilemma" (featuring Kelly Rowland). Other singles included "Work It" (featuring Justin Timberlake), "Air Force Ones" (featuring Murphy Lee and St. Lunatics), "Pimp Juice" and "#1".

  6. R. Kelly

    R. Kelly


    Robert Sylvester Kelly (born January 8, 1967), known professionally as R. Kelly, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, rapper and former professional basketball player. A native of Chicago, Illinois, often referred to as the King of R&B, Kelly began performing during the late 1980s and debuted in 1992 with the group Public Announcement. In 1993, Kelly went solo with the album 12 Play. He is known for a collection of major hit singles including "Bump N' Grind", "Your Body's Callin'", "I Believe I Can Fly", "Gotham City", "Ignition (Remix)", "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time", "The World's Greatest", "I'm a Flirt (Remix)", and the hip-hopera "Trapped in the Closet". In 1998, Kelly won three Grammy Awards for "I Believe I Can Fly". His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous hip hop and contemporary R&B artists. Kelly became the first music star to play professional basketball, when he got signed in 1997.

  7. Akon



    Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam (born April 16, 1973) (pronounced /ˈkɒn/), is an American rapper, songwriter, businessman, and record producer. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up", the first single from his debut album Trouble.

  8. Janet Jackson

    Janet Jackson


    Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Known for a series of sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows, television and film roles, she has been a prominent figure in popular culture for over 25 years. The youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career with the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976 and went on to appear in other television shows throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including Good Times and Fame.

  9. Mya



    Mýa Marie Harrison (born October 10, 1979), better known simply as Mýa /ˈm.ə/, is an American hip hop and R&B singer, songwriter and actress. Harrison's eponymous debut album with (through) Interscope Records was released in April 1998. It sold over one million copies in the United States, producing the gold-certified top ten single "It's All About Me" featuring Sisqó. Her second studio album, platinum-plus selling Fear of Flying was released in 2000 and became a worldwide success, with single "Case of the Ex" becoming Mýa's breakthrough hit, topping the Australian Singles Chart for two consecutive weeks.

  10. Nick Cannon

    Nick Cannon


    Nicholas Scott "Nick" Cannon (born October 8, 1980) is an American rapper, actor, comedian, television and radio host, and producer. On television, Cannon began as a teenager on All That before going on to host The Nick Cannon Show, Wild 'N Out, and America's Got Talent. He acted in the films Drumline, Love Don't Cost a Thing, and Roll Bounce. As a rapper he released his debut self-titled album in 2003 with the hit single "Gigolo", a collaboration with singer R. Kelly. In 2007 he played the role of the fictional footballer TJ Harper in the film Goal II: Living the Dream. In 2006, Cannon recorded the singles "Dime Piece" and "My Wife" for the planned album Stages, which was never released. Cannon married American R&B/pop singer Mariah Carey in 2008. He filed for divorce in December 2014 after six years of marriage, which was finalized in April 2015.

  11. T.I.

    T.I. (2015)


    Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. (born September 25, 1980), better known by his stage names T.I. and Tip (stylized as TIP), is an American hip hop recording artist and actor from Atlanta, Georgia. He signed his first major-label record deal in 1999, with Arista Records subsidiary, LaFace Records. In 2001, T.I. formed the Southern hip hop group Pimp Squad Click (P$C), alongside his longtime friends and fellow Atlanta-based rappers. Upon being released from Arista, T.I. signed to Atlantic Records and subsequently became the co-chief executive officer (CEO) of his own label imprint, Grand Hustle Records, which he launched in 2003. T.I. is perhaps best known as one of the artists who popularized the hip hop subgenre, trap music, along with Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane, respectively.

  12. Missy Elliott

    Missy Elliott


    Melissa Arnette "Missy" Elliott (born July 1, 1971) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper and record producer. Her first major success came as a songwriter with childhood friend and producer Timbaland on projects for Aaliyah, 702, Total, and SWV. As a record producer and songwriter, she has worked with Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, and Beyoncé as well as contemporary artists Keyshia Cole, Tamia, Monica and Ciara.

  13. Sean Combs

    Sean Combs


    Sean John Combs (born November 4, 1969), also known by his stage names Puff Daddy, Puffy, Diddy, and P. Diddy, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. Combs was born in Harlem and grew up in Mount Vernon, New York. He worked as a talent director at Uptown Records before founding Bad Boy Records in 1993. He signed The Notorious B.I.G. and profited from the success of the artists he signed. He released his debut album No Way Out in 1997, which has been certified seven times platinum and was followed by successful albums such as Forever (1999), The Saga Continues... (2001) and Press Play (2006). In 2009 Combs formed the musical group Diddy – Dirty Money and released the critically well-reviewed and commercially successful album Last Train to Paris (2010).

  14. Diana Ross

    Diana Ross


    Diana Ernestine Earle Ross (born March 26, 1944) is an American singer, actress, record producer and an occasional songwriter. Born and raised in Detroit, she rose to fame as a founding member and lead singer of the vocal group The Supremes, which, during the 1960s, became Motown's most successful act and is to this day America's most successful vocal group as well as one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. As part of the Supremes, Ross most notably rivaled the career of The Beatles in worldwide popularity, and her success made it possible for future African American R&B and soul acts to find mainstream success. The group set a record scoring twelve number-one hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 including the hits "Where Did Our Love Go", "Baby Love", "Come See About Me", "Stop! In the Name of Love", "You Can't Hurry Love", "You Keep Me Hangin' On", "Love Child" and "Someday We'll Be Together".

  15. Faith Evans

    Faith Evans


    Faith Renée Evans (born June 10, 1973) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actress, and author. Born in Florida and raised in New Jersey, Evans relocated to Los Angeles in 1993 for a career in the music business. After working as a backing vocalist for Al B. Sure and Christopher Williams, she became the first female artist to contract with Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment recording company in 1994, for which she collaborated with several label mates such as Mary J. Blige and Carl Thomas and released three platinum-certified studio albums between 1995 and 2001, including Faith (1995), Keep the Faith (1998) and Faithfully (2001).

  16. Marvin Gaye

    Marvin Gaye


    Marvin Gaye (/ɡ/; born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house session player and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, including How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) and I Heard It Through the Grapevine, and duet recordings with Mary Wells, Kim Weston, and Tammi Terrell, later earning the titles Prince of Motown and Prince of Soul.

  17. Erykah Badu

    Erykah Badu


    Erykah Abi Wright (born Erica Abi Wright; February 26, 1971), better known by her stage name Erykah Badu (/ˈɛrɨkə bɑːˈd/), is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, activist, and actress. Badu's career began after opening a show for D'Angelo in 1994 in her hometown; record label executive Kedar Massenburg was highly impressed with her performance and signed her to Kedar Entertainment. Her first album, Baduizm, was released on February 11, 1997. It spawned three singles: "On & On", "Next Lifetime" and "Otherside of the Game". The album was certified triple Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Badu's first live album, Live, was released on November 18, 1997 and was certified double Platinum by the RIAA.

  18. Dr. Dre

    Dr. Dre


    Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American record producer, rapper and entrepreneur. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. Dre was previously the co-owner of, and an artist on, Death Row Records. He has produced albums for and overseen the careers of many rappers, including The D.O.C., Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, Knoc-turn'al, 50 Cent, The Game and Kendrick Lamar. He is credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats. In 2014, Dr. Dre was ranked as the second richest figure in the American hip hop scene by Forbes with a net worth of $550 million; he is at the top of the 2015 Forbes list, with an estimated pre-tax take of $620 million in 2014.

  19. Brian McKnight

    Brian McKnight


    Brian McKnight (born June 5, 1969) is an American R&B singer-songwriter, arranger, producer, and musician. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays eight instruments including piano, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, trombone, tuba, flugelhorn and trumpet. He is one of the very few leggiero tenors in the pop genre. McKnight is perhaps most recognized for his strong falsetto and belting range. McKnight's work has earned him 16 Grammy Awards nominations, though he has never won. He is tied with Snoop Dogg for the record of most Grammy nominations without a win.

  20. Mary J. Blige

    Mary J. Blige


    Mary Jane Blige (/ˈblʒ/; born January 11, 1971) is an American singer, songwriter, model, record producer and actress. Starting her career as a background singer on Uptown Records in 1989, Blige released her first album, What's the 411?, in 1992, and has released 11 studio albums since and made over 150 guest appearances on other albums and soundtracks.

  21. Smokey Robinson

    Smokey Robinson


    William "Smokey" Robinson, Jr. (born February 19, 1940) is an American R&B/pop singer-songwriter, record producer, and former record executive. Robinson was the founder and front man of the Motown vocal group the Miracles, for which he also served as the group's chief songwriter and producer. Robinson led the group from its 1955 origins as the Five Chimes until 1972 when he announced a retirement from the stage to focus on his role as Motown's vice president.

  22. Omarion Grandberry

    Omarion Grandberry


    Omari Ishmael Grandberry (born November 12, 1984), better known as Omarion, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, dancer and actor. He is best known as being the lead singer of R&B boy band B2K. Managed by Christopher B. Stokes, the group achieved success with hits like "Bump, Bump, Bump" which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. After the group's disbandment, Omarion released his debut solo album O (2005). The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 spawning two hits, "O" and "Touch". Omarion received a Grammy Award nomination for the album at the 48th Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary R&B Album. His second solo album, 21 (2006), contained the hits "Entourage" and his highest charting single to date "Ice Box", which reached the Top 20 on Billboard Hot 100. His third album Ollusion (2010) was released January 12, 2010 with the lead single "I Get It In". His fourth album, Sex Playlist (2015), spawned the second highest charting single of his career, "Post to Be", which was certified platinum and reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  23. Stevie Wonder

    Stevie Wonder


    Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950, as Stevland Hardaway Judkins), known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy, he became one of the most creative and loved musical performers of the late 20th century. Wonder signed with Motown's Tamla label at the age of 11 and has continued to perform and record for Motown as of the early 2010s. He has been blind since shortly after birth.

  24. Master P

    Master P


    Percy Robert Miller (born April 29, 1970) known by his stage name Master P or his business name P. Miller, is an American rapper, actor, entrepreneur, investor, author, filmmaker, record producer and philanthropist. He is the founder of the record label No Limit Records, which was relaunched as New No Limit Records through Universal Records and Koch Records, then again as Guttar Music Entertainment, and finally, currently, No Limit Forever Records. He is the founder and CEO of P. Miller Enterprises, an entertainment conglomerate, and Better Black Television, a cable television network.

  25. E-40



    Earl Stevens (born November 15, 1967) better known by his stage name E-40, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and investor from Vallejo, California. He is a founding member of the rap group The Click, and the founder of Sick Wid It Records. He has released twenty-two studio albums to date, appeared on numerous movie soundtracks, and has also done guest appearances on a host of other rap albums. Initially an underground artist, his 1995 solo album In a Major Way opened him up to a wider audience. Beginning in 1998, he began collaborating with more mainstream rappers outside of the Bay Area. He rose to even higher mainstream popularity in 2006 with his single "Tell Me When to Go" which was produced by Lil Jon.

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