During #BlackHistoryMonth, we will feature individuals who have pathed the way in #gospelmusic and other forms of creative expression.

Today, we feature Ms. Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972).

Mahalia Jackson’s was a rare gift to the world. Mahalia, with her powerful contralto voice, is referred to as “The Queen of Gospel.” Her good friend, Martin Luther King Jr. stated that, “A voice like this one comes not once in a century, but once in a millennium.” She was described by entertainer Harry Belafonte as “the single most powerful black woman in the United States”.  

She became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world during her time. During her career, she recorded around 30 albums and  45 rpm records that included a several “golds” (million-sellers). In addition to her music career, she mentored the legendary singer, Aretha Franklin. She was also known as a civil rights activist.

Mahalia has received inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall Fame, Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Hall of Fame. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.