African-American record producers

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  1. Beyoncé Knowles

    Beyoncé Knowles


    Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (/bˈjɒns/ bee-YON-say) (born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child, and rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. Managed by her father Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. Their hiatus saw the release of Beyoncé's debut album, Dangerously in Love (2003), which established her as a solo artist worldwide; it sold 11 million copies, earned five Grammy Awards and featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy".

  2. Michael Jackson

    Michael Jackson


    Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music and dance, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

  3. Mariah Carey

    Mariah Carey


    Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1969 or 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She rose to prominence after releasing her self-titled debut studio album Mariah Carey in 1990; it went multiplatinum and spawned four consecutive number one singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Under the guidance of Columbia Records executive and later husband Tommy Mottola, Carey continued booking success with follow-up albums Emotions (1991), Music Box (1993), and Merry Christmas (1994), and was established as Columbia's highest-selling act. Daydream (1995) made music history when its second single "One Sweet Day", a duet with Boyz II Men, spent a record sixteen weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100, and it remains the longest-running number-one song in U.S. chart history. During the recording of the album, Carey began to deviate from her slower R&B and ballad-oriented beginnings and slowly transitioned into hip hop. This musical change became further established with the release of Butterfly (1997), which was released during the midst of her separation from Mottola.

  4. 50 Cent

    50 Cent


    Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper, singer, entrepreneur, investor and actor from New York City. Born in the South Jamaica neighborhood of the borough of Queens, Jackson began selling drugs at age twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic. Although he left drug-dealing to pursue a musical career, he was struck by nine bullets in a 2000 shooting. After Jackson released the compilation album Guess Who's Back? in 2002, he was discovered by Eminem and signed by Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records.

  5. Usher Raymond

    Usher Raymond


    Usher Terry Raymond IV (born October 14, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. He rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of his second album My Way, which spawned his first U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit, "Nice & Slow". The album has been certified 6-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His follow-up album, 8701, produced the Billboard Hot 100 number one hits "U Remind Me" and "U Got It Bad".

  6. 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 Carter'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 19 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.

  7. Alicia Keys

    Alicia Keys


    Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), known by the pseudonym Alicia Keys, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Keys released her debut album with J Records, having had previous record deals first with Columbia and then Arista Records. Keys' debut album, Songs in A Minor, was a commercial success, selling over 12 million copies worldwide. She became the best-selling new artist and best-selling R&B artist of 2001. The album earned Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for "Fallin'" becoming the second American recording artist to win five Grammys in one night. Her second studio album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, was released in 2003 and was also another success worldwide, selling eight million copies. The album garnered her an additional four Grammy Awards in 2005. Later that year, she released her first live album, Unplugged, which debuted at number one in the United States. She became the first female to have an MTV Unplugged album to debut at number one and the highest since Nirvana in 1994.

  8. 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.

  9. Tupac Shakur

    Tupac Shakur


    Tupac Amaru Shakur (ˈtpɑːk ʃəˈkʊər TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and briefly as Makaveli, was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. 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. Consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers ever, he was ranked number 2 by MTV in their list of The Greatest MCs of All-Time in 2006. 2Pac is also ranked as the most influential rapper of all time.

  10. 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".

  11. 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.

  12. Christina Milian

    Christina Milian


    Christine Flores (born September 26, 1981), better known as Christina Milian (/mɪliˈɑːn/), is an American singer, songwriter and actress. At the age of 19, Milian signed a contract with Def Jam. In 2001, Milian released her self-titled debut album, which featured the singles "AM to PM" and "When You Look at Me"; "AM to PM" charted with in the Top 40 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and both peaked in the top three on the UK Singles Chart. In 2004, Milian released her second studio album It's About Time, which provided her first major U.S. hit, "Dip It Low", which reached number five on the U.S. Billboard chart. "Whatever U Want" was released as the album's second single. Both singles charted within the Top 10 of the UK chart.

  13. Kanye West

    Kanye West


    Kanye Omari West (/ˈkɑːnj/; born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and fashion designer. West first became known as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records; he achieved recognition for his work on rapper Jay-Z's The Blueprint (2001), as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and Janet Jackson. His style of production originally used high-pitched vocal samples from soul songs incorporated with his own drums and instruments. He later broadened his influences to include 1970s R&B, baroque pop, trip hop, arena rock, house, folk, alternative, electronica, synthpop, industrial, and classical music.

  14. 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.

  15. Toni Braxton

    Toni Braxton


    Toni Michele Braxton (born October 7, 1967) is an American R&B singer-songwriter, pianist, musician, record producer, actress, television personality, and philanthropist. Rising to fame in the beginning of the 1990s, Braxton quickly established herself as an R&B icon and became one of the best-selling female artists of the 1990s decade, garnering her honorific titles such as the "Queen of R&B" and being recognized as one of the most outstanding voices of this generation.

  16. Will Smith

    Will Smith


    Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.

  17. 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 roles, 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.

  18. Trina



    Katrina Laverne Taylor (born December 3, 1978), better known by her stage name Trina, is an American rapper and model. Trina first gained notoriety in 1998 with her appearance on Trick Daddy's second studio album on the single "Nann Nigga. Since then, she has released five moderately successful studio albums. XXL Magazine calls her "the most consistent female rapper of all time".

  19. Ludacris



    Christopher Brian "Chris" Bridges (born September 11, 1977), better known by his stage name Ludacris, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. Along with his manager, Chaka Zulu, Ludacris is the co-founder of Disturbing tha Peace, an imprint distributed by Def Jam Recordings. Ludacris has won Screen Actors Guild, Critic's Choice, MTV, and Grammy Award awards during his career. Along with fellow Atlanta based rappers Big Boi and André 3000 of OutKast, Ludacris was one of the first and most influential Dirty South artists to achieve mainstream success during the early 2000s.

  20. Snoop Dogg

    Snoop Dogg


    Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. (born October 20, 1971 or 1972), best known by his stage name Snoop Dogg, is an American rapper and actor from Long Beach, California. His music career began in 1992, when he was discovered by Dr. Dre of N.W.A and as a result was prominently featured throughout Dr. Dre's solo debut album, The Chronic (1992). He has since sold over 21 million albums in United States and 35 million albums worldwide.

  21. Keyshia Cole

    Keyshia Cole


    Keyshia Cole (born October 15, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, businesswoman and television personality. She was born in Oakland, California, and her career began when she met MC Hammer at the age of twelve and later met rapper Tupac Shakur. At the age of eighteen she moved to Los Angeles and was later introduced to A&M Records. She released her debut album, The Way It Is (2005), which spawned five singles: "Never", "I Changed My Mind", "(I Just Want It) To Be Over", "I Should Have Cheated", and "Love". It was certified gold within 17 weeks, and then platinum just eight weeks later. The album stayed on the charts for over a year, eventually selling over 1.6 million copies.

  22. Game



    Jayceon Terrell Taylor (born November 29, 1979), better known by his stage name The Game or simply Game, is an American rapper and actor. Game is best known as a rapper in the West Coast hip hop scene, and for being one of Dr. Dre's most notable protégés. Born in Los Angeles, California, he released his first mixtape You Know What It Is Vol. 1 in 2002, and landed a record deal with the independent label Get Low Recordz owned by JT the Bigga Figga. Game's mixtape reached the hands of Sean Combs, founder of Bad Boy Records, who originally was on the verge of signing him to his label. Five months later, he was discovered by Dr. Dre who listened to the mixtape and signed him to his Aftermath Entertainment label in 2003. He rose to fame in 2005 with the success of his debut album The Documentary (2005) and Doctor's Advocate (2006). The Recording Industry Association of America certified his album The Documentary double platinum in March 2005 and it has sold over five million copies worldwide.

  23. Lenny Kravitz

    Lenny Kravitz


    Leonard Albert "Lenny" Kravitz (born May 26, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actor and arranger, whose "retro" style incorporates elements of rock, blues, soul, R&B, funk, jazz, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, pop, folk, and ballads. In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often played all the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and percussion himself when recording. He is known for his elaborate stage performances and music videos.

  24. 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.

  25. Brandy Norwood

    Brandy Norwood


    Brandy Rayana Norwood (born February 11, 1979), better known mononymously as Brandy, is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born into a musical family in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Carson, California, she enrolled in performing arts schools as a child and performed as a backing vocalist for teen groups. From 1993 to 1994, Norwood appeared in a supporting role on the short-lived ABC sitcom Thea and signed with Atlantic Records. The following year, she released her self-titled debut album. Norwood starred in the UPN sitcom Moesha as the title character, which lasted six seasons and resulted in numerous other roles. She resumed her music career in 1998 with the widely successful duet with Monica, "The Boy Is Mine", and her second album, Never Say Never.

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