Black History Month is a time to reflect on the contributions African Americans have made in this world, including the entertainment industry. Below is a list of five Black women who have made an impact in the radio and music industry.
Most people know Burruss from the reality show Real Housewives of Atlanta but she didn’t get her fame from there. She first started her career as a member of Xscape in her early teens. She has contributed to the music industry through her songwriting and has major hits such as Boyz II Men’s “Good Guy”, Alicia Keys’ “Jane Doe”, Usher’s “Pop Ya Collar”, Destiny’s Child- “Bills, Bills, Bills”. Buruss also penned TLC’s Grammy-Award winning “No Scrubs.” The song spent 15 weeks at the top of Rhythmic Top 40. The track was apart of the group’s 1999 album “Fan Mail,” which sold 6 million copies.
The “Wake Up Lov” singer got her in 2005 when she appeared on MTV’s My Super Sweet 16. Before the show, she signed a record deal with Pharrell Williams’ Star Trak Entertainment imprint. In 2020, the 30-year-old announced her retirement from music and is working on launching Auntie’s Production Company. Taylor and The Aunties produced Queen Naija’s “Lie to Me” video featuring Lil Durk and Taylor’s visuals for “Still” and “Issues/Hold On.”
WARNING: Younger generation, this is NOT a new artist. We have been getting our freak on with Missy Misdemeanor Elliot for 20 years! Missy started her music career with the girl group Sista in the early-mid 1990s. She then became a member of the Swing Mob with childhood friend and longtime collaborator Timbaland. From there, she went on to produce hits for artists such as Aaliyah, Mary J. Blige, MC Lyte, Ciara, Ginuwine, TLC, SWV, and Total. In 2017 Billboard named her the best-selling female rapper in Nielsen Music history. She has won 4 Grammys for her songs “Get Ur Freak On”, “Scream a.k.a. Itchin”, “Work It”, and “Lose Control.
Prior to her talk show, Wendy was a radio personality, whose style was unapologetically raw, unfiltered, and put a new meaning on celebrity gossip. She put a twist to her on-air times by giving “tea” to her listeners. Most radio stations weren’t used to on-air announcers to dig deep on gossip about celebrities. She changed the game by interviewing celebrities or artists by asking questions listers wanted to know but were scared to ask. Her most infamous interview is her 2003 radio chat with Whitney Houston. Her talk show, The Wendy Williams Show, aired in 2008 and has been going strong ever since. Her famous catchphrase “How You Doing?” and her Hot Topics segment always get viewers’ attention. Her biopic, Wendy Williams: The Movie premiered on Lifetime.
Everyone is familiar with Howard Stern but have you heard of the second, melanin voice in command? Quivers was co-host and the voice of reason on The Howard Stern Show since 1981, which made her one of his longest Stern Show staff members. When Quivers returned to Baltimore, she landed her first job in the radio industry with a newscasting position at WIOO in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She is also an author of her books Quivers and The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life,
I’m Sylah Ferguson, 20 years old and I was born and raised in Albany, Georgia. I am a Senior at Albany State University majoring in Mass Communications with a minor in Criminal Justice. On campus, I am apart of the radio station Real 92.7 for the school, there I work as an on-air personality and Music Director. I’ve had a strong love for music at a young age, and growing up I listened to a variety of genres of music. Writing has always been one of my strongest talents and favorite hobbies.