Black Music’s Role in Redefining Musical Boundaries

By Eliud Mburu
, Insights Analyst
Insights Analyst
June 18, 2024
— 3 min read
By Eliud Mburu
, Insights Analyst
Insights Analyst
June 18, 2024
— 3 min read

As we celebrate Juneteenth, we also salute Black Music Month — a period to recognize and highlight the influence of Black Music and artists in the U.S. and across the globe. Throughout history, Black contributions have created and redefined genres such as Afrobeats, Reggae, Gospel, R&B/Hip-Hop, Jazz, Rap and others, and continue to shape our music ecosystem. With icons ranging from Chuck Berry to Whitney Houston to Megan Thee Stallion, Black Music and artists have a prominent past and promising future. The power and gravity of these artists and their work may only be matched by the audiences that follow them.

In fact, Luminate Insights has found that Black Music fans are, notably, more likely than the average music listener (+20%) to strongly feel that music is tied to their cultural identity and community. They also tend to gravitate toward and seek out community in their music experience, as 36% are motivated to listen to specific artists because they like to participate in the community or fandom that it provides. So what happens when this community shifts its focus to a specific genre?

The power of Black Music and artists and their audiences was on display at the end of March with the release of Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter, the artist’s highly anticipated, genre-fusing 27-track album, featuring rising and established country artists ranging from Tanner Adell, Tiera Kennedy and Shaboozey to Dolly Parton, Linda Martell and Willie Nelson. The Cowboy Carter release helped drive significant lifts in On-Demand Audio (ODA) streams, in the U.S., for several country artists featured on the album.

Black country artists featured on Beyoncé's 'Cowboy Carter' album.

Black Music listeners’ openness and receptivity to other experiences (+15% greater likelihood to listen to music to experience new or different cultures and perspectives) has also helped ignite success in smaller, more niche genres as well. Such was the case when American rapper/singer Latto was tapped last summer by K-Pop star Jung Kook to join his single “Seven,” as the collaboration went on to have an immediate, significant boost to On-Demand Audio streams for Jung Kook’s full catalog before finishing the year as Spotify’s most-streamed collaboration of 2023. Additionally, by October it had broken the record to become the fastest song to achieve 1 billion streams in the platform’s history.¹

Jung Kook primary artist U.S. catalog on-demand audio.

As Black Music and artists continue to resonate across all types of music, their ability to redefine genres and influence audiences will continue to help shape the future of music and music culture — an accomplishment worthy of celebration.

Source:

¹Spotify 2023 Wrapped

Luminate Music Consumption Data – Country Genre – Jan – May 2024 vs. 2023, Cowboy Carter – 3/7/24 to 4/11/24, Jung Kook – 6/15/23 to 8/3/23
Luminate Music 360 Q2 2024 – Black Music Fans (includes fans of predominantly black musical genre fans (i.e., Afropop, Gospel, Hip-Hop/Rap, Jazz, R&B and Reggae))

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By Jimmy Doyle
July 12, 2024
— 4 min read

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