Black Music Month allows us time to reflect on how Black music — our music — has changed the culture of America and beyond.

To celebrate this exciting month we thought it fitting to highlight the 50 top artists whose work has uplifted, soothed, and energized us over the years.

These artists — who are listed in no particular order — have churned out hit after hit and made musical history. From classic stars like Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross, to newcomers like Mary J. Blige and Beyoncé, celebrates the soul singers and producers who went hard and made history.