ill Mami’s Top White Icons In Soul Music

There is no amount of sunshine, rainbows, unicorns, and leprechauns to lift my spirits after reading a supposed "Top 10 White Icons Of Black Music" list on Urban Daily. My apologies in advance for whomever decided to slap these supposed "icons" together, but a list that includes Elvis, Vanilla Ice, Jon B, and Justin Timberlake just does not sit very well with me. At all. This list is lazy, lackluster, and lost. Below is my Top 10 list of sorts that is infused with much more of an encompassing look at our beloved Soul music. The list below is in no discernable order:
Darryl Hall & John Oates
The fact that this list did not even attempt to make reference to this beloved duo is just ridiculous. Their hits are numerous, they made our Top 100 countdown, and they were helplessly smooth even when they were a bit on the corny side. Below is one of my favorite songs by them.

David Bowie

After his alt-rock, glammed up Ziggy Stardust persona, he tapped into the prevailing 1950s nostalgia ever-present in the '80s and gave us such hits as "China Girl" and "Modern Love." If this song below doesn't ring a bell, you must have gotten a lobotomy of all things related to the 1990s.

Phil Collins
Former drummer of Genesis which also included Peter Gabriel, and deserves an honorable mention here for "Sledgehammer," Phil Collins sang his heart out all over the Billboard charts in the 1980s. Like Hall & Oates, this man has way too many songs to mention here. The song below still rocks, and is a great example of Pop music at its finest.

Those who know me personally know I stan for this man as much as one woman can. From fronting post-punk ska rock band The Police to breaking out as a highly successful solo artist, this man's songwriting is an experience in itself. I will spare you the sleep-inducing "Every Breath You Take," and bring you another gem that you will want to revisit or get to know better. 

George Michael
Sorry for the '80s slant this list is taking but leaving this man off a list as this would amount to insanity. We have written of his splendor here on SoulBounce already, and there is good reason for this. He effing rocks. He held his own with Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. Is there anyone who has been able to do that in recent memory? No. in short, we love him because he deserves it. 

Yeah, I said it. Before she got all creepy and prowling for her youngest male victim for his life-sustaining blood to rejuvenate her gnarled hands, Madonna was the shit. Period. Not the best singer in the world, but not the worst. And she could dance, and writhe, and do everything in between. Before I forget, Madonna + Lenny Kravitz = Pure bliss. 

Frank Sinatra
He isn't still revered as having one of the best voices ever recorded for nothing. His mafia ties, racist rants, and fantastical tales of boozing and womanizing made this man was a paparazzo's dream. I personally listen to his voice weekly, loudly, and without apology. 

Kenny Rogers
Yeah, he makes some good chicken, and has amazing hair, but until you've heard this man sing the Lionel Ritchie-penned "Lady," you have not experienced the wonderment that is known as the "power ballad," my friend. Ask your parents about "The Gambler" and the Dolly Parton duet "Islands In The Stream." The wistfulness they'll display is as real then as it is now.

Speaking of power ballads, there is no way on Earth I can forget Chicago. With Peter Cetera at the helm, this band's sound was in the same vein as Hall & Oates. Smooth everytime. They were at their best when they slowed down the tempo. Kanye and Common haven't referred to them several times over for nothing.

Dusty Springfield
Ask Joss Stone and Amy Winehouse about her. That's all I have to say about that.

Paul McCartney
This man collaborated with two of the biggest music stars that have ever lived, Michael Jackson (twice) and Stevie Wonder. Ponder that when you remember that Vanilla Ice was listed as an "icon." I can't listen to "Ebony and Ivory" without tearing my hair out and running down the street, so I'll give you the song that least elicits homicidal tendencies in me.

Teena Marie
This oversight is perhaps the most egregious and simultaneously laughable. Her talent is unquestionable, and our love for her is quite clear

Please keep in mind that there are many more true icons that have influenced Black music. Those under the age of 35 I have not included as their songs have not stood the test of time. even though I really, really want to include Amy Winehouse like you wouldn't believe. In any case, hopefully this can serve as a more credible reference for those wishing to pen future lists of iconic white artists in Black music. Feel free to leave your own picks in the comments.

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19 Responses

  1. Daryl Hall and George Michael could sing about Excel spreadsheets and dry erase boards and I'd be engaged, that's how lovely their voices are to me. I also have undying love for Teena Marie and Dusty Springfield.
    Great list! For me, I would also add in Kate Bush just because "The Man With The Child In His Eyes" is pretty soulful, so soulful that even Miss Natalie Cole has covered it. And we can't forget about "This Woman's Work".
    Urban Daily 0, ill Mami 10

  2. Phil Collins & Phillip Bailey looking like Crockett & Tubbs.
    "Easy Lover" used to be MY JOINT!
    As the Brits would say...

  3. Great list! I was just jamming HARD to hall & oates yesterday. so this is timely for me! another person's voice I love not listed is Michael McDonald....

  4. What about Ambrosia? Michael McDonald? Nu Shooz (ok, only for that one song), Steve Winwood? Dan Hartman!!! (Again only for the one song, but it was a great song!!!) The Style Council?

  5. Fantastically well done!! I looo--oove Phil Collins and one of the most bitter moments of my life was when a free Hall & Oates concert in Philly got rained out. I can't believe anyone had the nerve to say some Jon B., and Jojo for that matter? I mean no offense but come on now, did a 16 year old write that? Michael McDonald was pretty much the only one who belonged on that list.
    I'd have to add Elton John to this list tho. He throws down soul style!

  6. Great List. Love me some Hall & Oates. "One On One" and "Sarah Smile" are my faves from them. I'm also a Lisa Stansfield fan. I wonder what's going on w/her?

  7. Clearly my oversight of Michael McDonald is due to my fatigue from chasing after a two-year-old for the greater part of today 🙂
    For a great song by Kenny Loggins (honorable mention simply by virtue of "This Is It") with collaboration by Michael McDonald, click here.

  8. LMAO @ "I can't listen to "Ebony and Ivory" without tearing my hair out and running down the street" ... i agree, whatever possessed Mr Wonder to record this drivel?
    Great list, glad to see Dusty mentioned.The lady was an icon and had way more soul than alot of supposed soul artists.

  9. Has everyone forgotten Bobby Caldwell??? :O lol

  10. I have three more to add tothe list...Lisa Stansfield..She was indeed soulful..'Been Around the World"...Bobby Caldwell with "What you wont do for love" and lastly Boz Skaggs who had a huge 70's hit with "LowDown"...I choose these because they are indeed soulful....

  11. Avatar

    wow that list was uckery-fay..JoJo?!! But that's besides the point..ill mami your list was definitely on point. I'm also on the Michael McDonald and Elton John bandwagon =D


  13. OMG Kanye West just left a comment on our site! We BIG now! Real big!!!!! (Heh.)

  14. No Michael Mcdonald??????, no Level 42? WTF is goings on:)

  15. rare earth, level 42, blood sweat & tears, bobby darin, allman brothers, seals & croft

  16. Nova that gayfish comment was kinda rude:-)

  17. michael mcdonald

  18. The BeeGees, Neil Young

  19. I bookmarked this link. Thank you for good job!