Contemporary R&B is a music genre that combines elements of rhythm and blues, soul, hip hop and electronic music. The genre features a distinctive record production style, drum machine-backed rhythms, pitch corrected vocals, a smooth, lush style of vocal arrangement. Electronic influences are becoming an increasing trend and the use of hip hop or dance-inspired beats are typical, although the roughness and grit inherent in hip hop may be reduced and smoothed out. Contemporary R&B vocalists are known for their use of melisma, popularized by vocalists such as Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Craig David, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Contemporary R&B originated at the end of the disco era, in the late-1970s, when Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones added more electronic elements to the sound of the time to create a smoother dancefloor-friendly sound; the first result was Off the Wall, which—according to Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic—"was a visionary album, that found a way to break disco wide open into a new world where the beat was undeniable, but not the primary focus" and "was part of a colorful tapestry of lush ballads and strings, smooth soul and pop, soft rock, alluring funk".
Richard J. Ripani wrote that Janet Jackson's Control was "important to the development of R&B for a number of reasons", as she and her producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, "crafted a new sound that fuses the rhythmic elements of funk and disco, along with heavy doses of synthesizers, sound effects, a rap music sensibility." Ripani wrote that "the success of Control led to the incorporation of stylistic traits of rap over the next few years, Janet Jackson was to continue to be one of the leaders in that development." That same year, Teddy Riley began. This combination of R&B style and hip hop rhythms was termed new jack swing and was applied to artists such as Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Keith Sweat, Al B. Sure!, Guy and Bell Biv DeVoe. In contrast to the works of Boyz II Men and similar artists, other R&B artists and groups from this same period began adding more of a hip-hop sound to their work, like the innovative group Jodeci; the synthesizer-heavy rhythm tracks of new jack swing were replaced by grittier East Coast hip hop-inspired backing tracks, resulting in a genre labeled hip hop soul by Mary J. Blige and producer Sean Combs who had mentored group Jodeci in the beginning and helped them with their unique look.
The style became less popular by the end of the 1990s, but experienced a resurgence. In 1990, Mariah Carey released Vision of Love, it was immensely popular peaking at number 1 in many worldwide charts including the Billboard Hot 100, it propelled Mariah's career. The song is said to have popularized the use of melisma and brought it in to mainstream R&B. During the mid-1990s, Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album sold over 40 million copies worldwide becoming the best-selling soundtrack of all time. Janet Jackson's self-titled fifth studio album janet. which came after her historic multimillion-dollar contract with Virgin Records, sold over twenty million copies worldwide. Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey recorded several Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits, including "One Sweet Day", a collaboration between both acts, which became the longest-running No. 1 hit in Hot 100 history. Carey released a remix of her 1995 single "Fantasy", with Ol' Dirty Bastard as a feature, a collaboration format, unheard of at this point.
Carey, Boyz II Men and TLC released albums in 1994 and 1995 -- II and CrazySexyCool. In the late 1990s, neo soul, which added 1970s soul influences to the hip hop soul blend, led by artists such as D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Maxwell. Hill and Missy Elliott further blurred the line between hip hop by recording both styles. Beginning in 1995, the Grammy Awards enacted the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, with II by Boyz II Men becoming the first recipient; the award was received by TLC for CrazySexyCool in 1996, Tony Rich for Words in 1997, Erykah Badu for Baduizm in 1998 and Lauryn Hill for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1999. At the end of 1999, Billboard magazine ranked Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson as the first and second most successful artists of the 1990s. In the second half of the 1990s, The Neptunes and Timbaland set influential precedence on contemporary R&B and hip hop music. R&B acts such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton are some of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Following periods of fluctuating success, urban music attained commercial dominance during the early 2000s, which featured massive crossover success on the Billboard charts by R&B and hip hop artists. In 2001, Alicia Keys released "Fallin"', it peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Top 40 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. It won three Grammy Awards in 2002, including Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, it was nominated for Record of the Year. Beyoncé's solo studio debut album Dangerously in Love has sold over 5 million copies in the United States and earned five Grammy Awards. Usher's Confessions sold 1.1 million copies in its first week and over 8 million copies in 2004, since it has been certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America and, as of 2016, has sold over 10 million copies in the US and over 20 million copies worldwide. Confessions had four consecutive Billboard Hot 100 number one singles—"Yeah!", "Burn", "Confessions Part II" and "My Boo".
In 2004, all 12 songs that topped Billboard Hot 100 were
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated. Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways; the artistic nature of music means that these classifications are subjective and controversial, some genres may overlap. There are varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between form, he lists madrigal, canzona and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre – both are violin concertos – but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."
Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language." Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can differentiate between genres. A music genre or subgenre may be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects". Among the criteria used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art and traditional musics. Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal and depth.
Arousal reflects the energy level of the music. These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres. Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of'folk','art' and'popular' musics", he explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria. The term art music refers to classical traditions, including both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music exists in many parts of the world, it emphasizes formal styles that invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered a written musical tradition, preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music are. Most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period.
The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is defined by the notated version rather than by a particular performance, is associated with the composer rather than the performer. This is so in the case of western classical music. Art music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is a form of popular music. Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can be considered to have an identity of its own; the term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects: Popular music, unlike art music, is conceived for mass distribution to large and socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners and distributed in non-written form, only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of'free' enterprise... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do; the distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction, not always precise. Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s; the polka is a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particular
Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, opinion, reviews and style, is known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres, it hosts events, owns a publishing firm, operates several TV shows. Billboard was founded in 1894 by William Donaldson and James Hennegan as a trade publication for bill posters. Donaldson acquired Hennegen's interest in 1900 for $500. In the early years of the 20th century, it covered the entertainment industry, such as circuses and burlesque shows, created a mail service for travelling entertainers. Billboard began focusing more on the music industry as the jukebox and radio became commonplace. Many topics it covered were spun-off into different magazines, including Amusement Business in 1961 to cover outdoor entertainment, so that it could focus on music.
After Donaldson died in 1925, Billboard was passed down to his children and Hennegan's children, until it was sold to private investors in 1985, has since been owned by various parties. The first issue of Billboard was published in Cincinnati, Ohio by William Donaldson and James Hennegan on November 1, 1894, it covered the advertising and bill posting industry, was known as Billboard Advertising. At the time, billboards and paper advertisements placed in public spaces were the primary means of advertising. Donaldson handled editorial and advertising, while Hennegan, who owned Hennegan Printing Co. managed magazine production. The first issues were just eight pages long; the paper had columns like "The Bill Room Gossip" and "The Indefatigable and Tireless Industry of the Bill Poster". A department for agricultural fairs was established in 1896; the title was changed to The Billboard in 1897. After a brief departure over editorial differences, Donaldson purchased Hennegan's interest in the business in 1900 for $500 to save it from bankruptcy.
That May, Donaldson changed it from a monthly to a weekly paper with a greater emphasis on breaking news. He improved editorial quality and opened new offices in New York, San Francisco and Paris, re-focused the magazine on outdoor entertainment such as fairs, circuses and burlesque shows. A section devoted to circuses was introduced in 1900, followed by more prominent coverage of outdoor events in 1901. Billboard covered topics including regulation, a lack of professionalism and new shows, it had a "stage gossip" column covering the private lives of entertainers, a "tent show" section covering traveling shows, a sub-section called "Freaks to order". According to The Seattle Times, Donaldson published news articles "attacking censorship, praising productions exhibiting'good taste' and fighting yellow journalism"; as railroads became more developed, Billboard set up a mail forwarding system for traveling entertainers. The location of an entertainer was tracked in the paper's Routes Ahead column Billboard would receive mail on the star's behalf and publish a notice in its "Letter-Box" column that it has mail for them.
This service was first introduced in 1904, became one of Billboard's largest sources of profit and celebrity connections. By 1914, there were 42,000 people using the service, it was used as the official address of traveling entertainers for draft letters during World War I. In the 1960s, when it was discontinued, Billboard was still processing 1,500 letters per week. In 1920, Donaldson made a controversial move by hiring African-American journalist James Albert Jackson to write a weekly column devoted to African-American performers. According to The Business of Culture: Strategic Perspectives on Entertainment and Media, the column identified discrimination against black performers and helped validate their careers. Jackson was the first black critic at a national magazine with a predominantly white audience. According to his grandson, Donaldson established a policy against identifying performers by their race. Donaldson died in 1925. Billboard's editorial changed focus as technology in recording and playback developed, covering "marvels of modern technology" such as the phonograph, record players, wireless radios.
It began covering coin-operated entertainment machines in 1899, created a dedicated section for them called "Amusement Machines" in March 1932. Billboard began covering the motion picture industry in 1907, but ended up focusing on music due to competition from Variety, it created a radio broadcasting station in the 1920s. The jukebox industry continued to grow through the Great Depression, was advertised in Billboard, which led to more editorial focus on music; the proliferation of the phonograph and radio contributed to its growing music emphasis. Billboard published the first music hit parade on January 4, 1936, introduced a "Record Buying Guide" in January 1939. In 1940, it introduced "Chart Line", which tracked the best-selling records, was followed by a chart for jukebox records in 1944 called Music Box Machine charts. By the 1940s, Billboard was more of a music industry specialist publication; the number of charts it published grew after World War II, due to a growing variety of music interests and genres.
It had eight charts by 1987, covering different genres and formats, 28 charts by 1994. By 1943, Billboard had about 100 employees; the magazine's offices moved to Brighton, Ohio in 1946 to New York City in 1948. A five-column tabloid format was adopted in November 1950 and coated paper was first used in Billboard's print issues in January 1963, allowing for photojournalis
A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has varying roles during the recording process, they may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements. A producer may also: Select session musicians to play rhythm section accompaniment parts or solos Co-write Propose changes to the song arrangements Coach the singers and musicians in the studioThe producer supervises the entire process from preproduction, through to the sound recording and mixing stages, and, in some cases, all the way to the audio mastering stage; the producer may perform these roles themselves, or help select the engineer, provide suggestions to the engineer. The producer may pay session musicians and engineers and ensure that the entire project is completed within the record label's budget.
A record producer or music producer has a broad role in overseeing and managing the recording and production of a band or performer's music. A producer has many roles that may include, but are not limited to, gathering ideas for the project, composing the music for the project, selecting songs or session musicians, proposing changes to the song arrangements, coaching the artist and musicians in the studio, controlling the recording sessions, supervising the entire process through audio mixing and, in some cases, to the audio mastering stage. Producers often take on a wider entrepreneurial role, with responsibility for the budget, schedules and negotiations. Writer Chris Deville explains it, "Sometimes a producer functions like a creative consultant — someone who helps a band achieve a certain aesthetic, or who comes up with the perfect violin part to complement the vocal melody, or who insists that a chorus should be a bridge. Other times a producer will build a complete piece of music from the ground up and present the finished product to a vocalist, like Metro Boomin supplying Future with readymade beats or Jack Antonoff letting Taylor Swift add lyrics and melody to an otherwise-finished “Out Of The Woods.”The artist of an album may not be a record producer or music producer for his/her album.
While both contribute creatively, the official credit of "record producer" may depend on the record contract. Christina Aguilera, for example, did not receive record producer credits until many albums into her career. In the 2010s, the producer role is sometimes divided among up to three different individuals: executive producer, vocal producer and music producer. An executive producer oversees project finances, a vocal producers oversees the vocal production, a music producer oversees the creative process of recording and mixings; the music producer is often a competent arranger, musician or songwriter who can bring fresh ideas to a project. As well as making any songwriting and arrangement adjustments, the producer selects and/or collaborates with the mixing engineer, who takes the raw recorded tracks and edits and modifies them with hardware and software tools to create a stereo or surround sound "mix" of all the individual voices sounds and instruments, in turn given further adjustment by a mastering engineer for the various distribution media.
The producer oversees the recording engineer who concentrates on the technical aspects of recording. Noted producer Phil Ek described his role as "the person who creatively guides or directs the process of making a record", like a director would a movie. Indeed, in Bollywood music, the designation is music director; the music producer's job is to create and mold a piece of music. The scope of responsibility may be one or two songs or an artist's entire album – in which case the producer will develop an overall vision for the album and how the various songs may interrelate. At the beginning of record industry, the producer role was technically limited to record, in one shot, artists performing live; the immediate predecessors to record producers were the artists and repertoire executives of the late 1920s and 1930s who oversaw the "pop" product and led session orchestras. That was the case of Ben Selvin at Columbia Records, Nathaniel Shilkret at Victor Records and Bob Haring at Brunswick Records.
By the end of the 1930s, the first professional recording studios not owned by the major companies were established separating the roles of A&R man and producer, although it wouldn't be until the late 1940s when the term "producer" became used in the industry. The role of producers changed progressively over the 1960s due to technology; the development of multitrack recording caused a major change in the recording process. Before multitracking, all the elements of a song had to be performed simultaneously. All of these singers and musicians had to be assembled in a large studio where the performance was recorded. With multitrack recording, the "bed tracks" (rhythm section accompaniment parts such as the bassline and rhythm guitar could be recorded first, the vocals and solos could be added using as many "takes" as necessary, it was no longer necessary to get all the players in the studio at the same time. A pop band could record their backing tracks one week, a horn section could be brought in a week to add horn shots and punches, a string section could be brought in a week after that.
Multitrack recording had another pro
Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, blues and popular music styles such as pop, electronic dance music and filmi. Singing arranged or improvised, it may be done as a form of religious devotion, as a hobby, as a source of pleasure, comfort or ritual, as part of music education or as a profession. Excellence in singing requires time, dedication and regular practice.
If practice is done on a regular basis the sounds can become more clear and strong. Professional singers build their careers around one specific musical genre, such as classical or rock, although there are singers with crossover success, they take voice training provided by voice teachers or vocal coaches throughout their careers. In its physical aspect, singing has a well-defined technique that depends on the use of the lungs, which act as an air supply or bellows. Though these four mechanisms function independently, they are coordinated in the establishment of a vocal technique and are made to interact upon one another. During passive breathing, air is inhaled with the diaphragm while exhalation occurs without any effort. Exhalation may be aided by lower pelvis/pelvic muscles. Inhalation is aided by use of external intercostals and sternocleidomastoid muscles; the pitch is altered with the vocal cords. With the lips closed, this is called humming; the sound of each individual's singing voice is unique not only because of the actual shape and size of an individual's vocal cords but due to the size and shape of the rest of that person's body.
Humans have vocal folds which can loosen, tighten, or change their thickness, over which breath can be transferred at varying pressures. The shape of the chest and neck, the position of the tongue, the tightness of otherwise unrelated muscles can be altered. Any one of these actions results in a change in pitch, timbre, or tone of the sound produced. Sound resonates within different parts of the body and an individual's size and bone structure can affect the sound produced by an individual. Singers can learn to project sound in certain ways so that it resonates better within their vocal tract; this is known as vocal resonation. Another major influence on vocal sound and production is the function of the larynx which people can manipulate in different ways to produce different sounds; these different kinds of laryngeal function are described as different kinds of vocal registers. The primary method for singers to accomplish this is through the use of the Singer's Formant, it has been shown that a more powerful voice may be achieved with a fatter and fluid-like vocal fold mucosa.
The more pliable the mucosa, the more efficient the transfer of energy from the airflow to the vocal folds. Vocal registration refers to the system of vocal registers within the voice. A register in the voice is a particular series of tones, produced in the same vibratory pattern of the vocal folds, possessing the same quality. Registers originate in laryngeal function, they occur. Each of these vibratory patterns appears within a particular range of pitches and produces certain characteristic sounds; the occurrence of registers has been attributed to effects of the acoustic interaction between the vocal fold oscillation and the vocal tract. The term "register" can be somewhat confusing; the term register can be used to refer to any of the following: A particular part of the vocal range such as the upper, middle, or lower registers. A resonance area such as chest voice or head voice. A phonatory process A certain vocal timbre or vocal "color" A region of the voice, defined or delimited by vocal breaks.
In linguistics, a register language is a language which combines tone and vowel phonation into a single phonological system. Within speech pathology, the term vocal register has three constituent elements: a certain vibratory pattern of the vocal folds, a certain series of pitches, a certain type of sound. Speech pathologists identify four vocal registers based on the physiology of laryngeal function: the vocal fry register, the modal register, the falsetto register, the whistle register; this view is adopted by many vocal pedagogues. Vocal resonation is the process by which the basic product of phonation is en
Krazy (BlackGirl song)
"Krazy" is the title of a top forty R&B and dance single by BlackGirl. The song is the first single from BlackGirl. Larry Flick of Billboard referred to the single as "engaging and chock full of pleasant harmonizing". A music video spent various weeks in the top-twenty of the BET network
Curtis Lee Mayfield was an American singer-songwriter and record producer, one of the most influential musicians behind soul and politically conscious African-American music. He first achieved success and recognition with The Impressions during the civil rights movement of the late 1950s and 1960s, worked as a solo artist. Born in Chicago, Mayfield started his musical career in a gospel choir. Moving to the North Side, he met Jerry Butler in 1956 at the age of 14, joined the vocal group The Impressions; as a songwriter, Mayfield became noted as one of the first musicians to bring more prevalent themes of social awareness into soul music. In 1965, he wrote "People Get Ready" for the Impressions, which displayed his more politically charged songwriting. Ranked at no. 24 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, the song received numerous other awards, was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, as well as being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.
After leaving the Impressions in 1970 in the pursuit of a solo career, Mayfield released several albums, including the soundtrack for the blaxploitation film Super Fly in 1972. The soundtrack was noted for its conscious themes addressing problems surrounding inner city minorities such as crime and drug abuse; the album was ranked at no. 72 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down after lighting equipment fell on him during a live performance at Wingate Field in Flatbush, New York, on August 13, 1990. Despite this, he continued his career as a recording artist, releasing his final album New World Order in 1996. Mayfield won a Grammy Legend Award in 1994 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995, was a double inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of the Impressions in 1991, again in 1999 as a solo artist, he was a two-time Grammy Hall of Fame inductee. He died from complications of type 2 diabetes in 1999 at the age of 57.
Curtis Mayfield was born on June 3, 1942 in Chicago, the son of Marion Washington and Kenneth Mayfield, one of five children. Mayfield's father left the family. Mayfield attended Wells Community Academy High School before dropping out his sophomore year, his mother taught him, along with his grandmother, encouraged him to enjoy gospel music. At the age of seven he sang publicly at his aunt's church with the Northern Jubilee Gospel Singers; when he was 14 years old he formed the Alphatones when the Northern Jubilee Gospel Singers decided to try their luck in downtown Chicago and Mayfield stayed behind. Fellow group member Sam Gooden was quoted "It would have been nice to have him there with us, but of course, your parents have the first say." In 1956, he joined his high school friend Jerry Butler's group The Roosters with brothers Arthur and Richard Brooks. He composed songs for this group who would become The Impressions two years later. Mayfield's career began in 1956 when he joined the Roosters with Arthur and Richard Brooks and Jerry Butler.
Two years the Roosters, now including Sam Gooden, became the Impressions. The band had two hit singles with Butler, "For Your Precious Love" and "Come Back My Love" Butler left. Mayfield temporarily went with him, co-writing and performing on Butler's next hit, "He Will Break Your Heart", before returning to the Impressions with the group signing for ABC Records and working with the label's Chicago-based producer/A&R manager, Johnny Pate. Butler was replaced by Fred Cash, a returning original Roosters member, Mayfield became lead singer composing for the band, starting with "Gypsy Woman", a Top 20 Pop hit, their hit "Amen", an updated version of an old gospel tune, was included in the soundtrack of the 1963 United Artists film Lilies of the Field, which starred Sidney Poitier. The Impressions reached the height of their popularity in the mid-to-late-'60s with a string of Mayfield compositions that included "Keep On Pushing," "People Get Ready", "It's All Right", the up-tempo "Talking about My Baby" and "Woman's Got Soul".
He formed his own label, Curtom Records in Chicago in 1968 and the Impressions joined him to continue their run of hits including "Fool For You," "This is My Country", "Choice Of Colors" and "Check Out Your Mind." Mayfield had written much of the soundtrack of the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s, but by the end of the decade, he was a pioneering voice in the black pride movement along with James Brown and Sly Stone. Mayfield's "We're a Winner" was their last major hit for ABC. A Number 1 soul hit which reached the Billboard pop Top 20, it became an anthem of the black power and black pride movements when it was released in late 1967, much as his earlier "Keep on Pushing" had been an anthem for Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Mayfield was a prolific songwriter in Chicago outside his work for the Impressions and producing scores of hits for many other artists, he owned the Mayfield and Windy C labels which were distributed by Cameo-Parkway, was a partner in the Curtom and Thomas labels.
Among Mayfield's greatest songwriting successes were three hits that he wrote for Jerry Butler on Vee Jay ("He Will Break Your Heart