When it comes to music, the Black community stands unique in defining the sound of the times and influencing society. Black artists have inspired music for generations across all genres, from hip-hop, R&B, soul, pop, rock, country, jazz, and more. That’s why all year round, Spotify is dedicated to elevating audio from the Black community—and especially so during June, which is Black Music Month. During this time, we’re encouraging listeners to learn about and celebrate the Black musicians, artists, activists, and creators of past and present who gifted us with their work.
Streaming on Spotify often reflects events and happenings in culture and the world at large, and the past two weeks have been no different. Spotify’s Black Lives Matter playlist has seen over a 1,900% increase in followers and a 130,000% increase in streams. A few songs in particular from the playlist are especially resonating with listeners, including “This is America” by Childish Gambino (351% increase), “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar (8,253%), “Freedom” by Beyoncé featuring Kendrick Lamar (371% increase), “Self” by Noname (289% increase), and “Mad” by Solange featuring Lil Wayne (854% increase).
As we continue to mark Black Music Month, we’ll highlight the musical and cultural contributions of Black creators through new content, including dedicated playlists, guest-curated playlist takeovers, podcasting playlists, and more. Read on for some of the ways we’re amplifying Black voices this month.
To commemorate, celebrate, and recognize the day that slavery ended in the United States, Spotify has made Juneteenth a permanent company holiday for all U.S. employees. To underscore the importance of Juneteenth this year, Spotify’s flagship playlist New Music Friday will exclusively feature Black artists from Friday, June 19, through June 26. Additionally, Spotify’s New Music Friday billboards in Times Square will be dedicated only to Black artists on June 19.
Multiple playlists, many of which will be featured in the Black History Is Now hub, will roll out through the month. For Father’s Day, we’ll be launching our KING playlist celebrating Black men and their roles as dads. Kirk Franklin will be taking over the playlist and is featured on the cover. Additionally, look out for Throwback Thursday, which will highlight Black music across genres throughout the decades from the 1950s to now; Black to the Future, a new and improved playlist featuring up and coming Black artists; Black History Salute, which honors the lives of Black music legends lost this year, including Manu Dibango, Little Richard, Tony Allen, Bill Withers, and Betty Wright; and Black, Queer, & Proud, featuring American singer-songwriter Brittany Howard in honor of Pride month.
Black Music Month will also include influential playlist takeovers, featuring a deep well of notable Black curators, celebrities, creatives, and more. Tracee Ellis Ross kicked off June by curating Black Girl Magic, and Gabrielle Union-Wade will be taking over to round out the month. Plus, as dance has been influenced by Black youth across generations, our dance playlist 8 Count will be taken over by Black creators of today’s hottest dance trends.
Spotify is elevating this content during Black Music Month to celebrate the individuals who gifted us with their talents and to encourage people everywhere to take the time to listen and to learn.
Check out the ever-updating Black History Is Now hub for all the new content, as well as old favorites like Are & Be.