Sam Cooke declared a change was gonna come. Gil Scott-Heron told us the revolution would not be televised. Beyoncé cried out for freedom, and Aretha Franklin taught us to demand R-E-S-P-E-C-T on every occasion.

NMAAM is the place where Black music is preserved, celebrated, and elevated every day of the year. But during #BlackHistoryMonth, we turned it up a bit and celebrated the artists whose songs have become the soundtrack of Black excellence.