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Sam Cooke Was the First African American Pop Singer to Have His Own Record Label

Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke, commonly known as the King of Soul, has been influential to the world of music for decades. Even at the age of 15, Cooke was a singer in a Chicago gospel group named The Highway QC’s. While following the influence of Ray Charles, Cooke was said to be ‘the pioneer cross-over artist from gospel to rhythm and blues.’

However, Cooke became a pioneer in more than that. Soon, Sam Cooke became the first African American popular singer to manage his own record label, according to an article by Blackpast.org. The article continued to mention that after forming this label in his twenties, Cooke went on to produce ‘other R&B artists such as Bobby Womack, Billy Preston, and Johnny Taylor.’

Sam Cooke left a legacy in the world of music for African American singers and R&B artists alike. Even to this day, the influence of his hit songs ‘You Send Me’ and ‘Wonderful World’ leaves its mark on our radios, televisions, and in the music produced by the many African American record labels today.