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Southern Soul: Legendary Singers from South Carolina

The state of South Carolina has produced some of America’s most renowned singers, who have brought their southern charm and raw talent to the country’s music industry. From soulful R&B to heart-wrenching country music, South Carolina has it all.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the lives and careers of these legendary singers who have put South Carolina on the map. Lee Brice: A Charitable Country Star

Lee Brice is one of South Carolina’s most famous singers, known for his powerhouse voice and country music hits.

Born in Sumter, South Carolina, Lee discovered his love for music at an early age. He began singing in church, and later learned to play the guitar, piano, and drums.

Lee went to the University of South Carolina, where he played football and later pursued a career in music. Lee Brice signed with Curb Records in 2007, and released his debut single “She Ain’t Right” in 2008.

However, it was his sophomore single “Love Like Crazy” that catapulted his career to new heights. The song became the longest-charting song in the history of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, and earned Lee the title of “new artist of the year” at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Lee Brice has since released six albums, with hits like “I Don’t Dance”, “Drinking Class”, and “Hard to Love”. His music has been described as “deeply personal and deeply relatable”, speaking to the struggles and triumphs of everyday life.

Lee’s powerful voice, mixed with his raw emotional delivery, has endeared him to country music fans across the world. But what sets Lee Brice apart from other famous singers is his philanthropic work.

Lee has lent his talents to numerous charitable organizations throughout his career, including Folds of Honor, Helping a Hero, and the USO. Lee’s father served in the military for more than 20 years, and his grandfather was a World War II veteran.

Lee has spoken openly about his admiration and respect for those who have served, and he uses his platform to give back to veterans and their families. Lee has also hosted and performed at several charity concerts, including the “Lee Brice and Friends Guitar Pull” in Nashville, which raised funds for Folds of Honor.

His charitable work has earned him recognition and praise from both the music industry and the military community.

In Conclusion

Lee Brice’s talent and dedication to his craft have made him one of South Carolina’s most famous singers. His heartwarming lyrics and powerful performances have endeared him to country music fans across the country, and his philanthropic work has made a positive impact on countless lives.

Lee Brice is a true American treasure, and we’re proud to call him one of our own. Angie Stone: A Soulful Songwriter and Philanthropist

Angie Stone is a versatile American singer-songwriter who has left an indelible mark on the music industry by blending various genres including soul, hip-hop, R&B, and funk.

Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Angie was introduced to music at her church where her father was a member of the choir. By age 16, Angie had formed her own group, The Sequence, which became one of the first all-female hip-hop groups.

After leaving The Sequence, Angie went on to have a successful solo career, releasing several critically acclaimed albums. With her powerful vocals and unique musical style, she earned four Grammy nominations and became a staple in the R&B and soul genres.

Angie’s music is known for its socially conscious lyrics, shining a light on topics such as domestic violence, politics, and self-empowerment. Her hit songs like “No More Rain (In This Cloud),” “Wish I Didn’t Miss You,” and “Brotha” have become timeless classics, resonating with fans across generations.

Beyond her music, Angie has also made a significant impact through her philanthropic work. A strong advocate for education, Angie established the Angie Stone Foundation to support high school students in Atlanta, Georgia.

The foundation provides mentorship, scholarships, and academic resources to help students graduate and pursue their dreams. Angie has also been active in raising awareness for domestic violence and mental health issues.

She has partnered with organizations like the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to provide resources and support for those in need. Angie’s commitment to using her platform to make a difference has earned her praise from fans and fellow musicians alike.

Linda Martell: A Country Trailblazer

Linda Martell is a pioneering country singer from South Carolina whose contributions to country music history have often gone overlooked. Linda rose to fame in the late 1960s as one of the few African American women to gain traction in the country music scene.

She received critical acclaim for her unique blend of country, gospel, and R&B, and her 1969 album Color Me Country is often cited as a groundbreaking achievement. Despite her talent, Linda faced significant challenges in the industry due to her race.

She often performed in segregated venues and received backlash from some country music fans. Despite the obstacles, Linda persevered, becoming the first African American woman to perform at the Grand Ole Opry and earning recognition from the Country Music Association.

After leaving the music industry in the early 1970s, Linda focused on raising her family and working as a nurse. In 2019, she was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame in Charleston, South Carolina, cementing her place in country music history.

Linda’s legacy serves as an inspiration to aspiring country artists of all backgrounds. She broke down barriers and paved the way for future generations to pursue their passions, no matter the color of their skin.

In Conclusion

Angie Stone and Linda Martell are two of South Carolina’s most legendary singers, each leaving their mark on the music industry in their own unique way. Angie’s powerful vocals and socially conscious lyrics have made her a beloved artist and philanthropist, while Linda’s groundbreaking career as a trailblazing country singer serves as an inspiration for generations to come.

Independent Singers: Defying Conventional Labels

South Carolina has produced an impressive roster of musicians, including several independent singers who have achieved significant success throughout their careers. These artists, who have carved out their own unique sound and style, merit recognition for their achievements and contributions to the music industry.

Darius Rucker is arguably the most famous independent singer from South Carolina, having found success both as the frontman of the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish and as a solo country artist. After Hootie & the Blowfish’s breakthrough in the 1990s, Darius ventured into the country music genre, where he has released several hit albums and singles, earning him numerous awards and nominations.

Darius’s success in two distinct genres is a testament to the power of independent music and the ability to defy traditional labels. Peabo Bryson is another independent singer from South Carolina who has enjoyed a long and successful career.

Known for his smooth R&B vocals, Peabo has released multiple albums and singles that have reached the top 10 of the Billboard R&B chart. Peabo has also collaborated with other legendary singers, including Roberta Flack and Regina Belle, to produce hit duets that have become timeless classics.

Chubby Checker is a notable independent singer from South Carolina who made a significant impact on the music industry in the 1960s. Chubby’s unique blend of rock ‘n’ roll and dance rhythms, combined with his energetic stage presence, made him a hit with audiences worldwide.

He recorded several iconic songs, including “The Twist” which became a sensation and led to a new dance craze across the country. Additionally, classic country has a strong presence in South Carolina’s independent music scene.

Independent artists like Aaron Burdett, Justin Clyde Williams, and Elogy have gained a following through blending southern rock and traditional country sounds to create a unique style of their own. These independent singers have often found success with smaller labels and local radio stations, demonstrating the resilience and adaptability of the independent music genre.

Ruston Kelly: A Unique Blend of Traditional Country and Indie Rock

Ruston Kelly is a rising star in the independent music scene, known for his unique blend of traditional country and indie rock. Born in South Carolina, Ruston began co-writing with other songwriters while living in Nashville, Tennessee, and went on to release his debut album Dying Star in 2018.

Ruston’s music is characterized by poignant and emotional lyrics that delve into themes of love, loss, and addiction. His debut album showcased his versatile style, with songs ranging from the upbeat “Mockingbird,” to the soulful “Jericho,” to the stripped-down acoustic ballad “Brave.”

Critics have praised Ruston’s songwriting and storytelling abilities, noting that his music is authentic and deeply personal.

Ruston’s ability to combine traditional country music with indie rock elements has garnered him a loyal following and earned him critical acclaim. Ruston has since continued to produce thought-provoking music that speaks to the complexities of the human experience.

His dedication to his craft and his unique blend of styles have made him a standout in the independent music scene, and an artist to watch for years to come.

In Conclusion

South Carolina’s independent singers have made significant contributions to the music industry, defying conventional labels and genres to create their own unique sound. From classic country to smooth R&B to rock ‘n’ roll, these independent artists have shown that true talent and passion can thrive beyond the mainstream.

Ruston Kelly’s emotional lyrics and distinct blend of country and indie rock exemplify the creativity and innovation that have made independent music a staple of South Carolina’s music culture. Teddy Pendergrass: Soulful Voice that Defined R&B

Teddy Pendergrass was a legendary R&B singer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who made a significant impact on the music industry with his smooth and soulful voice.

However, few people know that he was actually born in Kingstree, South Carolina. Teddy’s music career began in the 1970s, as the lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, but his solo career catapulted him to fame.

Teddy’s romantic lyrics and powerful vocal range made him a favorite among R&B fans. His hit songs like “Turn Off The Lights,” “Love T.K.O”, and “Close The Door” became instant classics, staying popular for decades.

His style and sound defined R&B of the 1970s and 1980s. However, Teddy’s career was cut short in 1982, when he was involved in a tragic car accident that paralyzed him from the waist down.

Despite the setback, Teddy continued to perform and inspire fans with his music, proving that nothing could diminish his talent. He remained a legend in the R&B industry, with his smooth and soulful voice earning him a special place in music history.

Even now, Teddy’s music continues to touch the hearts of fans, old and new. His legacy serves as a reminder of the power of music to inspire and uplift us in the most trying times in our lives.

Bill Anderson: A Country Legend

Bill Anderson is a renowned singer-songwriter from South Carolina with a career spanning over six decades. Known as “Whisperin’ Bill,” Bill’s soft and soothing voice has earned him numerous awards and accolades in the country music industry.

He has written hit songs for several iconic country music stars, including Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney. Bill began his music career in Nashville in the 1950s, and quickly rose to fame as a songwriter.

He wrote hits like “City Lights,” “Peel Me a Nanner,” and “Tips of My Fingers,” which helped him establish himself as a leading country music songwriter. In the 1960s, Bill began performing his own music and released several successful albums, further cementing his place in the country music industry.

Bill’s contributions to country music have earned him several awards, including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002. He has also starred in various television shows, hosting and co-hosting popular shows like “Fandango” and “Country’s Family Reunion.”

One of Bill’s most notable accomplishments in recent years was co-writing the hit song “Whiskey Lullaby” with Jon Randall.

The song, originally recorded by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss, became a smash hit, earning the duo several awards and nominations.

In Conclusion

Teddy Pendergrass and Bill Anderson are two legendary musicians who have left a lasting impact on the music industry. Teddy’s smooth and soulful voice left an indelible mark on the R&B genre, while Bill’s songwriting talents and soothing voice made him a staple in the country music scene.

These South Carolina-born artists have shown that music knows no bounds, transcending location and genre to touch the hearts of fans worldwide. Their contributions to music history will continue to be celebrated and appreciated for generations to come.

Shovels & Rope: A Distinctive Sound in Folk and Country Music

Shovels & Rope is a South Carolina-based folk and country duo consisting of husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. They have gained a loyal following for their distinctive sound which blends the storytelling of folk and the energy of rock and roll.

The duo’s music is noted for its rawness, emotional depth, and sincerity. In 2012, Shovels & Rope’s self-titled album earned widespread praise, culminating in their appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Since then, they’ve continued to release critically acclaimed albums like O’ Be Joyful, Little Seeds, and By Blood. These albums showcase their dynamic range of influences and lyrical themes, including love, loss, and community.

In 2019, Shovels & Rope collaborated with Grammy-winning artist Brandi Carlile on “Highwomen,” a song that celebrates the strength and resilience of women. They’ve also been active in their community, donating proceeds from their annual High Water Festival to a variety of local charitable organizations.

Shovels & Rope’s music resonates with audiences far and wide, demonstrating the power of community and the importance of staying true to oneself in the modern music industry. Reverend Gary Davis: A Blind Guitar Virtuoso

Reverend Gary Davis was a blind blues and gospel singer from South Carolina who left an indelible mark on the music industry with his finger-picking guitar style.

Born in 1896 in Laurens, South Carolina, Davis taught himself guitar as a young child and quickly became a skilled musician. At the age of 41, Davis became a preacher and began performing his gospel music throughout the country.

He would eventually move to New York City, where he became a fixture of the Greenwich Village folk music scene and even performed at Carnegie Hall. Davis’s finger-picking style of guitar playing has influenced countless musicians, including Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder, and John Fahey.

His unique blend of blues and gospel music reflected his own life experiences and spiritual beliefs, showcasing his resilience and determination in the face of adversity. Despite being blind and facing racial discrimination, Davis remained committed to his music and his faith.

His contributions to the world of blues and gospel music have earned him a place in music history as one of the greats.

In Conclusion

Shovels & Rope and Reverend Gary Davis are two South Carolina musicians who have made significant contributions to their respective genres of folk and blues/gospel music. Shovels & Rope’s raw and honest lyrics and unique sound have made them a beloved fixture in the modern music industry, while Reverend Gary Davis’s finger-picking guitar style has influenced countless musicians and helped define the sound of blues and gospel music.

Both artists embody the spirit of perseverance and resilience in the face of challenges, serving as an inspiration to aspiring musicians everywhere. South Carolina is home to some of America’s most legendary singers

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