Modern Day Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith is among many of African-American women who have paved the way for the African-American female singers we have today.While the Blues was mostly a genre that was sung by men with relationship problems, Bessie Smith was one of those that sung about more than just love and heartbreak, making her all the more unique. She even sang a song about how differently men and women sing the Blues, ‘When a woman gets the blues, she hangs her head and cries/When a man gets the blues, he flags a freight train and rides.’ 

From Bessie Smith came a lot more talented singers and from them came the singers we know and listen to now.

Beyoncé is one of the most talented and well-known female artists of our generation today. There’s no one that doesn’t know who she is or what she stands for, but what a lot of people might not know is that she considers Bessie Smith to be one of her biggest influencers. While going through all her different types of songs, I came across one that I thought related mostly to the type of songs Bessie Smith sings.

From one of her earlier albums release a whole decade ago in 2006 called B’Day comes a song called ‘Ring The Alarm’. The song is about Beyoncé contemplating about whether to let her man who’s been cheating on her go or to keep him. It’s a tough decision because if she lets him go he’ll give everything he’s got that he got from her to his new girl, but keeping him around is going to hurt her as well.

Here’s the video for it:

A song by Bessie Smith that I felt was good to compare and contrast between was ‘Down Hearted Blues’. In this song as well, Bessie sings about how much love and devotion she gave to a man only to have him give it all to someone else. But, where Beyoncé sings about how upset she is and how she’s not sure over what to do, Bessie sings about how he’s going to get his for all the hurt he’s put her through and how she’s not going to worry about him anymore.

Here’s the video for it:


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