Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Women Soul Singers

Barney Hoskyns, Vogue, 1990

FOR ALL THE LEGENDARY kings of soul music, the Sam Cookes and Otis Reddings and Marvin Gayes, the true spirit of this great black American art form is unquestionably embodied in its female monarchs – its goddesses, matriarchs, and high priestesses. From Aretha Franklin to Anita Baker to Adeva, it is the queens who have best defined this music's tantalising tug-of-war between salvation and sex, the pulpit and the mattress.

Total word count of piece: 1559