International Women’s Day 2021: Part 1

International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day Small Green Shoots are highlighting some artists who have changed the game and will forever be inspirations to women across the world.

Starting with Aretha Franklin who is a singer, actress, songwriter, pianist, and civil right activist. A hugely talented and inspirational woman known for many Soul classics including her #1 song, ‘RESPECT’. In 1987 she became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. In 2008 she won her 18th Grammy, making her one of the most honoured artists in Grammy history.

Another one of our inspirations this year would be Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton is an American singer, actress, author, businesswoman, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. At age 10 she began performing professionally and by age 14 she had made her Grand Ole Opry debut. Dolly Parton also wrote the song “I Will Always Love You” which was sung beautifully by Whitney Houston. The song stayed in the charts for 14 weeks and in Billboards top 5 tracks longest-leading weeks at #1 to this day.

Whitney Houston was a singer and actress who were certified as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records. She had a great unique voice which she showed in all her hits and songs. Whitney also helped break barriers in the industry as her Music Video for the song “How Will I Know”, helped introduce the singer to a wider audience when it became one of the first videos by a black female singer to earn heavy rotation on MTV. She was also the first black woman to feature on the cover of Seventeen Magazine and one of the first black women to have been invited to a night talk show.

Tina Turner is also one of the women in our spotlight this week, with her amazing talent as a singer, songwriter and actress. Her solo debut album “Private Dancer” sold more than 20 million copies and won three Grammys. She is also an amazing role model speaking openly about her domestic abuse. This has helped women all over the world realise the importance of healthy relationships and that they should never be afraid to speak their truth.

Amy Winehouse was an English singer and songwriter who were known for her range of different music genres. Amy had an amazing sound and voice that sparked a lot of people’s attention. She switched up her sound, from R&B, Blues, Jazz and Soul, which resonated with a lot of people around the world and enabled her to be the first British singer to win 5 Grammys.

Chloe and Halle Bailey are sisters who are rocking the game right now! They are an R&B sister duo who began their music career of singing through doing covers on YouTube until they were discovered by Beyonce, who then mentored and signed them. This sister duo has also featured in many Disney channels and movies. Their success from a young age has a lot of influence on the younger women in the industry.

Another duo who we are highlighting this week is Nova Twins. These iconic women are paving a way for black women to get more representation in the rock industry. They even penned an open letter addressed to the MOBO Awards calling for increased representation for “alternative and rock POC artists” and add a Rock/Alternative category to their 2021 award show. Their open letter was well regarded by the industry and received a response from The MOBO Awards. The Nova twins have also released their headline tour for 2021 which is already sold out in London. Well done Ladies!

Rina Sawayama is a Japanese- British singer-songwriter. Her work is mainly made up of pop, R&B and nu-metal. She sings a lot about her difficult experiences in life which makes her music understandable and relatable to a lot of people, not only women. Rina also spearheaded the movement to change eligibility rules for the BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize. The #SAWAYAMAISBRITISH hashtag began trending when her album wasn’t eligible for the 2020 Mercury Prize despite living in the UK for 26 years as she retains a Japanese passport. Rina has opened a lot of doors for artists growing up in the UK and enabled a ‘more diverse definition of British musical excellence.’- Rina Sawayama.

Stevie Nicks is one of the incredible singer-songwriter figures we are also looking at this week because of their incredible music career. Stevie Nicks was named one of the greatest 100 songwriters of all time by Rolling Stone. She is also the only woman to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll hall of fame.

Lastly, Megan Thee Stallion. Megan is a rapper, singer and songwriter. She gained her following and fan base from freestyling videos that she posted on social media. Megan Thee Stallion got her first No.1 hit in the UK charts last year with her featuring on the song WAP with Cardi B. Megan’s success has started to skyrocket as she also works to empower women by supporting their education, businesses, charities and organizations with donations, scholarships and grants every day throughout March (Women’s History Month). The Women on Top initiative is part of Fashion Nova’s ongoing pledge to support awareness campaigns committed to fighting racial inequality.

These are only a fraction of the women in the industry that we look up to at Small Green Shoots. We believe that women deserve an enormous amount of recognition and appreciation not only on International women’s day but every day! Women empowerment is so important and here at Small Green Shoots, we can’t wait to keep seeing more women in the industry levelling up.

Written by Sade