Sister Rosetta Tharpe was an American singer and guitarist who pioneered the fusion of gospel and rock and roll music. She was born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, in 1915 and started playing guitar at the age of six. She moved to Chicago with her mother, a traveling preacher, and performed in churches and on street corners. In 1938, she moved to New York City and became a star at the Cotton Club and other venues. She recorded several hit songs, such as \"Rock Me\", \"This Train\", and \"Strange Things Happening Every Day\", which showcased her powerful vocals and innovative electric guitar style. She influenced many rock and roll legends, such as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Eric Clapton. She was also one of the first black women to play guitar in public and to cross over from gospel to secular music. She died in 1973 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe is widely regarded as the godmother of rock and roll and the original soul sister. She broke barriers with her music and her personality, and inspired generations of musicians with her talent and spirit. She was a trailblazer who defied expectations and conventions, and created a lasting legacy that still resonates today.Sister Rosetta Tharpe's career spanned over three decades, during which she recorded over 100 songs and performed all over the world. She collaborated with many famous musicians, such as Louis Jordan, Mahalia Jackson, Marie Knight, and Muddy Waters. She also mentored many young artists, such as Little Richard, who called her his favorite singer. She was known for her charismatic stage presence, her flamboyant outfits, and her mastery of the electric guitar. She could play in various styles, from blues to jazz to rock and roll, and often used distortion and feedback effects. She was one of the first black women to play guitar in public and to cross over from gospel to secular music.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe faced many challenges and controversies in her life. She was criticized by some religious groups for singing gospel in secular venues and for mixing gospel with worldly music. She was also discriminated against because of her race and gender in the music industry. She had three marriages, all of which ended in divorce. She also had a long-term relationship with fellow gospel singer Marie Knight, which was kept secret from the public. She suffered from diabetes and had a leg amputated in 1970. She died of a stroke in 1973 at the age of 58.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe's legacy lives on in her music and in the music of those she influenced. She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2007 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. She has been honored with a US postage stamp, a UK blue plaque, and a stretch of highway in Arkansas named after her. She has been praised by many musicians and critics as a pioneer of rock and roll and a heroine of gospel music. She has been the subject of documentaries, biographies, and musicals. She remains one of the most influential and original artists of the 20th century. aa16f39245