A Tribute to Soul Music, in Honor of Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge, a soul man in the truest sense, lost his battle with cancer today. He came from a time when music was all about soul. I’ve said this before, but I feel that most music of today’s world has lost its soul. And in some cases if modern music does have any soul it’s because it’s a complete rip off of music from the likes of Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson.

In honor of Percy, I’ve decided to discuss the ways in which soul music has changed over the years. There was a time when soul music was only considered “Black music” and today we have successful soul singers like Ed Sheeran. Soul music has crossed racial and generational barriers and continues to be the heart of music.

From Jennifer Hudson to Adele, several popular singers today have roots in soul music. It may get far less radio play than it did in the 50s, but soul music is still known and loved today.

You still get chills when you hear an incredibly soulful voice. I suppose what has changed most about music with soul is the lyric. The songs done by soulful singers are increasingly “pop” sounding, but the voice is still soul wrenching.

Yes, music with soul has changed since the days that Percy Sledge and Otis Redding ruled the airwaves but it still is at the heart of all R&B music and I believe Musiq Soulchild is the best example of that. If you haven’t heard his music yet, you MUST. He defines everything that R&B/Soul music should be today.

When Percy Sledge performed, he left his heart and SOUL on the stage. That’s inspiring. No matter what we do, whether we sing or dance or write, we should do it with all our heart and soul. We should leave all we have on the stage (whatever the “stage” may be for you). It’s important to live life with a passion for something, Percy did that and so should we.

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