In honour of Black Music Month, Spotify is globally celebrating Black artists, creatives and activists of today and yesterday with a series of new playlists, guest-curated playlist takeovers, podcast playlists and more. With 286 million users globally, Spotify will use the power of its platform to amplify the brilliant voices and contributions of the Black community, which have continuously defined generations and influenced society. Spotify is elevating this content to celebrate the individuals who gifted us with their talents and to encourage people everywhere to listen and learn from them.

To kick off, the new and improved Black to the Future playlist will feature and support sensational black artists from all around the world including South Africa’s very own, Sho Madjozi and Nasty C who, in honour of Youth Month, will take over the playlist this month. Sho Madjozi’s playlist takeover kicked off this week, where she exquisitely captured Afrofuturism – in all its wild otherworldly musical dimensions. Stay tuned for Nasty C’s takeover, set to go live next week.

Below are more of Spotify’s Black Music Month initiatives:

Juneteenth Celebrations: To underscore the importance of Juneteenth, Spotify’s flagship playlist, “New Music Friday” will exclusively feature black artists this Friday, June 19th throughout June 26th. Additionally, Spotify’s New Music Friday billboards in Time Square will be dedicated only to black artists that day and will feature Nigeria’s refreshingly raw stars Rema and Cruel Santino.

Curated Playlists: Multiple playlists, many of which will be featured in the Black History Is Now hub, will roll out through the month:

  • Black, Queer, & Proud: In celebration of Pride, Brittany Howard, American singer and songwriter, is this month’s playlist cover.
  • Father’s Day: Spotify launched its KING playlist celebrating black men and their roles as fathers. Kirk Franklin will be taking over the playlist and is featured on the cover.
  • Throwback Thursday: Each week this month, Spotify is highlighting black music across genres and throughout the decades from the 1950s to now.
  • Black History Salute: Spotify is honouring the lives of black music legends lost this year including Bill Withers and Little Richard, who will be featured on the playlist cover.

Playlist Takeovers: Black Music Month will include influential playlist takeovers featuring a deep well of notable black curators, celebrities, creatives and more:
Tracee Ellis Ross kicked off the month curating Black Girl Magic with Gabrielle Union-Wade taking over to round out the month.

As music and listening has always reflected the culture and a sign of the times, over the past two weeks, Spotify’s Black Lives Matter playlist has seen a more than 1,900% increase in global followers, and a more than 130K% increase in streams. Spotify has also seen several songs spike in the past two weeks, including these five:

“This is America” – Childish Gambino has seen about a 350% increase in streams
“Alright” – Kendrick Lemar, with about an 8,250% increase in streams
“Freedom” – Beyoncé (featuring Kendrick Lemar) has seen a more than 370% increase in streams
“Self” – Noname has seen a more than 290% increase in streams
“Mad” – Solange (featuring Lil Wayne) has seen about an 850% increase in streams.

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