The Windy City infused soul music with the soaring melodies of gospel. The movement, led by none other than gospel singer turned secular star Sam Cooke encouraged groups like The Impressions to follow in suit. Soon Chicago's soul sound was providing the soundtrack for the Civil Rights Movement with a string of hits that served as inspirational anthems. Now Jennifer Hudson and a host of other Chicago natives carry on the tradition of Chicago Soul with undeniable success.
Home of the legendary Motown empire, Detroit provided a litany of stars and hits to what became known as the "The Sound Of America." Berry Gordy founded the Motown label that propelled legendary soul artists Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye to the top of the charts. Through the years, Detroit continued to produce its share of soul power with household names like Aretha Franklin, Jackie Wilson, Parliament Funkadeic, Aaliyah and Kid Rock.
A cross-cultural blend of global musical influences collided to bring London Soul to the airwaves. Dusty Springfield was the springboard that brought this integral mix of music to Great Britain during a career that spanned more than three decades. London Soul continues to resonate on both sides of the pond thanks to the likes of Sade, the late Amy Winehouse, Adele, Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine and Jessie J.
Memphis provided the foundation of soul during a time when Memphis served as the backdrop to the struggle for civil rights. Booker T. & The MGs epitomize the house band as it's known today, while Otis Redding and Al Green set an unsurpassable standard for soul magic. Today, Memphis continues to spawn a fusion of music based entirely on its soulful trailblazing.
The fifth largest city in America mixed a powerful combination of orchestral arrangements with social messages to achieve an original sound like never before. Philly Soul reached soaring heights in the 1970s during an era that packed a punch with classic hits from the likes of The O'Jays, The Spinners, Patti LaBelle, The Stylistics and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. Today, the sound of Philadelphia lives on through contemporary greats like Jill Scott, John Legend, Musiq Soulchild and the 2011 DIVAS house band The Roots.