This year for Black History Month, Billboard looks to salute Black women for their strength, resiliency, and courage. With Black female artists always being innovative and audacious with their art and platforms, especially during last year’s fight for racial equality, it was necessary to empower those with our stage this month. Every Monday and Wednesday for Black History Month, Billboard will dish out new playlists from Black women artists highlighting powerful messages.
For the Feb. 23 edition, RCA signee Foushee taps her favorites SZA, Lauryn Hill and Kelis for her “Bold & Beautiful” playlist. Last summer, Foushee began her ascension when she released “Deep End.” The track racked up an impressive 131 million listens on Spotify and garnered acclaim due to her haunting voice. Earlier this month, she released the visual for her empowering ode “Single AF,” which she co-directed alongside Zach Sulak.
Check out her picks and her explanations for chooseing them below.
SZA, “Good Days”
SZA is such a genuine sweetheart. She so openly supportive and positive, which is such a rare find in someone who’s achieved as much as she has. She’s an amazing example to girls everywhere, and a monster at what she does. I’m always in awe of her pen. This song is a reminder that the good days outweigh the “meh” days.
Liv.e, “I Been Livin”
Liv.e lives her life with such intention. She’s young, but wise and confident. I love watching her express herself creatively. She has a unique style and Texas charm that I cannot get over. I love how real this song is. I’m tired but I’m trying, I’m figuring things out. It’s a process.
Noname makes Black women feel seen and heard. She speaks up about our truth and history even if it ruffles a few feathers. Her integrity is an inspiration. This song is too relatable. It’s empty love. It’s being a space filler, crutch for someone. I for sure been there, so this song is therapeutic.
Kelis, “Shooting Stars”
Kelis is just a fashion icon. She is the first alt, Afro wearing, screaming on a track Black women that I’ve seen. She’s the blueprint.
Kieyaa, “Do Yourself a Favor”
Keiyaa is a singer, producer, musician and so much more. She makes music that makes you proud to be Black and sings her a– off. Whatever she drops, you know will be an instant classic.
Minnie Ripperton, “Inside My Love”
Minnie has the type of voice you still talk about generations later. She hits whistle so lightly and glides through her music like an angel. She made me want to master my whistle. She is an icon. One of one.
Niecy Blues, “Cry”
Niecy is a beautiful person with a keen ear and soul-hugging voice. This song got me through a lot of hard days. In a time where we’re being flooded with up-tempo, it’s a reminder to slow down and that it’s OK to cry.
Lauryn Hill, “The Sweetest Thing”
Lauryn Hill makes the kind of music you can listen to 20 years later and it is still relevant and still feels good. She’s the perfect balance between singer, rapper, brains and courage. There will never be another Lauryn.