Mahalia Jackson was born in New Orleans on October 26, 1911. From an early age, Jackson found solace in her Baptist faith and sacred music. At 14, Jackson relocated to Chicago, where she was invited to join the choir at the Greater Salem Baptist Church. Though her friends and neighbors were apprehensive about her Southern singing style, she quickly gained popularity and attention. Jackson committed herself to gospel music despite experiencing pressure throughout her career to foray into genres such as blues and jazz, and she was the first gospel singer to sell one million copies of a song, with “Move On Up A Little Higher” in 1947. Her unequivocal success as a musician had a profound influence on Black culture and identity in the United States, as she garnered a large following of both Black and white listeners during a period when racial segregation defined almost every aspect of American life. She sold 22 million records before passing away in 1972 and is largely regarded as one of the greatest gospel musicians of the 20th century.
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Listed below are some recommended subject headings for searching for Mahalia Jackson. Full steps on how to use these subject headings can be found on this LibGuide's homepage.
Gospel musicians -- United States -- Biography.
Jackson, Mahalia, 1911-1972.
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