Anthony Hamilton. Photo credit: Ted Winbush

Anthony Hamilton is Charlotte’s music royalty. The Grammy Award-winning R&B/Soul singer and songwriter hit it big in 2003 with his sophomore album, Comin’ From Where I’m From. Since then, he has been one of R&B’s most consistent artists, racking up more than a dozen Grammy nominations.

Hamilton shared his thoughts on Black Music Month in our Q&A below.

Why is it important to recognize Black Music Month?
Black Music Month is for those who may not know of its history. The annual celebration gives an insight of such rich roots and the spirit of our people.

What does Black Music Month mean to you?
Black music to me is an all life, everyday thing. It will always be observed. It’s the healing to our people… a rich gospel dipped in power and soul.

Tell us about the Black artists who impacted you most.
There are so many artists that came before me that have had such a great impact on me and my music. Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Al Green and Alexander O’Neal just to name a few. I could go on and on with such greatness.

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See also: Celebrating Carolina artists during Black Music Month