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African-American Music Month Celebrates Unique Voices In Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The month of June is known for more than the beginning of summer -- nationally, it's also African-American Music Appreciation Month.

The celebration started in 1979 after President Jimmy Carter made it official. African-American recording artists from Minnesota have been major contributors to the music industry and continue to be today.

Most have heard of Motown, but there's also the "Minneapolis Sound," which reached its height in the late 80s and early 90s.

"So artists like Prince, Jam and Lewis, Sounds of Blackness have helped create a special sound that Minneapolis has made popular around the world," said Pete Rhodes, Founder of the Minnesota Black Music Awards.

Fast forward to 2015, and the Minneapolis Sound is still alive with several up-and-coming artists in the Twin Cities.

"The market is just bubbling with new hip hop artists and jazz greats," Rhodes said.

Ashley DuBose -- who many may recognize from NBC's "The Voice" -- Timotha Lanae, and Finding Novyon are some of the biggest up-and-coming black artists from Minnesota.

The group Sounds of Blackness just released a new song called "Black Lives Matter - No Justice No Peace."

Soundset is a major hip hop music festival held in Minnesota each May. Now in its 8th year, it brings national and local hip hop artists to the stage, along with tens of thousands of music fans.

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