#QueerHeroes Day 18
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
This Black lesbian gospel singer was the godmother of Rock and Roll. Her sound was different than anyone else’s at the time not just because of her stunning voice, but because she would heavily increase the distortion on her electric guitar, giving it an added grit that, by the 60s, would become the sound of the nation.
Tharpe would mentor Little Richard and heavily “influence” artists like Johnny Cash and The Beatles.
She had a long open secret relationship with fellow singer Marie Knight, beginning in the 40s.
Her recording career halted in the 70s after a debilitating stroke. She succumbed to a second stroke a few years after, on the night before a comeback recording session.
She was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.