The Quick 10: 10 Musical Honorifics
Sure, you know about the Godfather of Soul and the King of Pop (do you think he's really still the King of Pop?). But there are honorifics out there for pretty much every type of music you can imagine. Sometimes their nicknames are given by fans, and sometimes they're given by the press. Either way, be sure to let us know if you agree or disagree in the comments - or if you have a nomination for category not mentioned.
1. The Prince of Wails, the Nabob of Sob, Mr. Emotion "“ Johnnie Ray. A crooner in the "˜50s, Johnnie Ray had hits like "Cry," "Such a Night" and "Just Walkin' in the Rain." He was known for his stage theatrics "“ he would fall on the floor, sob, and punch his piano. I guess you can see where "Mr. Emotion" comes from.
2. The Modfather - Paul Weller. Weller is a singer-writer-guitarist, and is the man behind the "˜70s and "˜80s bands The Jam and The Style Council and is credited, obviously, with reviving the Mod movement. Oasis has said that they count Paul Weller among their biggest influences.
3. The Queen of Country - Reba McEntire. She was declared the Queen of Country by Entertainment Weekly, but I don't know "“ what about good old Dolly?
4. The Queen of the Power Ballad "“ Celine Dion.
I'm not a fan, but it's hard to argue with the fact that the lady does a lot of ballads that chart pretty high. The moniker was given to her recently by the Boston Herald, which said that "This lady handles the high notes like Dean Martin used to treat his liquor: She can hold it for what seems like forever and makes it look easy."
5. The Godfathers of Punk "“ The Who and The Ramones. The Who received their title from The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll; I believe The Ramones is a fan-based nickname. I'm a Ramones girl, myself, but I would never deny the influence of The Who.
6. The Queen of Gospel/The Queen of Spiritual Singers "“ Mahalia Jackson. Little Richard bestowed this honorific upon her; she was really the first gospel singer to achieve superstardom. She's also well-known for singing just prior to Martin Luther King, Jr's I Have a Dream speech.
7. The Prince of Motown and the Prince of Soul "“ Marvin Gaye. The King, I believe, is Smokey Robinson.
8. The Architect of Rock and Roll "“ Little Richard. Self-proclaimed, no less. But can you blame the guy? With titles like "Tutti Frutti," Long Tall Sally," "Rip it Up" and "Good Golly, Miss Molly," I think he's earned bragging rights. Even the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown, said that Little Richard was the first artist ever to put some funk in rock and roll.
9. The Godfather of Grunge "“ Neil Young. He earned this nickname from Tower Records in 1991 for his influence on bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth. Kurt Cobain even quoted a Neil Young lyric in his (alleged) suicide note.
10. King of the Blues - B.B. King. C'mon, it's built right into his name. Some of the most talented musicians ever have called him their inspiration "“ Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, among them.
Some other honorifics include:
King of Reggae "“ Bob Marley
King of Funk "“ Rick James
Kings of the South "“ Ludacris and T.I.
Kings of Country "“ Garth Brooks, George Strait, Roy Acuff
Kings of R&B "“ R. Kelly, Usher
King of Bhangra "“ Malkit Singh
King of Skiffle "“ Lonnie Donegan
King of Swing "“ Benny Goodman
Chairman of the Board "“ Frank Sinatra
The Boss - Springsteen
Godfather of Heavy Metal "“ Ozzy Osbourne
Godfather of Punk (singular, not a whole band) "“ Iggy Pop, Pete Townshend
Godmother of Punk "“ Patti Smith
Godfather of Rocksteady "“ Alton Ellis
Queen of Soul "“ Aretha
Queens of Pop "“ Madonna, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey
Queen of Tejano "“ Selena
Queen of Urban Pop "“ Aaliyah
Queen of Rock and Roll "“ Tina Turner
Queen of Blues "“ Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington
Queen of Jazz "“ Ella Fitzgerald
Queen of Hip Hop Soul "“ Mary J. Blige
Queen of Hip Hop "“ Lauryn Hill
Queen of Clubs "“ Danni Minogue
Queen of Latin Pop "“ Gloria Estefan
Queen of Disco "“ Donna Summer
Queens of Folk "“ Joan Baez, Sandy Denny, Vinjamuri Anasuya Devi (Indian Folk)
Teen Queen of Japanese Pop "“ Namie Amuro
Princesses of Pop "“ Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue
Princess of Hip Hop and R&B "“ Ashanti
Crown Prince of Reggae "“ Dennis Brown