Women have been dominating popular music for a while now. One needs to look no further than Taylor Swift's Billboard success, especially compared to her male peers, to see how much femininity holds court in contemporary pop.
Even though one could argue that pop music has always been a hospitable genre to female artists, the last two decades of the 20th century helped women make massive strides across the world of music. One of the groups that inspired a generation of girl power was the Spice Girls. Although one could cynically regard their music as formulaic and devoid of "substance," the Spice Girls' open celebration of "girl power" became a cultural rallying cry for millions of millennials at the time.
And while each of the Spice Girls offered a unique window into the various expressions of femininity, Melanie Janine "Mel B" Brown was tasked with the dual responsibility of representing Black femininity on the global stage. After the group disbanded, Mel B continued to remain relevant for decades with a thriving solo career that earned the admiration of one of the coolest musicians ever to live.
Today is Mel B's birthday, and I thought it would be awesome to pay my respect to one of the dopest Black women of the 1990s. Happy Birthday, Mel B.