‘Tiny Desk’ To Feature All-Female Lineup For Black Music Month: Chaka Khan, SWV, And More

NPR has announced its Tiny Desk concert series will feature an all-female lineup in celebration of Black Music Month this June. Exclusively reported by ESSENCE, producer and host Bobby Carter shared that the effort is “giving female musicians their flowers.”

“As the first week started to roll out last year with Charlie Wilson and Babyface, it occurred to me that we were leading with all men. And to be honest, most of the bands that I aimed for, and most of the bands and the artists that I am most excited about from the legacy side, are women. So this time last year, I knew that we wanted to bring an all-female-led lineup this year,” Carter explained to the magazine.

“So this sort of occurred to me this time last year like wow, it’s too many dudes and I want to really go for it this year, and really honor the women that helped shape Black music to me, which is all music. I knew this was going to be something that we would do last year.”

(L-R) Leanne “Lelee” Lyons, Tamara “Taj” Johnson George and Cheryl “Coko” Gamble of SWV attend 8th Annual Black Music Honors at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on May 19, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.

(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

The announced lineup includes a range of acts, listed as Tems, Chaka Khan, Tierra Whack, Kierra Sheard, Lakecia Benjamin, Me’Shell Ndegeoccello, Brittney Spencer, SWV, and Flo Mili. 

“I hope people realize just how much Black women have contributed and have continued to contribute to music at large, they don’t get enough credit. Like I said Chaka Khan will never get enough credit[.] SWV will never get enough credit,” Carter continued to explain. “So it’s a reminder like we do every year. When you looked at Juvenile last year you were reminded just how impactful his music is. Same with Usher a year before last. This month is a reminder for those who may have forgotten just how great these women are.”

NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts celebrating Black Music Month are slated to release from June 3 – June 30. Check out the NPR Music YouTube channel for past offerings from Tinashe, Trina, Big Sean, Scarface, and more.