Honorific nicknames in popular music are terms used, most often in the media or by fans, to indicate the significance of an artist, and are often religious, familial, or (most frequently) royal and aristocratic titles, used metaphorically. Honorific nicknames were used in classical music in Europe even in the early nineteenth century, with figures such as Mozart being called "The father of modern music" and Bach "The father of modern piano music". They were also particularly prominent in African-American culture in the post-Civil War era, perhaps as a means of conferring status that had been negated by slavery, and as a result entered early jazz and blues music, including figures such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie.
In U.S. culture, despite its republican constitution and ideology, honorific nicknames have been used to describe leading figures in various areas of activity, such as industry, commerce, sports, and the media; father or mother have been used for innovators, and royal titles such as king and queen for dominant figures in a field. In the 1930s and 1940s, as jazz and swing music were gaining popularity, it was the more commercially successful white artists Paul Whiteman and Benny Goodman who became known as "the King of Jazz" and "the King of Swing" respectively, despite there being more highly regarded contemporary African-American artists.
These patterns of naming were transferred to rock and roll when it emerged in the 1950s. There was a series of attempts to find (and a number of claimants to be) the "King of Rock 'n' Roll", a title that became most associated with Elvis Presley. This has been characterized as part of a process of the appropriation of credit for innovation of the then new music by a white establishment. Different honorifics have been taken or given for other leading figures in the genre, such as "the Architect of Rock and Roll", by Little Richard from the 1990s, but this term, like many, is also used for other important figures, in this case including pioneer electric guitarist Les Paul.
Similar honorific nicknames have been given in other genres, including Aretha Franklin, who was literally crowned "Queen of Soul" by disk jockeyPervis Spann on stage in 1968.Michael Jackson and Madonna have been closely associated with the terms "King and Queen of Pop" since the 1980s. Some nicknames have been strongly promulgated and contested by various artists and occasionally disowned or played down by their subjects. Some notable honorific nicknames are in general usage and commonly identified with particular individuals.
American singer Bob Dylan has been called the "Crown Prince", "King" or "God" of Folk, "the King of Folk-Rock", "the Jester" and especially for his catalog of protest songs encompassing the Vietnam War, Civil Rights and American politics: "the Voice of a Generation".
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^S. S. Walker, "What's in a name: Black awareness keeps the African tradition of 'meaningful names' alive", Ebony, vol. 32 (8), (June 1977), pp. 74–8.
^D. Evans, "From Bumble Bee Slim to Black Boy Shine: Nicknames of Blues Singers" in D. Evans, ed., Ramblin' on my mind: new perspectives on the blues: African American music in global perspective (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2008), pp. 179–222.
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^M. Benoliel and Linda Cashdan, The Upper Hand: Winning Strategies from World-Class Negotiators (Adams Media, 2006), p. 26.
^B. G. Rader, Baseball: a history of America's game (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 3rd edn., 2008), p. 140.
^ abY. Bynoe, Stand and deliver: political activism, leadership, and hip hop culture (Soft Skull Press, 2004), p. 155.
^M. T. Bertrand, Race, rock, and Elvis: Music in American life (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2000), p. 220.
^G. B. Rodman, "A hero to most?; Elvis, myth and the politics of race", Cultural Studies vol. 8 (3), (1994), p. 474.
^J. Warner, On this day in black music history (Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006), p. 56,
^A. Kempton, Boogaloo: the Quintessence of American Popular Music (University of Michigan Press, 2005), p. 58.
^Hawes, Alison (2014), Music and Fashion, Badger Learning, p. 23, ISBN9781781477588, Many of the most successful pop artists of the Eighties were solo singers. Two of them, Michael Jackson and Madonna, were known as the King and Queen of Pop
^R Jones and S. Brown, Michael Jackson, the man behind the mask: an insider's story of the king of pop (Select Books, 2005), p. 49.
^"Overnight the unknown 14-year old became an international star. This earned her the nickname 'Princess of R&B'.", in W. Sutherland, Aaliyah Remembered (Trafford Publishing, 2005), p. 21.
^Behind the Music – Ep. 166 – Aaliyah, VH1, retrieved January 23, 2013, But Aaliyah Dana Haughton, the reigning Queen of Urban Pop, wasn't sitting still. She was hard at work, shooting her next video, when a plane crash ended her life on August 25
^Niester, Alan (September 22, 2000), "Metal queen slips into something jazzy", The Globe and Mail, p. R.6, ISSN0319-0714, Recall that throughout most of the eighties and even into the nineties, Aaron was known as the queen of heavy-metal rock, the loudest, brashest and sexiest female rock belter this side of Janis Joplin.
^DeKnock, Jan (September 13, 1991). "Paula Abdul Dethrones Bryan Adams". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 10, 2020. Dance queen Paula Abdul, as expected, was the artist with enough hit power to finally end the incredible chart run of Bryan Adams` huge ballad (Everything I Do) I Do It for You, which finally slipped to No. 3 after seven straight weeks at No. 1 on the pop singles chart.
^Wolfe, Charles K. (2001), Classic Country: Legends of Country Music, Routledge, p. 19, ISBN978-0-415-92827-4, His nickname, 'The King of Country Music,' may sound a bit mawkish and old- fashioned, but, in many ways, it is remarkably accurate.
^Toombs, Mikel (May 22, 2012), "Adele Earns Title Of Soul Queen", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, p. C.3, ISSN0745-970X, The reigning queen of soul owned the stage at the packed Royal Albert Hall, highlighting her elegant artistry and dynamic personality in a 93-minute set
^ abcde"Some women have even been given titles. Tina Turner who is The Queen of Rock and Aretha Franklin, dubbed the Queen of Soul. Donna Summer is the Queen of Disco and Mary J. Blige is the Queen of Hip-Hop, Gloria Estefan is the Queen of Latin Pop, Madonna is the Queen of Pop, while Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera are the Princesses of Pop", in L. Bollinger and C. O'Neill, Women in Media Careers: Success Despite the Odds (University Press of America, 2008), p. 147.
^"Ashanti Tops Celine". Andrew Dansby. RollingStone.com/. April 10, 2002. Retrieved July 29, 2017. If you thought that the crowning of Ashanti as the “Princess of Hip-Hop and Soul” was something of a premature coronation, you’d be wrong.
^"It probably makes sense to call him – as several people do in the movie [Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987)] – as the 'King of rock 'n' roll'", in D. Denby, "What's in a game", New York, October 19, 1987, p. 102.
^"Beyoncé in Rolling Stone", Rolling Stone, p. 41, December 2010 – January 2010, Calling her a mere R&B diva is, at this point, almost an insult: With grace and grit, Beyoncé has become the Princess of R&B, a one-woman Hitsville U.S.A.
^ ab"The nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter – who has earned such sobriquets along the way as 'the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul' and 'the Empress of Soul' – returns Dec. 21 with her ninth studio album, "Stronger" Gail Mitchell (December 12, 2009), "Strength of Character", Billboard, 121 (49), p. 17, ISSN0006-2510
^"Universally known as the 'Queen of Hip Hop Soul' because of her frequent collaborations with rap artists and Hip Hop producers..." in" Bynoe, Yvonne (2006), Encyclopedia of rap and hip-hop culture, Greenwood Press, p. 32, ISBN978-0-313-33058-2
^"Fresh party for Mary j's new album", The Plymouth Evening Herald, p. 2, February 15, 2008, Once again The Candy Store and Fresh City Promotions have pulled a major rabbit out of the hat with the launch party for the new album by Mary J Blige, the undisputed Queen of R&B, Growing Pains
^In the wake of her 'Breakthrough' success, the reigning queen of R&B tries to please her many followers—but, most of all, herself. Vozick-Levinson, Simon (December 21, 2007), "Mary J. Blige", Entertainment Weekly, p. 22, ISSN1049-0434
^BoA – "Game", MTV, September 3, 2010, retrieved April 18, 2011, The queen of K-Pop made her highly, highly anticipated comeback to Korea for the first time in five years with her 9th studio album, Hurricane Venus
^ abTownsend, Audarshia (October 31, 1998), "No Real Treat Monica Highlights Otherwise Dreary Halloween Bash", Chicago Tribune, p. 25, ISSN1085-6706, Rising above it all was Monica, the headline female act, who's currently sharing the title of 'R&B Princess' with young singer Brandy
^"Tidal Music". With a successful 23-year career in music, film, and television, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences-Award winning artist, Brandy Norwood, is the epitome of a true artist. Known for her distinctive sound, Brandy is often referred to as the "vocal bible." She creates soul-stirring "feel good" music that inspires the masses
^"Brockhampton seeks to redefine the All-American boy band". San Francisco Chronicle. September 19, 2017. Retrieved October 9, 2020. The introduction feels appropriate for the Los Angeles alternative hip-hop collective of 14 rappers, artists, producers and creatives who pride themselves as being an “all-American boy band."
^"Garth Brooks To Retire". CBS News. December 16, 1999. Retrieved May 8, 2013. The king of country music is making plans to retire
^Marshall, Polly. The God of Hellfire, the Crazy Life and Times of Arthur Brown. SAF Publishing, 2005. ISBN0-946719-77-2.
^"Chris Brown", People, archived from the original on December 9, 2013, retrieved October 18, 2016, With his debut single "Run It," 16-year-old Chris Brown back-flipped his way into becoming the first male solo artist to release a song that went straight to No. 1. He was later crowned the Prince of R&B
^The reggae debate: still unresolved, October 17, 2008, retrieved October 25, 2008, Others will point to the likes of the 'crown prince of reggae' Dennis Brown, for his contribution to roots reggae and his influence on a generation of reggae artistes
^David Pullman to Securitize 'Godfather of Soul' James Brown, Business Wire, May 3, 1999, p. 1, And today, James Brown's status as 'The Godfather of Soul" remains undiminished'.
^"James Brown Crowned 'King Of Soul' At The Apollo Theater", Jet, 43 (3), p. 59, October 12, 1972, ISSN0021-5996, To Mark the ten years, officials at the Apollo crowned Brown 'King of Soul'.
^Pareles, Jon (December 25, 2006). "James Brown, the 'Godfather of Soul', Dies at 73". The New York Times. Retrieved August 3, 2017. He also went by "Mr. Dynamite," "Soul Brother No. 1," "the Minister of Super Heavy Funk" and "the Godfather of Soul," and he was all of those and more.
^"Years before Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Etta James, Ruth reigned as the original queen of r&b. She achieved a distinctive sassy and streetwise style, which made her one of the most popular singers of her era. Her career has been so influential that Atlantic Records is sometimes referred too as 'the house that Ruth built' and for good reason", at Cotton, Nzgina (April 7, 2008), "Ruth Brown: The Original Queen of r&b", New Nation, p. 22, ISSN1365-7496
^Jones, Steve (November 20, 2006), "R&B diva for the ages", USA TODAY, p. D.1, ISSN0734-7456, Years before Aretha Franklin was crowned Queen of Soul, Ruth Brown reigned as the original Queen of R&B
^"Burke, long ago dubbed the King of Rock 'n' Soul, was worth the wait", in M. Newman, "Soul man Solomon Burke: Live on Film; Capricorn's Smoking New Companion" in Billboard July 8, 1995, Vol. 107 (27), p. 10.
^ abc"Did You Know: The King of Rock 'n' Soul". July 6, 2018. With his background in gospel, jazz, country, and blues, Burke helped shaped the sound of soul music, developing his unique style that earned him the nicknames “King Solomon,” The King of Rock ‘n’ Soul”, “Bishop of Soul”, and the “Muhammad Ali of soul”.
^"Syd Barrett: The crazy diamond". October 20, 2011. He was the most famous "acid casualty" of his generation, and the writer of much of the original material of the group, from which he had been ejected because of his drug-induced eccentricities.
^Reynolds, Simon (August 22, 2014). "Kate Bush, the queen of art-pop who defied her critics". The Guardian. Retrieved September 13, 2018. The singer's much-anticipated series of concerts are a sell-out, her return to the stage heralded by critics everywhere. Yet her particular brand of carefully crafted fantasy was not always so widely acclaimed
^Chávez Candelaria, Cordelia; Aldama, Arturo J.; García, Peter J.; Alvarez-Smith, Alma, eds. (2004). Encyclopedia of Latino popular culture. Westport, CT [etc.]: Greenwood Press. p. 822. ISBN978-0-313-33211-1. Born August 19, 1954, in Kingsville, Texas, she is recognized as 'la reina de la onda Tejana' (the queen of Tejano music).
^"Mariah Carey's Christmas Concert In NYC". Idolator. SpinMedia Publishers. December 16, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2014. Queen Of Christmas, Mariah Carey performs her holiday smash hits at the Beacon Theatre on December 15, 2014 in New York City.
^"Profile: Roberto Carlos". AllMusic. Retrieved July 11, 2011. (...) the mid-'90s witnessed a resurgence of Jovem Guarda talents through tributes of new rockers and Carlos reached the 21st century uncontestedly enjoying his absolute title: the King.
^"Roberto Carlos: King Of Music In Brazil". Latin Music About.com. Retrieved July 11, 2011. '1965 was Carlos' year. In a popular vote promoted by the TV show Reino de Jeventude, Carlos was elected "O Rei' – the King of Brazilian music and has retained the title ever since.
^"Fado: the Sound of Lisbon". LisbonLux.com. Retrieved August 5, 2015. If Amália was the queen of Fado, you can call Carlos do Carmo the king. His is the most successful male voice in Fado, releasing albums since the 1960s. Although his Fado is classic, some also find a jazzy sound and Frank Sinatra style in many of his songs.
^She doesn't need to turn back time: After a successful 45-year career, the Goddess of Pop is still going strong. She plays a veteran performer alongside Christina Aguilera in her new flick, "Burlesque", hitting theaters on Wednesday. And she continues to sing in Las Vegas. Amanda Sidman (November 21, 2010), "Cher", Daily News, New York, p. 5
^Lee, Vinny (September 2, 2006), "Turning back time", The Times, p. 73, ISSN0140-0460, Cher – singer, Oscar-winning actress and campaigner -is the original queen of reinvention, an expert at re-creating herself.
^Bowing out, if not exactly gracefully, Cher, that surgically enhanced queen of reinvention, last week brought her farewell tour to Glasgow. Sweet, Lucy (May 16, 2004), "Cher's so long farewell", The Sunday Times, p. 11
^ ab"What happens when the 'God of Song' descends on Genting Highlands during a cold and wet weekend? He warms and melts the hearts of both young and old with his charm and huge repertoire of hits, that's what! And that was precisely what Hong Kong superstar Jacky Cheung – arguably the most popular and enduring of the four Heavenly Kings – did at his two sold-out concerts last Friday and Saturday at the Arena of Stars. (For the uninitiated, Cheung, Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok and Leon Lai are the four "Heavenly Kings" of Chinese pop, the over-the-top title probably bestowed by the imaginative Hong Kong media because of the singers' immense popularity. Cheung, of course, has been elevated even higher on the celestial plane!)" Ming, Fong (November 9, 2002). "Jacky, oh!". New Straits Times. p. 3.
^"Thousands of fans pay tribute to Leslie Cheung". China Daily. April 1, 2004. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 'We want Gor Gor' (Cantonese for 'big brother', Cheung's nickname) to know that he has not been forgotten and never will be," a spokeswoman said.
^Song, Berwin (August 9, 2008), "5 Chinese Acts Using The Games To Boost Their Profile", Billboard, 120 (32), p. 28, ISSN0006-2510, Dubbed the 'king of Chinese pop' by local media, Jay Chou has released eight studio albums, spawning several hits,
^Shepherd, Julianne (January 16, 2007). "Ciara: The Evolution". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 8, 2013. In 2004, upon the release of Ciara Harris's excellent debut Goodies, Lil Jon christened the 21-year-old Atlanta starlet the 'Princess of crunk & B.'
^"A common sight towards the end of the sixties in New York and London announced 'Clapton is God'", in Vinita, Profiles in Popular Music (Sura Books, 2005), p. 71.
^"Kelly Clarkson's Fashion Evolution". Billboard. Retrieved November 1, 2013. From small town girl to Pop Princess to Rock Diva, Kelly Clarkson has also grabbed hold of our attention in the decade since winning "American Idol" with her eccentric style.
^Grossman, Samantha (July 23, 2015). "15 Times Kelly Clarkson Totally Nailed a Cover Song". Time. Retrieved July 14, 2016. American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson is the undisputed Queen of Covers. She consistently borrows other artists' songs and puts her signature spin on them, often producing something even better than the original.
^DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James (1992). The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll: The Definitive History of the Most Important Artists and their Music. George-Warren, Holly. Random House. p. 135. ISBN0-679-73728-6.
^"After receiving numerous requests, we will analyze the CD Damares Queen Bee ... Damares without doubt is one of the greats of gospel music and has tremendous public resulting from the "Taste of Honey"." FCG, May 2, 2013
^"Why? I do not know, these are the "artists of the moment," pure marketing strategy by Sony to sell, it is clear the preference of "Queen Bee" in the halls of Sony" Loja Evangélica.
^"Damares recebe disco de diamante no Programa Raul Gil" [Damares receives diamond disc in Programa Raul Gil]. October 24, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2017. Sure BBB Disc Diamond is not news to anyone, for any media gospel, the singer herself and the staff of Sony had released this done. However it will be very nice to see the 'Queen Bee' receiving this award on national television...
^Stephen Thomas Erlewine, "Dr. Dre (Andre Young", in Vladimir Bogdanov et al., All Music Guide to Rock, 3rd ed., Backbeat Books, p. 324. ISBN0-87930-653-X.
^Sounds of the Middle East, Minnesota provide options for listeners, The DePauw, October 6, 2009, archived from the original on July 16, 2011, retrieved December 20, 2009, Not only has he sold more albums than anyone in the Middle East, but over the past two decades Diab has forged a unique and exciting dance style of music that has lent him an honorary title as 'Father of Mediterranean Music.'
^Crane, Kelly (April 22, 2010). "Egyptian superstar Amr Diab is set to rock Dubai". Gulf News. Retrieved May 14, 2013. The Arab world's most successful recording artist, Father of Mediterranean Music, movie star extraordinaire, dedicated family man or simply the King of Arab Pop are all titles Amr Diab has picked up over the years.
^"With the success of "Let's Go Trippin', Dale was immediately billed as the 'King of the Surf Guitar', in M. Warshaw, The Encyclopedia of Surfing (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005), p. 585.
^"Ebony hailed Domino as the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" in Altschuler, Glenn C. (2003), All shook up: how rock 'n' roll changed America, Oxford University Press, p. 43, ISBN978-0-19-513943-3
^"Known as England's 'King of Skiffle.' Member of Chris Barber's Jazz Band in 1954" in J. Whitburn, The Billboard book of top 40 hits (Billboard Books, 8th edn., 2004), p. 188.
^"If Clifton Chenier was the king of zydeco music, Rockin' Dopsie (pronounced doopsie), with his unequaled proficiency on the button accordion, was its crown prince", in https://www.allmusic.com/artist/p71749 Allmusic biography
^Jones, Jason (February 1, 2006). Eazy-E: The Godfather of Gangsta Rap. ASINB01BE7KJQC.
^Halterman, Del (2009), Walk-Don't Run – The Story of The Ventures, Lulu, p. 211, ISBN978-0-557-04051-3, Japanese fans had labeled Nokie the 'King of Guitars,' at a time when Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore publicly announced, 'I think I can wipe up the floor with most guitarists.'
^Stubbs, David (2006), Eminem: The Stories Behind Every Song, Thunder's Mouth Press, p. 230, ISBN1-56025-946-9, Significantly, he also duetted with Missy Elliott on the brilliant, Timbaland-produced, 'Busa Rhyme' on her Da Real World album. Eminem makes no attempt to tone down the misogynistic elements of Slim Shady in the face of the 'First Lady Of Hip Hop.'
^Baillie, Russell (August 7, 1999). "Missy Elliott: Da Real World". NZ Herald News. nzhearald.co.nz. Retrieved November 8, 2013. Just two albums down, Missy "Misdemeanour" Elliot is riding a fine line between hip-hop heavyweight and pop princess. She's already proved she can do both – on debut album Supa Dupa Fly – and a lot more besides, having also moonlighted in the studio for the likes of Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson.
^Ortiz, Kristine (August 21, 2013), "Countdown to KCON 2013", Audrey, audreymagazine.com, archived from the original on November 10, 2013, retrieved November 8, 2013, After his hugely successful 'One of a Kind' world tour this past year, [G-Dragon] has recently announced the release of his third solo record, Coup D'Etat, which will have a feature from hip-hop heavyweight, Missy Elliott.
^Netter, Matt (1999), 'N Sync with Justin, Simon & Schuster, p. 74, ISBN978-0-671-03276-0, When Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott isn't creating another hit song mixed with rapping and singing, you can bet she's off collaborating with another artist. For this reason, the talented singer/rapper/songwriter/producer has been dubbed the 'Puff Mommy' of hip-hop.
^Hirshey, Gerri (2001), We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The True, Tough Story of Women in Rock, Grove Press, p. 253, ISBN0-8021-3899-3, And who, at twenty-seven, has become such an industry player that they're calling her Puff Mommy? 'Aw, that's MISSY.'
^Baker, Lindsay (October 31, 2003), "Scary? Missy Elliott?", The Guardian, London, retrieved February 22, 2013, She's the unrivalled queen of rap and the first black music mogul, so it's no surprise that Missy Elliott has a reputation as the diva you cross at your peril.
^Shaw, Andrea Elizabeth (2006), The Embodiment of Disobedience: Fat Black Women's Unruly Political Bodies, Lexington Books, p. 100, ISBN0-7391-1487-5, Missy Elliott, reigning queen of rap, releases five albums in only six years, earns two Grammys, the 2003 American Music Award, and MTV's 2003 Video of the Year.
^Mitchell, Claudia; Reid-Valsh, Jacqueline (2008), Girl Culture: Studying girl culture: a reader's guide, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 276, ISBN978-0-313-33908-0, Widely regarded as the queen of rap music, Missy Elliott is an icon of girl culture because of her innovative style and ability to succeed in the music industry without objectifying herself.
^Colpack, Dean (2014), Getting Into Enya: A Rough Guide to the Queen of New Age, Pitchfork, and even Nicki Minaj, who revealed in an interview recently that several songs from her new album The Pinkprint are heavily influenced by the New Age queen.
^Trust, Gary (2016), Ask Billboard: Madonna's Career Album Sales, Billboard, (Next up after Madonna among female soloists? New age queen Enya, at 27.3 million.)
^"Total Performer Darren Espanto Invades GMA Network". GMA Network. February 24, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015. Young sensation Darren Espanto, dubbed the ‘Total Performer,’ had a blast guesting on Mama Belle’s radio show 'Sikat Sa Barangay' earlier today, February 24.