Linda Martell, born on June 4, 1941 in Leesville, South Carolina (U.S.A.), is a trailblazing African-American female singer who made history in the country music industry. She was the first African-American female singer to perform at the Grand Ole Opry and appeared on popular Country-Western television shows such as "Hee Haw" and "The Bill Anderson Show." Linda also achieved significant success with her top 25 Country hits including "Color Him Father," "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," and "Bad Case of the Blues." Her legacy is celebrated in museums across the United States, including the National Museum of African-American Music in Nashville and Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
In recognition of her groundbreaking contributions to country music as its first prominent Black female artist, Linda Martell was honored with the CMT Equal Play Award on June 9, 2021. This prestigious award acknowledges her role as a pioneer for African-American representation in Country Music. The award was presented by Mickey Guyton.
It's worth noting that Linda Martell is also known as Elzie Bynem's sister and Marilyn Mariani's first cousin. Her remarkable talent continues to inspire generations of musicians and fans alike.