Blind Willie McTell (May 5, 1898 – August 19, 1959) was an influential American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He was a twelve-string finger picking Piedmont blues guitarist, and recorded 149 songs between 1927 and 1956.
"Blind" Lemon Jefferson (September 24, 1893 – at some point in Mid-December, 1929) was a blues singer and guitarist from Texas. He was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s, and has been titled "Father of the Texas Blues". Jefferson's singing and self-accompaniment were distinctive as a result of his high-pitched voice and originality on the guitar.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk (August 7, 1935 – December 5, 1977) was a blind American jazz multi-instrumentalist who played tenor saxophone, flute and many other instruments. He was renowned for his onstage vitality, during which virtuoso improvisation was accompanied by comic banter, political ranting, and the ability to play several instruments simultaneously.
Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson (born March 3, 1923) is an American guitar player, songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music. He has won seven Grammy awards as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Watson's flatpicking skills and knowledge of traditional American music are highly regarded. He performed with his son Merle for over 15 years until Merle's death in 1985, in an accident on the family farm.
Ray Charles (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) was an American musician. Charles was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm & blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings for Atlantic Records. He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums.
Stevie Wonder(born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950; name later changed to Stevland Hardaway Morris) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. Blind from birth, Wonder signed with Tamla Records at the age of eleven and continues to perform and record for the label. He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and won twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever won by a male solo artist. On December 1, 2009, he was named a UN Messenger of Peace.
Arthur "Art" Tatum Jr. (October 13, 1909 – November 5, 1956) was an American jazz pianist and virtuoso. He was nearly blind. Tatum is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. Critic Scott Yanow wrote, "Tatum's quick reflexes and boundless imagination kept his improvisations filled with fresh (and sometimes futuristic) ideas that put him way ahead of his contemporaries ... Art Tatum's recordings still have the ability to scare modern pianists."
José Montserrate Feliciano García (born September 10, 1945) is a Puerto Rican singer, virtuoso guitarist and composer, known for many international hits including the 1970 holiday single, "Feliz Navidad". He was born permanently blind owing to congenital glaucoma.
Moondog was the pseudonym of Louis Thomas Hardin (May 26, 1916 – September 8, 1999), a blind American composer, musician, poet, and inventor of several musical instruments. Moondog removed himself from society through his decision to make his home on the streets of New York for approximately twenty of the thirty years he spent in the city. He could be found on the streets of New York wearing clothes he had created based on his own interpretation of the Norse god Thor.
Turlough Carolan (1670 – 25 March 1738) was a blind, itinerant early Irish harper, composer and singer whose great fame is due to his gift for melodic composition. He was the last great Irish harper-composer and is considered by many to be Ireland's national composer.
Corinna May is a blind singer from Germany. As a child she was already used to music; her father had a huge collection of jazz albums. Soon Corinna started singing in a school choir and a gospel choir. After several talent competitions Corinna May could release her first album in 1997; it was a jazz album, produced by herself. Two years later she released an album called Wie ein Stern (Like a Star).
Arsenio Rodríguez (born Ignacio Arsenio Travieso Scull, Gúira de Macurijes, 31 August 1911 – Los Angeles, 31 December 1970) was a Cuban musician who played the tres (Cuban guitar), reorganized the conjunto and developed the son montuno, and other Afro-Cuban rhythms in the 1940s and 50s. He claimed to be the true creator of the mambo, and was an important and prolific composer who wrote nearly two hundred song lyrics.
Ira D. Sankey (August 28, 1840 – August 13, 1908), known as The Sweet Singer of Methodism, was an American gospel singer and composer, associated with evangelist Dwight L. Moody. Ira David Sankey, son of David Sankey, known as the father of Lawrence County, and Mary Leeper Sankey, was born August 28, 1840, in Edinburg, on the outskirts of New Castle, Pennsylvania. At age 16 he was converted at a revival meeting at the King's Chapel Church, about three miles from his home.
Andrea Bocelli, Grande Ufficiale OMRI (born 22 September 1958) is an Italian pop tenor and crossover artist. Since his debut album Il mare calmo della sera, released in 1994, he has recorded over two dozen pop albums, and eight operas, selling over 70 million copies woldwide. On March 2, 2010, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Josef Labor (29 June 1842 – 26 April 1924) was a Czech pianist, organist, and composer of late Romantic music. Labor was an influential music teacher. As a friend of some key figures in Vienna, his importance was enhanced. Labor was born in the town of Horowitz in Bohemia. At the age of three, he was left blind due to contracting smallpox.
Francesco degli Organi, Francesco il Cieco, or Francesco da Firenze, called by later generations Francesco Landini or Landino (ca. 1325 or 1335 – September 2, 1397) was an Italian composer, organist, singer, poet and instrument maker. He was one of the most famous and revered composers of the second half of the 14th century, and by far the most famous composer in Italy.
Ronnie Lee Milsap (born January 16, 1944) is a Grammy Award-winning American country music singer and musician. He was one of country’s most popular and influential artists in the 1970s and 1980s. He became country music’s first blind superstar. He was also one of the most successful country crossover singers of his time, appealing to both country and pop markets.
Frances Jane Crosby (March 24 1820 – February 12 1915) usually known as Fanny Crosby, but sometimes as Frances van Alstyne, was an American lyricist best known for her Protestant Christian hymns. A lifelong Methodist, she was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 despite being blind since infancy. Also known for her public speaking, during her lifetime Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the United States.
Arnolt Schlick (July 18?, c. 1455–1460 – after 1521) was a German organist, lutenist and composer of the Renaissance. He was most probably born in Heidelberg and by 1482 established himself as court organist for the Electoral Palatinate. Highly regarded by his superiors and colleagues alike, Schlick played at important historical events, such as the election of Maximilian I as King of the Romans, and was widely sought after as organ consultant throughout his career.
Thomas "Blind Tom" Wiggins (May 25, 1849 – June 14, 1908) was an African American autistic savant and musical prodigy on the piano. He had numerous original compositions published and had a lengthy and largely successful performing career throughout the United States. During the 19th century, he was one of the most well-known American performing pianists.
Antonio de Cabezón (c. 1510 – 26 March 1566) was a Spanish Renaissance composer and organist. Blind from childhood, he quickly rose to prominence as performer and was eventually employed by the royal family. He was among the most important composers of his time and the first major Iberian keyboard composer.