×
Rhapsody App for
Rhapsody International, Inc.
Get app Have the app
356x237

by Rachel Devitt

June 8, 2011

Asian-Pacific Americans in Pop Music

by Rachel Devitt  |  June 8, 2011

May was Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, a celebration of the history and contemporary contributions of Asian communities and cultures to this country. That celebration includes the roles Asian-Pacific artists have played in American popular music contributions that have all too often been overlooked, underappreciated or restricted. The history of American pop music has often been a predominantly black-and-white (and sometimes Latino) one; Asian artists struggle to get noticed and acquire record deals in a demographics-based industry that doesn't seem to know how to market them. But even those artists who do make it often get written out of the history books: see, for instance, the Asian-American big bands who toured the country during the swing era, or even the more recent contributions of West Coast Filipino DJ culture to hip-hop.

Things are slowly starting to change, however, with the rise to prominence of artists of Asian heritage like Black Eyed Peas' apl.de.ap, Bruno Mars and, especially, Far*East Movement, pop's highest-charting all-Asian group ever. (For a breakdown of recent singles by Asian and Asian-American artists, see last fall's single-phile column, Far East Rising). In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, and in tribute to their year-round contributions to to pop music, we present this playlist of some of our favorite pop stars.

Rhapsody on your desktop or mobile device

Listen to the songs you love. Anytime, anywhere.

14 day free trial, then just $9.99/month for Rhapsody Premier. View all plans