It's African American Music Appreciation Month in June. Originally decreed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, as 'Black Music Month' former President Barack Obama renamed the month. "Let us recognize the performers behind this incredible music, which has compelled us to stand up- to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our county's enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all," Obama proclaimed. African American music begins with the spiritual, a religious-themed song sung by slaves as they worked on the plantation fields of the South. Drawing on spirituals, field hollers and work songs, the blues was developed. Nearly all American music today is influenced by the blues: Jazz, Country, Rock. Hip-hop/rap is one of the few American musical styles that is not influenced by the blues but was also pioneered by African Americans.