Mahalia Jackson started singing as a child at Mount Moriah Baptist Church and went on to become one of the most revered gospel figures in the U.S. Her recording of “Move On Up a Little Higher” was a major hit and she subsequently became an international celebrity to music lovers from a variety of backgrounds.
Jackson was also an active supporter of the civil rights movement. She sang at the 1963 March on Washington at the request of her friend Martin Luther King Jr., performing “I Been ‘Buked and I Been Scorned.”
After King’s death in 1968, Jackson sang at his funeral and then largely withdrew from public political activities. In 1969, she published her autobiography “Movin’ On Up.”
Gil is a Brazilian singer, guitarist and songwriter, known for both his musical innovation and political commitment.
He began his career as a bossa nova musician, and then expanded to write songs that reflected a focus on political awareness and social activism. He was a key figure in the Música Popular Brasileira and Tropicália movements of the 1960s, with artists such as longtime collaborator Caetano Veloso.
The Brazilian military regime that took power in 1964 saw both Gil and Veloso as threats, and the two were held for nine months in 1969 before they were told to leave the country. Gil moved to London, but returned to Bahia in 1972. He continued his musical career, as well as becoming a politician and environmental advocate.