CNN: Memphis teens throw down soul hits and lift up Black History Month

Rickey Fondren is a 15-year-old 10th grader with an old soul.

Growing up in Memphis, he says his childhood was shaped around “older soul music.” One of his biggest influences growing up was someone who’s been gone as long as Fondren’s been alive – James Brown.

“I would dress up and copy his moves and sing like him,” he said.

This February, Fondren is getting a chance to show the world his talents as a vocalist and choreographer. Fondren is a student performer in the Stax Music Academy’s Black History Month celebration – “Soul of America: An Evolution of Black American Music.”

For years, the Stax Music Academy (named after the legendary soul record company in Memphis) has celebrated Black History Month with a live concert based around soul music. Their audiences were mainly Memphis students and educators.

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