Ma Rainey was an American blues singer and songwriter who was one of the earliest African American professional blues musicians. Born in Columbus, Georgia, in 1886, Rainey got her start in vaudeville before making a name for herself as a blues performer in the 1920s. She was known for her powerful and soulful voice, as well as her charismatic stage presence, and was one of the most popular blues singers of her time. Rainey recorded over 100 songs, many of which became hits, and was considered a major influence on the development of the blues genre. She was known for her flamboyant style and her defiant attitude, which reflected the spirit of the time and made her a role model for many young African American women. Rainey died in 1939, but her contributions to blues music continue to be celebrated and recognized today. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and her recordings remain some of the most important and enduring works in the history of blues music.