Soul music was born as a synthesis of the call-and-response traditions of gospel with the secular - and often sexual - appeal of rhythm 'n' blues. From its birth with Ray Charles's I Got a Woman to its ongoing and widespread appeal today, soul has spawned a huge number of America's most important popular figures. Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Prince and Whitney Houston are just a few of the many soul stars who have become figureheads for American culture throughout the world. This text is an encyclopaedia of nearly 1000 names from the world of soul music: the singers, musicians, producers, writers and labels. It provides reference information on many topics from the gospel and blues roots to the international modern sounds, from the famous to the obscure. The edition has been updated to include 300 new entries, discographies and over 50 photographs.