5 times Sister Rosetta Tharpe led the way in the development of rock guitar

Sister Rosetta Tharpe
(Image credit: Chris Ware / Stringer)

Dubbed the Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was ahead of the curve in so many aspects of her life and career – and her attitude to the guitar was at the top of the list.

A bisexual Black female guitarist performing in the early 20th century, Tharpe succeeded in the face of discrimination and became an enormously popular artist. In the process, she accomplished many firsts.

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Matt Parker
Features Editor, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is Features Editor for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.