Ann Peebles

A diminutive singer with a powerful voice and an even stronger attitude, Ann Peebles was one of the artists who defined Willie Mitchell's legendary Memphis soul label Hi Records, along with Al Green and, later, O.V. Wright. Easily the best female singer in the Hi stable, Peebles ranked among the finest deep Southern soul singers of the decade, notching an instant classic with her 1973 hit "I Can't Stand the Rain." She co-wrote a generous share of her own material with husband Don Bryant, and while she cut plenty of love and heartbreak tunes, her persona was built on the grit and resilient strength she displayed on songs like "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down." Peebles wasn't always as appreciated on the charts as her work often merited, especially among pop listeners, but her best recordings hold up among the best of their era.