Award-winning journalist Danyel Smith is the author of the forthcoming Shine Bright: A Personal History of Black Women in Pop (One World / Random House, April 2022). Danyel is also host of Black Girl Songbook, a Spotify podcast that centers the sounds and stories of Black women.
Danyel’s career has been laser-focused on black creatives making brilliant things. She has interviewed everyone from Whitney Houston to Janet Jackon to Simone Biles to Beyoncé. Danyel’s CV includes being a producer and writer at ESPN, a Knight fellow at Stanford University and an arts fellow at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. She was editor of Billboard, and the first woman and first black person to serve as editor-in-chief of VIBE. She has written two novels — More Like Wrestling (Crown, 2003) and Bliss (Crown, 2005), and Danyel’s recent work appears in the New York Times Magazine, and at NPR.
Her beloved second hometown is Brooklyn, but Danyel is a proud Oakland native now living with her husband, Elliott Wilson, in Southern California.