Sad Songs From the 90s

No matter the state of your romance or distance-induced drama, R&B music can help ease heartache. Thanks to artists like Babyface, Boyz II Men, Mary J Blige and Toni Braxton singing your feelings off the page – R&B will help get through any heartbreak that may come.

Shanice’s song features an emotionally impactful rap bridge that only adds more power and weight to this powerful ballad. Anyone who has experienced being caught up in a love triangle will easily relate to this impactful track.

1. Hold On by En Vogue

En Vogue’s hit, “Persevere and Hold On to Hope”, became an anthem for perseverance and hope among listeners of all ages in the early 1990s. Harmonies on the track demonstrated their talent at harmonizing voices harmoniously together.

En Vogue’s dance moves added even more energy and positivity to this track, making its positive vibe even stronger. Its upbeat tempo and captivating melody made this an instantaneous hit – En Vogue was also the first R&B group with predominantly female members to break out with such success!

En Vogue members Cindy Herron, Dawn Robinson, and Terry Ellis performed it for a talent show with Denzil Foster creating an R&B beat to accompany it; ultimately creating an iconic hit that resonated with female listeners about keeping hold of a relationship.

The Backstreet Boys released their rendition of this timeless love ballad in 2018 to widespread acclaim, and its heartrending love ballad about heartbreak quickly became an international success. With strong harmonies and an arresting bassline combining pop with R&B for an infectious chorus and memorable hook line – this song became an incredible global success!

2. Real Love by Mary J Blige

Mary J. Blige was one of the most iconic singers of ’90s R&B and one of the most influential in music history. At just 21 years old, she signed with Uptown Records and released her debut album as a massive success. On Real Love, Mary J. sings about finding a partner who appreciates her for who she truly is, not simply for money or status alone – an important message for women dealing with toxic relationships.

This track is simple with just guitar and light beat underneath the vocals allowing their emotions to come through clearly. Anyone who has experienced being torn between staying or leaving will relate to this song.

Water Runs Dry by British group Take That was their debut hit and is a story about a heartbroken lover holding onto past loves who will regret letting go. So popular was this song, in 2022 a Lifetime movie was made based off it; Real Love features Mary J Blige as she portrays a college girl struggling with both studies and relationships at once.

3. I Still by the Backstreet Boys

This classic song from the Backstreet Boys tells the tale of someone still romantically attached to a former romantic partner after they have ended it. Its soothing refrain helps anyone deal with heartbreak more effectively; while its catchy beats and Mopreme Shakur rap verse make this R&B tune unforgettable.

R&B artists often release songs expressing the pain they experience when their partner starts dating another. H.E.R’s 2017 slow track “When Love Fails Me” by H.E.R encapsulates this emotion; its powerful track has even been featured in several tearjerker movies.

Boyz II Men dominated R&B music during the 90s, and their unique sound resonated strongly with fans. One of their most iconic tracks, End of the Road is an emotional piece depicting couples facing difficulties in their relationships and pleas for them to stay together; its singers plead with loved ones not to break apart; it remains an essential listening experience and classic that won’t ever fade from memory; we could go on and on about R&B music here; Mariah Carey and R Kelly certainly belong on any list like this but so many more deserve mentions here as well!

4. I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy

The 1990s saw the merging of rap and R&B music, most prominently by Puffy with Bad Boy Records. He brought together rappers, singers and producers in creating hits that could leave you heartbroken; one such hit being this song which laments over lost love while lamenting that time cannot mend its pain.

Anyone who has experienced heartbreak will identify with Toni Braxton’s song of heartache. Her deep and powerful track speaks about the end of a relationship; her haunting vocals will linger in your memory for days after.

This track from 90s R&B is one of the saddest songs, as it addresses the end of a long-term relationship. It tells a poignant tale about two individuals who have gone through everything together but now find themselves on the brink of parting ways – it makes you want to cry while watching its video clip!

This song is perfect if you are feeling isolated and alone, as its lyrics speak about an individual who cannot find true happiness in love and life. With such evocative lyrics that will force you to reflect upon the circumstances surrounding your own relationships.

5. Not Gon Cry by Mary J Blige

Mary J Blige rose quickly to fame as part of The Family before releasing her solo album What’s the 411. This groundbreaking recording showcased her vocal abilities and cemented her reputation as a powerhouse soul singer.

Not Gon Cry is the title track of their album and tells the tale of a woman refusing to be taken advantage of by her partner. The song acts as an anthem for self-love and empowerment that remains popular with audiences today.

Love Will Keep Us Together is an emotional tribute to loved ones who are fighting for life, with an upbeat track that features an infectious chorus to put you in an excellent mood. Complete with an original version featuring a rap bridge for added effect. Plus its production allows the emotive lyrics of Love Will Keep Us Together to shine through.

6. Don’t Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days) by Anthony Hamilton

Anthony Hamilton has made it his mission to keep R&B relevant by injecting modern music with R&B sounds. His recent project, What I’m Feelin’, showcases this aim. This soulful yet down-home singer delivers songs that capture heartbreak, loss and pain eloquently; with spiritual undercurrents which only add more power and beauty.

Shanice’s single is one of the most emotionally moving on this list and will resonate with anyone experiencing heartache when their love ends, whether romantically or otherwise. It tells the tale of someone falling out with their partner, and all that it entails – making it one of those songs which anyone in that position can connect with and resonate with.

Boyz II Men were known for their dynamic R&B sound in the 90s, and this song in particular is one of their best. The lyrics describe a lover at their last resort who’s searching for “one good reason” to remain together; making this track an outstanding example of unfiltered emotions creating great music with an irresistibly sensual edge that stands out.

7. I Can’t Give Up on You by Mac Ayres

Mac Ayres packs an emotional punch into this short track by telling the tale of a romance that has gone astray, leading to someone whom neither of them recognize anymore. It serves as a sad reminder that not every romantic endeavor must end in drama with cheating and disagreements.

Another heartbreaking breakup song from SWV (Sisters With Voices), this one by SWV depicting the heartache associated with losing someone is still popular today among those experiencing separation or divorce. It topped the charts for some weeks and remains a beloved tune for anyone experiencing such situations.

Ne-Yo’s incredible songwriting skill brought this classic into existence and has since been heard at proms, graduation ceremonies, and funerals worldwide.

Mac Ayres’ 2019 album Juicebox showcased his talents as an artist with soulful vocals that perfectly complement live drum and guitar instrumentation. A graduate from Berklee School of Music, Mac excels both vocalism and multi-instrumentalism – drawing influence from D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder, and J Dilla for music that is both innovative and groove-centric.