SZA, one of the rnb music‘s top artists at present, blends neo-soul and hip-hop together into intimate ballads that explore themes of self-love and identity.
Recently, R&B music has seen an evolution away from guitar-driven sounds to more melodic, dance club-oriented sounds. Artists such as Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, TLC, Usher and Lauryn Hill earned Grammy awards by emphasizing melodic singing styles like their melismatic vocalizations.
Alicia Keys – Let It Go
Alicia Keys is no stranger to topical music, yet her talent lies in turning message songs into catchy pop tunes. On her latest album ALICIA, Keys delivers powerful tracks about drug addiction, police brutality, women’s rights and personal growth – among many other subjects. Beginning on an upbeat note with gospel-inspired “The Gospel,” Keys paints an image of her family from New York through history as she sings over an appealing hip-hop soul beat; then on “Perfect Way to Die,” Keys sings about Trayvon Martin and Sandra Bland as her vocals reach tearful heights to create powerfully emotive vocal performances about these tragedies with tearful vocals reaching tearful peaks of her own.
Keys’ latest album shows her being her most honest self yet. On “Love Looks Better,” produced by Ryan Tedder and dedicated to our mothers, fathers, teachers and those who support us daily through mothers, fathers and teachers; its piano chords beg for rawness while production swells and peaks with additional electronics. Meanwhile “Good Job” stands out with its soulful piano riff and soulful Celtic lilt.
Keys takes time out for herself as well. She compares her feelings to weather patterns, giving herself and others assurances that “Girl you can’t be scared / You have to stand strong”.
Keys finally found her footing after an uneven start to her career with 2005’s Songs in A Minor release, an album which reached No. 2 behind Destiny’s Child and JC Chasez’s boy band at that time – in an era when female pop stars dominated charts with sensual empowerment.
Keys’s breakthrough album marked a decisive turning point, as she began to embrace her spiritual side and freely express herself through music. Since then, she’s defied industry pressure to create radio-friendly hits while creating her own independent label to release albums that reflect who she really is – she even goes as far as to ditch makeup at award shows and ban cellphones from concerts to create more intimate connections with fans and improve intimacy at concerts! From addressing racial inequality to empowering women – Keys always strives to become her best self and share that with everyone around her!
H.e.r – I Need Your Love
As much as the dance floor may be an outlet for flaunting moves, it also offers couples a space to slow down and take it all in. From romantic first dance songs to party crowd favorites that everyone will sing along to, these top R&B love songs will surely set hearts racing and feet tapping!
Bryan Adams’ timeless ballad “You Are Loved” is perfect for first dances or simply showing your affection to your significant other. With its combination of acoustic guitar, piano and strings instruments, this song will add class and sophistication to your special event.
This song from Lungs album by singer-songwriter Jon Pardi speaks for itself – it’s an ode to true love that will leave your guests feeling warm and fuzzy all over.
Among a year filled with romantic comedies, this heartbreaking yet hopeful top 100 love song stood out as something truly memorable and compelling. Bareilles received both critical acclaim and controversy for this piece which explored finding hope amid darkness.
This song from Cyrus’ Bangerz album explores the idea of finding solace with one person and wanting nothing more than to lie with them forever.
This classic country love song will bring tears of happiness and bring guests singing along – sure to leave an everlasting memory from your wedding day.
Jorja Smith – I Will Always Love You
Jorja Smith is a British singer-songwriter renowned for her collaborations with artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Kali Uchis. She is widely considered one of the hottest new R&B artists today and her music has been likened to that of Amy Winehouse and Rihanna. Jorja possesses an emotive vocal technique using runs and ad-libs which help define her sound.
R&B music has gained in popularity over recent decades. Influencing hip hop, dance music, disco and pop music genres alike. While its origins lie within rhythm and blues music genre, today r&b still maintains its unique character and remains appealing to audiences around the globe.
Early R&B artists such as Toni Braxton, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men honed virtuosic soulful singing. These artists frequently used harmonies and other musical elements to craft complex melodies. Later producers like Teddy Riley and Bernard Belle began to incorporate elements from hip hop into R&B production for what has come to be known as New Jack Swing music; artists like Keith Sweat, Jodeci and BellBivDeVoe (featuring members of O’Jays) became popular during this era of R&B music production.
Contemporary R&B artists are typically open-minded and willing to experiment, often mixing elements of R&B with pop, hip hop and electronic genres for maximum reach and accessibility.
R&B music has always had an intimate connection to hip hop, and many of its most acclaimed artists are also rappers. This trend continues today with artists like Bryson Tiller and Drake incorporating rapping into their R&B sounds; other R&B artists, like Erykah Badu and Alicia Keys even write and perform rap songs as part of their repertoire.
The greatest R&B musicians of all time are those who have combined their talent with an inspiring message. These artists have inspired millions around the globe through their songs that speak of human love’s beauty and power – becoming part of cultural heritage around the globe.
Erykah Badu – I Need Your Love
Erica Abi Wright, more commonly known by her stage name Erykah Badu, pioneered her signature brand of organic funk music with a soulful yet sensual swagger that set her apart from other neo-soul artists of her time. Her willowy vocals softened by vibrato were often compared to those of Billie Holiday; yet her rhythmic sense and restraint allowed for comparisons with rappers such as Kanye West; stacking syllables sparingly as to not overshadow the beat with unnecessary extraneous words or lyrics.
Badu’s music not only chronicles her experiences of love and life; she’s also deeply engaged in activism. In an interview with Nation19 Magazine, Badu discussed her charity organization – Beautiful Love Incorporated Non Profit Development (B.L.I.N.D 501c3) which she established in 1997 to support arts initiatives and community-driven development projects in South Dallas.
On Mama’s Gun, Badu expanded her social justice activism by exploring issues like police brutality and the black experience in America. Thirteen years before Bay Area community organizer Alicia Garza lamented the systematic slaughter of black lives with her hashtag that ignited global activism, Badu sang an elegy for Amadou Diallo who was one of the first unarmed black victims killed by American law enforcement agents.
“Next Lifetime”, Badu’s second single from her album, is an emotional song about missed opportunities. Badu makes clear his conviction in this message, which was particularly poignant during a time of significant racial-political turmoil in America.
Badu has also established herself as an influencer in fashion through Erykah for Peace clothing line, which she launched. Additionally, Badu is known as an accomplished philanthropist, having worked with organizations such as American Civil Liberties Union to fight on behalf of people wrongfully jailed or assaulted by police officers. Badu maintains an active social media presence that has garnered many compliments and admirers who praise her activism.