R&B stands for Rhythm and Blues. It is a type of music that roots in gospel, jazz, blues, soul, and even hip-hop. R&B music is essential to American culture, especially in the South and Midwest.
R&B has been around for decades and continues to be popular today. The artists who perform this kind of music are usually African-American singers or groups that produce songs with a slower rhythm than other genres, such as hip-hop or rap. R&B music can be heard on radio stations across the country, along with pop and country music stations. R&B artists often collaborate with other performers from different genres to create unique sounds that appeal to many people.
Some people think R&B is just another name for soul music, while others believe they’re two different genres altogether. However, there are some similarities between these types of music, including the use of horns and keyboards in the background and soulful vocals by lead singers who may also play instruments on stage during live performances by their bands or groups. Here are some top 8 best famous R&B artists.
1. Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin is a singer, songwriter, and pianist who has recorded over 180 songs, won 18 Grammy Awards, received eight American Music Awards, was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has been honored with many top music awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, TN, as Aretha Louise Franklin, she grew up in Detroit and sang in her father’s church choir. She sang gospel music at an early age and by age 12 had joined her father’s gospel band. Her mother died when she was ten years old, and she moved to New York City to live with her grandmother. She graduated high school at age 15 and then returned to Detroit, where she performed in local clubs as a teenager.
Franklin married Ted White in 1961 but divorced him after six years together because of his violent behavior toward her. She married actor Glynn Turman in 1978 but divorced him after two years together due to their conflicting schedules; however, they remained friends throughout their lives. In 1986 Franklin made headlines when she reportedly became engaged to Willie Wilk.
The first song that Aretha released under Columbia Records was “Today I Sing The Blues,” which reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and won Aretha a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording in 1960. This paved the way for more success for Aretha in both gospel and secular music genres throughout the rest of her career.
2. Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey, on August 9, 1963. She is a singer, actress, and producer from America. Whitney Houston was born to Cissy Houston and John Russell Houston, Jr., a gospel singer, and grandson of preacher Jesse Jackson. Her mother, Cissy, was a backup singer for road shows, including Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick. Whitney’s father had an affair with another woman while married to her mother, which led to their divorce in 1968 when she was five years old.
Whitney Houston began singing early, influenced by her mother, who often performed around the house. She was enrolled in the High School of Performing Arts at age 15 after being discovered by talent scouts at a local mall. While attending school, she met Arista Records founder Clive Davis who signed her as part of his company’s first act along with Tony Toni Tone and others.
In 1983, Whitney Houston released her debut album titled “Whitney Houston,” which featured three top ten hits, including “You Give Good Love.” The following year she released her second studio album, “Whitney,” which included the single “Saving All My Love For You,” which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1985.
3. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. He is the seventh child of the Jackson family. Michael was born on August 29, 1958. Michael started his career as a solo artist with his first album, “Got to Be There,” in 1971. He has also released many albums under the Motown label.
Michael Jackson is known for his outstanding dancing skills and has won several awards for it, including 3 Grammys, 13 Emmys, and 2 Oscars. In 1984 he released a double album titled “Thriller,” which sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, making him the best-selling artist of all time.
His song “We Are The World” was recorded by many artists, including famous artists like Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, and Cyndi Lauper, to raise money for famine relief in Africa in 1985. His other well-known songs include “Bad,” “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Black or White,” etc.
Usher is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with over 30 million albums sold in the United States and over 75 million records worldwide. He has won numerous awards, including eight Grammys, three American Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, and an Academy Award for Best Original Song for his song “Yeah!”.
Usher was born in Dallas, Texas, on October 14, 1978, as Usher Raymond IV. He moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, at age 13, where he met fellow R&B singer Monica (who later became his future wife). When he was 16 years old, he moved back to Atlanta with his mother to pursue a musical career. In 1997 Usher joined a group called NuBeginnings but left after their label closed down. He then began working on his debut album Usher, released in 1994 by LaFace Records. The album went double platinum, selling over 2 million copies worldwide, and produced three hits: “Think Of You,” “Can U Get With It?” and “The Many Ways.”
5. Donna Summer
Donna Summer (born LaDonna Adrian Gaines; December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012) was an American singer and songwriter. A five-time Grammy Award winner known for her distinctive musical style, which bridged the gap between Disco and R&B, Summer was one of the most successful artists of the 1970s.
She had a series of hits, including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Last Dance,” “MacArthur Park,” “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls,” and “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough).” She also collaborated with Barbra Streisand, with whom she recorded numerous duets, including the number-one hit “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” (1979).
Summer was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1948 as the eldest daughter of Norwegian immigrants. She grew up in modest circumstances in Boston’s Roslindale neighborhood. At age 7, Donna started singing in a church choir where she met her first vocal coach Sandra Winters. She attended Boston’s Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Jamaica Plain. After two years at Boston University College of Fine Arts, she left school to pursue a singing career full-time in New York City with Winters as her manager.
6. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey was born on March 27, 1970, in Long Island, New York. She is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. In 1991, she released her self-titled debut album Mariah Carey which featured the singles “Vision of Love” and “Love Takes Time.” In 1992, she released her second studio album, Emotions, which featured the singles “Make It Happen” and “Can’t Let Go.” In 1993, she released her third studio album, Music Box, which featured the singles “Dreamlover,” “Hero,” and “Without You (I’m Nothing).” In 1995, she released her fourth studio album, Daydream, which featured the singles “Fantasy” and “One Sweet Day” with Boyz II Men, which became the longest-running number-one single in history by a female artist in Billboard Hot 100 chart history 16 weeks; it also topped many other charts worldwide including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand while reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart after “Candle in the Wind 1997” by Elton John (number 1).
7. Diana Ross
Diana Ross is a singer and actress. She was born on March 26, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan. She was signed to Motown Records as part of The Supremes, along with Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard.
Ross began her career in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of The Supremes, one of the most successful American popular music groups. The group released twenty-five Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including twelve number-one hits such as “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love”, “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “I Hear A Symphony.”
Ross began her solo career in 1970 after leaving The Supremes. She released her debut solo album Diana Ross that same year, which contained the top-ten single “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).” This album included the international hit song “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” which topped several music charts worldwide. In 1976 she released Double Exposure, a collection of photographs Ross took during her tour in Europe; it also included two new songs.
8. Ray Charles
Ray Charles was a blind American singer, songwriter, and musician. He was one of the most influential artists in 20th-century music, mixing blues, country, and jazz. His music spanned many genres including soul, rhythm and blues, gospel, pop, and government.
Ray Charles Robinson was born in Albany, Georgia, on September 23, 1930. He lost his sight at age five due to glaucoma. Ray started playing piano at seven and began singing in church with his family at 11. He also learned how to play saxophone and clarinet at this time. When he was 12 years old, his father died, leaving him to take care of his mother, who had a mental illness, making it difficult for her to provide for her children financially.
In 1943 Ray moved to Seattle, where he helped form a group called The Rhythm & Blues Blasters before moving back to Albany, GA, shortly after in hopes of getting a music career there. However, things did not work out as planned, so he was sent overseas after joining the United States Air Force. He spent two years playing in military bands all over Europe, which helped him gain notoriety among musicians worldwide and develop his craft even more.
The ability of well-known R&B artists to sing various genres, from rock to pop and classical music, as well as their take on the art of singing, has helped make them famous. Today, R&B artists are proven successful in the international market and genre of mainstream music. These versatile musicians continue to grow and expand their fan base by producing inspiring music with an uplifting message and engaging shows. This helps make these famous R&B artists maintain their near-iconic status worldwide.