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Best R&B Artists/Bands

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A list of the best R&B artists. Though the definition of the genre has skewed over the years, at the heart of R&B music is rhythm and blues. And the artists who encompass this list are the best the genre has to offer. There are legends, both living and deceased who are on this list. There a good number of rock and roll hall of famers on this list, whose legacy lives on at the Cleveland museum. The beginning of what became to be known as R&B started with the Motown sound of the late 1960s. Under the stewardship of Berry Gordy, many of the most famous artists and singers in music history established themselves during this time. The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross were all a part of the Motown fabric that in time became THE place to be for up-and-coming R&B artists. Many of the greatest R&B groups are from this early, formative period. Sly & the Family Stone, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye among a group of amazing singers, whose careers started during this time.

That is not to say there aren't other great R&B artists from other eras. Prince, Alicia Keys and D'Angelo would be considered some of the best R&B singers whenever they burst onto the scene. The familiar R&B artists on this list should come as a surprise to no one. The odds are you've heard of nearly everyone on here. If not, then you should give them a listen because there's a reason why they're considered the greatest R&B singers of all time. Why would people label them as the top R&B artists? Give them a listen and you'll hear yourself.

This is the list of the best R&B artists. If you notice someone is missing, feel free to add him, her or them to this list. Vote or re-rank this list according to who you think is the greatest R&B artist of all time.

List Criteria: Only R&B artists. No hip hop, urban contemporary or soul singers should be on here.

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  Name
  1. 1
    Up 17
    Down 0
    Bubblegum pop, Motown Sound, Disco More
  2. 2
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    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music More
  3. 3
    Up 14
    Down 1
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
  4. 4
    Up 13
    Down 1
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
  5. 5
    Up 12
    Down 1
    Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music More
  6. 6
    Up 12
    Down 1
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
  7. 7
    Up 12
    Down 2
    Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul More
  8. 8
    Up 11
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    Hip hop music, Doo-wop, Pop music More
  9. 9
    Up 12
    Down 3
    Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Contemporary R&B More
  10. 10
    Up 11
    Down 3
    Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul More
  11. 11
    Up 8
    Down 1
    Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Quiet storm More
  12. 12
    Up 9
    Down 2
    Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues More
  13. 13
    Up 10
    Down 3
    Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music More
  14. 14
    Up 10
    Down 3
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
  15. 15
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    Down 3
    Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues More
  16. 16
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    Down 4
    Southern soul, Soul blues, Rock music More
  17. 17
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    Down 4
    Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Dance music More
  18. 18
    Up 7
    Down 2
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music More
  19. 19
    Up 7
    Down 3
    New Wave, Disco, Pop music More
  20. 20
    Up 6
    Down 2
    Hip hop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B More
  21. 21
    Up 6
    Down 2
    Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music More
  22. 22
    Up 8
    Down 5
    Contemporary R&B, New jack swing, Rhythm and blues More
  23. 23
    Up 8
    Down 5
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Neo soul More
  24. 24
    Up 8
    Down 5
    Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul More
  25. 25
    Up 7
    Down 4
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop More
  26. 26
    Up 7
    Down 4
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age More
  27. 27
    Up 7
    Down 4
    Hip hop music, Pop music, Latin pop More
  28. 28
    Up 6
    Down 3
    Pop music, Contemporary R&B, New jack swing More
  29. 29
    Up 5
    Down 2
    Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B More
  30. 30
    Up 5
    Down 2
    Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music More
  31. 31
    Up 5
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    Urban contemporary, Contemporary R&B, New jack swing More
  32. 32
    Up 5
    Down 2
    Hip hop music, Girl group, Alternative hip hop More
  33. 33
    Up 4
    Down 1
    Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues More
  34. 34
    Up 7
    Down 5
    Pop music, Contemporary R&B, New jack swing More
  35. 35
    Up 6
    Down 4
    Girl group, Pop music, Contemporary R&B More
  36. 36
    Up 6
    Down 4
    Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music More
  37. 37
    Up 5
    Down 3
    Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues More
  38. 38
    Up 5
    Down 3
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul More
  39. 39
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    Down 3
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll More
  40. 40
    Up 4
    Down 2
    Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B More
  41. 41
    Up 3
    Down 1
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm More
  42. 42
    Up 3
    Down 1
    Hip hop music, Neo soul, Rock music More
  43. 43
    Up 3
    Down 1
    Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz More
  44. 44
    Up 3
    Down 1
    Blue-eyed soul, Disco, Rock music More
  45. 45
    Up 3
    Down 2
    Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music More
  46. 46
    Up 3
    Down 2
    Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music More
  47. 47
    Up 3
    Down 2
    Disco, Pop music, Dance music More
  48. 48
    Up 3
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    Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B More
  49. 49
    Up 3
    Down 2
    Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music More
  50. 50
    Up 3
    Down 2
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Future soul More
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