The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time Bands/Musicians

The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time

5.5k votes 368 voters 3.9k views 171 items tags f p @

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

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.
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  • 15 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Tina Turner Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

  2. 2
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    - 35


    Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music

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  3. 3
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    Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

  4. 4
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    - 50
    Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

  5. 5
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    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

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  6. 6
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    Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

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  7. 7
    + 25
    - 18
    Al Green is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time

    added by Artie_Moon
    Al Green Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

  8. 8
    + 46
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    Hip hop music, Doo-wop, Pop music

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  9. 9
    + 47
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    Southern soul, Soul blues, Rock music

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  10. 10
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    The Temptations is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    The Temptations Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

  11. 11
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    - 40
    Prince is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

  12. 12
    + 16
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    Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

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  13. 13
    + 37
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    Barry White is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

  14. 14
    + 27
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    Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

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  15. 15
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    - 33


    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

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  16. 16
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    - 20
    The Isley Brothers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    The Isley Brothers Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

  17. 17
    + 45
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    Bubblegum pop, Motown Sound, Disco

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  18. 18
    + 14
    - 12

    added by Artie_Moon
    Psychedelic soul, Chicago soul, Rhythm and blues

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  19. 19
    + 23
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    Philadelphia soul, Disco, Quiet storm

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  20. 20
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    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

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  21. 21
    + 28
    - 31


    Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

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  22. 22
    + 35
    - 35


    Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Contemporary R&B

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  23. 23
    + 26
    - 33


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

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  24. 24
    + 27
    - 34
    Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Janet Jackson Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

  25. 25
    + 41
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    Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    New Wave, Disco, Pop music

  26. 26
    + 32
    - 42
    Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Alicia Keys Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

  27. 27
    + 26
    - 33
    Jackie Wilson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Jackie Wilson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

  28. 28
    + 25
    - 32
    Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Lionel Richie Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

  29. 29
    + 30
    - 32
    Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Diana Ross

  30. 30
    + 16
    - 24


    Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

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  31. 31
    + 26
    - 33
    Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Chaka Khan Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

  32. 32
    + 24
    - 27
    Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Aaliyah Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

  33. 33
    + 22
    - 25
    TLC is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    TLC Hip hop music, Girl group, Alternative hip hop

  34. 34
    + 12
    - 13


    Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

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  35. 35
    + 12
    - 9

    added by Artie_Moon
    Girl group, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

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  36. 36
    + 14
    - 15


    Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

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  37. 37
    + 20
    - 23


    Neo soul, Contemporary R&B, Quiet storm

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  38. 38
    + 12
    - 10

    added by Artie_Moon
    Blues-rock, Soul blues, Rock music

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  39. 39
    + 24
    - 30


    Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

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  40. 40
    + 14
    - 15


    Alternative hip hop, Neo soul, Contemporary R&B

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  41. 41
    + 22
    - 34


    Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

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  42. 42
    + 26
    - 39


    Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

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  43. 43
    + 18
    - 26


    Urban contemporary, Girl group, Hip hop music

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  44. 44
    + 16
    - 22
    Usher is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Usher Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

  45. 45
    + 10
    - 13


    Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

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  46. 46
    + 17
    - 28
    Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Toni Braxton Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

  47. 47
    + 22
    - 34
    Erykah Badu is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Erykah Badu Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Age

  48. 48
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    - 28
    Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Mariah Carey Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

  49. 49
    + 14
    - 18
    Ne-Yo is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time


    Ne-Yo Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

  50. 50
    + 16
    - 19


    Hip hop music, Neo soul, Dance-pop

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172 +

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