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

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

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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 ordered by

1
261 143
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

2
339 174
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

3
262 115
Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music

4
189 118
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

5
154 143
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

6
179 66
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

7
169 94
The Temptations is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

8
241 94
Prince is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

9
193 119
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Hip hop music, Doo-wop, Pop music

10
136 68
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

11
173 99
Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Southern soul, Soul blues, Rock music

12
127 71
Al Green is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Artie_Moon added Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

13
140 79
Sam Cooke is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

14
278 101
Frank Ocean is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Alternative hip hop, Neo soul, Contemporary R&B

15
135 97
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

16
161 90
The Jackson 5 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Bubblegum pop, Motown Sound, Disco

17
151 120
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

18
126 72
The Isley Brothers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

19
106 77
Mary J. Blige is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

20
108 108
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

21
96 82
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

22
91 65
Curtis Mayfield is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Artie_Moon added Psychedelic soul, Chicago soul, Rhythm and blues

23
88 121
Ike & Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

24
137 98
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

25
94 40
Earth, Wind & Fire is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time
Disco, Rock music, Black metal