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

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When it comes to the pop charts, R&B artists tend to be among the most popular. The best R&B singers have been topping the pop charts for years as rhythm and blues has remained bedrock of music. Emerging as a genre in the 1940s, R&B also incorporates soul and funk  Many of of the top R&B artists are household names and their songs charttoppers. Though R&B has its roots in African-American music, the best R&B singers have crossed over and due to their radio smashes, they're able to sell out arenas across the globe.

So, that said, who are the best R&B artists? Since this list takes a look at every R&B singer, there are going to be a number of excellent choices. That's why you'll see R&B icons like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, along with Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Adele, Usher and Drake on here. All of these great artists are known as some of the best rhythm and blues singers, so their inclusion shouldn't come as a big surprise. 

Ultimately, it's up to you to determine who is the best R&B artist. If you notice that someone isn't on this list and should be, feel free to add them. Vote or re-rank this list according to how you think it should reflect your opinion on R&B. This list answers the questions "who are the best rhythm and blues bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest rhythm and blues musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular rhythm and blues bands that you might've heard of.

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list ordered by

1
284 151
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

2
182 98
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

3
64 20
Prince is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

4
210 132
Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music

5
194 120
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

6
152 88
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

7
146 86
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

8
152 93
The Temptations is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

9
145 88
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Doo-wop, Pop music

10
151 93
Sam Cooke is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

11
135 83
Al Green is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

12
97 54
Boyz II Men is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

13
92 55
Usher is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

14
70 40
Gladys Knight & the Pips is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Rhythm and blues, Soul music

15
74 44
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

16
75 46
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

17
69 39
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

18
76 45
Four Tops is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Doo-wop, Pop music, Rock music

19
74 47
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

20
101 71
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

21
64 39
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

22
36 16
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

23
66 43
Sly and the Family Stone is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
MarySSpiegel added Sly and the Family Stone

24
84 58
B.B. King is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Blues-rock, Soul blues, Rock music

25
77 51
Little Richard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Jump blues, Rock music, Rhythm and blues