Bands/Musicians 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.

list ordered by

1
87 16
Momoland is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Daisy Yoo added K-pop

2
247 134
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

3
152 83
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

4
180 116
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
130 77
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Doo-wop, Pop music

6
166 107
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

7
129 81
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

8
136 89
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
127 81
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

10
122 79
Al Green is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

11
134 89
Sam Cooke is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

12
79 47
Usher is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

13
80 50
Boyz II Men is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

14
60 36
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
86 56
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

16
77 52
B.B. King is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Blues-rock, Soul blues, Rock music

17
68 42
Four Tops is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Doo-wop, Pop music, Rock music

18
59 38
Sly and the Family Stone is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
MarySSpiegel added Sly and the Family Stone

19
88 63
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

20
62 40
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

21
64 42
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

22
60 39
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

23
69 45
Little Richard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Jump blues, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

24
34 15
Prince is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

25
45 28
Bruno Mars is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Mary S Spiegel added Alternative hip hop, Pop music, Rock music

26
55 36
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

27
60 41
Barry White is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

28
94 78
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

29
52 35
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

30
61 44
Commodores is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

31
94 78
Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

32
53 39
Bill Withers is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Smooth soul, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

33
43 30
Isaac Hayes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Disco, Jazz-funk, Rhythm and blues

34
22 12
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

35
20 10
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

36
45 38
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

37
25 19
New Edition is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
symoneledford added New Edition

38
33 27
Babyface is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

39
49 46
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Doo-wop, Pop music, Neo soul

40
66 59
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

41
42 36
Frank Ocean is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Alternative hip hop, Neo soul, Contemporary R&B

42
39 34
Booker T. & the M.G.'s is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Southern soul, Instrumental rock, Electric blues

43
37 35
The Weeknd is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Indie pop, Downtempo, Dubstep

44
26 24
George Clinton is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

45
23 19
D'Angelo is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

46
34 31
Billy Preston is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

47
27 24
Bo Diddley is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Blues-rock, Chicago blues, Rock music

48
33 31
David Ruffin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Disco, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

49
12 8
Spinners is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Whoviant added

50
29 27
Billy Ocean is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music