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
281 150
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 97
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 18
Prince is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

4
209 131
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
194 119
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
151 87
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
144 86
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Doo-wop, Pop music

8
152 92
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
146 86
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
150 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
95 53
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
76 45
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
68 39
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

19
101 71
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
73 47
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
36 16
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

22
63 39
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

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
83 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
58 38
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