The Best R&B Artists Of 2023

Over 500 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best R&B Artists Of 2023

2022 may have set the bar really high for R&B artists, but honestly, this year's hottest rhythm and blues singer-songwriters are ready to takeover everyone's playlists. From Grammy Award winner SZA's sensational sophomore album SOS to Chris Brown's critically-acclaimed Breezy, 2023's top R&B music effortlessly fuses dynamic hip-hop/soul instrumentals with diverse cross-cultural influences while simultaneously staying true to the genre's traditional roots. Industry queens Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, and Lizzo never cease to slay with their flawless records; and Gen Z musicians Steve Lacy, H.E.R., Jorja Smith, and Chlöe continue to shatter glass ceilings with their exceptional talent.

Which trending R&B musicians are you most excited to see live, and whose records are you currently listening to? Vote below for the best R&B artists of 2023, and be sure to also check out this year's top new R&B songs afterwards.

Most divisive: Mariah the Scientist
Ranked by
  • SZA
    1

    SZA

    334 votes
    Solana Rowe (born November 8, 1990), better known by her stage name SZA, is an American singer-songwriter. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, later relocating to Maplewood, New Jersey. In October 2012, Rowe self-released an extended play titled See.SZA.Run, which she then followed up with her second EP, titled S, in October 2013. In July 2013, it was revealed that she had signed to Hip Hop record label Top Dawg Entertainment, through which she released Z, her third EP and first retail release, in April 2014. SZA is an PBR&B and neo soul singer whose music is described as Alternative R&B, with elements of soul, hip hop, minimalist R&B, cloud rap, ethereal R&B, witch house and chillwave. Rowe's lyrics are described as "unraveling", that revolve around themes of sexuality, nostalgia, and abandonment.
  • Summer Walker
    2
    202 votes
    Summer Marjani Walker (born April 11, 1996) is an American singer-songwriter. She is signed to LoveRenaissance and Interscope Records. Her commercial mixtape Last Day of Summer was released on October 19, 2018. Her debut studio album, Over It was released on October 4, 2019 and received universal acclaim from critics. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart with 134,000 album-equivalent units in its first full tracking week. Walker made history when her debut album earned the biggest streaming debut ever for a female R&B artist. Walker also was the recipient for Best New Artist at the 2019 Soul Train Music Awards.
  • The Weeknd
    3
    314 votes
    Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (born February 16, 1990), known professionally as the Weeknd, is a Canadian singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor. A prominent figure in contemporary popular music, he is noted for his unconventional music production, artistic reinventions, and his signature use of the falsetto register. His accolades include 4 Grammy Awards, 20 Billboard Music Awards, 22 Juno Awards, 6 American Music Awards, 2 MTV Video Music Awards, a Latin Grammy Award, and nominations for an Academy Award and a Primetime Emmy Award. Among the world's best-selling music artists with over 75 million records sold, Tesfaye holds several streaming and Billboard chart records. Tesfaye was listed by Time as one of the world's most influential people in 2020, and was dubbed the "world's most popular artist" by Guinness World Records in 2023. An advocate for racial equality and food security, he was appointed a World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador in 2021.
  • Brent Faiyaz
    4
    227 votes
    Christopher Brent Wood (born September 19, 1995), better known by his stage name Brent Faiyaz, is an American singer from Columbia, Maryland. Faiyaz began uploading his experimental music (Black Child EP) onto SoundCloud in 2014 and moved from his hometown Columbia, Maryland to Charlotte, North Carolina before settling in Los Angeles, California to further his music career. On September 19, 2016, his 21st birthday, he released his debut EP, A.M. Paradox, which received positive reviews from music critics. He is currently working on a new album, titled Make It Out Alive, which is in the early recording process. On July 1, 2021, Faiyaz released a new single, "Wasting Time" featuring Drake. Following this, he appeared on tracks from Baby Keem's The Melodic Blue ("Lost Souls") and Tems's If Orange Was a Place ("Found"). On December 3, 2021, Faiyaz released the single "Mercedes", after having teased a project titled Wasteland on Instagram.
  • H.E.R.
    5
    198 votes
    Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson (born June 27, 1997), known professionally as H.E.R. (pronounced "her", an initialism for "Having Everything Revealed"), is an American R&B singer. After initial music appearances and singles under her real name, Wilson re-emerged in 2016 as H.E.R., releasing her debut EP H.E.R. Volume 1 under RCA, followed by four subsequent EPs. Her first compilation album H.E.R. (2017), consisting of tracks from her first two EPs plus six additional songs, was nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Album. Her second compilation album, I Used to Know Her, was nominated for five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year for "Hard Place". In 2021, she was awarded the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for "I Can't Breathe", and the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Fight for You" from the film Judas and the Black Messiah (2021). Her debut full-length album Back of My Mind was released in June 2021.
  • GIVĒON
    6
    191 votes
    Giveon Dezmann Evans (born February 21, 1995), known as GIVĒON, is an American R&B singer and songwriter. He rose to prominence with his collaboration with Drake on their 2020 single, "Chicago Freestyle". That same year, Giveon released the EPs, Take Time and When It's All Said and Done, the former being nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, and the latter reaching the Top 10 on the US Top R&B Albums chart. He released "Heartbreak Anniversary", as the second single from Take Time, which reached the Top 40 in the US and was certified Platinum by RIAA. In 2021, GIVĒON was featured alongside Daniel Caesar on the Justin Bieber single "Peaches", which debuted at number one on the Billboard Global 200 and US Billboard Hot 100 charts.