The Best Smooth Soul Bands/Artists

Over 70 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Smooth Soul Bands/Artists

Smooth soul artists list, with photos, ranked best to worst by votes. List of good smooth soul bands includes a filter so you can sort by the groups’s label and what albums they've put out. This list of the top smooth soul bands in the world includes all musicians who have released recordings that have gotten distribution, and is an up-to-date list. Smooth soul groups and artists are shown below along with any additional genres in which their music belongs. If available, you can also see information about where all smooth soul bands on this list got started. These are truly the greatest smooth soul bands of all time, since the most famous smooth soul artists ever are listed, and the order is decided by actual fans of the best smooth soul music.

You can click on the smooth soul band names to see more information about that particular notable smooth soul group. If they're near the top of the best smooth soul artist list, though, then they should have at least some information available. All the top smooth soul bands named on the list also have discographies on their pages if you click on the smooth soul band names themselves.

Everything from Marvin Gaye to Al Green is included on this list. Make this one count by voting for your favorites on this list. What will come out on top in the end? The Isley Brothers? The Spinners?

All important, significant and iconic names in smooth soul music history deserve your votes, so make sure to choose wisely. You can only vote once on this list.

The list includes all new smooth soul bands, and if there are any missing on the list, you can always add them yourself. Just make sure they aren't already on the list and check your spelling, because this is already an accurate compilation of the best examples of smooth soul, as well as a good place to start if you're asking yourself, or friends, exactly how to get into smooth soul music. Especially since the bands at the top of the list will at the very least be the best choices if you're looking for a list of good smooth soul bands with which to start out. No point in listening to them if they aren't actually good or even half-way decent smooth soul bands.

This list answers the questions "who are the best smooth soul bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest smooth soul 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 smooth soul bands that you might've heard of, but not really listened to closely enough to cast an informed vote.

You can change the order of the list by having your Google circles vote too. {#nodes}
Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License

  • Marvin Gaye
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    31 votes
    Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house session player and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, earning him the nicknames "Prince of Motown" and "Prince of Soul". Gaye's Motown hits include "Ain't That Peculiar", "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)", and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", and duet recordings with Mary Wells, Kim Weston, Diana Ross, and Tammi Terrell. During the 1970s, he recorded the albums What's Going On and Let's Get It On and became one of the first artists in Motown, along with Stevie Wonder, to ...more
    • Genres (Music): Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues
    • Albums: What's Going On, Here, My Dear, Let's Get It On, I Want You
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • The Isley Brothers
    Photo: jcrawford3505 / Flickr
    The Isley Brothers () are an American musical group originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, that started as a vocal trio consisting of brothers O'Kelly Isley Jr., Rudolph Isley and Ronald Isley. The group has been cited as having enjoyed one of the "longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music".Alongside a fourth brother, Vernon, the group performed gospel music until Vernon's death a few years after its formation. After moving to the New York City area in the late 1950s, the group had modest chart successes during their early years, first coming to prominence in 1959 with their fourth single, "Shout", written by the three brothers. Initially a modest ...more
    • Genres (Music): Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Gospel music, Smooth soul
    • Albums: 3 + 3 / Go for Your Guns, Body Kiss, I'll Be Home for Christmas, Soul on the Rocks, Baby Makin' Music
  • Barry White
    Photo: user uploaded image
    26 votes
    Barry Eugene Carter (September 12, 1944 – July 4, 2003), better known by his stage name Barry White, was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and composer. A three-time Grammy Award–winner known for his distinctive bass-baritone voice and romantic image, his greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer and with The Love Unlimited Orchestra, crafting many enduring soul, funk, and disco songs such as his two biggest hits: "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" and "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe". During the course of his career in the music business, White achieved 106 gold albums worldwide, 41 of which also attained platinum status. White had 20 gold and ...more
    • Genres (Music): Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Funk
    • Albums: Can't Get Enough, Una serata con, Back to Back: Their Greatest Hits, In Your Wildest Dreams, Adagio - Your Heart And Soul
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • 4
    26 votes
    Albert Leornes Greene (born April 13, 1946), often known as The Reverend Al Green, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer, best known for recording a series of soul hit singles in the early 1970s, including "Take Me to the River", "Tired of Being Alone", "I'm Still in Love with You", "Love and Happiness", and his signature song, "Let's Stay Together". Inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, Green was referred to on the museum's site as being "one of the most gifted purveyors of soul music". He has also been referred to as "The Last of the Great Soul Singers". Green was included in the Rolling Stone list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, ranking at No. 65, ...more
    • Genres (Music): Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music
    • Albums: Call Me, The Christmas Album, White Christmas, Greatest Hits, I'm Still in Love With You
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • The Delfonics
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    18 votes
    The Delfonics are an American R&B/soul vocal group from Philadelphia. The Delfonics were most popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Their most notable hits include "La-La (Means I Love You)", "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)", "Break Your Promise", "I'm Sorry", and "Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide from Love)". Their hit songs were primarily written/composed and produced by lead vocalist and founding member William "Poogie" Hart and the musical instrumentation was arranged/conducted by songwriter and producer Thom Bell. Their songs have been used in film soundtracks, including Quentin Tarantino's 1997 movie Jackie Brown, in which "La-La (Means I Love You)" and "Didn't I (Blow ...more
    • Genres (Music): Philadelphia soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music
    • Albums: Sound of Sexy Soul, La-La Means I Love You, Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics, Professionals, The Delfonics
  • Bill Withers
    Photo: user uploaded image
    18 votes
    William Harrison Withers Jr. (July 4, 1938 – March 30, 2020) was an American singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985. He recorded several major hits, including "Lean on Me", "Ain't No Sunshine", "Use Me", "Just the Two of Us", "Lovely Day", and "Grandma's Hands". Withers won three Grammy Awards and was nominated for four more. His life was the subject of the 2009 documentary film Still Bill. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
    • Genres (Music): Smooth soul, Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Blues
    • Albums: Menagerie, Still Bill, Just As I Am, 'Bout Love, Bill Withers: The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums
    • Nationality: United States of America