|Cultural origins||Late 1970s and early 1980s, North America|
Contemporary R&B (or simply R&B) is a popular music genre that combines rhythm and blues with elements of pop, soul, funk, hip hop, and electronic music.
The genre features a distinctive record production style, drum machine-backed rhythms, pitch corrected vocals, and a smooth, lush style of vocal arrangement. Electronic influences are becoming an increasing trend and the use of hip hop or dance-inspired beats are typical, although the roughness and grit inherent in hip hop may be reduced and smoothed out. Contemporary R&B vocalists often use melisma, and since the mid-1980s, R&B rhythms have been combined with elements of hip hop culture and music and pop culture and pop music.
According to Geoffrey Himes speaking in 1989, the progressive soul movement of the early 1970s "expanded the musical and lyrical boundaries of [R&B] in ways that haven't been equaled since". This movement was led by soul singer-songwriter/producers such as Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder.Norman Whitfield's productions at Motown, the record label of Gaye, were also pioneering for setting the soul vocals and simple hooks of earlier rhythm and blues records against strong backbeats, vocal harmonies, and orchestral sounds, all of which thickened the texture of the music. Gaye's own music on albums such as What's Going On (1971) incorporated jazz influences that led the genre into a looser musical direction.
The nearest precursor to contemporary R&B came at the end of the disco era in the late 1970s, when Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones added more electronic elements to the sound of the time, creating a smoother dancefloor-friendly style.The first result was Off the Wall (1979), which—according to Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic—"was a visionary album, that found a way to break disco wide open into a new world where the beat was undeniable, but not the primary focus" and "was part of a colorful tapestry of lush ballads and strings, smooth soul and pop, soft rock, and alluring funk".
Richard J. Ripani wrote that Janet Jackson's Control (1986) was "important to the development of R&B for several reasons", as she and her producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, "crafted a new sound that fuses the rhythmic elements of funk and disco, along with heavy doses of synthesizers, percussion, sound effects, and a rap music sensibility."Ripani wrote that "the success of "Control" led to the incorporation of stylistic traits of rap over the next few years, and Janet Jackson was to continue to be one of the leaders in that development." That same year, Teddy Riley began producing R&B recordings that included hip hop influences. This combination of R&B style and hip hop rhythms was termed "new jack swing" and was applied to artists such as Keith Sweat, Bobby Brown, Johnny Kemp, and Bell Biv DeVoe.
Using hip hop-inspired backing tracks, a new genre labeled "hip hop soul" was created by Mary J. Blige and producer Sean Combs.
During the mid-1990s, Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album eventually sold over 45 million copies worldwide becoming the best-selling soundtrack of all time.Janet Jackson's self-titled fifth studio album janet. (1993), which came after her multimillion-dollar contract with Virgin Records, sold over 14 million copies worldwide. Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey recorded several Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits, including "One Sweet Day", a collaboration between both acts, which became the longest-running No. 1 hit in Hot 100 history. Carey also released a remix of her 1995 single "Fantasy", with Ol' Dirty Bastard as a feature, a collaboration format that was unheard of at this point. Carey, Boyz II Men and TLC released albums in 1994 and 1995— Daydream .
In the late 1990s, neo soul, which added 1970s soul influences to the hip hop soul blend, arose, led by artists such as Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Maxwell. Hill and Missy Elliott further blurred the line between R&B and hip hop by recording both styles. Beginning in 1995, the Grammy Awards enacted the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, with II by Boyz II Men becoming the first recipient. The award was later received by TLC for CrazySexyCool in 1996, Tony Rich for Words in 1997, Erykah Badu for Baduizm in 1998 and Lauryn Hill for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1999. At the end of 1999, Billboard magazine ranked Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson as the first and second most successful artists of the 1990s.
Simultaneously, in the second half of the 1990s, The Neptunes and Timbaland set influential precedence on contemporary R&B and hip hop music.
Writing in 2003, music critic Robert Christgau describes modern R&B as being "about texture, mood, feel—vocal and instrumental an rhythmic, articulated as they're smooshed together".
Following periods of fluctuating success, urban music attained commercial dominance during the early 2000s, which featured massive crossover success on the Billboard charts by R&B and hip hop artists.
In 2001, Alicia Keys released "Fallin'" as her debut single. It peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Top 40 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. It won three Grammy Awards in 2002, including Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. It was also nominated for Record of the Year. million copies in the United States and earned five Grammy Awards.Beyoncé's solo studio debut album Dangerously in Love (2003) has sold over 5
Usher's Confessions (2004) sold 1.1 million copies in its first week and over 8 million copies in 2004, since then it has been certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and, as of 2016, has sold over 10 million copies in the US and over 20 million copies worldwide. Confessions had four consecutive Billboard Hot 100 number one singles—"Yeah!", "Burn", "Confessions Part II" and "My Boo". It won three Grammy Awards in 2005, including Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "My Boo" and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Yeah!"
In 2004, all 12 songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100 were African-American recording artists and accounted for 80% of the number-one R&B hits that year.Along with Usher's streak of singles, Top 40 radio and both pop and R&B charts were topped by Outkast's "Hey Ya!", Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot", Terror Squad's "Lean Back" and Ciara's "Goodies". Chris Molanphy of "The Village Voice" later remarked that "by the early 2000s, urban music "was" pop music."
Between 2005 and 2009 Raymond, Knowles and Keys released albums— B'Day , Here I Stand , I Am... Sasha Fierce and The Element of Freedom .
Mariah Carey's song "We Belong Together" ranked as the most successful song of the decade on Billboard's decade-end chart. It spent 14 weeks atop the Hot 100 in 2005.
Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi (2005) debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and earned ten Grammy Award nominations. The second single "We Belong Together" topped the Hot 100 charts for 14 weeks, and was later hailed "song of the decade" and won a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 2006.
The mid-2000s came with the emergence of new R&B acts Ashanti, Keyshia Cole and Akon. Ashanti's eponymous debut album topped both US Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. It earned her three Grammy nominations winning one for the Best Contemporary R&B Album. R&B newcomer Chris Brown released his self-titled album in 2005 which debuted at number two on the "Billboard" 200. His debut single "Run It!" peaked atop on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and the US Radio Songs.
During this time also came the emergence of R&B songwriters.Bryan-Michael Cox co-wrote Usher's "Burn" and "Confessions Part II" (2005), Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off" and "Don't Forget About Us" (2006), and Chris Brown's "Say Goodbye" (2006). Keri Hilson would co-write songs Mary J. Blige's "Take Me as I Am" (2006), Omarion's "Ice Box" (2006), and Ciara's "Like a Boy" (2006). Rico Love co-wrote Usher's "Throwback" (2005), Keri Hilson's "Energy" (2008), Pleasure P's "Boyfriend #2" (2008). The-Dream wrote Rihanna's "Umbrella" (2007), J. Holiday's "Bed" and Usher's "Moving Mountains" and "Trading Places" (2008). Ne-Yo wrote Mario's "Let Me Love You", Rihanna's "Take a Bow" and "Unfaithful", and Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable" (2006).
According to Billboard , the most commercially successful R&B acts of the decade were Usher, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Chris Brown and Ne-Yo.
Continuing from the 1990s and 2000s, R&B, like many other genres, drew influences from the technical innovations of the time and began to incorporate more electronic and machine-made sounds and instruments. The use of effects such as Auto-Tune and new computerized synths have given R&B a more futuristic feel while still attempting to incorporate many of the genre's common themes such as love and relationships.
According to Christgau in 2017, "almost all R&B goes for voice-plus-sound rather than voice-plus-song, with the sound ranging from precision track-and-hook to idiosyncratic atmospherics."
Early 2010s artists Usher and Chris Brown began embracing new electronic influences while still keeping R&B's original feel. Usher's "OMG"and "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love", and Chris Brown's "Yeah 3x" are all EDM-oriented.
Singers Miguel, John Legend and Jeremih are popular in mainstream hip hop for many collaborations with rappers such as Wale, Rick Ross and J. Cole. Today's R&B is far more diverse and incorporates more sonic elements than before, as it expands its appeal and commercial viability.Trap music's influence maintained a strong presence on the music charts with R&B singer Beyoncé's songs "Drunk in Love", "Flawless" and "7/11", Bryson Tiller's debut studio album, Trapsoul and Mary J. Blige's "Thick of It".
Latin R&B is gaining ground since the wave of artists began mixing trap with that sound in the middle of this decade.Spanish-language singles by Alex Rose, Rauw Alejandro and Paloma Mami, which borrow shrewdly from R&B, are captivating a global audience. In Latin America, the genre became popular with Alex Rose's "Toda", and Sech's "Otro Trago".
Mariah Carey is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. Referred to as the "Songbird Supreme", she is noted for her five-octave vocal range, melismatic singing style, her signature use of the whistle register and songwriting. For the enduring popularity of her holiday music, particularly the 1994 song "All I Want for Christmas Is You", she has also been dubbed the "Queen of Christmas". Carey rose to fame in 1990 with her debut album Mariah Carey. She was the first artist to have their first five singles reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100, from "Vision of Love" to "Emotions".
The Neptunes are an American songwriting and production duo composed of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, formed in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1992. Williams often provides additional vocals on records and appears in the duo's music videos, while Hugo tends to stay behind the scenes.
Jermaine Dupri Mauldin is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, entrepreneur, and DJ.
Joseph Lewis Thomas, known mononymously as Joe, is an American R&B singer-songwriter and record producer. Born and raised in Ashburn, Georgia, he later relocated to Atlanta and signed a record deal with Polygram Records in 1992. He rose to prominence after releasing his debut album Everything the following year. He followed it with a series of successful albums under Jive Records, including All That I Am (1997), the international bestseller My Name Is Joe (2000) as well as the multi-certified albums Better Days (2001) and And Then... (2003). Several songs from these albums became hit singles on the pop and R&B record charts, including the number-one hit "Stutter", the top ten entries "All the Things ", "Don't Wanna Be a Player", and "I Wanna Know" as well as his collaborations "Faded Pictures", "Thank God I Found You" and "Still Not a Player".
Butterfly is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey, released on September 10, 1997, by Columbia Records. The album contains both hip hop and urban adult contemporary sounds, as well as some softer and more contemporary melodies. Throughout the project, Carey worked with Walter Afanasieff, with whom she had written and produced most of the material from her previous albums. She also worked with many famed hip hop producers and rappers, such as Sean "Puffy" Combs, Q-Tip, Missy Elliott and the Trackmasters. With the latter acts producing most of the album, Butterfly deviated from the adult contemporary sound of Carey's previous albums.
Daydream is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey, released on September 26, 1995, by Columbia Records. The follow-up to her internationally successful studio album Music Box (1993), and the holiday album Merry Christmas (1994), Daydream differed from her previous releases by leaning increasingly toward hip hop and urban music. Throughout the project, Carey collaborated with Walter Afanasieff, with whom she wrote and produced most of her previous albums. With Daydream, Carey took more control over the musical direction as well as the album's composition. Carey considered the album to be the beginning of her musical and vocal transition, a change that would become more evident in her sixth studio album Butterfly (1997). During the album's production, Carey endured many creative differences with her label and then-husband Tommy Mottola. On Daydream, Carey collaborated with Jermaine Dupri, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, and R&B group Boyz II Men. With Afanasieff's assistance and the addition of a few contemporary producers, she was able to make a subtle transition into the contemporary R&B market, after previously only pursuing pop, adult contemporary and traditional R&B music.
American singer Mariah Carey has released 86 official singles, 22 promotional singles, and has made 30 guest appearances. Her self-titled debut album in 1990 yielded four number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, the first being "Vision of Love", a song credited with revolutionizing the usage of distinguished vocal stylings, predominantly the practice of melisma, and effectively influencing virtually every female R&B performer since the 1990s. Subsequent singles "Emotions" (1991) and Carey's cover of the Jackson 5 track, "I'll Be There" (1992) continued the singer's streak of US number-one singles, with the latter becoming her fourth chart-topper in Canada and first in the Netherlands. With the release of Carey's third studio album, Music Box (1993), the singer's international popularity surged upon release of "Hero" and the album's third single, her cover of Harry Nilsson's "Without You", which became the singer's first number-one single in several countries across Europe.
Christopher Alan "Tricky" Stewart is an American record producer, record executive, songwriter, and music publisher. In a career spanning over 30 years, Stewart has won 5 Grammys and is responsible for over 50 million records sold. He is noted for producing many hip hop, R&B and pop chart topping singles, often with The-Dream. Some of Stewart's record breaking singles are: Mýa's "Case of the Ex" (2000), Britney Spears' "Me Against the Music" (2003), Rihanna's "Umbrella" (2007), Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine" (2007), Beyoncé's "Single Ladies " (2008), Karina Pasian's "16 @ War" (2008), Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" (2008) and "Obsessed" (2009), Justin Bieber's "One Time" (2009) and "Baby" (2010), Ciara's "Ride" (2010), and Nicole Scherzinger's "Your Love" (2014).
Rainbow is the seventh studio album by American R&B singer Mariah Carey, released on November 2, 1999, by Columbia Records. The album followed the same pattern as Carey's previous two albums, Daydream (1995) and Butterfly (1997), in which she began her transition into the urban adult contemporary market. Rainbow contains a mix of hip hop-influenced R&B tracks, as well as a variety of ballads. Carey produced the album with David Foster and Diane Warren, who, as well as Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, replaced Walter Afanasieff, the main balladeer Carey worked with throughout the 1990s. As a result of her separation from her husband, Tommy Mottola, Carey had more control over the musical style of this album, so she collaborated with several Hip-Hop artists and rappers such as Jay-Z, Usher and Snoop Dogg, as well as Missy Elliott, Joe, Da Brat, Master P, 98 Degrees and Mystikal.
Bryan-Michael Paul Cox is an American record producer and songwriter who is notable for his work with artists such as Usher, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, and Toni Braxton. Among his most notable productions are "Be Without You" for Mary J. Blige, "Burn", "Confessions Part II" and "U Got It Bad" for Usher, and "Shake It Off", "I Stay In Love" and "You Don't Know What To Do" for Mariah Carey.
R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay is a chart published by Billboard magazine that ranks the top R&B and hip hop songs in the United States, based on audience impressions from a panel of radio stations monitored by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems. It was also used in sister publication R&R, which listed the chart as Urban National Airplay. The chart is not the R&B/hip-hop subset of the Hot 100 Airplay chart, but rather uses a separate panel of R&B stations in urban and urban adult contemporary markets. It was the primary airplay component chart of the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart until the issue dated October 20, 2012, when Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs was revamped to include digital sales, streaming, and airplay from all radio formats. The Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart encompasses two separate airplay charts, both of which are based on radio spins rather than audience impressions: Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop and Adult R&B Airplay, which measure airplay on urban contemporary and urban adult contemporary stations respectively.
American singer Beyoncé has released seven studio albums, five live albums, three compilation albums, five EPs, one soundtrack album, two karaoke albums, and 83 singles. To date, Beyoncé has sold over 200 million records worldwide as a solo artist, and a further 60 million as part of Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Billboard ranked her as the 37th greatest artist of all time.
Richard Preston Butler Jr., better known by his stage name Rico Love, is an American record producer, songwriter, singer, and rapper. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, but split his childhood between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and New York City's Harlem neighborhood. He attended Florida A&M and, while visiting Atlanta, Georgia, worked his way into the music industry through connections with Usher, who would become one of Love's frequent collaborators.
"Mine Again" is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey, from her tenth studio album The Emancipation of Mimi (2005). It was co-written and co-produced by Carey and James Poyser. It was recorded at MSR Studios and Honeywest Studios, both located New York City. It is a R&B and soul inspired ballad. The lyrics revolve around the protagonist wishing for a second chance at a seemingly failed relationship. The song garnered positive reviews from music critics, praising Carey and Poyser's production and her vocal performance. Upon the release of The Emancipation of Mimi, "Mine Again" debuted on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number 82, and reached a peak of number 73. In 2006, it was nominated for the Best Traditional R&B Performance at the Grammy Awards.
The Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart ranks the most popular R&B and hip hop songs in the United States and is published weekly by Billboard. Rankings are based on a measure of radio airplay, sales data, and streaming activity. The chart had 100 positions but was shortened to 50 positions in October 2012.
"Love in This Club Part II" is a song recorded by American R&B singer Usher, and features rapper Lil Wayne and fellow singer Beyoncé. "Love in This Club Part II" was released by LaFace Records on April 28, 2008, as the second single from Usher's fifth studio album, Here I Stand (2008). It is a sequel to the album's lead single "Love in This Club" which features Young Jeezy. Originally, vocalist Mariah Carey and rapper Plies were intended to feature on the record. Usher acclaimed the additions of Beyoncé and Wayne, and called it "a really special record". Produced by Soundz, the track samples the 1971 song "You Are Everything" by the Stylistics.
Miguel Jontel Pimentel is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. Raised in San Pedro, California, he began pursuing a music career at age thirteen. After signing to Jive Records in 2007, Miguel released his debut studio album, All I Want Is You, in November 2010. Although it was underpromoted upon its release, the album became a sleeper hit and helped Miguel garner commercial standing.
The singles discography of American rapper Jay-Z consists of 68 singles as a lead artist, and 51 singles as a featured artist, as well as 14 promotional singles.
"Somewhat Loved " is a song by American production duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis featuring American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey, for the duo's debut studio album Jam & Lewis: Volume One (2021). It was released as the album's third single on June 10, 2021. The song peaked at number nine on the US Adult R&B Songs chart, and number 30 on the US R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.