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10 Artists That Shaped R&B

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The inspiration and support from legendary artists of the past played a crucial role in the success of our favorite modern-day artists. As soon as you begin discussing any kind of list that ranks things as the “greatest,” it inevitably leads to heated discussions.

We have compiled a list of the 10 greatest R&B artists of all time, featuring iconic musicians such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, and many others. So put aside your slots cash online gambling fun for a bit, and let’s turn our attention to music and go through our list of the greatest R&B performers.

1. Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston’s musical background enabled those around her to identify her talents at a young age. Following her debut in the 1980s, she quickly earned the nickname “The Voice” because of her exceptional talent and impressive vocal range.

She is not just one of the best-selling R&B artists of all time, having sold over 200 million albums, but also widely regarded as one of the greatest singers ever, without exception.

2. Mariah Carey

Since her debut hit in 1990, “Songbird Supreme” has dominated the R&B and pop charts. Mariah Carey has had numerous hit songs, but her most popular one is arguably the holiday classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which has solidified her place in music history.

Mariah Carey, who is often referred to as the “Queen of Christmas,” has released a total of 15 albums as well as selling an impressive 220 million copies globally.

3. Aretha Franklin

The artist known as the “Queen of Soul” possessed an unparalleled ability to deliver powerful vocal performances. She is often alluded to as one of the most significant musical artists.

She was a multi-talented musician who sang, wrote songs, and played the piano. During her lifetime, Aretha Franklin sold over 75 million albums, which firmly established her as one of the top-selling musicians of all time.

4. Diana Ross

Diana Ross began her career as the lead vocalist for The Supremes, the most successful act signed to Motown Records. Having gained a considerable fan base, she pursued a career in both music and acting as a solo artist.

Diana’s contributions to R&B music, both as a member of The Supremes and as a solo artist, have earned her a place among the top 20 greatest R&B artists.

5. Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye, who was regarded by Motown founder Berry Gordy as ‘the truest artist’ he had ever known, was a powerful and unwavering influence in the soul music scene of the 1970s.

It is possible that Michael Jackson is the greatest performing artist of all time.

He has been a great influence on many talents in this generation, such as Chris Brown and Usher. He was among the pioneering Black musicians who achieved crossover appeal, paving the way for other artists and leaving behind a lasting legacy.

6. Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross is widely recognized as one of the most prominent crooners of the last twenty years. He has an extensive repertoire of classic songs, making it difficult to choose a favorite. Luther was able to captivate audiences with just his voice, setting the stage for other romantic crooners such as Jaheim, Anthony Hamilton, and Musiq Soulchild.

7. Prince

Prince was proficient in playing multiple instruments on an expert level. In addition to writing hit songs for himself, he had a talent for writing successful songs for other artists. Prince’s distinctive stage persona was enough to amass a large following of fans. With his distinctive voice and energetic performances, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest artists of his generation.

8. Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie’s ability to say everything that the ladies wanted to hear was instrumental in getting him noticed. It all began when he served as the lead vocalist for the funk group known as Commodores.

Soon after, he ventured out on his own and achieved remarkable success as a musician, selling over 100 million albums and receiving numerous awards.

9. Stevie Wonder

Mastering multiple genres is a feat that only accomplished individuals can achieve. Stevie Wonder, who is a groundbreaking and talented musician, is included on that list. He is a multi-talented individual who excels in various areas such as singing, songwriting, piano playing, and delivering exceptional performances.

Stevie has made a lasting impact on R&B, jazz, pop, soul, funk, and gospel music. Over 100 million units sold can be indicative of strong sales performance.

10. Isley Brothers

The melodious and captivating music produced by this group of handsome men still resonates today. Crooners such as The Dream have attempted to replicate the smooth sound but with limited success. The Isley Brothers were pioneers in the creation of modern R&B, with popular songs such as “Shout” and “Contagious.”

The Isley Brothers have made essential contributions to R&B and hip-hop music, and their influence can be seen in the work of many other artists. The Isley Brothers’ version of “Twist and Shout” had a significant impact on the music industry, particularly when the Beatles published their own rendition that closely resembled the former’s version.


R&B has been dominating airwaves and touching souls with its emotional ballads and profound lyrics since the 1940s. Over the years, rhythm and blues has undergone changes to mirror the current state of the world while still being relatable. The artists discussed are among the many that have belted it out.

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