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artists a-z

About R&B

Mary J. Blige Rhythm n' blues, or R&B as it's popularly abbreviated, has morphed in meaning since the term was first coined. Originally used to describe an up-tempo style of music, it now refers to a more emotional type of music that combines soul and gospel influences and usually showcases the artist's extraordinary vocal range. But one this has been constant about R&B-it's always been a blanket marketing term to describe music made by African American artists. In fact, R&B was specifically selected to replace the genre of "race music" by Billboard in 1947. Original rhythm n' blues was a sped-up blend of traditional 12-bar blues with a jazzy boogie-woogie beat. Classic examples of the foot stomping party music include "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," which was put on the charts by Jerry Lee Lewis but written by the African American singer/songwriter Dave "Curly" Wililams. Tellingly, it had been recorded by several other African American artists like Big Maybelle and The Commodores (not the 70's funk band) with little impact, but it went on to chart success for other white pop artists like Bill Haley and Elvis. Other early R&B hits included Haley's "Shake Rattle and Roll" and Ike Turner's "Rocket 88," generally considered one of the first rock n' roll songs ever and one of the first instances of recorded, distorted guitar. Contemporary use of R&B didn't really show up until the 1980's, when the traditional vocal powerhouses of gospel and soul began singing over electronic disco beats. Sexually charged artists like Prince and Mariah Carey. Today, R&B has gotten even more high tech and super-producers like Jermaine Dupri and Timbaland get as much credit for the sound as the artists. Still, there's no denying the silky-voiced power of superstars like Usher and Beyonce, and that contemporary R&B artists are carrying on a vital pop tradition.

Top R&B artists
  1. 20 Ringtones Mary J. Blige
  2. 4 Ringtones Cameo
  3. 12 Ringtones Amy Winehouse
  4. 11 Ringtones Corinne Bailey Rae
  5. 3 Ringtones Barry White
  6. 6 Ringtones John Legend
  7. 8 Ringtones Jackson 5
  8. 13 Ringtones Faith Evans
  9. 16 Ringtones Joss Stone
  10. 29 Ringtones The Temptations