From early pioneers of Rhythm & Blues like Ray Charles and Nat King Cole to the '70s chart-toppers like Curtis Mayfield, this list of the greatest male R&B stars profiles some of music's most famous names. These legends launched to super-stardom from their foundation in the genre and continue to inspire new musicians to this day.
Michael Jackson is one of the few artists to be inducted twice into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame—as a member of The Jackson Five, and also as a solo artist. His 1982 album Thriller is the best selling album of all-time with over 65 million sales and he is the most awarded artist in history. Among his hundreds of awards:
- 13 Grammy Awards including winning a record eight Grammys in 1984. Also, a Grammy Living Legend Award and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
- 86 Billboard Awards
- 26 American Music Awards—more than any other artist and so many he was named American Music Awards "Artist of the Century" and "Artist of the 1980s"
- 31 Guinness World Records
- 85 MTV Awards
- 8 World Music Awards
- 13 number one singles on theBillboard100—more than any other solo male artist—plus 6 more as a member of The Jackson Five
- The first artist to have aBillboard100 top ten single in five different decades—1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
- Estimated 400 million records sold worldwide
- 2 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as a member ofThe Jackson 5and as a solo artist
Michael Jackson also composed the multi-million selling charity single, "We Are The World," with Lionel Richie and a who's who of modern music, including Richie, Jackson,Stevie Wonder,Diana Ross, Tina Turner,Ray Charles,Smokey Robinson,Dionne Warwick,Bruce Springsteen,Paul Simon,Kenny Rogers,Billy Joel,Willie Nelson, andBob Dylan.
"The Godfather of Soul," James Brown was a dazzling performer and shrewd businessman who was one of the most influential artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. His many accolades include being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriter's Hall of Fame, the Kennedy Center Honors, Grammy and BET Lifetime Achievement Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Brown recorded 71 studio albums, 14 live albums, and an incredible 144 singles. "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business" had 16 number one R&B hits and defined the genre of funk music. His song "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud" became a theme for the civil rights movement.
Stevie Wonder has won 22 Grammy Awards—more than any other male solo artist—and sold over 100 million singles and albums. In 1964, when he was 13 years old, Wonder became the youngest artist to hit number one on theBillboard100 with his single "Fingertips." Signed at age 11 byBerry GordytoMotown's Tamla label, Wonder has been recording for over 50 years. During his phenomenal career, Wonder has sold over 100 million records, with 20BillboardR&B number one singles, and ten number one hits on the Hot 100.
Wonder is also a social activist, leading the campaign to make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday. As an artist, his many awards include an Oscar, Kennedy Center Honors, the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, theBillboardCentury Award, the Songwriters Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and he was named a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations.
Marvin Gaye recorded thirteen number one singles, seven number one albums, and his 1971What's Going Onis considered one of the greatest albums in history. Gaye was the consummate performer, composer,and producer. and recorded duet albums with Diana Ross, Tammi Terrell,Mary Wells, and Kim Weston.His numerous honors include the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame.
Ray Charles was one of the most versatile recording artists of all time, excelling in R&B. rock & roll, country, gospel, blues, and pop music. He won 17 Grammy Awards and achieved 14 number oneBillboardsingles. His long list of accolades includes induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Smokey Robinsonwas one of the keys to the phenomenal success ofMotown Records. His group, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, was one of the first acts signed to the label by Berry Gordy Jr. and Robinson was one of the most successful artists, both as a group leader and solo performer. He also composed and produced hits for several other acts, includingMarvin Gaye,The Temptations,Mary Wells, andThe Marvelettes and served as a vice president for the company. Robinson's many awards include the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame,Songwriters Hall of Fame,Grammy Living Legend, National Medal of Arts, and Kennedy Center Honors.
As the lead vocalist of The Commodores—and as a solo artist—Lionel Richieis one of the best selling performers of all-time with over 100 million records sold. His achievements include an Academy Award and Golden Globe in 1986 for Best Original Song for "Say You, Say Me" from the movieWhite Nights. Richie has also won four Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year in 1986 for "We Are The World," and Album of the Year in 1985 forCan't Slow Down.
In his solo career, he has eleven number one singles on theBillboardAdult Contemporary chart, five number one R&B hits, and five number one singles on the Hot 100.He has also achieved one platinum and four gold singles.
Prince is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has won seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award. He's sold over 100 million records in his career which spans five decades. Princehas released ten platinum albums and achieved 30 Top 40 hits, includingten number one singles on the BillboardDance chart, eight R&B number one hits, and five singles which hit the top of the Hot 100. Ten of his singles have been certified gold, and two have achieved platinum status. He has also composed and/or produced hits forChaka Khan("I Feel For You" featuringStevie Wonder),Madonna,Patti LaBelle,The Time, Vanity 6,Sinead O'Connor, and several more artists.
Al Greenis an 11-time Grammy Award winner. Excelling as a gospel artist as well as an R&B vocalist, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fameand was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. His list of awards also includes a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, BET Lifetime Achievement Award, and induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Beginning withLet's Stay Togetherin 1972, Green reached number one on theBillboardR&B chart with six consecutive albums. He's achieved eight number one singles, with six number hits from1972-1975.
Luther Vandross was a consummate composer, producer, and arranger who sold over 30 million singles and albums, including 13 platinum or double platinum albums and seven number one singles. Following a very successful career as a studio and background vocalist working with Quincy Jones and stars such asDavid Bowie,Diana Ross,andBarbara Streisand, Vandross became one of the most admired and influential solo artists. He won eight Grammys, nine American Music Awards, and six NAACP Image Awards. He was also inducted into the BET Walk of Fameand received the Soul Train Quincy Jones Award for Outstanding Career Achievement.
Nat King Cole
Beginning his recording career in 1945, Nat King Cole was a very successful jazz pianist become becoming one of the most admired vocalists of his era. His version of "The Christmas Song" is one of the most popular songs of all-time. His honors include the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a United States postage stamp. In 1956, he made history as the first African American to host a national television variety show, The Nat King Cole Show.
Cole originally recorded his classic "Unforgettable" in 1951, and 40 years later, his vocals were utilized for a duet with his daughter Natalie Cole, which won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Traditional Pop Performance in 1992. The song was the title track of Unforgettable... With Love which won the Grammy for Album of the Year.
Recording for over 50 years as a member of The Isley Brothers and also as a solo artist, Ronald Isley is a true living legend. The Isley Brothers have released four double platinum, six platinum, and four gold albums. Seven of their singles have reached number one on theBillboardR&B chart. Two of their songs, "Shout" and "Twist and Shout," were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and The Isleys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. They have also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a BET Lifetime Achievement Award. Ronald Isley has also transcended R&B and become an icon of the hip-hop generation, recording with Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Diddy, Nas, Nelly, and Kendrick Lamar.
Although he only lived to the age of 33 years old, Sam Cooke was one of the greatest soul singers of all time. He began his career at the age of 15 as the lead vocalist of The Soul Stirrers gospel group and later segued to secular R&B. He excelled as a music publisher and record label ownerand helped other artists, including Bobby Womack, Johnnie Taylor, Billy Preston, and Lou Rawls, make the transition to soul music. His honors include the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and receiving a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Cooke recorded 29 Top 40 hits, including his classics “You Send Me,” “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons,”“Wonderful World,” “Chain Gang,” “Cupid,” “Another Saturday Night,” “Twistin’ the Night Away," "Shake," and “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
Known as "Mr. Excitement," Jackie Wilson was a master showman on stage who achieved 24 Top 40 hits on the Billboard charts from 1958 to 1968. His first number one R&B single came in 1958 with "Lonely Teardrops," which was composed by Berry Gordy Jr. before Gordy even launched Motown Records. "Lonely Teardorps" and (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher" were both inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Wilson also hit the top of the charts with "You Better Know It,” “Doggin’ Around,” and “A Woman, a Lover, a Friend.” He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Wilson passed away on January 21, 1984 at the age of 49. At the Grammy Awards one month later, Michael Jackson dedicated his Album of the Year Grammy for Thriller to Wilson, saying, "In the entertainment business, there are leaders and there are followers. And I just want to say that I think Jackie Wilson was a wonderful entertainer... Jackie, where you are I want to say I love you and thank you so much."
Known as "The King of Soul," Otis Reddingwas one of the greatest R&B singers of all time despite his untimely death at the age of 26. Redding's solo career lastedonly seven years, yet he was one of the most influential artists of his generation. On December 10, 1967, Reddingwas killed along with six others when his plane crashed in Madison, Wisconsin. Only Ben Cauley, band member of The Bar-Kays,survived.
Redding's signature song, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," sold four million copies worldwide, and in January 1968, it became the first posthumous song to hit number one on theBillboardHot 100. Other classic recordings included "Try A Little Tenderness" and "I've Been Loving You Too Long." He also composed and recorded "Respect," which becameAretha Franklin's signature tune which she re-recorded and released in 1967.
He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, was honored with a United States postage stamp, andBillboardmagazine created the Otis Redding Excellence Award in recognition of his powerful legacy.
Curtis Mayfield was one of the greatest composers and producers of the 1960s and 1970s. Beginning his career as a memberofThe Impressions, he also composed hits for a number of other stars, includingAretha Franklin,Gladys Knight and the Pips,The Staple Singers,andBob Marley.
Mayfield's honors include induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999. He received the Grammy Legend Award in 1994 and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. Two of his songs, "People Get Ready" and "Super Fly," were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Isaac Hayes was a prolific composer, producer, and recording artist who won an Oscar, two Grammys, and a Golden Globe Award for scoring the 1971 movie "Shaft." Hayes began his career as a staff composer forStax Records, and his list of classic compositions include "Soul Man," "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby" and "Hold On, I'm Comin,'" As a performer, he was known for creating a unique heavily orchestrated sound with extended spoken introductions featuring his distinctive bass vocals.
During his four-decade career, he collaborated with several artists, includingBarry White,Dionne Warwick, and Millie Jackson. Hayes's honors include being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005.
Donny Hathawaywas one of the most influential R&B singers of all time, despite the fact that he only lived to the age of 33 years old. He began his career as a house producer for Curtis Mayfield's Curtom Records and worked with several acts includingAretha Franklin, theStaple Singers,Jerry Butler, andThe Impressions. He is best known for his classic 1972 duet with Roberta Flack, "Where Is the Love," which won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Kenneth "Babyface" Edmondsis a 10-time Grammy Award winner and one of the most prolific artists, composers,and producers in music history. Beginning his career as a member of the group The Deele, he was nicknamed "Babyface" by famed bass playerBootsy Collins.
Edmonds launched LaFace Records in 1989 with his composing/producing partner,LA Reid. Together, they developed the careers of several stars includingUsher,Toni Braxton,TLC,OutKast, andP!nk. He has created over 125 Top 10 R&B hits and over 40 number one singles, which have produced single and album sales in excess of 500 million units worldwide. Babyface's list of writing and producing credits include hits byWhitney Houston,Mariah Carey,Madonna,Beyonce,Eric Clapton,Aretha Franklin,Barbara Streisand, Diana Ross,Celine Dion, andMichael Jackson.
His numerous honors including Soul Train Legend and Entertainer of the Year and the NAACP Image Awards Entertainer of the Year. Babyface has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of fameand has been inducted into the BET Walk of Fame.
Bill Withers's honors include induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fameand Songwriters Hall of Fame. Withers is known for several classics, including “Ain’t No Sunshine,” for which he won aGrammy for Best R&B Song in 1972. Since then, the beloved song has been covered more than 250 times. In 1982, Withers won a second Grammy for Best R&B Song for "Just The Two Of Us," which he recorded with Grover Washington, Jr.
During his 50-year recording career, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame memberBobby Womack distinguished himself as an outstanding solo artist, composer, producer, and guitarist. He collaborated with numerous stars includingThe Rolling Stones,Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, andBill Withers. Womack composed The Stones' first number one single, "It's All Over Now," and also wroteWilson's Pickett's hits "I'm In Love" and "I'm a Midnight Mover." As a solo artist, Womack released 28 studio albums and he was also a highly in-demand session guitarist, recording withElvis Presley,Aretha Franklin, andRay Charles.
Recording for over 50 years, Johnny Mathis is one of the best-selling artists of all time with over 350 million records sold—including 16 gold and six platinum albums.He is one of the most versatile vocalists ever, recording a variety of standards, jazz, Broadway, pop, and R&B songs. Three of his classics, "It's Not for Me to Say" (1957), "Chances Are" (1957), and "Misty" (1959) were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. He is also a recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
R. Kelly is one of the most prolific artists, composers,and producers of modern music. He's recorded with numerous stars, including both Michael and Janet Jackson,Whitney Houston,Jennifer Lopez,Britney Spears,and many more. During his three-decade career, he's composed and produced such classic songs as his triple Grammy award-winning "I Can Believe I Can Fly," which featured in Michael Jordan's 1996 movie,Space Jam.He also contributed to the first single to ever debut at number one on theBillboardHot 100, "You Are Not Alone," byMichael Jackson.
As an artist, Kelly has ten number-one singles and has sold over 40 millionalbums, His honors include three Grammy Awards, eleven Soul Train Music Awards, six NAACP Image Awards, and two American Music Awards.
Barry Whitewas one of the most successful artists of the 1970s disco era. During his four decades as a recording artist, White sold over 100 million records. His achievements include 10 platinum singlesand 20 gold singles worldwide and he won two Grammy Awards, three Soul Music Awards,and one American Music Award.
In addition to composing and producing his own music, he also founded the Love Unlimited Orchestra and the female trio, Love Unlimited, featuring his wife, Glodean White. White also collaborated withQuincy Jones,Tina Turner,Tamia,and many more artists. In 2013, White was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Usheris one of the most successful recording artists of the past two decades. He has sold over 65 million records and CDsworldwide and won over 80 awards, including 20 Billboard Music Awards, eight Grammys, eight AmericanMusic Awards, and nineSoul Train Music Awards. He was named theBillboardArtist of the Year in 1998 and 2004, AmericanMusic Awards Artist of the Year in 2004, and Soul Train Entertainer of the Year in 2005.
Usher's 2004ConfessionsCD was one of the best selling albums of the 2000-2010 decade with over20 million copies worldwide. It contained four number one hits: "Yeah!" featuringLudacrisand Lil Jon, "Burn," "ConfessionsPart II," and "My Boo" featuring Alicia Keys. Usher made history as the first artist to top theBillboardHot 100 Airplay chart with four straight number one singles.
George Benson is a ten-time Grammy Award winner who began his career as one of the most respected jazz guitarists before eventually proving he was an equally gifted vocalist. He achieved superstardom with "This Masquerade" from his 1976 album Breezin, which won a Grammy for Record of the Year. His Grammy Awards also include Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "On Broadway," Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male for "Moody's Mood," andBest Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Give Me the Night."
After over 40 years as a recording artist, former Gap Band lead singer Charlie Wilson is one of the most influential performers in modern R&B. Nicknamed "Uncle Charlie"by Snoop Dogg, Wilson has recorded with many modern stars of R&B and hip-hop, including Snoop, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, R. Kelly, and Quincy Jones.
Wilson released over 30 albums with The Gap Band, including three number one albums (Gap Band III, Gap Band IV, and Gap Band VI), and four number one hits. As a solo artist, he released two chart-topping CDs, Uncle Charlie in 2009, and Love, Charlie in 2013, and eight number one singles. He has received numerous honors, including a BET Lifetime Achievement Award, the Trumpet Lifetime Achievement Award, the Soul Train Icon Award, the BMI Icon Award, and an NAACP Image Award.
Teddy Pendergrass excelled as the lead singer of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes before emerging as a superstar solo artist in 1977. His first four solo albums, Teddy Pendergrass, Life Is a Song Worth Singing, Teddy, and TPwere all certified platinum. He was also the sex symbol of the erauntil he was paralyzed in a car accident in 1982.
Chris Brownis one of the most successful artists over the past decade. Since beginning his career in 2005 with his debut single "Run It!—which reached number one on theBillboardHot 100 and R&B charts—Chris Brownhas been a hit-making machine. He has six number one singlesand 23 top ten hits. His home is filled with platinum: seven platinum singles, one double platinum, two triple platinum, a 4 times platinum single ("Look At Me Now"), and a 5 times platinum hit, "Forever."
Brown has won dozens of major honors including a Grammy, twoBillboardArtist of the Year Awards, three American Music Artist of the Year awards, 14 BET Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, five Soul Train Music Awards, and two NAACP Image Awards. Breezy has also achievedfive number one albums (two double platinum) and six number one singles.
Discovered by Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson got his career started with four consecutive number one albums:Rock Me Tonight, Just Like The First Time, Don't Let Love Slip Away, and Do Me Again. He ruled the 1980s and early 90s with ten number-one hits on the BillboardR&B chart, including "Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake)," "You Are My Lady," "Tasty Love," and "Jam Tonight." Another number one single, "Nice 'N' Slow," won an American Music Award in 1988 for Favorite Soul / Rhythm & Blues Single.
- Jackie Wilson.
- Roy Hamilton.
- Clyde McPhatter.
- Sam Cooke.
- Marvin Gaye.
- Tony Williams (Platters)
- Solomon Burke.
- Levi Stubbs (Four Tops)
Since the early 1990s, Boyz II Men has firmly established itself as the most successful R&B group of all time with four GRAMMY Awards, five No. 1 Hits, 50 weeks at No. 1, and 60 million albums sold – and counting.Who were the first R&B artists? ›
R&B Music came into prominence in the late 1940s with Cab Calloway, The Harlem Hamfats, Count Basie, Louis Jordan and others. "The term Rhythm & Blues" (R&B) was first coined in 1948 by music journalist turned record producer Jerry Wexler.Who is considered the king of R&B? ›
Usher dished in a new radio interview this week about his musical legacy and being crowned the “King of R&B” by his fans.Who is the greatest male soul singer? ›
The Beatles, unsurprisingly, lead the way with a record 20 No. 1s, all earned between 1964 and 1970. The Fab Four also scored 34 top 10s (second only to Madonna's 38), hitting No. 1 in over half their visits to the top 10.What R&B artist has the most #1 hits? ›
As the most-decorated male singer in the 64-year history of the Hot 100, Chris Brown is no stranger to seeing his name tied to Billboard records. Already the first R&B singer in history to own 100 Hot 100 hits, now the GRAMMY winner has extended his reign into the chart's topmost quadrants.Who is the father of R&B music? ›
American saxophonist Louis Jordan, also known as the “Father of R&B” was one of the chief architects and prime progenitors of the R&B lexicon.
During his recording career, Kelly sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him the most commercially successful male R&B artist of the 1990s and one of the world's best-selling music artists.Who is the founding father of R&B? ›
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame states that two of the most important originators of Rhythm and blues were Joe Turner and Louis Jordan, with his Tympany Five. The two artists helped to lay "the foundation for R&B in the 1940s, cutting one swinging rhythm & blues masterpiece after another".Who won favorite male R&B artist? ›
|American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist|
|Presented by||American Music Awards|
|Currently held by||Chris Brown|
James Brown and Aretha Franklin.What decade had the best R&B? ›
1970S AND '80S R&B: THE GENESIS OF CONTEMPORARY RHYTHM AND BLUES. With the new direction of the genre, the golden era of classic R&B began. In this decade, R&B was the precursor of disco music, much like it was the precursor of rock and roll in the '50s.Who is major R&B singer? ›
|Birth name||Major R. Johnson Finley|
|Born||March 10, 1984 Denton, Texas, U.S.|
|Genres||Soul Pop R&B Gospel|
|Occupation(s)||singer-songwriter vocal producer stage performance coach|
Then, controversially, Cooke crossed over into pop – pioneering the mixture of R&B, gospel, and pop that became known as soul music. Sam Cooke also engaged with the issues of his day, including the struggle for civil rights, which fuelled his classic song from 1964, 'A Change Is Gonna Come'.Who is referred to as the queen of R&B? ›
Similar honorific nicknames have been given in other genres, including Aretha Franklin, who was literally crowned "Queen of Soul" by disk jockey Pervis Spann on stage in 1968.Who is the best male singer ever lived? ›
- Al Green. ...
- Sam Cooke. ...
- Otis Redding. ...
- Frank Sinatra. ...
- Nat King Cole. ...
- Michael Jackson. ...
- George Michael. ...
- Freddie Mercury. Queen - We Are the Champions (Live Aid, Wembley Stadium, 1985)
- Aretha Franklin.
- Whitney Houston.
- Michael Jackson.
- Marvin Gaye.
- Jimi Hendrix.
Michael Jackson Official Site
Michael Jackson is the male artist with the most #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart – 13 of Michael's singles reached the peak position.
According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.What's the biggest one hit wonder of all time? ›
|1||Los Del Rio||Macarena [Bayside Boys Mix]|
|2||Soft Cell||Tainted Love|
|3||Dexy's Midnight Runners||Come on Eileen|
|4||Right Said Fred||I'm Too Sexy|
- As a musician, Paul McCartney has the most No. 1 albums, with 27. This includes 19 albums from his work with The Beatles, three solo albums and five albums as a part of his 1970s group Wings. ...
- Barbra Streisand is the only artist to have No. 1 albums in six different decades.
Top-selling artists worldwide as of 2022
Perhaps unsurprisingly, British rock band The Beatles are top of the list for best-selling artists worldwide, with 183 million units certified sales. Second is Garth Brooks with over 157 million units sales, followed by Elvis Presley with 139 million units.
Michael Jackson's Thriller, estimated to have sold 70 million copies worldwide, is the best-selling album ever.Who has the most songs with 1 billion streams? ›
The Beatles hit 1 billion Spotify streams: Most streamed songs ever.Who is the highest selling R&B singer? ›
Aretha Franklin sold more than 75 million albums in her lifetime, solidifying her as one of the best-selling musicians in history.Who wrote the most hit songs? ›
Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26), of The Beatles, rank first and second, respectively, for having written the most Hot 100 No. 1s, thanks to their respective group and solo outputs.Who is the mother of R&B? ›
|Born||May 29, 1935 Harlem, New York, U.S.|
|Origin||Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Died||September 29, 2011 (aged 76) Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Genres||Blues R&B rock soul funk disco hip hop|
The term "rhythm and blues," often called "R&B," originated in the 1940s when it replaced "race music" as a general marketing term for all African American music, though it usually referred only to secular, not religious music.Who is the father of soul? ›
James Brown set the standard for dynamic live performance in American music. Inspired by preachers in the Black church, Brown started out singing in gospel quartets. As the "Godfather of Soul," he transmuted gospel into secular music centered in the emotional conduit of the soul singer.What was the golden age of R&B? ›
There's no arguing that the 90s is the golden age of R&B. The best 90s R&B songs still sound fresh, and their influence can be felt in the crop of modern R&B stars who are pushing the genre forward.What was the first R&B hit? ›
Also in 1951, the song Rocket 88 was recorded by Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm at a studio owned by Sam Phillips with the vocal by Jackie Brenston. This song is often cited as a precursor to rock and roll or as one of the first records in that genre.Who was the first Black R&B artist? ›
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: In 1890, George W. Johnson, a former slave, became the first African-American musician to make commercial records. During his short but successful singing career, Johnson sold thousands of recordings.What is the birthplace of R&B? ›
Vail Jazz: New Orleans was the birthplace of funk and R&B in addition to jazz. Henry Roeland “Roy” Byrd, known as “Professor Longhair” or “Fess” for short, invented the distinctive beat found in many early R&B songs. He influenced artists like Fats Domino, Dr.Who were some of R&B's first major artists? ›
- Little Richard.
- Percy Mayfield.
- Ruth Brown.
- Fats Domino.
- Etta James.
- Jackie Wilson.
Sam Cooke. His soaring vocals and importance as a musician earned Cooke the nickname the King of Soul. He is cited as the inventor of the genre and credited with bringing gospel music to popular attention.Who is the most successful black singer? ›
1 hits, 20 R&B No. 1 hits, has sold over 100 million records worldwide, and is one of the top 60 best-selling music artists in the world.
Billie Holiday wasn't just, arguably, the greatest singer of all time. Her vocal improvisations and phrasing, rooted in jazz, would become a hallmark of popular music throughout the 20th century.
In 1890 George W. Johnson became the first African American to record commercially. A common story is that Johnson, a former slave, was discovered singing on the streets of Washington, D.C., by Berliner recording agent Fred Gaisberg.Who is considered the best American singer? ›
- Frank Sinatra.
- Bruce Springsteen.
- Aretha Franklin.
- Elvis Presley.
- Michael Jackson.
- Bob Dylan.
- Whitney Houston.
- Stevie Wonder.
His 1982 album Thriller is the best selling album of all-time with over 65 million sales and he is the most awarded artist in history.
- Michael Jackson. Thriller (No. ...
- Whitney Houston and Various Artists. The Bodyguard Soundtrack (No. ...
- Michael Jackson. Bad (No. ...
- Michael Jackson. Dangerous (No. ...
- Mariah Carey. Music Box (No. ...
- Bob Marley & The Wailers. Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers (No. ...
- Prince and The Revolution. Purple Rain (No. ...
- Whitney Houston.
What is this? Called the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley was born in Mississippi, where he spent most of his childhood. His musical style incorporated gospel, country, and rock and roll, and since he began he has sold over 500 million records, making him the top-selling solo artist ever.
Named the King of Pop, Michael Jackson is one of the most cherished artists of all time, even after his death over ten years ago. His music career began in the Jackson 5 with his siblings before breaking away as a solo artist around two years later.
|BET Awards for Best Male Hip Hop Artist|
|Presented by||BET Awards|
|Currently held by||Kendrick Lamar (2022)|
Natalie Renée McIntyre (born September 6, 1967), known by her stage name Macy Gray, is an American R&B and soul singer and actress. She is known for her distinctive raspy voice and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holiday.Who was the first Black musician to sell a million records? ›
Calloway was the first African-American musician to sell a million records from a single and to have a nationally syndicated radio show. In 1993, Calloway received the National Medal of Arts from the United States Congress. He posthumously received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
That year, Count Basie became the first Black man to win a Grammy, also taking home two awards, for best jazz group performance and best performance by a dance band.