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About R&B and Soul Music
Soul and R&B music cover most non-sacred African American music elements. These can be seen in the music of legends such as Sam & Dave, Ray Charles and Al Green, all the way to the modern R&B tunes of Usher and Beyoncé. The genre itself comprises of emotive vocals, an ample amount of pure, impassioned soul and hints of funk all around.
According to Forbes, R&B and hip-hop beat rock music in terms of overall album sales. Previously, the genre of rock music held this honor for many years. According to this publication in the summer of 2017, R&B and hip-hop are collectively responsible for 25.1% of all music album sales in the US, while rock music came in at a close second with 23%.
With such popularity of the genre across the country, there is no doubt about the fact that R&B and Soul tickets sell out fast – specifically in the case of some legendary names in the industry.
The Greatest R&B and Soul Musicians
With titles such as The King of Pop, the Queen of Soul and the Godfather of Soul, R&B and soul musicians have certainly taken the world by storm. Let’s take a look at some of the people who redefined this genre over the years and made it as popular as it is today.
The “King of Pop” has been one of the biggest influences in this genre. He began his singing career at the mere age of ten and had heads turning in awe from this very young age. In his career that spanned over 4 decades, he was an unparalleled powerhouse of a performer, right to his death in 2009. Starting out with his brothers, as part of the band, The Jackson 5, Jackson topped charts with hits such as “I Want You Back,” “The Love You Save,” “I’ll Be There” and “ABC.” He was an equally big success as a solo artist with hits such as “Billie Jean,” “Man In the Mirror” and “Beat It.” The music video for his song “Thriller” is one of the most iconic videos to ever have been made.
Known as “The Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin is one of the most iconic singers in the history of music itself. Her long list of hits is spread over multiple decades, all the way from the 1960s till the ‘90s. Some of her most popular songs include “Chain of Fools,” “Respect,” “Jump To It” and “Freeway to Love” – all of which topped the Billboard’s R&B songs charts. The vocal excellence and versatility of Aretha Franklin is truly unmatched. The most charted female artist in music history is practically royalty in the world of R&B and Soul music.
Also known as “The Godfather of Soul”, James Brown is without doubt one of the pioneers of soul music, with the highest levels of showmanship. Even though he died in 2006, he left behind an unmatched legacy that has inspired thousands of future artists in this genre. Brown has a multitude of number one hits to his name, including, “Try Me,” “(Say It Loud) I’m Black & I’m Proud” and “The Payback.” The R&B singer was not only an outstanding vocalist, but was also an amazing performer and dancer. He is widely referred to as the founding father of soul and funk movements and has been a direct influence on the works of other big names such as Michael Jackson.
Stevie Wonder is one of the country’s greatest singers and songwriters, with talent that only a few can match. He recorded several hit songs all through the 1960s to 1980s. He released his first hit song at the young age of 13 in 1963. Other chart-toppers by Wonder include, “I Was Made to Love Her,” “I Just Called to Say I Love You” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.” Wonder has recorded more than 30 top ten hits in the US and has won an impressive 25 Grammy Awards. With more than 100 million in record sales all over the world, he is without doubt one of the biggest artists of the Motown era.
Whitney Houston dominated the music scene in the 1980s and 1990s, all the way till her death in 2012. Her number one hits include the like of “Saving All My Love For You,” “Heartbreak Hotel” and “How Will I Know.” Her soundtrack “The Bodyguard” became her highest selling record, with more than 200 million copies sold. It also earned her a number of prestigious awards, such as 22 American Music Awards and six Grammys.
Starting out as part of a girls group called The Supremes, Diana Ross is an iconic R&B musician. She achieved unimaginable heights of success as a solo artist with 12 No. 1 singles. These include “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Endless Love” with Lionel Richie. Ross also forayed into acting, with her role in the movie “Lady Sings The Blues” earning her an Oscar nomination.
Being one of the most established Motown singers in the 1970s, the fame of Marvin Gaye was spread far and wide. He began his short career in 1959, with a tragic ending in 1984, at the hands of his own father. In this time, he recorded several classics such as “Let’s Get it On,” “What’s Going On” and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.”
The excellence of Ray Charles in the genre of R&B music, along with several other genres such as rock and roll, gospel, and country, pop and blues earned him the title of “genius”. With a career that started around 1947 and ended in 2004, the singer is without doubt one of the most celebrated artists in history. With 17 Grammy Awards to his name, Charles is certainly one of the most versatile artists in modern music.
If you were to look at the current chart-dominators in the R&B and Soul music industry, Beyonce would certainly be at the top of the list. She has been the most successful artist in the genre since the past 20 years. Starting out as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child in 1997, the “Queen Bey” quickly rose to the top with her powerhouse vocals and amazing performances. Her No. 1 hits include “Crazy in Love,” “Irreplaceable” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” With more than 200 million records sold all over the world and an impressive 22 Grammy Awards under her belt, the singer is the most nominated woman in the Awards’ history.
Mariah Carey is the woman behind the creation of a new version of R&B, with an infusion of pop and hip-hop. She began her illustrious career in 1988 and is still going stronger than ever. Some of her signature tunes include “We Belong Together” and “One Sweet Day” – the latter spent 16 weeks at the top of the Billboard Music Awards. With more than 200 million records sold, she is without doubt one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
The genre of R&B has evolved over the years, with each artist adding his or her own flair to their music. With names such as Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and Ray Charles, the depth of variety in this genre never fails to impress. This is exactly why R&B tickets sell out faster than you can imagine for a lot of the big names in the industry. You ought to grab yours early as well!