Rhythm and blues

genre of popular music that originated within African-American communities in the 1940s

Rhythm and blues (also known as R&B or RnB) is a popular music genre combining jazz, gospel, and blues influences, first performed by African American artists. It is now performed worldwide by people of many cultures and ethnic groups.

Contemporary R&B


During the 1960s, James Brown and Sly & the Family Stone had used parts of psychedelic rock and other styles in their music. Funk became a big part of disco music. In the early 1980s, funk and soul had become sultry and more sexual with the work of Prince and others. The modern style of contemporary R&B came to be a major part of American popular music.

R&B today defines a style of African-American music. It combines elements of soul music, funk music, pop music, and (after 1986) hip hop in what is now called contemporary R&B.

It is sometimes called "urban contemporary" or "urban pop".

R&B in the 2000s


By the 2000s, the only big difference between a record being a hip hop record or an R&B record is whether its vocals are rapped or sung. R&B started to focus more on solo artists than groups. By 2005, the most famous R&B artists include Usher, Beyoncé (formerly of Destiny's Child), Ashanti, and Mariah Carey.

Soulful R&B continues to be popular, with artists such as Alicia Keys, R. Kelly, John Legend, and Toni Braxton. Some R&B singers have used parts of Caribbean music in their work.


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