50 GREATEST R&B ARTISTS OF THE PAST 40 YEARS POLL

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Source: http://www.soulinstereo.com/2021/11/50-greatest-rb-artists-of-the-past-40-years-courtesy-of-the-soul-in-stereo-cypher.html

Their own honorable mentions:

"Artists who received nominations but didn’t make the final cut: Anthony Hamilton, The Weeknd, Janelle Monae, Mint Condition, Lalah Hathaway, Tamia, Anderson Paak, Amy Winehouse, Bell Biv DeVoe, Eric Roberson, Teddy Riley, Vesta Williams, Kashif, Morris Day, Loose Ends, Soul II Soul, Troop, After 7, Angela Winbush, Klymaxx, Howard Hewett, Jody Watley, SOS Band, LeVert, Miki Howard, Zapp, Bryson Tiller, Ginuwine, Jeffrey Osborne"

Poll Results

OptionVotes
9. Sade 13
19. Erykah Badu 9
6. Janet Jackson 7
20. R. Kelly 5
22. D’Angelo 4
42. DeBarge 3
7. Luther Vandross 3
31. Lauryn Hill 2
18. Aaliyah 2
17. Alicia Keys 1
14. Toni Braxton 1
24. En Vogue 1
33. Dru Hill 1
36. Jill Scott 1
37. Lionel Richie 1
10. Anita Baker 1
8. Beyonce 1
21. Keith Sweat 0
2. Mary J. Blige 0
3. Usher 0
25. Chris Brown 0
4. Boyz II Men 0
5. Mariah Carey 0
16. Brandy 0
15. TLC 0
13. Babyface 0
11. Jodeci 0
12. New Edition 0
1. Whitney Houston 0
23. Maxwell 0
40. Tony Toni Tone 0
41. Joe 0
43. Johnny Gill 0
45. Musiq Soulchild 0
46. John Legend 0
47. Xscape 0
48. 112 0
49. H.E.R. 0
39. Jagged Edge 0
38. Faith Evans 0
35. Monica 0
44. Brian McKnight 0
26. Destiny’s Child 0
27. Bobby Brown 0
28. SWV 0
29. Guy 0
30. Ne-Yo 0
32. Charlie Wilson 0
34. Jazmine Sullivan 0
50. Karyn White 0


gospodin simmel, Sunday, 14 November 2021 13:09 (two weeks ago) link

H.E.R.. over Mint Condition? huh

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 14 November 2021 13:43 (two weeks ago) link

holy shit that honorable mentions list...Zapp....Teddy Riley...wow

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 14 November 2021 13:45 (two weeks ago) link

Teddy is on there with Guy

gospodin simmel, Sunday, 14 November 2021 13:53 (two weeks ago) link

2. Mary J. Blige

Too low.

Mr. Snrub, Sunday, 14 November 2021 14:47 (two weeks ago) link

lmao my reaction upon reading the list proper after seeing an honorable mentions list stacked with total icons was also "h.e.r.?"

honestly, h.e.r. has released some great tracks, including a small number that are basically masterpieces in my book, but it's totally bizarre that she's ranked while some of those others aren't

dyl, Sunday, 14 November 2021 15:54 (two weeks ago) link

good list tho. i could justify voting for quite a few of these so i think i will sit on it a little longer

dyl, Sunday, 14 November 2021 15:57 (two weeks ago) link

Well, this stuck out in their intro: "Only one artist received nominations from all 20 participants".

tootall (jetfan), Sunday, 14 November 2021 15:59 (two weeks ago) link

What are some of the more notable omissions? Frank Ocean and Rihanna presumably didn't pass the genre scan. Ciara? Miguel?

gospodin simmel, Monday, 15 November 2021 07:53 (two weeks ago) link

I'm not the biggest R&B connoisseur but wow Amy Winehouse's stock really has fallen a lot over the past ten years or so.

Siegbran, Monday, 15 November 2021 10:13 (two weeks ago) link

What are some of the more notable omissions? Frank Ocean and Rihanna presumably didn't pass the genre scan. Ciara? Miguel?
― gospodin simmel, Monday, November 15, 2021 8:53 AM (two hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Also Kelis, Teedra Moses, Cassie, Tinashe, Kali Uchis, The-Dream, SZA, Kehlani, Estelle, FKA Twigs, Rhye, Gaelle, Amerie, Ashanti, Eve (depending on what it takes to be a great)...
I'm especially looking for the last ten years. Not that the early 80s are really represented (Michael Jackson, Evelyn King) either.

Nabozo, Monday, 15 November 2021 10:37 (two weeks ago) link

Jackson and King are disqualified because they debuted before 1980

gospodin simmel, Monday, 15 November 2021 11:22 (two weeks ago) link

Alexander O'Neal ?

Nabozo, Monday, 15 November 2021 12:02 (two weeks ago) link

voting for debarge, would’ve voted for teena marie but she’s probably not r&b enough for this list (not sure i understand this calculation myself)

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Monday, 15 November 2021 13:31 (two weeks ago) link

well i’m voting for debarge but it really bc i can’t choose between anita baker, toni braxton, janet jackson, and sade so why bother

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Monday, 15 November 2021 13:32 (two weeks ago) link

oh i see teena marie was disqualified bc she debuted in ‘79. this is an unfair and arbitrary standard

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Monday, 15 November 2021 13:33 (two weeks ago) link

Including Raphael Saadiq's own albums, Tony! Toni! Toné! may get my vote.

birdistheword, Monday, 15 November 2021 15:48 (two weeks ago) link

My finalists in descending order:

Janet Jackson
Erykah Badu
Maxwell
Debarge
Sade
Jazmine Sullivan

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 November 2021 15:52 (two weeks ago) link

no way this isn't sade. some really strong choices otherwise, but c'mon.

also chris brown still being considered on things like this makes me hate humanity. i'm gonna go for a walk now because that genuinely upsets me.

the beginning of the end of discourse. (Austin), Monday, 15 November 2021 15:58 (two weeks ago) link

Running into Brown and R. Kelly’s names aside, the ranking of that list seems pretty decent at a glance.

heterologous booster (morrisp), Monday, 15 November 2021 16:02 (two weeks ago) link

6. Janet Jackson
5. Mariah Carey

too low. i've got major rnb blind spots so ymmv but below boyz II men, really?

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Monday, 15 November 2021 16:09 (two weeks ago) link

My finalists in descending order:

Erykah Badu
Janet Jackson

Milm & Foovies (Eric H.), Monday, 15 November 2021 16:09 (two weeks ago) link

usher is one of those blind spots. are people caning usher in 2021?

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Monday, 15 November 2021 16:10 (two weeks ago) link

chart success seems to be a major criteria in the making of this list

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Monday, 15 November 2021 16:21 (two weeks ago) link

usher is one of those blind spots. are people caning usher in 2021?

― Linda and Jodie Rocco (map),

I would totally smoke Usher.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 November 2021 16:24 (two weeks ago) link

In Usher's case, his biggest album is his best, but he's also got at least five or six wonderful singles. A huge influence on male R&B singing.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 November 2021 16:25 (two weeks ago) link

Just in terms of most-listened-to, my top 5 would probably be:

D'Angelo
Tony! Toni! Toné!
Erykah Badu
Beyoncé
Janet Jackson

birdistheword, Monday, 15 November 2021 16:34 (two weeks ago) link

Had he been included in this poll, Prince would be #1 by far

birdistheword, Monday, 15 November 2021 16:36 (two weeks ago) link

Other omissions I can think of:

Solange
Meshell Ndegeocello
Erika de Casier
Jamila Woods
James Blake
Justin Timberlake

✖✖✖ (Moka), Monday, 15 November 2021 17:03 (two weeks ago) link

At long last I have to ask: is there Vandross that I'm sleeping on? Because I have just never vibed with him at all and have never understood why people stan for his dishwater drab R&B.

Lou Christie's Mosh Pit (Old Lunch), Monday, 15 November 2021 17:07 (two weeks ago) link

listen to "never too much" immediately

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Monday, 15 November 2021 17:08 (two weeks ago) link

If all you know is his material after his long-delayed pop crossover in 1989, I can understand that madness.

Never Too Much through Give Me the Reason is a marvelous run.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 November 2021 17:08 (two weeks ago) link

Thanking u, will do

Lou Christie's Mosh Pit (Old Lunch), Monday, 15 November 2021 17:10 (two weeks ago) link

Also: the two albums he produced for Aretha.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 November 2021 17:11 (two weeks ago) link

we should a sequel of this for the 90's

A POLL Bizarre ~~~ It's the ILM 80's R&B TRACKS POLL ~~~ RESULTS THREAD!!!

gospodin simmel, Monday, 15 November 2021 17:21 (two weeks ago) link

that would be amazing tbh

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Monday, 15 November 2021 17:24 (two weeks ago) link

yah id be in on that for sure.

Spottie, Monday, 15 November 2021 18:01 (two weeks ago) link

i guess this is probably janet or maxwell for me.

Spottie, Monday, 15 November 2021 18:03 (two weeks ago) link

gonna be old fashioned and boring and choose Lionel

fuck R Kelly

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Monday, 15 November 2021 18:24 (two weeks ago) link

oh i see teena marie was disqualified bc she debuted in ‘79. this is an unfair and arbitrary standard

― STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Monday, November 15, 2021 8:33 AM bookmarkflaglink

otm

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Monday, 15 November 2021 18:25 (two weeks ago) link

I want to say Luther Van, the man, but jazmine Sullivan is my sister from another mister, she's got it all....and more

Swanswans, Monday, 15 November 2021 21:35 (two weeks ago) link

Real answer is probably Janet, MJB or Maxwell, but I will go with Dru Hill or SWV cause they need more love.

gospodin simmel, Wednesday, 17 November 2021 12:12 (two weeks ago) link

No love for J-Lo? Guess she’s a bit too pop to be considered R&B.

Mr. Snrub, Wednesday, 17 November 2021 19:11 (two weeks ago) link

her music sucks is the thing

Spottie, Wednesday, 17 November 2021 19:19 (two weeks ago) link

“On the Floor”? “Waiting for Tonight”? “Get Right”? “Ain’t It Funny”?

Mr. Snrub, Wednesday, 17 November 2021 19:34 (two weeks ago) link

her music sucks is the thing

Truth

birdistheword, Wednesday, 17 November 2021 19:41 (two weeks ago) link

Philistines

Mr. Snrub, Wednesday, 17 November 2021 19:57 (two weeks ago) link

voted for Sade

winters (josh), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 21:10 (two weeks ago) link

J.Lo. doesn't suck and should have been considered. In general I feel there might be a kind of purism to r&b writing and canon making which makes the genre seem smaller than it is. The exclusion of Rihanna and Drake for example, but also Backstreet Boys and maybe BTS? Not sure if that's too broad a definition but I feel like R&B is as important and popular as ever but the "death of r&b" thinkpieces seem to keep coming.

gospodin simmel, Saturday, 20 November 2021 10:22 (one week ago) link

I'm not the biggest R&B guy, but I'm going to vote for En Vogue because they were so incredible when I saw them live.

chap, Saturday, 20 November 2021 11:36 (one week ago) link

it's insane that ppl would look at this list and think 'you know who else did music like this/this good? j.lo!!' half the songs mentioned above have absolutely zero to do with r&b either stylistically or commercially, unless you also think of lady gaga's redone-produced hits as r&b. like, what?

i mean, i get it, i heard the "i'm real" remix play at a very diverse club a few years back and ppl were feeling it all this time later (despite it semi-infamously being 'the song where she sings the n-word'). nevertheless, in my conversations w/ friends/coworkers about her and her music in recent years (she's still pretty famous despite not having had a hit record in ages), jlo evidently still has a reputation for (a) having pilfered many of her hits from black artists, including chanté moore, mariah carey, usher etc., (b) having attempted to do the same w/ other songs that did actually end up being major hits for black artists ("1 thing"), and (c) heavily relying on what might very charitably be called 'background vocals' from ashanti on her own hits. this reputation is and was deserved.

perhaps instead of ascribing to 'purism' certain artists' lack of acknowledgment from those outside an audience that they largely aren't marketed toward, because for some reason they don't need to be to attain major success, we can acknowledge the dynamic that has always been at play here? the artists appear to get it and so do the fans (last block of the rhythm section column)

ftr, backstreet boys never had major success among the r&b audience, despite the obvious stylistic influence. the lou pearlman/max martin act that got the closest to that was nsync w/ "gone," which was a fairly sizable r&b radio hit and a #1 video on bet. not to mention justin timberlake's career as a soloist, which actually spawned some hits that were arguably bigger with the r&b audience than with the 'pop' one ("until the end of time", "suit & tie"), which not every pop-'turned'-r&b appropriator-appreciator can say

dyl, Saturday, 20 November 2021 17:04 (one week ago) link

Oh I was just throwing names of artists in the pop/r&b realm (like Justin Timberlake) as leftovers for the runner-ups list. I actually think the list is very agreeable with some exceptions. Little to complain about in that top 10 - I don’t think Beyonce deserves the top 10 spot because I don’t find her as impressive a vocalist as everyone else in that top 10, but I get she’s in some ways a more complete artist and businesswoman than everyone else in that list.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 20 November 2021 17:47 (one week ago) link

ended up voting for sade lol. the highs with them are just .. no one else touches em imo. in a lot of ways they are a different beast than the american rnb artists in the top 10, right? though they're obviously hugely influential with the same audience.

Nedlene Grendel as Basenji Holmo (map), Saturday, 20 November 2021 18:06 (one week ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:01 (two days ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Wednesday, 1 December 2021 00:01 (yesterday) link

proper winner.

r. kelly getting more votes than aaliyah stings a bit, but all's well that ends well i suppose.

please don't refer to me as (Austin), Wednesday, 1 December 2021 00:12 (yesterday) link

i think i didn't end up voting ;_; but i'm still not entirely sure who i would have picked so hm

dyl, Wednesday, 1 December 2021 02:35 (yesterday) link

terrific dyl post I missed

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 1 December 2021 02:37 (yesterday) link

Top five in the list gets zero votes.

Nabozo, Wednesday, 1 December 2021 07:00 (yesterday) link

Big up to the other Luther voters.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Wednesday, 1 December 2021 20:24 (yesterday) link


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