Rhythm and Blues music, or R&B music, was originally termed "race music" and basically included any form of music intended for black audiences. A combination of jazz, gospel, and blues, the term "R&B" was originally coined in the late 1940’s in the United States to be used as a less offensive marketing term. While R&B music has evolved over the years to spawn contemporary genres of R&B sounds, the original genre focused on boogie rhythms and included such famous acts as Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry. The end of World War II produced a surprising call for race music, and the R&B music genre took off as a result. Today’s contemporary R&B music has a distinctly different sound than its forebears, focusing on pop beats and culture rather than the blues, gospel and jazz sounds of previous generations (though those elements are still sometimes present). In the late 1940’s and into the fifties, R&B groups consisted of brass instruments and woodwinds, as well as drums, piano and vocals. These elements were common in jazz bands, but R&B musicians produced a heavier sound with a steady beat. As the fifties progressed, the genre became notable for its sexually suggestive lyrics and provocative dancing associated with it.
R&B: Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Earth Wind and Fire, The Five Stairsteps, Lenny Williams, Donny Hathaway, The Isley Brothers, R. Kelly, Nate Dogg, Usher, Dwele, Alicia Keys, Tyrese, Robin Thicke, Joss Stone, Carl Carlton, Bootsy Collins, Chuckii Booker, Kem, Floetry, Sade, Eric Roberson, Gerald Levert, Teena Marie, Silk, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, Jean Knight, Alfonzo Hunter, After 7, Atlantic Starr, The O' Jays, Percy Sledge, Don Covay, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Corinne Bailey Rae, Luther Vandross, Kenny Lattimore, Smokey Robinson, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Brenda Holloway, Ciara, Beyonce, Aaliyah, En Vogue, Ginuwine, TLC, Jagged Edge, Boyz II Men, Shalamar, Ne-Yo, Trey Songz, Sly & The Family Stone, Omarion, J. Holiday, Raheem DeVaughn, Tank, Jon B., Ray Charles, Blackstreet, Joe, John Legend, Anthony Hamilton, Lyfe Jennings, Raphael Saadiq, Ryan Leslie, Ledisi, Paula Campbell, Adriana Evans, Nneka, Kindred The Family Soul, Keyshia Cole, Lloyd, Musiq Soulchild, Brian McKnight, Keith Sweat, Jodeci, Leon Haywood, Changing Faces, Avant, Brownstone, Barry White, Mario, Curtis Mayfield, The Four Tops, The Supremes, Bell Biv DeVoe, Jamiroquai, The Impressions, Diana Ross, Lauryn Hill, Al Green, Teddy Pendergrass, Ben E. King, Bill Withers, Isaac Hayes, Carl Thomas, Dru Hill, The Brothers Johnson, Bobby Valentino, PJ Morton, Steve Arrington, The Dream, Keri Hilson, Erykah Badu, Loose Ends, Montell Jordan, I-15, Ray J, and Gnarls Barkley.