R&B is a broad based genre that encompasses a wide array of elements and styles that include rhythm and blues, soul, pop, funk, hip-hop and dance. This space showcases a broad spectrum of the best female R&B singers.
While the origins or R&B are unclear, the emergence of R&B in contemporary forms has its roots in the 60s and 70s. Contemporary R&B was a result of experimentation in disco and dance music. The polished sound and textural layers in R&B songs add distinctive flavor and feel to songs in this genre. Lush vocal and music arrangements set to the backdrop of dance inspired beats have made R&B a popular genre in commercial circles. R&B songs in present times showcase strong electronic and dance beat influences laced with hip-hop. Since the 60s female singers have been showcasing their vocal prowess in Soul and R&B.
The R&B Music Genre
Majority of recording artists in the R&B genre are African-American. Needless to say the gospel and soul influences shine through in R&B songs. A number of female singers in the R&B genre are known for their dynamic vocal range. A large crop of R&B singers are known for incorporating melisma in their songs. Since the 70s female singers with astoundingly different voice textures have been an integral part of the R&B genre. The rhythmic elements in R&B evolved over the years. In present times layout of song structures in R&B has changed a great deal. What makes R&B popular with music aficionados is rhythmic beats encompassed with elements of funk, silk-smooth-soul, pop grooves, ballads and awe-inspiring melody.
The R&B sound in the 80s and 90s
Being an amalgamation of various genres, R&B does not have what you can call a typical sound. Furthermore, while you find the rhythmic explorations of disco, R&B is interspersed with funk-laden dance friendly beats that gets your foot tapping in accordance with tempo changes. Synthesizer driven melodies, programmed drum machine beats, percussive elements, and sound effects are an integral part that form structure for lyrics and music in R&B. Hip-hop and rap sensibilities have become exceedingly popular in R&B songs in recent years. A number of all-female bands doing R&B songs emerged in the 80s and the trend continued through the 90s. R&B duets became incredibly popular in the 80s and 90s and this trend has continued.
The R&B Hip-Hop sound post 2000
Since the 2000s many crossover artists have been bringing a new sound in the realms of R&B. While purists are of the opinion the R&B sound has shifted from its traditional roots, many industry experts also believe the change in musical direction is the way forward in reaching a larger audience globally. The foundation of R&B remains intact with layers hip-hop and rap interspersed in the length of a song. While the silk-smooth rhythmic structures form the foundation of an R&B song, there’s a lot of instrumentation with complex vocal parts that happen in the given time frame. A new breed of female R&B singers will emerge. R&B will get bigger in the years ahead, and an ultra-urban sound will make its presence in the realms of traditional.
100 Greatest R&B Female Singers
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