At this period in music history, several outstanding R&B artists male emerged and helped establish its distinctive sound and identity. These vocalists are well known for blending jazz, blues, hip-hop and soul into their performances with strong voices known for blending jazz, blues, hip-hop and soul elements into each performance. Over time R&B has evolved as experts combine classic R&B rhythms with more contemporary rhythms in order to produce innovative works of R&B art.

What Is R&B Music?

R&B stands for rhythm and blues music, first popularized among African Americans during World War II in their neighborhoods. Since that time it has encompassed elements from pop, gospel music, blues music and jazzy jazz with infectious beats as its primary components.

Vocal arrangements are elegant and luxurious; while music has its own recording production technique.

Male R&B artists have written some of the greatest songs ever heard, making an invaluable contribution to popular music history. This list features iconic figures in this genre such as Ray Charles and Lionel Richie as classic R&B pioneers to modern superstars Curtis Mayfield from 1970’s chart toppers like Curtis Mayfield as modern superstars; these acts all set an important standard that led future artists.

Best Male R&B Singers

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder, born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan, demonstrated musical talent from an early age. As he grew older, his singing voice changed, resulting in a brief hiatus in his music career. After dropping “Little” from his stage name, he pursued piano lessons at the University of Michigan School for the Blind. His comeback came in 1965 with the release of “Uptight,” which marked his transition to the popular name “Stevie Wonder” and established him as a seasoned musician.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Pentz Gay Jr., also known as Marvin Gaye, was an influential American singer, songwriter, and record producer. Gaye was born on April 2, 1939, in Washington, D.C., and his soulful voice and poignant lyrics propelled him to prominence in the Motown and R&B music scenes. Gaye’s music has resonated with audiences all over the world, cementing his place as an enduring legend in the soul and R&B genres. Tragically, Marvin Gaye died on April 1, 1984, leaving a profound musical legacy.

Lionel Richie

Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. was a multi-talented artist who excelled as a singer, composer, album producer, and media personality. He was a master of many musical genres, including funk, soul, rhythm, and blues, and was especially good at blending them together. Richie’s education and diverse background influenced his ability to write emotionally charged pop songs and heartfelt ballads. He is one of the most well-known male R&B singers.

Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson, a musician, composer, dancer, and humanitarian, defied racial stereotypes, broke records, and transformed the music industry. He is widely regarded as the “King of Pop,” and he is among the most influential figures of the twentieth century. Michael Jackson’s songs and groundbreaking creativity revolutionized music production and promotion.

Male Lead Singers in R&B Groups

Ralph Tresvant – New Edition

Ralph Edward Tresvant, best known as the lead vocalist of the popular R&B group New Edition, is a versatile American musician and composer. Tresvant transitioned into a solo career and achieved platinum-certified sales with his album “Ralph Tresvant.” With a four-decade career as a key member of New Edition and a successful solo artist, he continues to captivate audiences with his exceptional talent and musical contributions.

Aaron Hall – Guy

Aaron Robin Hall III, a singer-songwriter of Caribbean descent, rose to prominence in 1988 as a member of Guy, an influential R&B and modern jack swing group that he co-founded with Teddy Riley and Timmy Gatling in the late 1980s. Later, Hall’s brother Damion Hall joined the group as well. Aaron Hall, a notable male R&B artist from the 1980s, launched his solo career in 1993 with the release of “The Truth”.

Teddy Riley – Blackstreet

The genre of modern jack swing, a fusion of R&B and hip hop, is credited to American musician, songwriter, and album composer Edward Theodore Riley. He founded Guy and Blackstreet’s musical groups and served as their lead singer. In late 1991, Riley initiated a second band called Blackstreet.

Raphael Saadiq – Tony! Toni! Toné!

The American soul and R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné! rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, hailing from Oakland, California. Raphael Saadiq, an American musician, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, and music composer, rose to fame as a member of the platinum-selling trio Tony Toni Toné! Saadiq, the cherished R&B group’s lead singer and guitarist, was instrumental in their success.


The full name of R&B is “Rhythm and Blues.” It is also commonly referred to as R&B or R’n’B. This musical style originated in African-American communities in the 1940s.