For better or worse, the 2010s were a defining decade for R&B.
Y’all know the story: With hip-hop on the rise and eyes and ears turning away from soul, many of the game’s biggest hitmakers chased trends to find relevance. Gimmicks became commonplace. Traditional vocals became almost passe. And sadly, most listeners couldn’t even discern WHAT R&B was anymore.
But if you’re a fan of this site, you know great R&B never really left the building.
2019 exemplified that more than ever before. Over the past 12 months, we’ve enjoyed some incredibly good music – even though the names behind many of these hits might not ring a bell.
Allow us to put you on.
As always, I’ve teamed with my boys at YouKnowIGotSoul.com for our annual countdown of the year’s best R&B songs. All three of us nominated a batch of songs which were then combined into a master list. We ranked those songs and below are the final results.
This list might not be filled with known hitmakers (though several legends did return to prominence this year) but these are the faces that are reshaping R&B.
It’s always darkest before the dawn, right? Thanks to these talented men and women, R&B is set to shine in the next decade.
Syleena Johnson – Woman
Lumi Trice – Same Way (featuring Musiq Soulchild)
Talea – RFY
The Hamiltones – Pieces
Tank – Do You (featuring Keith Sweat & Candice Boyd)
Ricardo Williams – Come Over (featuring Teedra Moses)