25 Best R&B Songs Ever Made
R&B music has been around for decades and continues to be as popular as ever. The genre features a range of songs, from heartbreak ballads to upbeat tunes, with meaningful lyrics that have the power to touch our hearts like no other.
While there are countless R&B songs, only a few have become the best of all time and have stood the test of time due to their catchy hooks, soulful vocals, and meaningful lyrics. Each artist brings something unique yet timeless to their work, making each piece truly remarkable in its own right. In this article, we present to you the 25 Best R&B Songs Ever Made that will help you discover or rediscover your favourite R&B tracks.
1. Dilemma by Nelly and Kelly
"Dilemma" by Nelly and Kelly was released in 2002 as the second single from the former's second studio album "Nellyville" and became an instant hit, topping charts worldwide.
The song is a testament to the power of love and the difficulties that can arise when distance comes to play, the song's catchy melody and heartfelt lyrics will always remind us of the power of love.
2. Rude Boy by Rihanna
"Rude Boy" by Rihanna is taken from her Fourth studio album "Rated R" which can be seen as an extension of that, as it's a celebration of women who are confident in their skin.
Rihanna's confidence and strength shine through the lyrics of the song and make it one of the best songs of R&B.
3. Cry Me A River by Justin Timberlake
"Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake is from his debut solo album "Justified". The song was an instant success and earned a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
The lyrics reflect on how losing love can leave someone feeling betrayed and resentful. The clavinet, guitars, beatboxing, and Arabian-inspired riffs make this classic R&B soul the best of all time.
4. Killing Me Softly With His Song by Fugees
"Killing Me Softly With His Song" by Fugees is from their second album 'The Score' it has won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.
The melodic structure is smooth, the lyrics seem to take us to a place in our minds and the vocals are sweet with a hint of sadness which gives intense vibes of R&B souls.
5. Say My Name by Destiny’s Child
"Say My Name" by Destiny's Child is from their second studio album 'The Writing's on the Wall' it won two Grammy Awards, topped the charts in different countries, and continues to be a timeless classic in their repertoire.
The lyrics encourage women to demand respect and transparency in their relationships and to not settle for anything less. It's a theme that has carried throughout Child's discography.
6. No Scrubs by TLC
The girl group of America TLC's "No Scrubs" is from their third studio album 'FanMail' it has remained relevant long after its release, and it continues to be a staple at parties and clubs all over the world.
The song became an anthem of sorts for women who were tired of being mistreated by men and wanted to take control of their lives.
7. No Diggity by Blackstreet
"No Diggity" is a song by the R&B group Blackstreet as their second studio album 'Another Level' it is a powerful example of how music can be used to celebrate marginalized communities and uplift individuals.
Despite being over two decades old, No Diggity remains relevant today. It's the message of self-worth and confidence that everyone, regardless of race or gender, can relate to.
8. Always On Time by Ja Rule ft. Ashanti
"Always on Time" by Ja Rule is featured on his third studio album, 'Pain is Love', and it includes guest vocals by Ashanti. The song serves as a testament to the dedication and hard work of both Ja Rule and Ashanti.
The lyrics emphasize the importance of trust, respect, and communication in every relationship. It has become an anthem of love and commitment that resonates with people all over the world.
9. Pony by Ginuwine
"Pony" by Ginuwine is the debut single from his first album 'Ginuwine...The Bachelor'. With its seductive lyrics and smooth rhythm, it's no surprise that the song has become an enduring classic.
The lines are actually about female empowerment where Ginuwane make bold statements about gender roles and power dynamics.
10. Thong Song by Sisqo
"Thong Song" by Sisqo is the second single from his solo debut studio album 'Unleash Dragon' it garnered four Grammy nominations and numerous other awards.
With its catchy tune and sexy lyrics, it was a hit on dance floors worldwide. It is a classic example of 90s pop culture and a great party song that always gets people dancing.
11. Be Without You by Mary J. Blige
"Be Without You" by Mary is from her seventh studio album 'The Breakthrough'. It is a timeless song that speaks to the power of love, heartbreak, and perseverance.
Mary's soulful vocals and honest lyrics have made the track a classic in the R&B genre, and its popularity continues to endure.
12. Under The Influence by Chris Brown
"Under The Influence" by Chris Brown is the third track from his ninth studio album 'Indigo' which delves into themes of love, desire, and the intoxicating effects that powerful connections with someone have on our emotions.
The smooth and soulful voice of Chris allows listeners to truly feel the intensity of the emotions portrayed in the song, creating a powerful; connection between the artist and the audience making it one of the best songs of R&B.
13. Let’s Stay Together by Al Green
"Let's Stay Together" by AI Green is from his 1972 album of the same name.
Its memorable melody, influential lyrics and lush instrumental arrangements have made it a beloved classic R&B soul that resonates with audiences of all ages.
14. My Girl by The Temptations
"My Girl" is a piece of soul music by The Temptations from the album 'The Temptations Sing Smokey'.
It is a testament to the power of love and underscores the impact that one person can have on another's happiness.
15. Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye
"Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye is the title track from his thirteenth studio album of the same name.
The song is a powerful expression of desire and vulnerability, where Marvin's lyrics and vocals are combined with seductive music to create an unforgettable listening experience.
16. Reach Out I’ll Be There by Four Tops
"Reach Out I'll Be There" by Four Tops is from their fourth studio album 'Reach Out' it has touched the hearts of millions across generations by becoming the anthem of hope and solidarity.
The lyrics convey a promise to always be there for someone in need, to lend a helping hand, and to provide unconditional love and support. The passionate vocals, accompanied by the powerful instrumentation, create a sense of urgency and sincerity.
17. When Doves Cry by Prince
"When Doves Cry" by Prince is the lead single from his sixth studio album 'Purple Rain' it features a combination of musical styles, including rock, funk and pop.
Its exploration of universal themes of love and loss, its catchy beats and memorable hooks, and its use of symbolism and imagery make it a timeless masterpiece of R&B.
18. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
"Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson is from his sixth studio album 'Thriller' it is regularly cited as one of the greatest R&B songs, and it continues to be a staple in different platforms around the world.
It is a powerful commentary on the dangers of fame, the responsibilities of fatherhood, and the impact that one person can have on the world.
19. End Of The Road by Boyz II Men
"End of The Road" by Boyz II Men is taken from the movie 'Boomerang' it topped the singles charts in different countries and won two Grammy Awards.
The lyrics highlight the sense of confusion and hurt at the feeling of love slipping away, and the sadness that the roads have to come to an end.
20. Stop! In The Name Of Love by The Supremes
"Stop! In the Name of Love" by The Supremes is from their album 'More Hits by the Supremes' which continues to captivate audiences with its powerful message and infectious beat.
It has become an enduring symbol of empowerment and female strength.
21. We Belong Together by Mariah Carey
"We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey is a smash hit from her tenth studio album 'The Emancipation of Mimi'. It is a timeless classic and continues to be loved by millions of people worldwide.
Its beautiful melody and heartfelt lyrics capture the essence of heartbreak, loss and the hope that two people who were once so in love could find their way back to each other.
22. A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke
"A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke appeared on his album 'Ain't That Good News" and has become an iconic symbol of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity.
It symbolizes the struggle for civil rights and was even inducted into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry in 2007 for its cultural and historical significance.
23. I Can’t Stop Loving You by Ray Charles
"I Can't Stop Loving You" has become one of the most beloved and recognizable songs of all time. It is an exploration of the human heart and the pain that comes when we try and fail to move on from past loves.
Its message is both melancholy and uplifting, a testament to the complexity of human emotion.
24. Them Changes by Thundercat
"Them Changes" by Thundercat was released as a single from his EP 'The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam' and is a soulful and introspective track that delves into themes of heartbreak, self-reflection, and personal growth.
It encourages listeners to embrace change and view it as a catalyst for personal evolution and strength.
25. Blue Lights by Jorja Smith
"Blue Lights" by Jorja Smith is from her debut studio album 'Lost & Found' its lyrics encourage listeners to stand up for their rights and to speak out against injustice, even in the face of overwhelming odds.
The song has been praised for its unique sound with a powerful message that led to a wider conversation about police brutality and racial profiling.
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