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Contemporary R&B

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Primary Stylistic Influences:
Secondary Stylistic Influences:

Modern R&B music.

Contemporary R&B was firmly established at the beginning of The '80s when Disco died out and took a little bit of Funk and Soul with it (outside the mainstream, at least). The producers of that era started to experiment with synthesized sounds, with a stronger emphasis on pop influences. Michael Jackson's highly influential Thriller is a perfect example of his impact on R&B music for the later half of this decade. Janet Jackson brought producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis into the mainstream with her own influential Control album. Teddy Riley was also a big name producer in this era, fusing hip-hop and R&B, creating New Jack Swing. Tina Turner made a huge comeback and many other R&B artists got their start during this time.

By and large, however, the 1990s is considered to be the boom period. Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson continued to dominate, but we already had other popular artists riding the R&B wave, which has now absorbed Hip-Hop within its diverse sound. Boy Bands and Girl Groups reigned supreme, not to say that solo singers didn't make their impact. This was also the decade the Grammy enacted the Best R&B album.

By the late 1990s and the Turn of the Millennium, Contemporary R&B's popularity cooled a little, but the rise of Neo Soul boosted by Lauryn Hill's groundbreaking The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill took place, not to mention more fusions with other genres such as Electronic Music, Rock, and Dance, and "crunk & B"/"snap & B" was also briefly a phenomenon in the mid-2000s courtesy of hits like Cherish's "Do It to It", Houston's "I Like That", and Baby Bash's "Cyclone". In the first years of The New '10s, Pop and R&B were almost inseparable as genres as artists like Beyoncé and Chris Brown can easily be played in Pop playlists and the growing influence of dance music is shaping the genre. As of 2012 this seems to be changing with the rise of artists like Frank Ocean and The Weeknd, and the newly formed variant called Alternative R&B, which basically R&B meets Genre Mashup.

Contemporary R&B artists: