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Modern R and B music.
Contemporary R and B was firmly established at the beginning of The Eighties 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 of Pop sounds. Michael Jackson's highly influential Thiller is a perfect example his impact on R&B music for the later half of this decade. Janet Jackson brought producers Jimmy Jam and Teddy Riley into the mainstream with her own influential Control album. Teddy Riley was also 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
But by and large, 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 it's 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 and 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. In The New Tens, Hip Hop and R&B are almost inseparable as genres as artists like Beyonce and Chris Brown can easily be played in Hip Hop playlists and the growing influeunce of dance music is shaping the genre.
So yeah, Contemporary R and B is a fusion of so many other genres. Unlike a lot of other genres, females tend to get more love with any given female singer can amass a devoted following. It is pretty tough for male R&B singers as they're mainly seen as soft due to the growing Hip Hop influence.
Artists that generally fall under Contemporary R and B label:
- Baby Face
- Bobby Brown
- Boyz II Men
- Mary J. Blige
- Chris Brown
- Mariah Carey
- Destiny's Child
- Whitney Houston
- Michael Jackson (though some would debate he is more Pop, the music is rooted in R and B)
- Janet Jackson
- Alicia Keys
- Ne Yo
- Keke Palmer
- Prince (though he's more Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly)
- Rihanna (Though slightly edging more towards pop.)
- R. Kelly
- Lionel Richie (some would say he is more pop than R&B)
- Kelly Rowland
- Teena Marie
- Trey Songz
- Justin Timberlake
- Luther Vandross