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R&B AND SOUL CONCERTS
R&B—shorthand for rhythm and blues—and soul are two musical genres that go hand-in-hand. In specific terms, R&B is a term used to describe most African-American popular music, though artists from a variety of ethnicities experiment with and enjoy listening to the genre. There are a couple distinct genres in the community that stand out in their own right apart from R&B: blues, jazz, and hip-hop. However, a vast collection of sub-genres have been pioneered by African Americans throughout history, including doo wop, funk, disco, early rock-and-roll, swing, soul, Motown, urban contemporary, hip-hop soul, and neo-soul.
In some ways, R&B simply describes the evolution of African American music since the 1940s. Many of these genres play off of one another, making it a challenge to draw harsh lines between them. But one thing’s for sure; R&B is an influential and beloved genre to people from all walks of life and across the world.
R&B music has been and continues to be a thriving genre. For a selection of recent and current performers, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Frank Ocean, Drake, Whitney Houston, John Legend, Beyoncé, Prince, Erykah Bau, Her, The Weeknd, SZA, Usher, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Luther Vandross, Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monae, and Marvin Gaye are pillars in R&B.
Soul—the R&B meets gospel sound popularized in the 50s and 60s—has contributed significantly to R&B and music as a whole, defined by the voices of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Lauryn Hill, Curtis Mayfield, Smokey Robinson, Al Green, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, James Brown, Sam Cooke, Jill Scott, Adele, Chaka Khan, and Erykah Badu. With a greater emphasis on vocals relative to R&B as a whole, many big names in soul are held in high regard for their impressive technical skills and stunningly emotive performances.
Anyone who has experienced an R&B or soul performance live has witnessed what makes these sounds so special. It is hard not to dance along, whether it is gentles swaying or full-on grooving. It is hard not to feel the performers’ intentions, through time-stopping belted notes or invigorating peppy tones and reverberating beats. It is hard not to admire the way these things and other musical elements come together to captivate audiences. If you are hoping to catch an R&B concert—whether it is soul or some other persuasion of the genre—search for upcoming shows today.