Is R&B Music Dead?

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J. Black A Piece Of My Soul CD Cover
 

Those who predicted the demise of Rhythm & Blues have been perhaps too quick in coming to that conclusion. Lovers of the genre will be jubilant to note that R&B music is alive and kicking with a new crop of musicians bringing about its revival. This African-American music genre evolved first during the 1940s. From then onwards, there has been a number of changes and inputs with each artist giving something new to this stream of music.

Modern artist dealing with R&B, rue about the demise of creativity and increasing popularity of techno dance and Europop records. Those pursuing this stream are angry with their peers for ditching soulful roots in lieu of pop riches. No wonder bold declarations from music industry insiders and singers are predicting the demise of this soulful music genre. In today’s world, there is an increasing presence of homogenized sound and this favors genre such as Pop. Such scenarios certainly do not throw a positive light on the future of R&B.

From the 1940s onwards to 1970s numerous artists made their presence felt on the R&B music scene and enjoyed indisputable popularity. There were such wildly popular artists including Smokey Robinson and Aretha Franklin during the 70s. Prince and Sade saw it through the 80s and it is during the 90s that the popularity of Rhythm & blues reached its pinnacle. During this time, the success of Toni Braxton, Lauryn Hill, and Boyz II Men almost reached the sky with their audience lapping up everything with high jubilation.

So what happened to the highly popular music genre from then onwards?  Hip-hop charts and Billboard R&B no longer reflect the true position of the Billboard 100. While this may truly be a cause for concern for music lovers there is a positive trend going on too. Newer artists including Bruno Mars, Miguel, and some of the most relevant artist of the genre like R. Kelly, Fantasia, John Legend, and Alicia Keys, are like the ray of hope currently on this music scene. Even the latest release of extremely popular artist like Justin Timberlake is an  R&B affair, which the audiences love very much.

Then there is J. Black, a talented singer, songwriter, and producer with a passion for everything related to R&B. His music is soulful and fearless, and his latest release “Distant Memories” and the soon to be released  “Stand Up and Sing”  are soulfully delicious! As Raina LeGarreta, of the  Elk Grove Citizen Newspaper  mentions, “One listen to Elk Grove Western Idol winner J. Black may renew your faith in modern day R&B Music”.

With so many young and talented people passionate about R&B, it will be premature to sign off its demise as of yet. Further, the recent fusion of music, combining Rhythm & blues with Pop and Electronica/Dance is being heralded as a new beginning of this fantastic genre. It is going to survive in the coming time in a new format and even give origin to a completely different school of music.

Whatever it is, lovers of R&B, sit up and take notice, the genre may make a comeback in its pure form, or simply coexist with its myriad diluted incarnation. Either way R&B music is here to STAY!!

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