Wikipedia's Rhythm and Blues Portal
Rhythm and blues, commonly abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular.
In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.
The term "rhythm and blues" has undergone a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s, it was frequently applied to blues records. Starting in the mid-1950s, after this style of music contributed to the development of rock and roll, the term "R&B" became used to refer to music styles that developed from and incorporated electric blues, as well as gospel and soul music. In the 1960s, several British rock bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Animals were referred to and promoted as being R&B bands; posters for the Who's residency at the Marquee Club in 1964 contained the slogan, "Maximum R&B". Their mix of rock and roll and R&B is now known as "British rhythm and blues". By the 1970s, the term "rhythm and blues" changed again and was used as a blanket term for soul and funk. In the 1980s, a newer style of R&B developed, becoming known as "contemporary R&B". It combines rhythm and blues with elements of pop, soul, funk, hip hop, and electronic music. Popular R&B vocalists at the end of the 20th century included Prince, R. Kelly, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston,Mariah Carey. In the 21st century, R&B has remained a popular genre becoming more pop orientated and alternatively influenced with successful artists including Bruno Mars, Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, The Weeknd, and Mark Ronson.
"We Belong Together" is a pop/R&B song recorded by Mariah Carey for her tenth studio album The Emancipation of Mimi (2005) and released as the album's second single in 2005. Written and produced by Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal, and Johnta Austin, the song was inspired by 1980s R&B and soul. Its arrangement is built on simple piano chords and an understated back beat, and its lyrics chronicle a woman's desperation for her former lover to return after their separation.
Following a career-decline between 2001 and 2003, Carey achieved considerable success with "We Belong Together" as the song topped the charts in many countries, including Australia, Brazil, Croatia, Philippines, South Africa, and the United States Billboard Hot 100 for fourteen non-consecutive weeks. The song is also the most successful song by a female artist in the history of Billboard.
In the U.S., the song also repeatedly broke many BDS Airplay records. The song was warmly received by critics, and won Carey a number of industry awards, including two Grammy Awards in 2006.
Further information: The Emancipation of Mimi
"We Belong Together" was not composed until late into the production of The Emancipation of Mimi. Following an unsuccessful career period between 2001 and 2003, Carey began production on the album in 2004. By November of that year she had considered the album complete, but some of what became its more popular tracks had yet to be written. Antonio "L.A." Reid, the chairman of Island Def Jam Records, encouraged Carey to attempt additional studio sessions with producer Jermaine Dupri. "L.A. was like, 'You and Jermaine Dupri make magic together, why aren't you in the studio with him?'" she recalled. "'I said, 'I love Jermaine, is he free? I know he's doing a million things.' [...] But Jermaine said, 'Come on down.'"
Eunice Kathleen Waymon, better known by her stage name Nina Simone (IPA: ninɐ sʌmɞnɑ) (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), was a Grammy Award-nominated American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and civil rights activist.
Although she disliked being categorized, Simone is generally classified as a jazz musician. She preferred the term "Black Classical Music" herself. Simone originally aspired to become a classical pianist, but her work covers an eclectic variety of musical styles besides her classical basis, such as jazz, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop music. Her vocal style (with a rich alto vocal range) is characterized by intense passion, breathiness, and tremolo. Sometimes known as the High Priestess of Soul, she paid great attention to the musical expression of emotions. Within one album or concert she could fluctuate between exuberant happiness or tragic melancholy. These fluctuations also characterized her own personality and personal life, worsened by a bipolar disorder with which she was diagnosed in the mid-sixties, but was kept secret until 2004.
Simone recorded over 40 live and studio albums, the biggest body of her work being released between 1958 (when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue) and 1974. Songs she is best known for include "My Baby Just Cares for Me", "I Put a Spell on You", "I Loves You Porgy", "Feeling Good", "Sinner Man", "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", "Strange Fruit", "Ain't Got No-I Got Life" and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl". Her music and message made a strong and lasting impact on African-American culture, illustrated by the numerous contemporary artists who cite her as an important influence (among them Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Jeff Buckley, and Lauryn Hill), as well as the extensive use of her music on soundtracks and in remixes.
Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, one of eight children. She began playing piano at her local church and showed prodigious talent on this instrument. Her concert debut, a classical piano recital, was made at the age of ten. During her performance, her parents, who had taken seats in the front row, were forced to move to the back of the hall to make way for white people. Simone refused to play until her parents were moved back. This incident contributed to her later involvement in the civil rights movement.
Things to do