Top R&B Albums of 2004
Nothing gets the dance floor moving like an R&B classic, whether you want to move to its rhythm or set an intimate atmosphere. These tunes will undoubtedly impress.
“Walked Outta Heaven” by Jagged Edge is an inspiring song with an emotional melody and emotive lyrics that explore heartbreak.
Early Life and Education
R&B bangers are essential components of any music collection, whether for filling up the dance floor or setting the perfect ambience. Being one of the most widely popular genres since their creation, R&B continues to rise in popularity through new releases.
Noel Gourdin first gained notice in the music world after being discovered and signed to Dre’s label by super producer Dre. Now known as an iconic singer-songwriter similar to Sam Cooke (in both melody and writing ability), Noel is considered a modern-day Sam Cooke with timeless songwriting abilities and is considered by many.
R. Kelly rose to stardom with his provocative lyrics and flawless albums released during the early and mid 1990s, winning him an army of young female fans. But, in 1997, Kelly made headlines when he publicly committed his life to Christianity.
R&B (rhythm and blues) music blends soulful vocals with an upbeat beat, becoming particularly popular with African Americans between World War II and early 1960s. Legendary artists such as Ray Charles, Little Richard, and James Brown have made significant contributions to R&B history.
In the 2000s, many talented male R&B singers began to emerge, such as B2K who became an instantaneous sensation among school girls thanks to their music videos, posters, merchandise, and tour appearances.
Usher was another R&B superstar of the decade, making an impactful statement with his groundbreaking release Confessions. Additionally, Ne-Yo made waves with his hit albums Force of Nature and One in a Million.
Achievement and Honors
Usher established himself as a superstar with his album Confessions in 2004, which remains a hit both at clubs and on radio stations today. From this record came such iconic hits as “Yeah!” featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris as well as its title track featuring Mariah Carey.
At the 2016 VIBE Awards held in November, Usher and Britney Spears both took home multiple honors – Spears earned a career achievement award while Usher won best R&B/hip-hop female artist and top R&B/hip-hop single (sales). OutKast won two top R&B/hip-hop male artists as well as top R&B/hip-hop group accolades; Big Boi and Andre 3000 each took home honors as top R&B/hip-hop male artists while Big Boi and Andre 3000 took home prizes as top R&B/hip-hop male artists and top R&B/hip-hop duo respectively.
At its annual BMI Urban Music Awards in Miami Beach, BMI honored some of the premier R&B, hip-hop, rap songwriters, producers and publishers from R&B, hip-hop and rap genres – such as Michael Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction – by awarding them prizes. Jackson took home one of these prizes via videotape thanking performers.
Jill Scott seamlessly blends R&B, jazz, hip-hop, spoken word opera and country music styles with her soulful soprano voice to deliver captivating and emotive songs of empowerment and romance. After releasing two consecutive No 1 albums – both released between 2000 and 2002 – in both Philadelphia and LA respectively, she went on to win her third consecutive Grammy Award in 2004 for Woman: Best Contemporary R&B Album.
Usher’s “Burn” is an iconic breakup song, depicting the emotional torment and anguish associated with parting ways with someone you care about. Written by Usher, Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox and featuring smooth vocals and haunting piano melody; it became an international smash hit when released as part of his Confessions album featuring duets with Alicia Keys as well as special guests Lil Jon and Ludacris as guests appearances.
R&B (or rhythm and blues) has evolved considerably throughout its history. From soul music and disco in the ’70s to funk and dance music in the ’80s and New Jack Swing/hip hop in the 1990s; by early 2000s this genre had once again morphed into Neo Soul genre.
Alicia Keys’ piano-driven ballad, “If I Ain’t Got You,” displayed both musical brilliance and emotional depth, while Mary J. Blige’s heartbreaking yet timeless hit “I Can’t Live Without You” spoke volumes of heartache as well as her desire for love.