Rhythm and Blues Singers in History

Events in Music

Album Release

1992-07-28 R&B singer Mary J. Blige releases her debut album "What's the 411?", with production by Puff Daddy

Music History

2019-01-03 "Surviving R. Kelly" docuseries investigating sexual abuse by R&B singer R. Kelly premieres on Lifetime in the US

Music History

2022-05-07 Berklee College of Music bestows honorary doctorates to Beatles drummer Ringo Starr; bassist Chuck Rainey; composer James Newton Howard; and R&B singer Lalah Hathaway


Birthdays in Music

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 244

  • 1910-08-08 (Lucius) "Lucky" Millinder, American swing and rhythm-and-blues bandleader (Rosetta Tharpe; Who Threw The Whiskey in the Well), born in Anniston, Alabama (d. 1966)
  • 1912-10-15 Nellie Lutcher, American jazz and R&B singer, pianist, and songwriter ("Hurry On Down"; "He's a Real Gone Guy"), born in Lake Charles, Louisiana (d. 2007)
  • 1913-07-05 Smiley Lewis [Overton Amos Lemons], American R&B singer, and guitarist ("The Bells Are Ringing"; "One Night (Of Sin)"; "I Hear You Knocking"), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1966)
  • 1914-10-10 Ivory Joe Hunter "The Baron of the Boogie", American R&B singer, piano player, and songwriter ("Since I Met You Baby"), born in Kirbyville, Texas (d. 1974)
  • 1915-03-20 Sister Rosetta Tharpe [Nubin], American gospel and R&B singer, songwriter, and electric guitarist ("This Train"; "Down By The Riverside"), born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, (d. 1973)
  • 1915-08-24 Wynonie Harris, American rhythm and blues singer, born in Omaha, Nebraska (d. 1969)
  • 1917-01-10 Jerry Wexler, American music producer who coined the term "rhythm and blues" (Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2008)
  • 1917-03-26 Rufus Thomas [Mr. Swing], American R&B musician (Do the Funky Chicken), born in Cayce, Mississippi (d. 2001)
  • 1922-10-15 Tommy Edwards, American R&B singer-songwriter ("It's All In The Game"), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1969)
  • 1923-12-10 Linda Hayes [Bertha Williams], American R&B singer (Yes I Know), born in Linden, New Jersey (d. 1998)
  • 1924-01-01 Arthur Prysock, American jazz and R&B singer ("I Didn't Sleep a Wink Last Night"; "In The Rain"), born in was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina (d. 1997) (some sources state year as 1929)
  • 1924-05-01 Big Maybelle [Mabel Smith], American R&B singer (A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On; Candy), born in Jackson, Mississippi (d. 1972)
  • 1924-08-29 Dinah Washington [Ruth Lee Jones], American jazz, blues, pop, and R&B singer ("What a Diff'rence a Day Makes": "September In The Rain"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1963)
  • 1924-12-24 [Irving] Lee Dorsey, American pop and R&B singer ("Working In the Coal Mine"), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1986)
  • 1926-03-27 Frankie Ervin, American R&B singer (The Three Blazers - "Dragnet Blues"; The Shields - "You Cheated"), born in Blythe, California (d. 2009)
  • 1926-08-12 Joe Jones, American R&B singer (d. 2005)
  • 1926-12-11 Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, American rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter (Hound Dog, Ball & Chain, Stronger than Dirt), born in Ariton, Alabama (d. 1984)
  • 1927-04-01 Amos Milburn, American R&B singer and pianist ("One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer"), born in Houston, Texas (d. 1980)
  • 1927-09-01 Tommy Evans, American doo-wop, and R&B singer (Drifters, 1956-62 - "Save The Last Dance For Me"), born in Wayne County, Michigan (d. 1984)
  • 1927-12-23 (Cornelius) "Pinocchio" James, American jazz and R&B singer (Lionel Hampton Revue), born in Macon, Georgia
  • 1929-01-05 Wilbert Harrison, American R&B singer ("Kansas City"; "Let's Work Together"), born in Charlotte, North Carolina (d. 1994)
  • 1929-06-09 Johnny Ace [John Marshall Alexander, Jr.], rhythm and blues singer ("My Song"), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 1954)
  • 1929-07-18 (Jalacy) "Screamin' Jay" Hawkins, American blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter ("I Put a Spell On You"), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2000)
  • 1929-07-27 Harvey Fuqua, American R&B singer-songwriter (The Moonglows - "Sincerely"), producer (Marvin Gaye), and record label executive (Motown), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 2010)
  • 1929-12-25 Chris Kenner, R&B singer (I Like it Like That), born in Kenner, Louisiana (d. 1976)
  • 1932-01-31 Rick Hall, American record producer, songwriter, and creator of the "Muscle Shoals sound" (FAME Studio), born in Forest Grove, Mississippi (d. 2018)
  • 1932-06-02 Sammy Turner, American pop and R&B singer ("Lavender Blue"; "Always"), born in Patterson, New Jersey
  • 1932-11-15 Clyde McPhatter, American R&B and doo-wop tenor vocalist, arranger and songwriter (The Dominos, 1950-53 - "Sixty Minute Man"; The Drifters, 1953-55 -"Honey Love"; solo - "Treasure My Love"), born in Durham, North Carolina (d. 1972)
  • 1933-01-24 Zeke Carey, American doo-wop and R&B singer (The Flamingos - "I Only Have Eyes For You"), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1999)
  • 1933-03-09 Lloyd Price, American R&B singer ("Lawdy Miss Clawdy"; "Stagger Lee"; "Personality"), born in Kenner, Louisiana (d. 2021) [1]
  • 1933-07-16 Sollie McElroy, R&B singer (Flamingos-Golden Teardrops), born in Gulfport, Harrison County, Mississippi (d. 1995)
  • 1934-01-26 Huey "Piano" Smith, American R&B pianist ("Rockin' Pneumonia & Boogie Woogie Flu"; "Having a Good Time"), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1934-02-16 Ted Taylor, American gospel and R&B-singer ("Be Ever Wonderful"), born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, (d. 1987)
  • 1934-06-15 Ruby Nash Curtis [Garnett], American pop and R&B singer (Ruby and the Romantics - "Our Day Will Come"; "Hey There Lonely Boy"), born in Akron, Ohio
  • 1934-07-16 Denise LaSalle [Ora Denise Allen], American blues and R&B singer recognized as the "Queen of the Blues" (Trapped by a Thing Called Love), born in Leflore County, Mississippi (d. 2018)
  • 1934-08-29 Gene Allison, American R&B-singer ("You Can Make It If You Try"), born in Pegram, Tennessee (d. 2004)
  • 1934-12-25 McKinley Mitchell, American gospel, blues, and R&B singer ("The Town I Live In"), born in Jackson, Mississippi (d. 1986)
  • 1935-01-06 Paul Wilson, American doo-wop baritone singer (Flamingos, 1953-64 - "I Only Have Eyes For You"; "Lovers Never Say Goodbye"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1988)
  • 1935-05-10 Larry Williams, American R&B singer-songwriter ("Dizzy, Miss Lizzie"; "Slow Down"), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1980)
  • 1935-10-16 Sugar Pie DeSanto [Peylia Marsema Balinton], American R&B singer ("Soulful Dress"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1935-11-12 (Isiah Terry) "Buzzy" Johnson, American R&B singer (Flamingos - "I Only Have Eyes For You"), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • 1935-12-23 Esther Phillips [Jones], American R&B singer ("What A Diff'rence A Day Makes"), born in Galveston, Texas (d. 1984)
  • 1936-02-22 Ernie K-Doe [Ernest Kador Jr.], African-American R&B singer (Mother-in-Law"), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1936-03-24 Don Covay [Randolph], American R&B musician and songwriter ("Chain of Fools"), born in Orangeburg, South Carolina (d. 2015)
  • 1936-04-10 Bobby Smith, American R&B singer (The Spinners - "Working My Way Back To You"), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2013)
  • 1936-05-14 Charlie Gracie [Graci], American rock pioneer, rhythm and blues singer, and guitarist ("Butterfly"; "Fabulous"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1936-06-19 Shirley Goodman, US R&B singers (Shirley & Lee- Feels so Good)
  • 1936-09-07 Joe Simon, American R&B singer ("Power of Love"), born in Simmesport, Louisiana (d. 2021)
  • 1936-11-01 [Zephire] Andre Williams, American R&B musician ("Shake a Tail Feather"; "Jailbait"), born in Bessemer, Alabama (d. 2019)
  • 1936-11-14 Cornell Gunter, American R&B singer (The Coasters - "Poison Ivy"; "Yakety-Yak"), born in Coffeyville, Kansas (d. 1990)
  • 1937-01-06 Doris Troy [Higginsen], American R&B singer and songwriter ("Just One Look"), born in the Bronx, New York (d. 2004)
  • 1937-03-24 Billy Stewart, American R&B singer ("I Do Love You"; "Summertime"), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 1970)
  • 1937-07-22 Chuck Jackson, American pop and R&B singer ("Any Day Now"; "I Don't Want to Cry"; "I Keep Forgettin'"), born in Latta, South Carolina
  • 1937-10-23 Yvonne Staples, American gospel and R&B singer (The Staple Singers), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2018)
  • 1937-11-14 Joseph Billingslea, Jr., American R&B singer (The Contours - "Do You Love Me"), born in Hamtramck, Michigan
  • 1937-11-15 William "Little Willie" John, American R&B singer ("Fever"; "Leave My Kitten Alone"), born in Cullendale, Arkansas (d. 1968)
  • 1937-12-17 Art Neville, American funk and R&B singer, keyboard player, and songwriter (Neville Brothers; The Funky Meters), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2019)

Allen ToussaintAllen Toussaint (1938-2015)

1938-01-14 American pianist, songwriter and producer ("Mother-In-Law"; "Working In A Coal Mine"; "Southern Nights"), born in Gert Town, Louisiana

  • 1938-02-22 Bobby Hendricks, American R&B singer (Itchy Twitchy Feeling), born in Columbus, Ohio
  • 1938-03-13 Erma Franklin, American gospel and R&B singer ("Piece Of My Heart"), born in Shelby, Mississippi (d. 2002)
  • 1938-04-09 Rockin' Sidney [Simien], American zydeco and R&B singer-songwriter, accordionist, guitarist, organist, and harmonica player ("My Toot-Toot"; "You Ain't Nothing But Fine"), born in Lebeau, Louisiana (d. 1998)
  • 1938-05-04 Tyrone Davis, American R&B singer ("Can I Change My Mind"; "Turn Back The Hands Of Time"), born in Greenville, Mississippi (d. 2005)
  • 1938-05-17 Pervis Jackson, American R&B singer (The Spinners - Games People Play), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2008)
  • 1938-10-15 Marv Johnson, American R&B pianist, songwriter, and singer ("You Got What It Takes"; "(You've Got To) Move Two Mountains"), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1993)
  • 1938-11-04 Harry Elston, American R&B singer (Friends of Distinction), born in Dallas, Texas
  • 1939-02-09 Barry Mann [Imberman], American pop songwriter ("You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"), and singer ("Who Put the Bomp In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1939-06-25 Harold Melvin, American soul and R&B singer (The Blue Notes - "If You Don't Know Me By Now"), born in Philadelphia (d. 1997)
  • 1939-07-16 William Bell, American soul and R&B singer ("Tryin' To Love Two"), and songwriter ("Born Under a Bad Sign"), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • 1939-08-18 Maxine Brown, American soul and R&B singer and songwriter (It's All in My Mind), born in Kingstree, South Carolina
  • 1940-06-13 Bobby Freeman, American rock, soul and R&B singer ("Do You Want to Dance"), born in Northern California (d. 2017)
  • 1941-01-08 Little Anthony [Anthony Gourdine], American rhythm and blues singer (Little Anthony and the Imperials - "Goin' Out of My Head"), born in Brooklyn, New York

Wilson PickettWilson Pickett (1941-2006)

1941-03-18 American R&B singer ("In The Midnight Hour"; "Funky Broadway"), born in Prattville, Alabama

  • 1941-06-21 Mitty Collier, American gospel and R&B singer ("I Had A Talk With My Man"), and church pastor, born in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 1941-07-09 Don McPherson, American R&B singer (The Main Ingredient - "Everybody Plays the Fool"), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1971)
  • 1941-07-18 Martha Reeves, American pop and R&B singer (Martha & the Vandellas - "Dancing in the Street"), born in Eufaula, Alabama
  • 1941-10-07 Enrique Antonio "Tony" Silvester, Panamanian-American R&B singer-songwriter (The Main Ingredient - "Everybody Plays The Fool"), born in Panama (d. 2006)
  • 1942-01-20 William Powell, American R&B singer (O'Jays - "Love Train"), born in Canton, Ohio (d. 1977)
  • 1942-01-21 (Charles) Edwin Starr [Hatcher], American soul and R&B singer (War), born in Nashville, Tennessee (d. 2003)
  • 1942-02-11 Otis Clay, American gospel, soul, and R&B-singer ("That's How It Is (When You're In Love)"), born in Waxhaw, Mississippi (d. 2006)
  • 1942-03-01 Jerry Fisher, American R&B singer (Blood, Sweat & Tears), born in DeKalb, Texas
  • 1942-09-09 Inez Foxx, American R&B singer (Mockingbird), born in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • 1942-09-09 Luther Simmons, American R&B singer, songwriter and producer (The Main Ingredient - "Everybody Plays The Fool"), born in New York City (d. 2016)
  • 1942-10-05 Richard Street, American R&B musician (The Temptations, 1971-93 - "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone"), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2013)
  • 1942-12-21 Carla Thomas, American soul and R&B singer ("Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)"; "Tramp"), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • 1943-01-08 Marcus Hutson, American R&B singer (The Whispers - "And the Beat Goes On"; "Rock Steady"), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 2000)
  • 1943-01-09 Kenneth "Wally" Kelly, American R&B singer (Manhattans - "Kiss And Say Goodbye"), born in New Jersey (d. 2015)
  • 1943-01-26 Jean Knight [Caliste], American soul, funk and R&B singer ("Mr. Big Stuff"), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1943-02-03 Dennis Edwards, American po and R&B singer (The Temptations - "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone"), born in Fairfield, Alabama (d. 2018)
  • 1943-02-09 Barbara Lewis, American soul and R&B singer-songwriter ("Hello Stranger"; "Baby I'm Yours"), born in Salem, Michigan
  • 1943-02-28 Barbara Acklin, American soul singer ("Love Makes A Woman"), and songwriter ("Have You Seen Her"), born in Oakland, California (d. 1998)
  • 1943-06-30 Florence Ballard, American pop and R&B singer (The Supremes, 1959-67 - "Buttered Popcorn"; "Where Did Our Love Go"), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1976)
  • 1943-09-23 Wallace "Scotty" Scott, American R&B singer (The Whispers - "And the Beat Goes On"; "Rock Steady"), born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 1943-09-23 Walter Scott, American R&B singer (The Whispers - "And the Beat Goes On"; "Rock Steady"), born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 1944-02-10 Nathaniel Mayer, American R&B singer ("Village of Love"; "Leave Me Alone"), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2008)
  • 1944-03-04 Bobby Womack, American R&B singer, guitarist, songwriter, and producer ("It's All Over Now"; "Woman's Got to Have It"; "Across 110th Street"), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2014)
  • 1944-04-05 Nicholas Caldwell, American R&B singer (Whispers - "And The Beat Goes On"), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2016)
  • 1944-05-12 James Purify, American R&B singer ("I'm Your Puppet"), born in Pensacola, Florida (d. 2021)
  • 1944-06-02 Antone Tavares, American R&B musician (Tavares - "Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel"), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1944-07-15 Millie Jackson, American disco and R&B singer ("Hurts So Good"; "If You're Not Back in Love By Monday"), born in Thompson, Georgia
  • 1944-08-15 Frederick Knight, American R&B singer-songwriter ("I've Been Lonely For So Long"), and record producer, born in Birmingham, Alabama

Weddings in Music

Barry White

1974-07-04 American soul singer Barry White (29) weds R&B singer Glodean James (28) at a private ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada; Separate in 1988, but never divorce

Janet Jackson

1984-09-07 American actress-singer Janet Jackson (18) weds Amwerican R&B singer James DeBarge (21); annulled in 1985

R. Kelly

1994-08-30 American R&B singer R. Kelly (25) weds Aaliyah (15) illegally in Rosemont, Illinois (later annulled)

  • 2005-01-08 American rapper and actor Nas (32) weds R&B singer Kelis (25) at Morningside Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia

Wedding of Interest

2005-05-10 Actress and model Heidi Klum (39) weds British soul and R&B singer-songwriter Seal (49) in Costa Careyes, Mexico

Alicia Keys

2010-07-31 American R&B singer-songwriter Alicia Keys (31) weds Grammy Award-winning American rapper Swizz Beatz (33) at a private home on the French island of Corsica

  • 2011-05-22 American R&B singer Keyshia Cole (28) weds NBA Cleveland Cavaliers Daniel Gibson (25) in Cleveland, Ohio; divorce in 2017
  • 2012-06-18 R&B singer Bobby Brown (43) weds Alicia Etheridge in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 2016-02-20 American R&B singer Ne-Yo (36) weds Crystal Renay Williams in Los Angeles
  • 2020-08-29 American actress Niecy Nash (50) weds American R&B singer Jessica Betts (38)

Divorces in Music

Janet Jackson

1985-01-07 Actress-singer Janet Jackson (18) divorces fellow R&B singer James DeBarge (21) only 4 months after getting married

Halle Berry

2003-09-27 American actress Halle Berry announces her separation from second husband, R&B singer Eric Benet

  • 2004-04-27 Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry files for divorce from her second husband, R&B singer Eric Benet, six months after the couple separated

Whitney Houston

2007-04-24 Recording artist and the most-awarded female act of all-time Whitney Houston (43) divorces R&B singer-songwriter Bobby Brown (38) due to irreconcilable differences after 14 years of marriage

Usher

2009-11-04 R&B singer Usher (30) divorces hair stylist and wardrobe stylist Tameka Foster (38) due to irretrievably broken marriage after 2 years

Divorce of Interest

2012-04-06 Actress and model Heidi Klum (39) divorces British soul and R&B singer-songwriter Seal (49) due to irreconcilable differences after almost seven years of marriage


Deaths in Music

  • 1954-12-25 Johnny Ace, American rhythm and blues singer, accidentally shoots himself in the head at 25
  • 1963-12-14 Dinah Washington [Ruth Lee Jones], American jazz, blues, pop, and R&B singer ("What a Diff'rence a Day Makes": "September In The Rain"), dies of sleeping pill overdose at 39
  • 1966-09-28 (Lucius) "Lucky" Millinder, American swing and rhythm-and-blues bandleader (Rosetta Tharpe; Who Threw The Whiskey in the Well), dies of a liver ailment at 56
  • 1966-10-07 Smiley Lewis [Overton Amos Lemons], American R&B singer, and guitarist ("The Bells Are Ringing"; "One Night (Of Sin)"; "I Hear You Knocking"), dies of stomach cancer at 46
  • 1966-11-26 Harold Burrage, American R&B singer, pianist, and songwriter ("Got to Find a Way"), dies of heart failure at 35
  • 1968-02-27 Frankie Lymon, American pop singer (The Teenagers - "Why Do Fools Fall In Love"), dies of a heroin overdose at 25
  • 1968-05-26 William "Little Willie" John, American R&B singer ("Fever"; "Leave My Kitten Alone"), dies in prison while serving a sentence for manslaughter at 30
  • 1969-06-14 Wynonie Harris, American rhythm and blues singer, dies of cancer at 53
  • 1969-10-23 Tommy Edwards, American R&B singer-songwriter ("It's All In The Game"), dies from complications of cirrhosis of the liver at 47
  • 1970-01-24 James "Shep" Shepherd, American R&B singer-songwriter (The Heartbeats - "One Thousand Miles"; Shep & Limelites - "Daddy's Home"), beaten to death in a robbery at 34
  • 1971-07-04 Don McPherson, American R&B singer (The Main Ingredient - "Everybody Plays the Fool"), dies of leukemia at 29
  • 1972-01-23 Big Maybelle [Mabel Smith], American R&B singer (A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On; Candy), dies from complications of diabetes at 47
  • 1972-06-13 Clyde McPhatter, American R&B and doo-wop tenor vocalist, arranger and songwriter (The Dominos, 1950-53 - "Sixty Minute Man"; TheDrifters, 1953-55 - "Honey Love"; solo - "Treasure My Love"), dies at 39
  • 1973-10-09 Sister Rosetta Tharpe [Nubin], American gospel and R&B singer, songwriter, and electric guitarist ("This Train"; "Down By The Riverside"), dies of a stroke at 58
  • 1974-05-08 Graham Bond, British R&B musician, dies jumping under a train at 36
  • 1974-11-08 Ivory Joe Hunter "The Baron of the Boogie", American R&B singer, piano player, and songwriter ("Since I Met You Baby"), dies of lung cancer at 60
  • 1976-01-28 Chris Kenner, American R&B singer-songwriter (I Like it Like That), dies at 46
  • 1976-02-22 Florence Ballard, American pop and R&B singer (The Supremes, 1959-67 - "Buttered Popcorn"; "Where Did Our Love Go"), dies of a heart attack at 32
  • 1977-05-26 William Powell, American R&B singer (O'Jays - "Love Train"; "Backstabbers"), dies of cancer at 35
  • 1980-01-03 Amos Milburn, American R&B singer and pianist, dies at 52
  • 1980-01-07 Larry Williams, American R&B singer-songwriter ("Dizzy, Miss Lizzie"; "Slow Down"), dies of a gunshot wound to the head at 44
  • 1981-05-25 Roy Brown, American R&B singer, songwriter ("Good Rockin' Tonight"), dies of a heart attack at 55
  • 1984-07-25 Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, American rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter ("Hound Dog"; "Ball & Chain"; "Stronger Than Dirt"), dies of heart and liver disorders at 57
  • 1985-11-24 "Big" Joe Turner, American blues and R&B singer ("Shake, Rattle and Roll"), dies of heart failure at 74
  • 1986-12-01 [Irving] Lee Dorsey, American pop and R&B singer (Working in the Coal Mine), dies at 61
  • 1987-11-22 Ted Taylor, American R&B singer ("Stay Away From My Baby"), dies in a car crash at 58
  • 1988-04-09 Dave Prater, American R&B singer and musician (Sam & Dave - "Soul Man"), dies in a car crash at 50
  • 1988-10-25 Johnnie Richardson, American R&B musician (Johnnie & Joe), dies at 53
  • 1992-04-12 Joe Medwick, American R&B singer, and songwriter ("Further On Up The Road"), dies at 61
  • 1994-04-07 Lee Brilleaux, British R&B singer, harmonica player, and guitarist (Dr. Feelgood), dies of lymphoma at 41
  • 1994-10-26 Wilbert Harrison, American R&B singer ("Kansas City"), dies at 65
  • 1995-01-15 Sollie McElroy, R&B singer (Flamingos - "Golden Teardrops"), dies at 61
  • 1995-05-06 Leonard "Red" Truss, American R&B singer (The Steelers - "Get It From The Bottom"), dies at 47
  • 1995-08-16 Robert "Robby" Debarge, R&B Musician, dies at 36
  • 1997-03-17 Jermaine Stewart, American R&B singer (We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off), dies of cancer at 37
  • 1997-03-24 Harold Melvin, American soul and R&B singer (The Blue Notes - "If You Don't Know Me By Now"), dies at 57
  • 1997-06-21 Arthur Prysock, American jazz and R&B singer ("I Didn't Sleep a Wink Last Night"; "In The Rain"), dies at 68 or 73 [birth year disputed]
  • 1998-02-25 Rockin' Sidney [Simien], American zydeco and R&B singer-songwriter, accordionist, guitarist, organist, and harmonica player ("My Toot-Toot"; "You Ain't Nothing But Fine"), dies of throat cancer at 59
  • 1998-05-26 Linda Hayes [Bertha Williams], American R&B singer (Yes I Know), dies at 74
  • 1999-12-24 Zeke Carey, American R&B singer (The Flamingos - "Goodnight Sweetheart"; "I Only Have Eyes For You"), dies of a heart attack at 66
  • 2000-02-12 Screamin' Jay Hawkins, American R&B musician (I Put a Spell on You), dies at 70
  • 2000-05-23 Marcus Hutson, American R&B singer (The Whispers - "And the Beat Goes On"; "Rock Steady"), dies of prostate cancer at 57
  • 2002-09-07 Erma Franklin, American gospel and R&B singer ("Piece Of My Heart"), dies at 64
  • 2003-04-02 (Charles) Edwin Starr [Hatcher], American soul and R&B singer ("War"), dies of a heart attack at 61
  • 2004-02-16 Doris Troy [Higginsen], American R&B singer and songwriter ("Just One Look"), dies from emphysema at 67
  • 2004-02-28 Gene Allison, American R&B singer ("You Can Make It If You Try"), dies at 69
  • 2005-02-09 Tyrone Davis, American R&B singer ("Can I Change My Mind"; "Turn Back The Hands Of Time"), dies of complications from a stroke at 66
  • 2005-11-27 Joe Jones, American R&B singer (b. 1926)
  • 2006-01-08 Otis Clay, American gospel, soul, and R&B-singer ("That's How It Is (When You're In Love)"), dies at 73

Wilson PickettWilson Pickett (1941-2006)

2006-01-19 American R&B singer ("In The Midnight Hour"; "Funky Broadway"), dies of a heart attack at 64

  • 2006-01-27 Gene McFadden, American R&B singer-songwriter and producer (McFadden & Whitehead - "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"), dies of lung cancer at 56 [1]
  • 2006-04-11 June Pointer, American pop and R&B singer (Pointer Sisters -"Fire"; "He's So Shy"; "Jump (For My Love)'; "Slow Hand"), dies of cancer at 52
  • 2006-12-26 Enrique Antonio "Tony" Silvester, Panamanian-American R&B singer-songwriter (The Main Ingredient - "Everybody Plays the Fool"), dies at 65
  • 2007-06-08 Nellie Lutcher, American jazz and R&B singer, pianist, and songwriter (He's a Real Gone Guy), dies at 94
  • 2007-10-19 Yolanda "LaLa" Brown, American R&B singer, shot and killed by an unknown gunman at a Milwaukee recording studio at 21
  • 2008-08-15 Jerry Wexler, American music producer who coined the term "rhythm and blues" (Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan), dies from congestive heart failure at 91
  • 2008-08-18 Pervis Jackson, American R&B singer (Spinners), dies at 70
  • 2008-11-01 Nathaniel Mayer, American R&B singer ("Village of Love"; "Leave Me Alone"), dies after multiple strokes at 64
  • 2009-02-01 Frankie Ervin, American R&B singer (The Three Blazers -"Dragnet Blues"; The Shields -"You Cheated"), dies at 82
  • 2010-01-13 Theodore "Teddy" Pendergrass, American singer (Turn Off the Lights), dies of respiratory failure at 59
  • 2010-07-06 Harvey Fuqua, American R&B singer-songwriter (The Moonglows - "Sincerely"), producer (Marvin Gaye), and record label executive (Motown), dies of a heart attack at 80
  • 2012-01-17 Johnny Otis [Ioannis Veliotes], American R&B musician, songwriter, producer and talent scout ("Willie and the Hand Jive"; "Cupid's Boogie"), known as "the godfather of rhythm and blues", dies at 90
  • 2012-11-09 Major Harris, American R&B singer (Love Won't Let Me Wait), dies from congestive heart and lung failure at 65
  • 2013-02-27 Richard Street, American R&B musician (The Temptations), dies at 70
  • 2013-03-16 Bobby Smith, American R&B singer (The Spinners), dies from complications of influenza and pneumonia at 76
  • 2014-02-26 Frank Reed, American R&B singer (Chi-Lites, 1988-2014), dies at 59
  • 2014-06-22 Teenie Hodges, American rhythm and blues guitarist, dies from complications from emphysema at 68
  • 2014-06-27 Bobby Womack, American R&B singer, guitarist, songwriter, and producer ("It's All Over Now"; "Woman's Got to Have It"; "Across 110th Street"), dies at 70
  • 2015-01-31 Don Covay [Donald Randolph], American R & B musician and songwriter (Chain of Fools), dies at 78
  • 2015-02-17 Kenneth "Wally" Kelly, American R&B singer (Manhattans - "Kiss And Say Goodbye"), dies at 74

Allen ToussaintAllen Toussaint (1938-2015)

2015-11-10 American pianist, songwriter and producer ("Mother-In-Law"; "Working In A Coal Mine"; "Southern Nights"), dies of a heart attack at 77

  • 2016-01-05 Nicholas Caldwell, American R&B and soul singer (The Whispers - "And The Baet Goes On"; "It's A Love Thing"), dies of congestive heart failure at 71
  • 2016-02-15 Vanity [Denise Matthews], Canadian R&B singer, Prince protege ("Nasty Girl"), actress (52 Pick Up), and evangelist dies of kidney failure at 57

Prince Rogers NelsonPrince Rogers Nelson (1958-2016)

2016-04-21 American funk, rock, R&B singer-songwriter and musician ("1999"; "Purple Rain"), dies from an accidental overdose of painkillers at 57

  • 2017-06-12 Felice Taylor, American R&B singer (I Feel Love Comin' On), dies at 73
  • 2018-01-08 Denise LaSalle [Ora Denise Allen], American blues and R&B singer recognized as the "Queen of the Blues" ("Trapped by a Thing Called Love"), dies from complications from surgery at 83
  • 2018-04-10 Yvonne Staples, American R&B singer (The Staple Sisters), dies at 80
  • 2019-01-29 James Ingram, American R&B singer-songwriter and musician ("Somewhere Out There"; "Just Once"), dies of brain cancer at 66
  • 2019-03-17 [Zephire] Andre Williams, American R&B musician ("Jailbait"; "Shake a Tail Feather"), dies at 82
  • 2019-07-22 Art Neville, American funk and R&B singer, keyboard player, and songwriter (Neville Brothers; The Funky Meters), dies at 81
  • 2020-05-05 Hillard "Sweet Pea" Atkinson, American R&B singer (Was (Not Was)), dies of a heart attack at 74 [1]
  • 2020-05-10 Betty Wright [Bessie Norris], American R&B singer-songwriter ("Clean Up Woman"), dies at 66
  • 2020-05-17 (Judge) "Lucky" Peterson, American contemporary blues, soul, and R&B musician ("The Son of A Bluesman"), dies from ahead injury after a fall at 55
  • 2021-01-22 James Purify, American R&B singer ("I'm Your Puppet"), dies of Covid-19 complications at 76
  • 2021-02-04 Nolan Porter, American R&B singer-songwriter ("Keep On Keeping On"), dies at 71
  • 2021-05-03 Lloyd Price, American R&B singer ("Lawdy Miss Clawdy"; "Stagger Lee"; "Personality"), dies at 88
  • 2021-12-13 Joe Simon, American R&B singer ("Power of Love"), dies at 85
  • 2022-03-11 Timmy Thomas, American R&B singer-songwriter ("Why Can't We Live Together"), dies of cancer at 77
  • 2022-10-15 Joyce Sims, American R&B singer-songwriter ("All and All"; "Come into My Life"), dies at 63