Chicago’s Top R&B Singers Making Soul Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Check out our list of Chicago’s top R&B singers making soul music. From established artists to up-and-comers, these are the voices keeping the city’s music scene vibrant.

Chicago’s R&B History

Chicago has a long and storied history when it comes to R&B music. From the early days of doo-wop and the Motown sound to the more modern era of artists like R. Kelly and Chance the Rapper, the Windy City has always had a strong presence in the genre. Here are some of the top R&B singers from Chicago that are keeping the city’s musical legacy alive.

The beginning of R&B in Chicago

R&B, or rhythm and blues, is a type of soul music that originated in the 1940s in the United States. The genre was created by African American artists who blended together elements of Jazz, Gospel, and Blues. R&B is characterized by a strong backbeat, call-and-response vocals, and improvisation.

Chicago has a long and rich history of R&B music. The city was a hotbed for the genre in the 1950s and 1960s, with many famous R&B artists calling Chicago home. Some of the most popular R&B singers from Chicago include Sam Cooke, Etta James, Otis Redding, and Gladys Knight.

The rise of R&B in Chicago can be traced back to the early 1940s. At this time, many African Americans were migrating from the southern states to cities like Chicago in search of better opportunities. This migration led to the creation of new African American communities inChicago, which became known as “the black belt.”

In these communities, music played an important role in everyday life. People would often gather together to sing and play instruments like the guitar, piano, and drums. Church choirs were also very popular, as they provided a place for people to express their faith through song.

As more and more African Americans moved to Chicago, the black belt communities began to merging together. This merging of cultures led to the creation of new musical styles that blended together elements of Jazz, Gospel, and Blues. These new styles would come to be known as rhythm and blues (R&B)

The rise of R&B in Chicago

The 1940s saw the rise of a new form of music in the United States, one that would come to dominate the popular music scene for decades to come. This new style was called rhythm and blues, and it developed out of a fusion of African-American musical traditions, including blues, jazz, and gospel.

Chicago became one of the epicenters of this new sound, thanks to the city’s vibrant African-American community and the many clubs and record labels that sprang up to support it. Some of the most important figures in the history of R&B were born and raised in Chicago, including Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, and Dinah Washington.

These singers and many others helped to define what soul music would become, with their emotionally charged lyrics and soaring vocal performances. If you’re a fan of R&B, then you owe a debt of gratitude to the artists who made it what it is today.

Chicago’s Top R&B Singers

Chicago is home to some of the best R&B singers in the world. These singers have made a name for themselves by making soul music that has touched the hearts of millions. Let’s take a look at some of the top R&B singers from Chicago.


Muhsinah is a musician, singer, producer, and songwriter based in Chicago, IL. She has released 4 albums and 2 EPs. Muhsinah’s music is described as “soulful”, “introspective”, and “powerful”. She has been featured in magazines such as Vibe, RedEye, Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Reader.

Jamila Woods

Jamila Woods is a poet, singer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois. She is a founding member of the Chicago soul-based collective SONG, through which she has released one EP and two albums. In 2016, Woods’ debut solo album HEAVN received critical acclaim. Woods has said that her work is heavily influenced by her hometown of Chicago, as well as by the black feminist poets Audre Lorde and Maya Angelou.

Ravyn Lenae

Ravyn Lenae is a 19-year-old singer from Chicago who has been making waves in the R&B world with her unique sound and perspective. Lenae first gained recognition with the release of her EP Midnight Moonlight in 2016, which led to her signing with Atlantic Records. Her debut album, Crush, was released in 2018 to critical acclaim, with Pitchfork describing it as “a star-making turn.” lenae has since been featured on tracks by other artists, including waiting by Steve Lacy and Chicago Freestyle by Drake.

The Future of R&B in Chicago

Chicago is known for its contributions to the world of music, particularly in the genres of jazz and blues. Chicago is also home to a vibrant R&B scene, with a number of talented artists making a name for themselves. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top R&B singers in Chicago and what they’re doing to keep the genre alive.

The new generation of R&B singers in Chicago

There’s a new generation of R&B singers making soul music in Chicago. These artists are taking the sound of the city and making it their own. They’re influenced by the history of R&B in Chicago, but they’re also creating something new. Here are some of the top R&B singers in Chicago right now.

The future of R&B in Chicago

R&B in Chicago has been on the rise in recent years, with new artists making soul music that is both innovative and exciting. Here are some of the top R&B singers in Chicago who are making waves and shaping the future of this genre.

Dawn Richard is a singer, songwriter, and producer who first rose to fame as a member of the girl group Danity Kane. Since going solo, Richard has released two critically acclaimed albums, Goldenheart and Blackheart, which have showcased her unique blend of R&B, pop, and electronic music.

Jeremih is a singer, songwriter, and record producer who has been one of the most successful R&B artists of the past decade. His debut album, Jeremih, was certified platinum and spawned the hit single “Birthday Sex.” Jeremih has since released two more albums, Late Nights with Jeremih and Late Nights: Europe, which have continued to solidify his place as one of today’s premier R&B talents.

Mick Jenkins is a rap artist who has been making waves with his unique brand of soul-infused hip hop. His debut album, The Water[s], was released to critical acclaim in 2014, and Jenkins followed it up with Wave[s] in 2015. He is currently working on his third album, Pieces of a Man, which is scheduled for release in 2018.

SZA is a singer and songwriter whose CTRL album was one of the most acclaimed releases of 2017. SZA’s soulful voice and introspective lyrics have earned her comparisons to artists like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu. She is currently working on her second album, which is scheduled for release in 2018.

Chicago is home to many talented R&B singers who are making some of the best music in the genre today. These artists are paving the way for an exciting future for R&B music.

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