Ohio R&B Artists

Top 7 From Cincinnati to Cleveland R&B Artists

The history of Ohio R&B artists dates back to the 1970s, with numerous singers and performers arriving into music from places like Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Canton, Akron, and multiple other cities throughout the state. From the Soul and Funk music eras of the 1970 to the rise of the New Jack R&B music of the 1980s to the modern-day rhythm and blues of the 1990s and 2000s, Ohio R&B groups and artists have impacted the genre and the culture for over 50 years.

The history of Ohio R&B artists includes dozens of artists. Cincinnati with the Isley Brothers, Bootsy Collins, Calloway (“I Wanna Be Rich”), and The Deele (“Two Occassions” & “Shoot Em Up Movies”). Cleveland with Bobby Womack, Gerald Levert, Rude Boys (“Written All On Your Face”), Sly, Slick & Wicked (“Confessin a Feeling” & “Thin Line Between Love And Hate”), Men at Large (“So Alone”), Dazz Band (“Let It Whip”). Dayton iconic for Funk and Soul artists like the Ohio Players, Lakeside (“Fantastic Voyage”), Heatwave (“Boogie Nights” & “Always and Forever”), Faze-O (“Riding High”), Slave (“Watching You” & “Slide”). Toledo with Anita Baker, Canton with the O’Jays, and Akron with James Ingram and Howard Hewett.

With a mixture of newcomers and today’s generation top R&B artists, like Alina Baraz and Arin Ray, along with veterans that are continuing their legacy and remaining active during the 2020s, like John Legend, Avant, Lyfe Jennings, and Macy Gray, Ohio R&B artists have much representation in today’s music scene.

Top 7 Ohio R&B Artists

Ohio R&B Artists

1. John Legend

With one of the most significant songs of the 2000s, “Ordinary People,” John Legend became highly known as one of the top male R&B artists of the 2000s and 2010s. Despite making his start as just a featured artist singing background for Kanye West, John Legend went from being an unaccredited hook and chorus singer, to becoming one of the greatest Ohio R&B artists of all-time.

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

2. Alina Baraz

One of the few newcomers on the list, her rise in music has been on display since releasing to the world the hit single “Electric,” following her debut with “Fantasy” and “Make You Feel.” While originally being born and raised in the city of Cleveland, Alina Baraz made her way into music following her arrival to Los Angeles. Since arriving to L.A., Alina Baraz has become one of the top rising stars in R&B.

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

Arin Ray

3. Arin Ray

A notable singer and songwriter, Arin Ray is another rising star of today’s R&B music. Born and raised in the city of Cincinnati with strong musical roots, despite being a newcomer to the R&B scene, Arin Ray has accomplished much since making his first public appearance on NBC’s X-Factor and his debut EP Phases (2016). Fresh off the release of one of 2022’s top R&B albums, Hello Poision, Arin Ray’s ascend in music has been in the making for the past few years.

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

4. Avant

The Cleveland native who held down R&B during the 2000s with five classic albums, led by songs like “Read Your Mind,” “Makin’ Good Love,” and “Separated,” was arguably one of the top male R&B singers of his generation. Still actively releasing music, Avant’s run during the 2000s helped carried the legacy of R&B music into a new period of time, following the golden era of the 1990s.

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

Ohio R&B Artists

5. Macy Gray

Another Ohio R&B artist raised in the small town of Canton, Ohio, alongside the O’Jays, this neo soul singer became a face in music following her release of the classic album of On How Life Is. Not necessarily a one hit wonder, but her song “I Try” is not only the biggest song of her career, but also was one of the most celebrated songs of the neo soul era of the 1990s and 2000s.

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

6. Sudan Archives

Providing fans and listeners a combination of electronic music, hip-hop, and rhythm and blues, Sudan Archives is far from the average artist. Born in Cincinnati, singer and violinist has created a brand of music that compares to none and overshadows all. Officially beginning her career in 2017 with her debut self-titled EP, Sudan Archives has been building and growing year by year, becoming one of music’s most exclusive artists.

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

7. Lyfe Jennings

Singing with a street edge, the Toledo, Ohio native has a true turn your life around story, following a ten year bid in prison. Lyfe Jennings went from performing on the intensifying stage of Showtime at the Apollo, to making his official debut in 2004 with Lyfe 268-192, with no looking back, releasing classic albums like The Phoenix, Lyfe Change, and I Still Believe.

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

Ohio R&B Singers

8. Elliott Trent

Elliott Trent is an emerging force in the R&B scene. Bringing to the forefront a smooth vocal quality with a modern R&B sound, Trent is destined to become one of the next major artists in R&B. Debuting in late 2010s, Elliott Trent has released popular songs like “The First Time,” “Computer Love,” and “One Friend” on projects like The Gentlemen’s Club, Into the Night, and DownTime.

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

Ohio RnB Jade Novah

9. Jade Novah

Jade Novah first dazzled audiences with her talent and satirical impersonations of famous singers on YouTube. She has since solidified her career in music with the release of original works. Her debut album All Blue arrived in 2018, and it showcased her versatility, crossing from pure R&B to hints of pop and soulful ballads. Novah’s dramatic flair make her stand out in the industry, earning her much respect, admiration, and a fanbase.

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify


10. MarMonroe

MarMonroe represents another facet of Ohio’s burgeoning R&B landscape. Hailing from Dayton, the multitalented MarMonroe blends smooth melodies with heartfelt lyrics, producing tunes that resonate with those who seek both rhythm and storytelling in their music. Though still in the early stages of his career path, MarMonroe has distinguished a signature sound for herself.

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

Juiicy 2xs

11. Juiicy 2xs

Cincinnati native Juiicy 2xs injects a refreshing dose of energy into the field of Ohio R&B artists with her bold and enthusiastic approach. She first released music years ago, presenting YouTube viewers her first official track “Quit Playing” in 2015. A rising talent, Juiicy 2xs has continued her artistry displayed through songs like “Roll It,” “Yeah Yeah,” and “Shot After Shot.”

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

Nefertitti Avani

12. Nefertitti Avani

Nefertitti Avani is an embodiment of the creative renaissance within the Ohio R&B scene. Her music underscores sensuous R&B with elements of soul to create a rich sound of modern rhythm and blues. While initially debuting during the early 2010s, she has had the pleasure of working a host of legends, including Fat Joe on “Take It Back” and Snoop Dogg on the song “Alright” with Method Man and Redman.

Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

Ohio R&B Artists Related Topics

1 Top 7 Detroit R&B Singers

2 Top 12 Columbus Rappers

3 Top 12 Cleveland Rappers

4 Top 15 Cincy Rappers

5 Top 30 Famous People from Cleveland

Share Page with Friends:

*Unofficial Order. The more popular artists that have a combination of the most followers, streams, views, and most recent releases are near the top.

*If any artists are missing from the list email info@kltvltz.com

Categorized in:

Tagged in: