Top Chicago R&B Artists
List of Top Chicago R&B Singers
While Chicago has often been overlooked by larger markets, like New York City, Los Angeles, and Detroit’s Motown era, the Windy City has contributed much to black culture and to urban music and entertainment by producing numerous soul legends and Chicago R&B singers that are among the all-time greats.
Being a city that has provided the music industry with one of the greatest producers of all-time in Quincy Jones, the long list of legends does not stop at the 28x Grammy award winner but continues with legendary artists like Earth, Wind & Fire, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Chaka Khan, The Chi-Lites, Minnie Riperton, The Dells, and many more.
Before the era of soul music, Chicago was highly known for the city’s jazz and blues music scene, which dominated the landscaped from the beginning of the 1900s and well into the 1960s, before soul and rhythm and blues became the more popular genres. While jazz and blues music are still relevant in the city of Chicago, Chicago R&B artists have become household names, all while becoming some of the most accomplished rhythm and blues singers of their generation.
The lineup of Chicago R&B singers that hail from the city of Chicago have included the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Tink, Carl Thomas, Jeremih, Donell Jones, Dave Hollister, R. Kelly, Jermaine Stewart, the group Jade, and Miki Howard, all who are among the top Chicago R&B artists to represent the city over the years.
In today’s music scene, Chicago representatives of R&B music are top female artists like Ann Marie and Ravyn Lenae, while Jennifer Hudson and Tink are still actively releasing music and continuing to build upon their legacy. The representation for the males includes legends Donell Jones, BJ The Chicago Kid, and Jeremih, but also newcomers and rising stars like CeeTheWorld, Josh K, and several others.
Top 10 Chicago R&B Singers
While many artists who began during the 2000s may have lost their edge, Jeremih has stayed persistent throughout his career with no moment of irrelevancy. Despite being known for hit songs like “Don’t Tell ‘Em”, “Birthday Sex”, or “Down on Me”, Jeremih has received much of his recognition from featuring with all of the top hip-hop and rhythm and blues artists, an extensive list of dozens hit features with Snoop Dogg, DJ Khaled, Lil Durk, The Game, Big Sean, Wale, Nelly, and many more.
2. Ann Marie
Hailing from the South Side of Chicago, Ann Marie’s talent has become undeniable. With songs like “Different,” “Unlove You,” “Secret,” and “Stress Relief,” to prove the talent of the Chicago native, Ann Marie has been grinding nonstop since 2014 when she began making short YouTube clips, which would eventually jump start her career into becoming of the top R&B singers of today.
3. Jennifer Hudson
With one of the most beautiful voices in the business, Jennifer Hudson came into the forefront of viewers as an contestant on American Idol during the time when the show was the number one series on television. After fans fallen in love with the Englewood native, Jennifer Hudson would truly begin her career starring in the film Dream Girls. In 2008 she released her debut self-titled album, gaining even more notoriety as the album would become certified gold. While two follow-ups with I Remember Me and JHud, her latest project was the soundtrack for 2021’s Respect.
Another veteran hailing from the city’s South Side, Tink would have an involvement with music for most of her life, but a career as a professional recording artist kickstarted in 2012 with the project Winter’s Diary. While releasing multiple mixtapes in the beginning of her career, including Winter’s Diary 1 through 4, Tink would gain a larger fanbase with the single “Million” in 2015. Known for hits like “Million,” “Cut It Out,” and “Bottom B****,” Tink has been nonstop since the early 2010s, releasing over a dozen projects.
5. toni romiti
One of the present day’s leading women in rhythm and blues, Toni Romiti would introduced her self to music lovers and rhythm and blues fans during 2015. Finding success upon her first release with the album Lemonade, which featured songs like “Time to Leave,” Toni Romiti would continue to bless listeners with multiple projects, from 2016’s Just Like You to 2020’s Don’t Talk to Boys, but would truly gain a fanbase with songs like “Imma Dog Too” and “Switch Up.”
6. Ravyn Lenae
An extraordinary talent that has been actively releasing music since the 2010s, Ravyn Lenae would gain quite the fanfare with 2017’s “Sticky.” From collaborating with notable artists, like Steve Lacy, Mereba, Doechii, and Kaytranada, to dropping multiple EPs during the 2010s, only to lead up to her debut album, HYPNOS of 2022, Ravyn Lenae is one of R&B’s most underrated talents.
Making her debut in 2015 with the song “Final Goodbye,” Sonta has been pushing through the industry for some time now. Known for popular songs like “Who Is She,” “You Ain’t S***,” “Crazy Over You,” “Crushing,” and “Your Mistake,” Sonta has showcased her gift as an artist that has proven the deserving to be in the conversation among the top tier R&B artists of the today’s generation of singers.
8. BJ The Chicago Kid
Known to some for his collaborations with top hip-hop artists and providing a street edge to R&B, BJ The Chicago Kid began during the late 2000s and early 2010s releasing various mixtapes. While known for R&B tracks like “Church” and “Turnin Me Up,” BJ The Chicago Kid is also a staple in the hip-hop community.
9. jean deaux
A rising talent in music, but Jean Deaux debuted in 2013 with songs like “Escape” featuring Saba and “Grape Soda.” Continuing into 2015 and 2016 with collaborations with Smino, Jean Deaux would eventually come into the spotlight with the release of several projects, 2018’s Krash, 2019’s Empathy, 2020’s Watch This, and 2021’s Most Wanted.
10. Jamilia Woods
Known for the hit songs “LSD” with Chance The Rapper and “Holy,” both on the acclaimed album HEAVN, along with featuring on popular songs like “Tides” with Bonobo, “Waiting For” with rum.gold, Jamilia Woods’ talent can easily grab the attention of any music fan with her soulful sounds.
Honorable Mention Chicago R&B Artists
– CeeTheWorld Instagram: @CeeTheWorld and YouTube: CeeTheWorld
– Nia Asiel Instagram: @Nia Asiel and YouTube: Nia Asiel
– Caleb Minter Instagram: @Caleb Minter and YouTube: Caleb Minter
– olivia royal Instagram: @olivia royal and YouTube: olivia royal
Chicago R&B Singers Related Topics
*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 email@example.com