Tennessee R&B Music

Top Nashville & Memphis R&B Artists

A state that has an extensive history in music, with blues music in Memphis and country music in Nashville, Tennessee has for long been known to produce famous artists and singers, and this includes both Nashville R&B artists and Memphis R&B artists.

The history alone should shed light on the contributions that Tennessee has provided to America’s culture in music. From Memphis to Nashville, these two places have been known for talent that ranges from B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Stax Records, which was home to Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, and many more, to more present day with Justin Timberlake from the city of Memphis and Taylor Swift beginning her career in the city of Nashville.

Today’s Top Tennessee R&B Artists

Today’s Nashville R&B artists and Memphis R&B artists of Tennessee may not yet have the legacy of Stax Records and break from the shadows of Nashville’s prominent country music scene, but whether they are leading artists or singers that are up and coming there is an aptitude for signing and performing among the top Tennessee R&B singers. 

A career dating back to the late 2000s with the singles “Fakin It” with Missy Elliot and  “Self Made” with Trina and Gucci Mane, K. Michelle has always been the focal point for R&B music in Tennessee. Despite initially gaining recognition for her time on VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta, K. Michelle became one of the very few LHH alumni that actually made a respectable career for themselves, from classic albums like Rebellious Soul (2013) to hit songs like “Can’t Raise a Man,” “V.S.O.P,” and “Love Em All.”

While K. Michelle has been Tennessee’s leading artist in R&B, there is also a new wave of singers. Singers and performers like Kirby, a beautiful soul with a natural talent whose music is more of a walk-in therapy session. Artists like J. Howell, who has one of the purest voices, Bren Jay, a hidden gem of today’s music that provides various moods of R&B, and Healy, a true blue eyed soul singer, but with a modern-day twist, are all currently representing Tennessee in today’s music and are carrying on the musical legacy

Top 8 Memphis & Nashville R&B Artists

West Memphis R&B artist Yebba

1. Yebba

Yebba is a soul-stirring artist with a voice that has for long commanded attention. She grew up in West Memphis, Arkansas, and her passion for music was influenced by her gospel roots. She debuted with her critically acclaimed single “Evergreen” in 2017, and since her talents have earned her a Grammy for her collaboration on PJ Morton’s song “How Deep Is Your Love.” Her debut album, Dawn, released in 2021, includes a blend of soul, jazz, and R&B, showcasing both vulnerability and strength through tracks like “October Sky” and “Distance.”

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Memphis R&B singer K. Michelle

2. K. Michelle

K. Michelle has been a powerhouse in the R&B genre with an unapologetic attitude and raw lyrical narratives. She rose to fame following her appearance on the reality TV show “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta,” which helped launch her musical career. K. Michelle’s debut album, Rebellious Soul, was released in 2013 and soared to the top of the R&B charts, solidifying her place in the music scene. She has become known for hits like “Can’t Raise a Man,” “Love Em All,” “The Rain,” and “V.S.O.P,” while releasing several albums under her belt, including the more recent I’m The Problem (2023) and All Monsters Are Human (2020).

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Tennessee RnB Singer Kirby

3. Kirby

Kirby is a multifaceted R&B singer-songwriter whose creative flair knows no bounds. She first gained prominence in the industry as a songwriter, penning hits for superstars like Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Ariana Grande. Kirby’s own artistic venture materialized with the release of her debut single, “Vain” in 2017. Her distinct voice is a blend of soulful timbres and modern R&B melodies, which she showcased on her 2020 EP, Sis. Songs like “Velvet,” “All My Love,” and “Don’t Leave Your Girl” highlight her both a vocalist and a lyricist.

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Bren Joy

4. Bren Joy

Bren Joy is an up-and-coming R&B hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. He came onto the music scene with his debut album Twenties in 2019, grabbing the ears of R&B music lovers. This project severed as a colorful mosaic of what was to come from the freshman artist, seamlessly blending R&B, pop, and gospel influences. Bren Joy’s talent for crafting heartfelt narratives and hook-laden melodies shines through in tracks like “Henny in the Hamptons,” “Insecure,” and “Sweet.”

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Tennessee and Memphis R&B singer Healy

5. Healy

Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee and known for his laid-back soundscapes, Healy first began to gain traction in the mid-2010s, captivating listeners with his unique blend of R&B, hip-hop, and indie influences. His 2015 single “Reckless” put him on the map, showcasing a promising young talent in R&B and blue-eyed soul. Healy’s debut album, Subluxe, arrived in 2017 and further solidified his standing in music. Standout tracks like “$150 / roll widdit,” “Unwind,” “Part of Me,” “Tucson,” and “Nikes On,” exhibit his talents at best.

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6. J. Howell

J. Howell is a soulful R&B vocalist who made his first appearances in 2019. A noteworthy up-and-comer in the music industry, his song “Talk,” and other singles, have brought the spotlight to his platform. With the release of albums RedRoom and Honest, R&B listeners have witness pure talent on the scale of R&B music.

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KAYWHT, a newcomer in the R&B world, though not widely recognized yet, but based on the rich history of the genre, she possess a talent that is ready to flourish. Releasing some of her first set of singles in 2019, KAYWHT’s talent has shined at best through the songs of “Pity,” “11”30 Interlude,” and “11:30.”

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Millie Manny

8. Mille Manny

Mille Manny is an emerging artist in the R&B scene, with the hopes to bring a fresh style into R&B. Some of his first music was released in 2019, his short career has been highlighted by tracks like “Peace In You” and “First Semester.” Whether Mille Manny is just at the beginning of their career or perhaps an undiscovered talent awaiting their breakthrough, the R&B world is always eager to embrace new voices who can carry the genre forward.

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Nashville & Memphis R&B Related Topics:

1 Top 20 Memphis Rappers

2 Top 10 Nashville Rappers

3 Top 12 Chicago R&B Artists

4 Top 12 Texas R&B Artists

5 Top 7 St. Louis R&B Artists

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*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

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