• The Top 10 Female R&B Vocalists Right Now
  • 1 The Top 10 Female R&B Vocalists Right Now
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  • The Top 10 Female R&B Vocalists Right Now

    R&B is having a moment. With all things ‘90’s bursting back onto the trend spectrum, it’s only natural that the sound of that era seeps back into our collective memory along with the crop tops, throwback jerseys and vintage Nintendo consoles. But lately artists like Frank Ocean, Bruno Mars and Miguel seem to dominate the media attention when it comes to R&B news. Make no mistake, female powerhouses are still dotted all over the map of R&B. Here are 10 female vocalists any R&B lover should be paying attention to right now.
  • 1. Jhene Aiko

    You might recognize Jhene Aiko’s voice from a few tracks on Kendrick Lamar’s Overly Dedicated mixtape. She’s also contributed to songs with artists like French Montana, Miguel, and Ab Soul. Last year she opened the Life is Good/Black Rage tour headlined by Nas and Lauryn Hill. Now the 25-year-old singer is set to release a brand new album called Souled Out later this year, stay tuned.

    Listen to Jhene Aiko’s “Mirrors” here.
  • 2. Emeli Sandé

    After cosigns from two of the most talked about men in hip-hop of 2013, Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar, Emeli Sandé is at an all-time career high. The British singer injects R&B with an edge of personal flair. A songwriter first, Sandé draws inspiration from iconic vocalists like Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell and Lauryn Hill. She’s penned songs for artists like Susan Boyle and Leona Lewis and released her debut album Our Version of Events in 2012.

    Watch the video for Emeli Sande’s, “Next To Me,” on YouTube.
  • 3. Bridget Kelly

    You might not realize it, but you’ve probably been caught singing along to Bridget Kelly’s vocals at some point. Best known for performing the hook on Jay-Z’s anthem, “Empire State of Mind,” when Alicia Keys had prior engagements, Bridget Kelly has been part of the Roc Nation family for years. With industry stalwarts like Frank Ocean, The-Dream, Ne-Yo, James Fauntleroy and Jay-Z himself on the production table for her forthcoming album you can count on some major buzz when it drops.
  • 4. Kelela

  • 5. Solange

  • 6. Stacy Barthe

    A Grammy-nominated songwriter and Motown Records-signed singer, Stacey Barthe is one to watch in 2013. She’s written music for the likes of Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Rihanna and has worked with everyone from Akon and Diddy to Hit Boy and Dre Skull. After releasing her debut EP Flawed Beautiful Creatures late last year we can’t wait to hear what she’ll use that smoky voice and trained ear for next.

    Listen to the title song from Stacey Barthe’s Flawed Beautiful Creatures on Soundcloud.
  • 7. Elle Varner

    Elle Varner’s debut album Perfectly Imperfect charted for over ten weeks on Billboard. Trained at New York University’s prestigious Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music (the program only accepts 24 students each year!) this rising diva is setting herself up to follow in the footsteps of artists like Alicia Keys and Adele. Placing a bigger emphasis on musicality and sheer vocal range than image is what will ensure Varner’s career lasts for years.

    Watch the video for Elle Varner’s, “I Don’t Care,” on YouTube.
  • 8. Jessie Ware

    After stepping away from the bass music she’d been making with artists like SBTRKT and Joker, Jessie Ware released her debut album Devotion to widespread critical acclaim. The British beauty markets herself as a pop star, but the soul dripping from her vocals definitely puts her in the category of R&B singers you should be paying attention to.

    Watch Jessie Ware’s latest video for “Imagine It Was Us,” on Vevo.
  • 9. Adele

    Adele is arguably the most popular female vocalist in the world right now. Her album 21 received six Grammy awards, matching the record for the most Grammys won by a female artist in one night. She wrote the theme song for the latest James Bond film, Skyfall garnering both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 2013. Her music appeals to artists and fans across virtually every genre and generation. Sheer vocal ability and authentic dedication to musicality in composition will undoubtedly register Adele as one of our generation’s greatest musical talents for years to come.

    Watch Adele perform her Grammy Award-winning song, “Set Fire to the Rain,” live at the Royal Albert Hall on Vevo.
  • 10. Dawn Richard

    A seasoned performer and former Bad Boy artist, Dawn Richard came prepped and ready for her major solo debut project. Breaking into the scene with a trilogy, Richard released the first of three albums, GoldenHeart earlier this year. Her single, “Northern Lights,” features a guest verse from Eve and was Pepsi’s Song of the Day when it dropped. Fans can look forward to the second installments of the trilogy, BlackHeart and RedemptionHeart to come.

    Click here to check out Dawn Richard's, “Northern Lights, as Pepsi’s Song of the Day.