BET Classic - A Dedication to ‘Midnight Love’

We're revisiting the classic slow jams from SWV to Total, that defined an era.

Quiet Storm R&B is not simply a genre of slow jams but a late-night radio format that emerged in the 1970s to cater to the growing Black middle class in major metropolitan areas. The inspiration came from Smokey Robinson's sensual "Quiet Storm," where the singer intentionally altered his tone to exude a more seductive and intimate vibe. Melvin Lindsey pioneered this format, which popular DJs like Al Wood later carried on.

The quiet storm format extended beyond just radio and made its way onto television through BET's Midnight Love, which aired from 1985 to 2005. The golden era of this format was during the 1990s when artists like Toni Braxton and Faith Evans successfully maintained their identities as fresh and youthful artists amidst hip hop's dominance. Here are just some of the videos I stayed up late to watch when I was barely old enough to understand the lyrics fully.

Young, Sad & Blue - Lysette (1997)

This underrated classic was a staple of the show during the network's DC days. IYKYK.

Kissin' You - Total (1996)

We totally bought into Kima's prop guitar in this clip for the Raphael Saadiq-produced hit.

My First Love - Avant, Keke Wyatt (2000)

This cover of the Rene & Angela classic introduced us to Keke Wyatt, one of R&B's strongest male/female duos in R&B.

I Will Survive - Chantay Savage (1995)

Who would've thought Gloria Gaynor's disco liberation anthem could be flipped for the quiet storm format?

Monifah - You (1996)

This Heavy D protegé kept the hip-hop vibe going with her first slowed-down single.

The Many Ways - Usher (1995)

Baby Usher had some jams!

SWV - Rain (1998)

What's a quintessential quiet storm track without raindrops?

Through the Rain - Tanya Blount (1994)

Another reference to rain, although this one is a metaphor. We miss you, Tanya Blount!

Jon B - They Don't Know (1998)

This song is a classic, and we will not be debating cookout invites at this time. Thank you so much!

What Kind of Man Would I Be? - Mint Condition (1996)

Mint Condition always came out the gate with a big first single, which might be the strongest.

What are some of your favorite quiet storm R&B jams?

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