Baby-making music. Break-up music. First dance at a wedding music. Those are all very different vibes, but each of those types of songs can be found under the umbrella of R&B.
R&B is a go-to for Black people. It occupies a space where songwriters turn into mindreaders and we become award-winning shower singers. The genre has evolved over the years, but one thing that never changes is that there’s always a true star in every generation.
At the upcoming 2020 BET Awards (June 28th at 8 pm EST), we’ll be putting the spotlight on some of today’s R&B stars. It will be a treat for sure.
In the meantime, check out a few memorable performances from recent BET Award shows.
Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike (and Ralph and Johnny) set the 2017 BET Awards stage on fire! Each and every one of them looked and sounded great as they plowed through a few hits from their extensive catalog, including “Telephone Man” and “Can You Stand the Rain.” But when it came time for “If It Isn’t Love,” they brought out the (extremely talented) cast of “The New Edition Story.” The mini-series was a bonafide hit with critics and fans. The actors who played the child and adult versions joined their real-life counterparts and the result was pure magic. A bunch of beautiful Black men in all white singing and dancing in unison? Yes, please!
People tend to forget that Jamie Foxx can REALLY sing. He has a Grammy for his hit song “Blame It,” but on that track, you can’t hear his range. He’s known more for being a comedian and Oscar-winning actor. But his mini-tribute to Anita Baker at the 2018 BET Awards before he handed it over to the ladies for a proper tribute, was a vocal flex for sure. He started off with a riffing off of Anita Baker’s name and then flowed into “Same Ole Love,” “Angel,” and finally “Giving You the Best That I Got.” It’s less than five minutes long and it’s worth every second.
During a tribute segment for recently deceased artists at the 2017 BET Awards, El DeBarge and saxophonist Kamasi Washington teamed up for a lovely rendition of “Careless Whisper” by George Michael. El came through clean with a bright red suit while Kamasi grooved in all black. The “I Like It” singer proved he still has it as he hit each and every high note with ease. El is no stranger to collaboration. Not only does he come from a musical family, but he also contributed to Quincy Jones’ hit song “Secret Garden,” singing alongside Barry White, Al B. Sure, and James Ingram.
Before New Orleans native Lucky Daye dropped his debut album Painted in 2019, he was more of a behind-the-scenes guy, writing for the likes of Trey Songz, Mary J. Blige, and others. He’s putting forth his own work now and he showcased his smooth single “Roll Some Mo” backed by a full band at the 2019 BET Awards. A celebrity-packed audience can be a tough crowd, but Lucky Daye clearly had them into it.
Miguel always puts on a good show (a love for Prince is evident) and he didn’t disappoint at the 2018 BET Awards. He started out with a very laid back rendition of “Come Through and Chill.” He even had his hand in his pocket at some points. But then Miguel launched into “Sky Walker” and flipped the turn-up lever. Before long, he was running and bouncing around the stage as the crowd jumped up and down in unison. Gotta love a man who can chill and get it popping at the club.
(Photo by: ALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)