Ten Greatest R&B Bands of All-Time From About Entainment
1. Earth, Wind & Fire
Founded by Maurice White (who passed away February 3, 2016 at the age of 74) in Chicago in 1969, Earth, Wind & Fire is one of the greatest bands in music history. The group has sold over 100 million albums, including three triple platinum and two double platinum albums. Known as “The Elements of the Universe,” EW&F combines elements of African music, Latin music, R&B, jazz, and rock into a unique sound featuring the dynamic lead voice of Philip Bailey. Recording for over 40 years, the group has won six Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, four American Music Awards, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Earth, Wind & Fire’s concerts are legendary. In the 1970s and 1980s, the group featured amazing illusions, including bass player Verdine White performing while being levitated above the stage, and the members appearing and vanishing in transparent cylinders as if they were traveling through space via the Star Trek transporter beam. Earth, Wind & Fire has recorded numerous classics over five decades, including “After The Love Has Gone (1979), "Shining Star” (1975), and “That’s The Way of the World” (1975).
2. The Isley Brothers
Recording for over 50 years, The Isley Brothers began as a vocal trio in the 1950s in Cincinnati, Ohio with Ronald Isley as lead singer performing with brothers Rudolph and O'Kelly Isley. The group expanded to six members in 1973 with their 3 + 3 album. Younger brothers Ernie lsley (guitar) and Marvin Isley (bass) joined the group along with Rudolph’s brother-in-law, Chris Jasper (keyboards).
The Isley Brothers have released four double platinum, six platinum, and four gold albums. Seven of their singles have reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart. Two of their songs, “Shout,” and Twist and Shout.“ were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The Isleys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. They have also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a BET Lifetime Achievement Award.
George Clinton is the legendary leader of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic which record separately and perform together in concert. Parliament began in the 1960s in New Jersey as a doo-wop vocal group called The Parliaments, and Funkadelic served as their band. The Parliaments eventually evolved into a mainstream funk group under the name Parliament, and Funkadelic assumed its own identity as a psychedelic soul group inspired by Jimi Hendrix and Sly & The Family Stone. Known collectively as Parliament-Funkadelic, P-Funk became the most outrageous African-American band of the 1970s and 80s, famous for landing the "Mothership” on stage during 4 hour marathon concerts. Mastermind Clinton is a genius lyricist who is idolized in the hip-hop world, and his talented musicians, especially keyboardist Bernie Worrell, bassist Bootsy Collins (from James Brown’s band), and guitarists Michael Hampton, Eddie Hazel, and Gary Shider are worshipped by rock fans.
Parliament-Funkadelic hit number one five times on the Billboard R&B singles chart, including “Flash Light” (1978), “One Nation Under A Groove” (1978), and “(Not Just) Knee Deep” (1979). P-Funk was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
4. Kool & The Gang
Formed in 1964 in Jersey City, New Jersey, Kool & The Gang has been performing for over 50 years. Led by bass player Robert “Kool” Bell, the group began as a jazz instrumental band before transitioning into R&B and funk. Kool & The Gang has sold over 70 million records, including five platinum, three gold, and one double platinum album (Emergency in 1984). Its eight number one singles include “Celebration” (1980), “Ladies’ Night” (1979), “and "Joanna” (1983). Their honors include five American Music Awards, a Soul Train Legend Award, and a Grammy for Album of the Year for Saturday Night Fever (which included their song, “Open Sesame”).
5. Sly & the Family Stone
Formed in 1967 in San Francisco by Sylvester Stewart, Sly & The Family Stone was one of the most influential bands of the 1960s and 70s. They were the leaders of the “psychedelic soul” movement, combining R&B and rock into their own unique sound. The Family Stone were trailblazers with their integrated, multi-gender lineup. Their unforgettable performance at the historic Woodstock Festival in 1969 elevated their stature to one of the most revered acts in the world.
The group released three platinum albums, including the five times platinum Greatest Hits in 1970. They also recorded four number one singles including “Everyday People” (1968), “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” (1969), and “Family Affair” (1971). The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
6. Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
The group Maze featuring Frankie Beverly began as Raw Soul in Philadelphia in 1970. After moving to the San Francisco Bay area, they were discovered by Marvin Gaye who renamed the band, Maze. Beginning with their 1977 self-titled debut release, all of their eight studio albums have been certified gold, plus their 1981 Live In New Orleans album. Maze has two number one singles, “Back In Stride” in 1985, and “Can’t Get Over You” in 1989. Their signature song, “Before I Let Go,” only reached number 13 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1981, however, it is one of the greatest live party jams of all-time. Now in its fifth decade, Maze continues to be one of the top touring attractions in R&B, and is a favorite of the annual
7. The Commodores
Formed in 1968 on the campus of Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, The Commodores were one of the most successful R&B acts in he mid 1970s and early 1980s. Prior to releasing their first album Machine Gun on Motown Records in 1974, the band toured in 1971 as the opening act for The Jackson Five. With Lionel Richie as lead vocalist, the group recorded four number one albums, and six number one singles, including “Three Times Lady” (1978), “Easy” (1977), and “Still” (1979). After Richie left for a solo career, The Commodores won their first Grammy Award in 1986: Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “Nightshift.”
8. Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
Rufus featuring Chaka Khan recorded four gold and two platinum albums, including four number one albums, in the 1970s. The band hit the top of the Billboard R&B singles chart five times, including “Sweet Thing” (1975), “Do You Love What You Feel,” (1979) and “Ain’t Nobody” (1983) which won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Their first hit single, “Tell Me Something Good,” composed by Stevie Wonder, also won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Khan left the group for a solo career in 1978, however she reunited with the band for the 1983 album, Stompin’ at the Savoy – Live.
In 1974, Larry Blackmon formed the group New York City Players which became one of the greatest funk bands known as Cameo. From 1979-1988, the group recorded eight gold and one platinum albums. It also reached number one on the Billboard R&B singles chart four times, including two consecutive chart topping songs in 1987, “Word Up!” and “Candy.” In 1987 and 1988, Cameo won an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Band/Duo/Group, and two Soul Train Music Awards: Best R&B/Soul Single - Group, Band or Duo (“Word Up!”), and Best R&B/Soul Album - Group, Band or Duo (Word Up!)
10. The Ohio Players
The Ohio Players dominated the mid 1970s with four consecutive number one albums on the Billboard R&B chart (including three platinum) Skin Tight (1974), Fire (1974), Honey (1975), and Contradiction (1976). The band also recorded five chart topping singles, including “Funky Worm” (1973), “Sweet Sticky Thing” (1975), “Love Rollercoaster” (1975). In addition to their distinctive, funkified sound, The Ohio Players were famous for the most erotic album covers
Brows: ABH Pomade in Granite
Eyes: Sugarpill’s Butter Cupcake, Flamepoint, Love+ and loose pigment Asylum. Nyx matte liquid liner and iridescent glitter tears and top of lid are just craft glitter from eBay.
Nose contour: Love+ by sugarpill
Highlight: ABH Highlight in Starlight
Lips: Kapow by colourpop
Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger (vegan) by Nidy Via Flickr: Seitan, melted cheddar, caramelized onions, crispy tempeh bacon on a bun slathered with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, lettuce, carrots, onions, and tomato and topped with crunchy battered dill pickles chips, with Sweet Potato Fries. From Native Foods in LA. www.nativefoods.com/