Do you have a soft spot for old-school R&B? Does the thought of 90s jams make you instantly nostalgic? From Boyz II Men and Keith Sweat to Usher and Jodeci, some of the greatest male R&B singers and groups rose to fame during this golden era of music.
But which one stands out as the best? We want to answer that burning question with our list of the top 10 male R&B singers from the 90s!
Join us on a voyage through time, as we explore each artist’s unique style and sound while delving into their greatest hits.
1. Boyz II Men
- Known For: Their smooth harmonies, soulful ballads, and iconic 90s R&B sound that made them a staple of every high school dance playlist.
- Memorable 90s Track: “End of the Road”, a heart-wrenching breakup song that became one of the best-selling singles of all time and earned them a Grammy Award.
- Biggest Accomplishment: Holding the record for the longest-running number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 with “One Sweet Day”, a collaboration with Mariah Carey that stayed at the top spot for 16 weeks. They also have four Grammy Awards and have sold over 60 million records worldwide.
- Total Record Sold: 64 Million Worldwide.
- Extra: These guys are true gentlemen, with a flair for the dramatic. They love a good acapella moment and aren’t afraid to bust out some choreographed dance moves on stage. Plus, they’ve got some serious fashion sense, with matching outfits that are always on point. You may not catch them at an extreme sports event, but they sure know how to make a crowd swoon.
- Known For: Being the king of modern R&B, with a smooth voice, killer dance moves, and undeniable charisma that have made him a household name.
- Memorable 90s Track: “You Make Me Wanna…”, a slow jam that solidified his place amongst the top R&B singers of the 90s and was certified 2x platinum in the US.
- Biggest Accomplishment: Winning eight Grammy Awards, selling over 80 million albums worldwide and being named as one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
- Total Records Sold: 80 Million Worldwide.
- Extra: Usher is not just a talented singer and dancer, but also an actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He’s been involved in numerous charitable efforts, including the Usher’s New Look Foundation, which helps underprivileged youth achieve their goals. He’s also had some interesting fashion choices over the years, from leather pants to bedazzled jackets, but he always manages to pull it off. Moreover, let us not forget his hilarious appearances on “Saturday Night Live”, where he’s shown off his comedic chops.
3. Keith Sweat
- Known For: Being the ultimate king of New Jack Swing, with his seductive vocals and smooth beats that made him a household name in the 90s R&B scene.
- Memorable 90s Track: “Twisted”, a sultry slow jam that was all about getting down and dirty on the dance floor. It was one of his biggest hits and still gets people in the mood for love.
- Biggest Accomplishment: Selling over 25 million records worldwide and earning several platinum and gold certifications for his albums. He’s also a successful producer and songwriter, having worked with artists like Silk, Kut Klose, and Dru Hill.
- Total Record Sold: 25 Million Worldwide.
- Extra: Keith Sweat knows how to set the mood. He’s got a voice that can make even the toughest guys melt, and he’s not afraid to use it to his advantage. But don’t be fooled by his smooth exterior – he’s also got a sense of humor that can leave you in stitches. He’s been known to crack jokes on stage and interact with his fans, making every concert feel like a party. And when it comes to fashion, he’s got his own unique style that’s all about comfort and swag. So, if you’re looking for a good time with some sexy tunes, Keith Sweat is your man.
4. R. Kelly
- Known For: Being one of the most controversial figures in R&B history. Sure, he’s got some great music, but he’s also got some serious legal troubles that have overshadowed his career.
- Memorable 90s Track: “I Believe I Can Fly”, a soaring ballad that was everywhere in the late 90s and even won three Grammy Awards.
- Biggest Accomplishment: Having a string of hit singles throughout the 90s, including “Bump n’ Grind”, “Your Body’s Callin'”, and “Ignition (Remix)”. He’s also won three Grammy Awards and sold over 75 million records worldwide.
- Total Record Sold: 75 Million Worldwide.
- Extra: Let’s just say that R. Kelly is not known for his gentlemanly behavior. He’s been accused of some pretty heinous crimes, and while he’s managed to avoid significant jail time, his reputation has been forever tarnished. That being said, there’s no denying that he’s a talented musician with a silky-smooth voice and some serious songwriting chops. Just don’t leave your daughter alone with him.
5. Brian McKnight
- Known For: His buttery smooth voice, intricate musical arrangements, and ability to croon the pants off of any listener.
- Memorable 90s Track: “Back at One”, a catchy tune that became an instant classic and solidified McKnight’s status as a top R&B artist of the decade.
- Biggest Accomplishment: Garnering multiple Grammy nominations and selling over 30 million records worldwide, McKnight has solidified his place as a true powerhouse in the music industry.
- Total Record Sold: 30 Million Worldwide.
- Extra: McKnight may not have the flashy dance moves of some of his R&B counterparts, but he more than makes up for it with his charming wit and playful personality. He’s been known to crack jokes during his live performances, keeping audiences engaged and entertained. Not to mention his remarkable sense of style! – the man can rock a suit like nobody’s business. All in all, Brian McKnight is a true gem of the 90s R&B scene, and we can’t get enough of his silky-smooth voice.
- Bonus: When he’s not busy with music, you can catch him on the court shooting some hoops with his celebrity friends.
- Known For: Being the ultimate ladies’ man of the 90s with his sultry voice and sexy lyrics that made hearts flutter and panties drop.
- Memorable 90s Track: “Pony”, a seductive jam that had women everywhere wanting to ride on his…pony.
- Biggest Accomplishment: Selling over 5 million copies of his second album, “100% Ginuwine”, and earning a Grammy nomination for his collaboration with Aaliyah on “Final Warning”. He’s also known for his dance moves, especially his signature “In Those Jeans” routine.
- Total Records Sold: 21 Million Worldwide.
- Extra: Ginuwine’s music exudes sexiness and charm that no other singer can match—and his style is just as suave. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that this man knows how to dress for a special occasion.
7. Dru Hill
- Known For: Bringing a unique blend of soul, hip-hop, and gospel to the R&B scene of the 90s. With their powerhouse vocals and infectious beats, Dru Hill quickly became one of the most recognizable groups of the era.
- Memorable 90s Track: “In My Bed”, a seductive slow jam that showcased the group’s sensual side and became a massive hit.
- Biggest Accomplishment: Releasing two platinum-selling albums and earning several Grammy nominations. They also had a string of chart-topping singles, including “Never Make a Promise” and “How Deep is Your Love”.
- Total Records Sold: Millions, but let’s be honest, who cares about the numbers when they have those silky smooth voices?
- Extra: These guys are not just talented singers, they’re also hilarious entertainers. With their playful banter and off-the-cuff jokes, a Dru Hill concert is more like a comedy show with some killer musical performances thrown in. And when it comes to their fashion choices, they always manage to stay fly—from their matching leather jackets to retro sunglasses. Yes, Dru Hill is definitely an act you don’t want to miss!
- Known For: Bringing the heat to the 90s R&B scene with their sexy, sultry sound and bad-boy personas. These guys were the ultimate heartthrobs of the decade.
- Memorable 90s Track: “Freek’n You”, a seductive slow jam that became an instant classic and cemented Jodeci’s reputation as the ultimate panty-droppers.
- Biggest Accomplishment: Dominating the charts with their debut album, “Forever My Lady”, which went triple platinum and put Jodeci on the map as one of the hottest R&B groups around.
- Total Record Sold: More than 20 Million Worldwide.
- Extra: These guys are the ultimate bad boys of R&B. They’re not afraid to push boundaries and bring the heat to every performance. But don’t be fooled by their tough exterior – these guys have some serious pipes and can sing with the best of them. Plus, they’re not afraid to have a little fun on stage, with outrageous outfits and some seriously slick dance moves. You may not want to bring your grandma to their concert, but you definitely won’t want to miss it yourself.
9. Tony! Toni! Toné!
- Known For: Bringing a funkier, more upbeat vibe to R&B in the 90s with their unique blend of soul, funk, and hip-hop. They were the soundtrack to every block party and cookout, and their grooves still make you want to get up and dance today.
- Memorable 90s Track: “Feels Good”, a funky jam that has been sampled by countless artists and remains a classic of the genre.
- Biggest Accomplishment: Having their first four albums all go gold or platinum, and producing a string of classic singles such as “Anniversary” and “Whatever You Want”.
- Total Records Sold: 6 Million Worldwide.
- Extra: These guys are the life of the party, with a sense of humor and infectious energy that can’t be contained. They bring the funk to everything they do, from their music to their fashion. You won’t catch them in matching suits, but you will catch them in some seriously funky threads. And don’t be surprised if they bust out some killer dance moves on stage – these guys know how to have a good time.
10. Johnny Gill
- Known For: The man with the voice that can melt even the coldest of hearts. He’s the king of smooth R&B, with a vocal range that can take you to the highest highs and the lowest lows.
- Memorable 90s Track: “My, My, My,” a baby-making classic that’s still getting couples in the mood to this day.
- Biggest Accomplishment: Being the only male artist in the 90s who could make you feel all the feels with just one song. He’s got multiple number-one hits on the Billboard R&B chart, and he’s a member of the supergroup LSG, which stands for Eddie Levert, Keith Sweat, and Johnny Gill (Levert, Sweat, Gill).
- Total Records Sold: Over 15 million worldwide, and we’re pretty sure half of those sales were due to his suave style and debonair charm.
- Extra: This man has got more swag than a 90s boy band and he’s not afraid to show it. He’s got a wardrobe that would make even the most stylish of us feel inadequate, and he’s been known to bust out a top hat and cane combo like nobody’s business. But don’t let his smooth exterior fool you, this guy’s got some serious sass. He’s not afraid to speak his mind and he’ll give you some serious side-eye if you step out of line. Johnny Gill is the ultimate 90s R&B icon, and he’s still killing it today.
So, there you have it – the 30 best male R&B singers of the 90s. These artists helped define what R&B music was in the decade, and their legacy will live on for years to come. Whether you’re looking for some soulful slow jams or energetic dance tracks, these singers can deliver. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the smooth sounds of the 90s.