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The 100 Best R&B Songs of the 2000s, Presented by the Soul In Stereo Cypher

The 100 Best R&B Songs of the 2000s, Presented by the Soul In Stereo Cypher

best songs of 2000s

For those who’re a longtime R&B fan, you in all probability pine for the glory days of the 90s, when R&B was dominating mainstream airwaves and we have been blessed with back-to-back classics on an virtually month-to-month foundation. However that momentum slowed by the time we rolled into a brand new millennium.

And for what it’s value, I feel we frequently underrate the nice music created in that period. The rise of neo-soul, legends like Mary J. Blige and Mariah Carey reclaiming previous glories, ’90s upstarts like Beyonce and Usher turning into megastars and the arrival of new trendsetters like Alicia Keys and Ne-Yo crammed the 2000s with many memorable hits.

At the moment, we’re wanting again at the 100 greatest.

We’ve already seemed again at the 100 greatest songs of the 1990s – see that listing right here. 

And like that listing, as soon as once more I’m joined by members of the Soul In Stereo Cypher, our official Fb group, to interrupt down our favorites. Becoming a member of us are:

Longtime R&B fanatic Charles Williams, who returns after serving to out with our 90s listing

Former Soul In Stereo contributor and music junkie Desiree Savage

Diane Hawkins, who will throat punch anybody who dares to besmirch the good names of Prince or Luther Vandross

My dude Kyle Ng, senior editor of and my tormentor on the weekly SoulBack Podcast

And of course, yours really, the Shao Kahn of, your favourite singer’s least favourite album reviewer

To compile this record, every panelist nominated their 30 favourite songs from the years 2000-2009 (so don’t yell at us for excluding Miguel or H.E.R., they’ll be on the 2010-2019 record, playa). We compiled them into one mega record, ranked all of them and created the record under.

And we even created a playlist so that you can take pleasure in all the songs right here.

(And one word: Sure, this listing does embrace songs from R&B’s Voldemort, R. Kelly. That isn’t an endorsement of his character or a dismissal of any allegations towards him. That is merely an unbiased look again at the decade of which his music was an enormous half of.)

Now, let’s look again at the greatest R&B of the early 21st century.

Simply lacking the minimize:

Raphael Saadiq, “Live Without You”

Rihanna, “Take a Bow”

Amel Larrieux, “For Real”

Megan Rochell, “The One You Need”

Rahsaan Patterson, “The One For Me”

Cassie, “Long Way to Go”

Erykah Badu, “Danger”

Mary J. Blige, “Steal Away”

Musiq Soulchild, “143”

John Legend, “Green Light”

100. Floetry, “Ms. Stress”


Desiree: “My, my annngel, I’d stop breeeathing, for you….if my life was possible without……AIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRR!!!!!” Whew! Nuff stated!!!!

99. Bilal, “Sometimes”

98. Jill Scott, “The Fact Is (I Need You)”

97. Ciara, “Promise”

96. Luther Vandross, “Dance with My Father”

95. Beyonce, “Green Light”

94. J. Vacation, “Bed”

93. Ledisi, “In the Morning:

92. Lyfe Jennings, “Must Be Nice”

91. Ne-Yo, “Nobody”

90. Anthony Hamilton, “Charlene”


Edd: And y’all say my man Keith Sweat is the grasp of begging for love. Anthony comes for the crown on this one. No  one – NO ONE – belts out Southern-drenched soul like Anthony Hamilton, and this bluesy monitor aches with emotion. One pay attention and even you’ll beg Charlene to return again simply to maintain Anthony from falling aside.

89. Anthony Hamilton, “I’m a Mess”

88. Jazmine Sullivan, “Bust Your Windows”

87. Teedra Moses, “Be Your Girl”

86. Lucy Pearl, “Dance Tonight”

85. Angie Stone, “Wish I Didn’t Miss You”

84. Avant, “My First Love”

83. Brian McKnight, “Love of My Life”

82. Amerie, “All I Need”

81. Musiq Soulchild, “TeachMe”

80. Goapele, “Closer”


Desiree: This joint makes you are feeling so good I caught wind of someone in the media ministry at my church enjoying the instrumental in between providers! Lol!

79. Erykah Badu, “Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)”

78. Musiq Souldchild, “B.U.D.D.Y.”

77. LeToya, “Torn”

76. Mariah Carey, “Shake It Off”

75. Amy Winehouse, “Tears Dry on Their Own”

74. Lloyd, “Get It Shawty”

73. Case, “Missing You”

72. Ne-Yo, “Mirror”

71. Subsequent, “Wifey”

70.  Fantasia, “Free Yourself”

free yourself

Desiree: Sick and drained of being sick and drained … We’ve all been there and we acquired a theme music for it!

69. Ruff Endz, “Someone to Love You”

68. Joe, “I Wanna Know”

67. Beyonce, “Single Ladies”

66. Usher, “Throwback”

65. 702, “I Still Love You”

64. Musiq Soulchild, “Don’t Change”

63. Musiq Soulchild, “HalfCrazy”

62. Janet Jackson, “Doesn’t Really Matter”

61. Jazmine Sullivan, “Need U Bad”

60.  Michael Jackson, “You Rock My World”

you rock my world

Charles: Michael Jackson hadn’t launched new music in about six years and other people have been speculating on whether or not his music was going to be any good. Was it going to be value something? Not solely was his first single good, nevertheless it rocked our world. The average dance tempo track is basic Michael together with the acquainted advert libs and feelers with trendy twists making trendy and recent for the time. Seemingly choosing up the place “Smooth Criminal” left off, the video with Chris Tucker helped to propel the track to the prime of the charts.

59. Musiq Soulchild, “Love”

58. Tamia, “Officially Missing You”

57. Jill Scott, “A Long Walk”

56. Tyrese, “How You Gonna Act Like That”

55. Sunshine Anderson, “Heard It All Before”

54. Sade, “By Your Side”

53. Dave Hollister, “One Woman Man”

52. Pharrell, “Frontin”

51. Aaliyah, “Try Again”

50. Lil Mo, “4Ever”


Kyle: You need to all the time anticipate hearth when Lil’ Mo and Fabolous work collectively. That is no exception as Bryan-Michael Cox hooked them up with a banger they usually delivered. This music has grow to be a staple at many many weddings.

49. Keyshia Cole, “I Remember”

48. Amerie, “1 Thing”

47. Jennifer Hudson, “Spotlight”

46. Glenn Lewis, “Don’t You Forget It”

45. Alicia Keys “Fallin’”

44. Robin Thicke, “Lost Without U”

43. Ginuwine, “Differences”

42. Tamia, “Stranger In My House”

41. R. Kelly, “Ignition (Remix)”

40. Floetry, Say Sure

say yes

Edd: In my eyes, that is THE sexiest track of the whole decade. Marsha’s vocals roll off her tongue like … um, what was I saying? Lawd, this track’s acquired it scorching in right here.

39. Carl Thomas, “I Wish”

38. Usher, “Confessions Part II”

37. Jagged Edge, “Promise”

36. Ne-Yo, “Sexy Love”

35. Jill Scott, “Golden”

34. Monica, “So Gone”

33. Sade, “Solider of Love”

32. Usher, “Yeah”

31. Toni Braxton, “He Wasn’t Man Enough”

30. John Legend, “Ordinary People”

ordinary people

Charles: John Legend proved that even in the 2000s you didn’t want quite a bit to ship successful. Merely a piano, fairly melody, significant lyrics, and a particular voice is all you could pave the approach to turning into a legend. This was not his first single on his debut, however it’s maybe the one single that’s instantly acknowledged and revered by music followers of all types. With glimpses of Stevie Marvel, this track introduced John Legend as somebody whose expertise is something, however unusual.

29. R. Kelly, “Step in the Name of Love”

28. Amy Winehouse, “Rehab”

27. Usher, “U Remind Me”

26. Religion Evans, “I Love You”

25. Mary J. Blige, “Family Affair”

24. Jagged Edge, “Let’s Get Married (Remix)”

23. Ne-Yo, “So Sick”

22. Beyonce, “Me, Myself and I”

21. Maxwell, “Pretty Wings”

20. Beyonce, “Irreplaceable”


Diane: It’s extraordinarily exhausting not assume of the phrase “irreplaceable” with out unconsciously singing “to the left, to the left.” This mid-tempo track of independence might arguably be a millennial’s model of Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 mega-anthem “I Will Survive.” Beyonce’s music (written by hitmaker Ne-Yo) serves up the story of a lady fed up together with her man’s infidelity together with a big aspect of empowerment. “Irreplaceable” is unforgettable.

19. Michael Jackson, “Butterflies”

18. Erykah Badu, “Bag Lady”

17. Chris Brown, “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)”

16. Alicia Keys, “You Don’t Know My Name”

15. Mario, “Let Me Love You”

14. Usher, “U Don’t Have to Call”

13. Brandy, “Full Moon”

12. Janet Jackson, “All for You”

11. Amerie, “Why Don’t We Fall In Love”

10. Usher, “U Got It Bad”


Kyle: Usher was already unstoppable by the time this single dropped. He already had primary data earlier than this music got here out, however most of them have been enjoyable singles. “U Got It Bad” confirmed one other aspect to Usher and proved that he was additionally one of the prime vocalists in R&B.

9. Jagged Edge, “Let’s Get Married”


Desiree: Aspect eye however for that “we ain’t getting no younger” line, this minimize brings forth a ardour that legit makes you wanna get married!

eight. Alicia Keys, “If I Ain’t Got You”


Diane: Alicia Keys’ single opens with an attractive, soothing piano solo that spotlights her musical brilliance and builds as much as an emotional plea for love and a eager for happiness. It’s no marvel why this passionate ballad was nominated for a Grammy in the Music of the Yr class. (Keys gained for Best R&B Efficiency.) The classically educated pianist’s ballad is reminiscent of the legendary Motown sound that serenades R&B music lovers.

7. Aaliyah, “Rock the Boat”


Diane: Although Aaliyah had earlier hits similar to “Back and Forth,” “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” and “4-Page Letter,” her 2001 track “Rock the Boat” showcased a extra mature, mellow groove that also appealed to her followers. This sensual single was amongst Aaliyah’s greatest work enhanced with a lush video of the Bahamas’ sunshine and signature fascinating choreography. Sadly, it could be onerous for some to take heed to this Grammy-nominated single with out desirous about the younger songstress’ rise to superstardom that was tragically reduce brief.

6. Mary J. Blige, “Be Without You”


Charles: One other decade of hits record and Mary J. Blige seems once more! Endurance describes Mary and this track is a superb instance of that. She had been by means of so much and had come out of the storm prepared to like … herself and another person. She professes her love for a person and that she will’t reside with him. With an ideal mix of hip hop and R&B, her coronary heart felt career turned her largest hit up to now and made her a Grammy darling in 2007.

5. Justin Timberlake, “Cry Me a River”


Edd: To today, I keep in mind precisely the place I used to be once I first heard this music – I used to be driving throughout a pitch black night time in 2002 on my option to get dinner throughout a piece shift. When these haunting chants began up, I perked up. And when that beat dropped, it was throughout. I used to be immediately a Justin Timberlake fan. Previous to this track, I had seen JT as a gifted however kinda bland pop star. However  I turned a believer that frigid fall night time, because of the magic of Timbaland’s manufacturing.

four. Ashanti, “Foolish”


Kyle: After dominating the charts together with her catchy hooks on songs for Ja Rule and Fats Joe, Ashanti made her mark as a solo artist and have become a family identify with this report. The DeBarge pattern blended completely together with her candy vocals.

three. Beyonce, “Crazy In Love”


Diane: “Crazy In Love” was the monster hit that gave Beyonce’s solo profession even longer legs, arms and, of course, hips. The infectious, high-energy music was paired with an equally Sasha Fierce video that exposed the plain chemistry between Queen Bee and Jay Z. I dare anybody to play this music with out making an attempt to repeat Beyonce’s bootylicious strikes. You’ll burn at the least 350 energy in three minutes. You prepared?

2. Mariah Carey, “We Belong Together”


Kyle: Most individuals have been prepared to put in writing off Mariah Carey by 2004 as a consequence of her earlier two albums, however this document erased all doubts about her as a hitmaker. This Jermaine Dupri produced document ended up being the largest track of the decade in music and introduced her again to superstardom.

1. D’Angelo, “Untitled (How Does It Feel)”


Charles: What do you get when D’Angelo and Raphael Saadiq collaborate? A bonafide hit! From the very first notice this music captivates with D’Angelo’s clean falsetto alternating together with his extra commanding pure voice over maybe the most seductive monitor ever. Produced by Saadiq, this track is nothing brief of good leaving you feeling some sort of method at the finish. This track, and of course video secured D’s spot as a quintessential intercourse image. A music so good, it wants no title.

Take heed to a playlist of the prime 100 songs … er, 98 songs (sorry, Aaliyah) on Spotify under:


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