The Undeniable BEST Black Male Singers of All Time

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Best Black Male Singers:

best black male singers

Who are the Best Black Male Singers? Perhaps a great part of great talent is great pain. I realized at least five of the women on yesterday’s list had suffered from some kind of addiction problem and four of the seven men on this list have also suffered from addiction. It proves that all that glitters is not gold and there is another side to show business that people rarely see.This is probably why the show UNSUNG is such a huge hit. Yesterday we did a list of the best female singers, today we do the male list do you agree with our choices? Click NEXT above or below to see our pics. Comment if you like…

David Ruffin

best black male singers, davidruffin-1.jpg

He may have had some major ego and drug issues and he may not have gotten along with the other Temptations but NOBODY can deny that David Ruffin has to make the list of one of the Best Black Male Singers. It’s most unfortunate the all too familiar drug addiction situation destroyed his chances at a greater career as a solo artist but his music with the Temptations will be etched with a permanent place in the great history of music.

David Eli Ruffin 

Born on 18th of January 1941 and died in June 1, 1991 at the age of 50 years. He was a soul singer and musician most famous for his work as one of the lead singers of the Temptations (1964–68). After moving to Detroit, Ruffin recorded his first released record with the songs You and I in 1958, Believe Me in 1958.

These songs were released under the name Little David Bush, using the last name of his guardian. Ruffin created music as both the vocalist and drummer in the Voice Masters and eventually started recording at Anna Records, and recorded the song I’m in Love, One of These Days in 1961, with the Voice Masters. Ruffin did sign to Anna Records as a solo artist, but his work in that time was unsuccessful. 

Ruffin eventually met an up-and-coming local group by the name of the Temptations. In January 1964, Ruffin became a member of the Temptations. His first recording session with the group was January 9, 1964.

Though both David and Jimmy were considered, David was given the edge, thanks to his performance skills. These were displayed when he joined the Temptations on stage during the label’s New Year’s Eve party in 1963.

Known for his unique raspy and anguished baritone vocals, Ruffin was ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2008.  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 for his work with the Temptations.

SEE OUR LIST OF BEST BLACK FEMALE SINGERS

Luther Vandross

best black male singers

The last Luther Vandross was an amazing vocalist spending over a decade behind the scenes recording for Chic, Change, David Bowie and background for Roberta Flack before finally getting his own record deal after Flack fired him and took him to Larkin Arnold to sign him on Epic in the early 80s. The rest, as they say, is history.

Luther is an undeniable best black male singer of all time and he was a smash out the gate with a stellar resume of music to follow years later.

Luther Ronzoni Vandross

Born inApril 20, 1951 and died in July 1, 2005 at the age of 54, Vandross was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. While in high school, he founded the first Patti LaBelle fan club, of which he was president.

He also performed in a group, Shades of Jade, that once played at the Apollo Theater. During his early years in show business, he appeared several times at the Apollo’s famous amateur night. Gradually and in deed throughout his career, he was an in-demand background vocalist for several different artists. He later became a lead singer of the group Change, which released its gold-certified debut album, The Glow of Love, in 1980.

After Vandross left the group, he was signed to Epic Records as a solo artist and released his debut solo album, Never Too Much, in 1981.

His hit songs include Never Too Much, Here and Now, Any Love, Power of Love/Love Power, I Can Make It Better and For You to Love. Many of his songs were covers of original music by other artists such as If This World Were Mine duet with Cheryl Lynn. During his career, Vandross sold over 35 million records worldwide, and received eight Grammy Awards including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance four different times.

He won a total of four Grammy Awards in 2004 including the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for a song recorded not long before his death, Dance with My Father.


Marvin Gaye

best black male singers

Truly one of the greatest vocalist and one of the best black male singers n the history of music. His early 70s music when he claimed he was completely high off weed was when he did his BEST material.

Marvin’s personal life was always up and down and his relationship with his father, who eventually shot him to death was incredibly strained. In one of his biographies, he claimed no matter how much he achieved, his father was never impressed. It’s amazing how some people’s relationships with their own parents can be so destructive.

Marvin Pentz Gay

He added the “e” on Gay

He was born on April 2, 1939, and died on April 1, 1984. He was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. His earliest experiences of singing in public came when he was 3years, performing as a part of his father’s church choir. A passion for music that continued into his teenage years saw him performing with various groups in Washington and then Chicago.

Gaye initially showed no particular desire to become an R&B performer, however, and instead strove to succeed as a jazz musician, perhaps because of his shyness, a trait that was often evident throughout early live performances. He made his first album in 1961 but had to wait until the end of 1962 for his first hit. 

Gaye’s first top 10 album in the US, resulted in Motown offering him a $1m contract, making him the highest-earning black recording artist yet, which also granted him a high degree of artistic control. The late 70s and early 80s saw Gaye immersed in personal, emotional and financial problems, and at odds with Motown.

He finally left the label in 1982, signing to Columbia for what turned out to be his final album. Midnight Love was trailed by the single Sexual Healing. It became a huge worldwide hit. However, Gaye’s cocaine addiction had worsened, his two failed marriages haunted him, and he continued. On 1 April 1984, Gaye intervened in an argument between his parents; at 12.38 pm his father shot him twice and was pronounced dead at 1.01 pm.

BEST BLACK FEMALE SINGERS OF ALL TIME LIST

Sam Cooke

best black male singers

Best Black Male Singers: His gospel vocals transcended to R&B and made him a huge star. There has never been anyone like him. His untimely death/murder was most unfortunate. He certainly had a lot more hits left in him.

Sam Dale Cook

(he added the “e” on Cook)

Born on January 22, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and died on December 11, 1964, at the age of 33. He was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. Considered to be a pioneer and one of the most influential soul artists of all time. Cooke is commonly referred to as the “King of Soul” for his distinctive vocals, notable contributions to the genre, and high significance in popular music.

Sam Cooke began his career with his siblings in a group called the Singing Children when he was six years old. He first became known as lead singer with the Highway Q.C.’s when he was a teenager, having joined the group at the age of 14.

During this time, Cooke befriended fellow gospel singer and neighbor Lou Rawls, who sang in a rival gospel group. Going solo in 1957, Cooke released a string of hit songs, including You Send Me, A Change Is Gonna Come, Cupid, Wonderful World, Chain Gang, Twistin’ the Night Away, Bring It On Home to Me, and Good Times.

During his eight-year career, Cooke released 29 singles that charted in the Top 40 of the Billboard Pop Singles chart, as well as 20 singles in the Top Ten of Billboard‘s Black Singles chart.

Cooke was also among the first modern Black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career.

He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his career as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the Civil Rights Movement. 

Bobby Womack

best black male singers

Once Sam Cooke’s best friend, Bobby Womack’s interpretation of songs hit the nail on the head so hard you can actually feel what he was singing about. No other man on the best black male singers list could take a song and do what Womack was able to do with it.

Peabo Bryson

best black male singers

Best Black Male Singers: Bryson was born to sing yet underrated. I once saw him in concert singing Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You.” He sang it in a higher key and while most would agree that Marvin’s material should not be remade… Peabo should have recorded that version, it was that great and different from the original. Peabo’s range is probably the best out of all the singers on this list but some of his best R&B work rarely hit but he had huge success with his pop duets in the 80s and 90s. His album I Am Love is some of his best work and it flopped.

Peabo Bryson

Born in April 13, 1951, Bryson is one of the premier male vocalists in contemporary music and with 25years of music-making to his credit, Bryson is expanding his creative horizons as a producer and songwriter. Born in Greenville, South Carolina, exposed to music at an early age, Peabo began singing with local bands during his teen years, performing on the famed ‘chitlin’ circuit and gaining the kind of experience that would help prepare him for a solid career as a recording artist and entertainer. In 1975, Peabo signed with Atlanta-based Bang Records and enjoyed some initial success on the R&B charts with tunes like I Can Make It Better and Undeground Music.

However, it was after switching to Capitol Records in 1977 that Peabo gained national attention thanks to Top 10 R&B hits like I’m So Into You and Reaching For The Sky, the title track for his Capitol debut gold album which also included the classic Feel The Fire.

As witnessed by his outstanding debut for Windham Hill Records, this two-time Grammy-Award winning legend is reaching new heights with a set of exceptional material, much of which he wrote and produced with musical partner Regina Troupe. With almost twenty albums to his credit, Peabo Bryson’s career has gone from strength to strength particularly during the past decade. Enjoying an unprecedented, across-the-board level of international success, Peabo has the distinction of being the first artist in music history to have separate records topping four different charts, for example, A Whole New World, a duet with Regina Bell that won an Oscar as “Best Song” in 1992 and earned Peabo a Grammy Award.

Phillip Bailey

best black male singers

Philip Bailey was extremely underrated. I’ve never been a big fan of falsetto singers but his amazing falsetto voice was certainly featured all over Earth Wind and Fire’s greatest hits. By the time he left the group to pursue a solo career his biggest hit was with Phil Collins “Easy Lover” but then he was rarely heard from again and later rejoined EW&F.

Philip James Bailey 

Born in May 8, 1951, Bailey is an American R&B, soul, gospel and funk singer, songwriter and percussionist. Bailey was born and raised in Denver, Colorado.

Bailey was in a local R&B band called Friends & Love. Some of Bailey’s early influences included jazz musicians such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Max Roach, the Motown sound, in particular the music of Stevie Wonder and he was also largely influenced by female singers such as Sarah Vaughan and Dionne Warwick.

In 1984, Bailey issued his first gospel album titled The Wonders of His Love on Myrrh Records. The album reached No. 13 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart and No. 17 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. The Wonders of His Love was also Grammy-nominated in the category of Best Inspirational Performance.

Best known as an early member and one of the two lead singers of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. Noted for his four-octave vocal range and distinctive falsetto register, Bailey has won seven Grammy Awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire. 

Bailey was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his work with the band. During 1983, Bailey issued his debut studio album, titled Continuation, on Columbia Records. 

The album reached No. 19 on the US Billboard Top R&B Albums chart, No. 36 on the Dutch Pop Albums chart and No. 31 on the Swedish Pop Albums chart.

BEST BLACK FEMALE SINGERS OF ALL TIME LIST




33 COMMENTS

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  2. He should have purchased a much less expensive home and put the rest in Berkshire Hathaway.He’d be able to pay for a $4 Million dollar home by now had he invested his money properly.

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  4. It’s really a shame that the actual listeners do not have a say. Russ Parr is not even on Tom Joyner’s level. Its an insult to move Tom to AM radio. Well I guess I will listen to Memphis V101, or Charlotte V101.9. And radio execs wonder why we stream other stations out of state.

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  6. Putting Russ ghetto show on 102.3 doesn’t make sense because he is hip hop & 102.3 is old school, adult contemporary just like Tom Joyner. Cathy Hughes has lost her mind.

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  8. I was a little upset when I heard about the move. I’m a big fan of Tom Joyner Morning Show. I love the crew and never miss them in the Morning. TJMS show always have me cracking up in the morning on my way to work and as soon as I get to work I finish listening to them until they go off the air at 10:00. Who listens to AM unless its the Football game, really. He will truly be missed , so I guess I won’t be listening to that channel in the Mornings anymore, they have lost me. I am pissed a loyal listener is what I was. I guess January 19th I’ll find another channel to listen to.

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  11. No loyalty at all I think it’s a disgrace to move a radio icon like TJ to am for Russ Parr I will not be listening to 102.3 any more in the morning I guess I’ll be checking out 96.3 Steve Harvey. ….

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  13. What does Radio One use for brains? They definitely do not care or listen to there audience. One of the dumbest moves they’ve made. If Russ Parr was not liked on 93.9 KYS why do you think he’ll be liked on 102.3 .TJMS loyalist moving to 95.5

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  15. This is just stupid! I don’t even enjoy the music selections offered on the Russ Parr show and the silly ass antics. Just because you make the decisions doesn’t mean you are making the right ones. Radio One is being ran by Bonobos

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  17. WTH ….. “IF IT AIN’T BROKE, THEN LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!” TJMS IS THE BEST; ESPECIALLY IN THE AM. THEY GIVE YOU NEWS, LAUGHS, EDUCATION, FACTS, FUN, ENERGY, ETC…. TO GET THE DAY STARTED ON A POSITIVE NOTE.THEY ARE HONEST, FACTUAL AND STRONG. THEY ARE NOT AFRAID TO GIVE THEIR OPINION AND DON’T GO ALONG JUST TO GET ALONGI WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO THE CRUISES THIS YEAR, WELL I HOPE THEY WILL CONTINE TO SAIL….IT’S A DOWN RIGHT DIRTY SHAME THAT THE LISTENERS DON’T HAVE ANY SAY; AFTER ALL, WE ARE THE BREAD AND BUTTER !!! SO PROUD OF MYSELF FOR NOT REALLY SAYING HOW I FEEL… WILL NOT BE LISTENNG TO 102.3 ON 1/19/2016 AND BEYOND…

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  20. This makes me very sad but I will be listening to the TJMS on AM until they take him off. I hope he finds a new home after his contract with Radio One ends. I have nothing against Russ Parr his style is just not my preference.I hope that all of the upset listeners write to Radio One (as I am doing) and also follows Tom and the gang to AM. I also hope we don’t simply let this fade away but keep displeasure with this out there so Radio One executives are aware.

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  22. IF I WANTED TO LISTEN TO RUSS PARR AND HIP HOP IN THE MORNING, I WOULD TURN TO 93.9…..ITS A DAMN SHAME EVERY YEAR THE RADIO STATIONS ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO CHANGE SOMETHING FOR THE WORST, IM STILL MAD THAT THEY LET KEVIN “SLOW JAMMIN” JAMES GO YEARS AGO AND CHANGED TO WHOLE FORMAT….IT HAS NOT BEEN THE SAME SINCE……GLAD I HAVE XM RADIO AND PANDORA SO I DONT HAVE LISTEN TO THE MESS THE RADIO PLAYS OVER AND OVER…………

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  24. The only way to beat the move is to get the ADVERTISERS TO STOP ADVERTISING WITH THAT STATION..DOLLARS HURT WHEN THEY GO ELSE WHERE. SO TO BE EFFECTIVE YOU HAVE TO STOP ADVERTISING ON THAT STATION…

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  26. It seems that Tom Joyner like Michael Baisden is being silenced because of their power to move the masses to vote. Their voices encouraged us to stay informed about politics and other social issues and how it could affect Black America. Remember a while back when Congress including some black congressmen wanted to get rid of “free radio”? Kathy Hughes was rather vocal about that. Wonder if some backroom deals were made to get rid of these powerful voices to keep radio free.

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  29. Yes, I agree that this change is based on politics because of the upcoming election in November. Tom and Rev. Sharpton are being moved to an AM station to keep the Black communities from being aware of voting schemes, etc. I will follow TJMS wherever it goes.

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  31. Iam so mad that 102.3 didn’t ask its listeners about that dumb move. Putting TJMS on AM band what a insult. Russ Parr show is not Tom Joyner show. I will be moving to another station because WOL will not come in where I live. Come on Ms. Huges I always said you were a smart lady but I don’t think so now.

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  33. Total disrespect to Tom Joyner. I will not be listening to this station in the morning. Dumb business decision Just who is running the station anyway and radio one who assumes that people on the way to work want to listen to mess in the morning ? Dumb.

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  36. This really sucksss to start 2016 nothing to say about Russ Parr but to a mature audience this is a dumdown can not listen to this when dropping the children off to school…STEVE HARVEY I guess hear we come

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  38. Wait let me get this straight, Radio One replaces Tom Joyner with Russ Parr?????????????????. It’s apparent Tom had too much CLASS!

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  40. Why is Tom Joyner being moved. This is not good I knew when you bought that Marshall Wright and Donney Simpson on there something was going on. Well that’s great!!!!!!You don’t need our email or name you have made your decision.

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  42. This morning I was delighted to wake up to the TJMS on 102.3 I was expecting to turn the station over to AM so I could listen to Tom and his crew. If they ever think about removing Tom I will follow him wherever he goes. Russ Parr show is nowhere near Tom’s level and I felt insulted that corporate America would try this crap. Long time listener and follower of the TJMS.

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  44. How could Tom Joyner be so NAIVE as to give up control of an institution that he created and inspired so many people with.Is it need or greed I dont know know.

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  47. At least you guys have an option with the AM station. In Dallas we lost TJMS and was stuck with only the janky phone APP. That was last year and I’m still in withdrawal. Tom Joyner’s show was apart of the fabric of our lives so there was much uproar. If only there was something we could do…

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  49. Moving Tom Joyner to WOL and Russ Parr to 102.3 makes absolutely no sense on any level. Magic plays old school R&B and neo soul. This is music that appeals to an older demographic. Teenagers and people in their twenties like Russ Parr so why move him to a station that skews older? He’ll lose most of Tom’s audience and he won’t drag many of his listeners to Magic.I’d like to hear the reasoning behind this move.

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  51. Intelligence v. Coonery and Buffoonery. Tom Joyner is such a strong voice in the black community! He brings so much to the table! The TJMS is very informative and intellecutally stimulating. The little known black history fact, Black America Web, educated guest. Real Fathers Real Men… the list goes on and on! When I say the Russ Parr Morning Show hurts my ears and brains that’s an understatement! This was a really bad move and another move to destroy something postive within the black community!

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