Contemporary R&B (also known as simply R&B) is a music genre that combines elements of rhythm and blues, pop, soul, funk, hip hop and electronic music.

The genre features a distinctive record production style, drum machine-backed rhythms, pitch corrected vocals, and a smooth, lush style of vocal arrangement. Electronic influences are becoming an increasing trend and the use of hip hop or dance-inspired beats are typical, although the roughness and grit inherent in hip hop may be reduced and smoothed out. Contemporary R&B vocalists are often known for their use of melisma, popularized by vocalists such as Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Craig David, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey.

Now, how many of you had to look up “melisma”? Yep, we thought it was a breakfast cereal too. The definition in Webster’s Dictionary is “a group of notes or tones sung on one syllable in plainsong.” Okay, now how many of you had to look up “plainsong”. We don’t care how you define it. We like it.

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