R&B is possibly the best musical genre to listen to when you’re feeling down. These singers know how to connect with the heart and soul of sadness, and they’re especially skilled at singing to a broken heart. If you’re in the mood for sadness, turn to your favorite R&B artists.
We’ve put together a list of the top 10 saddest R&B songs of all time to comfort you through the low times.
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10 saddest R&B songs of all time
1. Officially Missing You By Tamia
A song from Canadian R&B singer Tamia's third studio album More. The song stands out for its acoustic style, which includes acoustic guitar, and Tamia's vocals most prominently in the mix.
A melancholic lament built around an acoustic guitar was a sign of departure for Aurelius, who until then was primarily known for his hip hop productions.
2. John Redcorn By Sir
Released on his album Chasing Summer, “John Redcorn” brings a warm production value that perfectly fits Sir’s soft voice. Although the percussion doesn’t change too much, it does a great job of keeping the tempo while the melodies float freely.
A clean electric guitar is mixed perfectly with the artist’s harmonies, and the instrumental brings a groovy bass line that leaves room for the rest of the song’s dynamics. Listeners get treated to relaxing Rhode piano chords that get the main focus with supporting melodies from Sir’s vocals in the background.
3. Truth Is By Sabrina Claudio
The way Sabrina’s vocals are presented in this song sounds like a personal conversation with a significant other. With touching vocal harmonies, the instrumental does a great job of alternating between the notion of a beating heart and the anxiousness that can bring.
Furthermore, the instrumental structure changes perfectly with the tone of Sabrina’s message, with sweeping orchestral instruments. Being one of the artist’s saddest R&B songs, the dynamic and cinematic qualities of the song resonate from beginning to end.
4. Walking Home By Mac Ayers
Walking Home" is a song by American R&B singer Mac Ayers, released in 1965 as a single on the RCA label. The song was an instant hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on the U.S. Cashbox magazine charts. It also reached number 10 on the UK Singles Chart. The song features a saxophone break by King Curtis.
The song describes the singer's feelings about his lover going home to her husband after their affair ended.
5. Could‘ve Been By H.E.R. (Feat. Bryson Tiller)
The contrast and supporting melodies between H.E.R and Bryson Tiller make “Could’ve Been” one of the saddest R&B songs within the last few years. The lyrics are straightforward, reminiscing about a lost relationship they tried to fight for.
With rising synth pads, the instrumental doesn’t distract from the song’s message, leaving plenty of room for the artists to take on most of the melody work. Although the instrumental is simple, each hitting element is crisp to the ear and provides a pristine sound overall.
6. Pray You Catch Me By Beyoncé
Undoubtedly a legend in her own right, “Pray You Catch Me” brings impactful and unique production quality that gives Beyoncé free range to show her vocal power. She knows exactly how to get people in their feelings, and this record shows this ability with excellent piano progressions and sound selection.
7. Like I Want You By Giveon
With many water-like low-end frequencies, “Like I Want You” from Giveon has a beautiful production value with many complementary melodies. With a slow downtempo, it showcases many R&B elements, and the percussion hits just right with every downbeat.
8. The Knowing By The Weeknd
The Weeknd was still in his proving grounds when “The Knowing” was released. Delivering an emotional journey as his music tends to do, this song was released during one of his prime eras of music, in my opinion.
With reverberating production and ethereal instrumentation, the dynamics of this record hit all the right nerves and can easily make you lose track of time. Although The Weeknd is a multi-genre artist, his R&B records always bring a signature quality.
9. Jaded By Drake
Drake’s warm vocals do a great job of bringing a sense of nostalgia as he has a tendency to switch between past and present production styles. Furthermore, he’s developed a signature production quality that always fits his voice.
10. Too Fast By Sonder
Sonder’s somewhat raspy yet relaxing lyrical abilities complement the slow bassline and light production on “Too Fast.”
The song’s melodies strongly focus on the layered orchestral elements that trade-off dynamics. For a change of pace, the chorus of the songs brings heightened emotion that’ll involuntarily peak the erase interest.
What is considered R&B music?
Rhythm and blues, commonly known as R&B, is a musical genre developed by Black Americans in the 1940s that’s been continuously refined through the present day.
What does R&B mean today?
Who invented R&B music?
One of the genre's earliest practitioners, bandleader and saxophonist Louis Jordan — who also co-composed the 1944 hit song “Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby” — used elements that would come to define R&B.