The Grammy Award for Best R&B Album is an honor presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards, to recording artists for quality works on albums in the R&B music genre. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".
According to the category description guide for the 54th Grammy Awards, the award is reserved for albums "containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded contemporary R&B vocal tracks" which may also "incorporate production elements found in rap music". Award recipients include the producers, engineers, and/or mixers associated with the nominated work in addition to the recording artists. In 2003, the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album was split into two categories: Best Contemporary R&B Album is for R&B longplay records (LPs) that have modern hip-hop stylings to them, while this honor is for R&B LPs that are more traditional and less electronic. From 2012, this category will also include recordings that previously fell under the Best Contemporary R&B Album category, which will be discontinued in 2012 as part of a major overhaul of the Grammy Award categories.
The accolade for Best R&B Album, was first presented to Boyz II Men at the 37th Grammy Awards in 1995 for their second studio album II (1994). Alicia Keys is the biggest recipient in this category with three wins. Mary J. Blige holds the record for the most nominations, with five in total. Followed by her is India.Arie and Boyz II Men, who share the title for artists with the second most nominations, with four each. The award has been presented to artists from the United States each year to date. In 2015, Norwegian singer Bern/hoft became the first non-American artist to have been nominated for this award.