Showcasing the finer articles and information on Wikipedia's R&B, soul, and funk singers, musicians, bands, songs, and record labels.
- Funk is an American musical style that originated in the mid- to late-1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, soul jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony, and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground. Unlike R&B and soul songs, which had many chord changes, funk songs are often based on an extended vamp on a single chord.
Like much of African inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments such as electric guitar, electric bass, Hammond organ, and drums playing interlocking rhythms. Funk bands also usually have a horn section of several saxophones, trumpets, and in some cases, a trombone, which plays rhythmic "hits".
Let's Get It On is a studio album by American soul musician Marvin Gaye, released August 28, 1973 on Motown-subsidiary label Tamla Records. Recording sessions for the album took place from June 1970 to April 1972 at Hitsville U.S.A. and Golden World Studio in Detroit, Michigan and from February to July 1973 at Hitsville West in Los Angeles, California. Let's Get It On served as Gaye's first venture into the funk genre and romance-themed music. The album has been noted by several music writers for its sexually-explicit lyrical content, being described as "one of the most sexually charged albums ever recorded."
Following the breakthrough success of his socially-conscious album What's Going On, the initial acclaim of Let's Get It On helped establish Marvin Gaye as a sex icon, while furthering his mainstream appeal. With the help of the hit single title track, the album became the most commercially successful album of Gaye's recording career, as it further expanded his creative control during his tenure with Motown. The recording sessions for Let's Get It On contributed in emphasizing Gaye's multi-tracked vocals to the forefront of his music and influenced later R&B and soul production. The sexual balladry and seductive, funky sound featured on the album had a profound effect on the music industry and soul musicians at the time, and helped pioneer slow jam music and quiet storm, while influencing many contemporary R&B artists.
Following its initial reception of general praise from critics, the album has been regarded by many music writers and critics as a landmark recording in R&B and soul music, as Gaye's smooth soul sound on the album marked a change for his record label's previously success with the "Motown Sound" formula, while also helping further funk music's popularity during the 1970s. Let's Get It On has also been ranked at or near the top of many publications' "best album" lists in disparate genres. On September 18, 2001, Let's Get It On was reissued by Motown Records as a two-disc deluxe edition release featuring extensive liner notes and digital remastering, as well as material from the initial recording sessions. In 2003, the album was ranked number 165 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Eunice Kathleen Waymon, better known by her stage name Nina Simone (IPA: ninɐ sʌmɞnɑ) (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), was a Grammy Award-nominated American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and civil rights activist.
Although she disliked being categorized, Simone is generally classified as a jazz musician. She preferred the term "Black Classical Music" herself. Simone originally aspired to become a classical pianist, but her work covers an eclectic variety of musical styles besides her classical basis, such as jazz, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop music. Her vocal style (with a rich alto vocal range) is characterized by intense passion, breathiness, and tremolo. Sometimes known as the High Priestess of Soul, she paid great attention to the musical expression of emotions. Within one album or concert she could fluctuate between exuberant happiness or tragic melancholy. These fluctuations also characterized her own personality and personal life, worsened by a bipolar disorder with which she was diagnosed in the mid-sixties, but was kept secret until 2004.
Simone recorded over 40 live and studio albums, the biggest body of her work being released between 1958 (when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue) and 1974. Songs she is best known for include "My Baby Just Cares for Me", "I Put a Spell on You", "I Loves You Porgy", "Feeling Good", "Sinner Man", "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", "Strange Fruit", "Ain't Got No-I Got Life" and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl". Her music and message made a strong and lasting impact on African-American culture, illustrated by the numerous contemporary artists who cite her as an important influence (among them Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Jeff Buckley, and Lauryn Hill), as well as the extensive use of her music on soundtracks and in remixes.
Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, one of eight children. She began playing piano at her local church and showed prodigious talent on this instrument. Her concert debut, a classical piano recital, was made at the age of ten. During her performance, her parents, who had taken seats in the front row, were forced to move to the back of the hall to make way for white people. Simone refused to play until her parents were moved back. This incident contributed to her later involvement in the civil rights movement.