Even though some may argue whether they are the legends of rhythm and blues or not, there is little arguing that all five artists on this list are legendary to some extent or another. Whether you like Teddy Pendergrass, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, or Stevie Wonder, there is no denying that they are all some of the most famous musicians of all time. Without further ado, here is our list of 5 legends of rhythm and blues.
Marvin Gaye was born on April 2nd, 1939 and he died on April 1st, 1948. Gaye was an American singer, musician and songwriter. In the 1960s, he contributed to the sound of Motown Records, first as an in house session player, and later as a solo artist. Gaye had many hits, such as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “How Sweet It is.” He also had duet recording with Tammi Terrell, Kim Weston and Mary Wells, later earning the titles Prince of Soul and Prince of Motown.
His recordings influenced a few R&B subgenres, such as neo-soul and quiet storm. Marvin Gay Sr., his father, shot him fatally at their house in the West Adams district of Los Angeles on April 1st. After his death, he has been posthumously awarded with many honors, such as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Stevland Hardaway Morris was born on May 13th, 1950 as Stevland Hardaway Judkins but he is known by his stage name Stevie Wonder. Wonder is an American musician, songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer and he has become one of the most loved and creative musicians of the late 20th century. Shortly after birth, Wonder lost his eyesight. Among his work are singles, such as “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” and “Superstition,” as well as albums, such as “Songs in the Key of Life” and “Talking Book.”
Michael Jackson was born on August 29th, 1958, and he died on June 25th, 2009. Jackson was an American singer, dancer, actor, songwriter and record producer. He was called the King of Pop who contributed to music and dance, and since he has publicized his personal life, Jackson was a global figure in popular culture for several decades.
He was the eighth child of the Jackson family and in 1996 he debuted as a member of the Jackson 5 along with his elder brothers Marlon, Jermaine, Tito, and Jackie. However, later in 1971, Jackson began his solo career. He also popularized and named many complicated dance techniques, such as the moonwalk and the robot. Jackson’s distinctive style and sound influenced a lot of post-disco, hip hop, pop, rock and other R&B artists.
Teddy Pendergrass was born on March 26th, 1950 and he died on January 13th, 2010. He was an American R&B singer and songwriter. Before successful solo career at the end of the 1970s, he rose to fame as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes.
Pendergrass was badly injured in a car accident in Philadelphia in 1982, which resulted in his paralyze from the chest down. He subsequently founded a foundation which helps those with spinal cord injuries called the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance. In November 2008, he had his last performance on a PBS special at Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino.
Albert Greene was born on April 13th, 1946. This American singer is often known as The Reverend Al Green and best known for his soul hit singles in the early 1970s, such as “Love and Happiness,” “I’m Still in Love With You,” “Tired of Being Alone,” and “Let’s Stay Together.” In 1995, he was welcomed to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but Green was referred to as being one of the most gifted purveyors of soul music. Green was included on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone and referred to as the last of the great soul singers.