During the 1990s, R&B music peaked, and many male groups were in the spotlight. Today, we will explore this era’s best male R&B groups of the 90s and what made them stand out.
Join me as I present my list of the top r&b groups from the 90s, whose music has left a lasting impact.
Now, relive the golden age of R&B with this compilation of the top male groups from the 90s. Get ready to groove to the smooth harmonies and soulful melodies!
During the 90s, Hip-hop and R&B became almost synonymous, with the two genres often grouped on the charts.
One of the groups responsible for this was Blackstreet, who blurred the line between the two styles of music.
Formed by Teddy Riley, credited with creating the New Jack Swing genre, the group’s hit song “No Diggity” was a crossover success, charting on R&B, Hip-Hop, and Pop charts.
However, my favorite Blackstreet song is “Don’t Leave Me” from their 1996 album “Another Level”. It is their most authentic R&B track.
Have you heard of the Bad Boys of R&B, Jodeci? They are a group of four brothers who joined forces under the guidance of Sean Combs.
Their music style is heavily influenced by hip-hop and is quite different from more traditional R&B groups.
The group released their first album, Forever My Lady, in 1991 and enjoyed a successful five-year run of platinum albums before taking a hiatus for almost a decade.
Personally, my favorite Jodeci song is “Cry For You” from their album Diary Of A Mad Band, released in 1993.
3. Boyz II Men
The male R&B group Boyz II Men is considered one of the outstanding groups of the 90s. They comprised four lead vocalists with the unique ability to share the microphone and spotlight.
Unlike other prominent groups that broke up, this quartet remained solid and became one of the Best Male R&B Groups of the 90s.
Hailing from Philadelphia, Nathan Morris, Wayne Morris (no relation), Shawn Stockman, and Michael McCary, a notable bass vocalist, set records for longevity on the Billboard charts with consistent hit singles.
When discussing the best “boy bands” of the 90s, Boyz II Men should not be forgotten as their 64 million plus records sold are proof of their success.
One of my favorite Boys II Men songs is “I’ll Make Love To You” from their 1994 album.
The song effectively displays the unique talents of each member and highlights what made Boys II Men such a remarkable group.
4. Tony! Toni! Tone!
Tony! Toni! Tone! is a talented trio that seamlessly blends various musical styles from both the past and present.
They skillfully incorporated traditional gospel and soul to create their own unique version of new jack swing. These innovative artists were ahead of their time, and released four successful albums between 1988 and 1996.
Even before Neo-Soul was officially recognized as a genre, Tony! Toni! Tone! had already laid the groundwork for a coming transition of R&B.
One of my favorite Tony! Toni! Tone! songs is “Let’s Get Down”, which was featured on their album House of Music in 1996.
This song has a fantastic party vibe, and listening to it makes you feel like you’re right there with the artists at the function.
5. K-Ci & Jo-Jo
K-Ci & JoJo, a sibling duo, were among the best male R&B groups of the 90s.
They were already known as one-half of the influential group Jodeci. After releasing three platinum albums with Jodeci, the duo began branching out independently.
They had two successful albums to close out the decade, along with hit features and placements on movie soundtracks.
As a duo, the brothers leaned back into their gospel roots and produced soulful ballads that were different from the Jodeci sound.
Although they were a popular group, they never reached the same level of success as their previous group. Their single “All My Life” was their only number-one hit single.
My favorite K-Ci & JoJo song is “All My Life” from their album “Love Always,” released in 1997. It’s a stunning ballad that showcases the brothers’ vocal runs and harmonies that complement each other.
6. Dru Hill
Dru Hill, led by Sisqo, rose to fame in the late 90s from Baltimore, Maryland.
With Sisqo’s impressive vocals, unique dragon-themed performance, and support from their high-school friendships, the group produced multiple Top 40 hits.
Their music consisted of R&B ballads blended with hip-hop production, making them a popular choice on the billboard charts and frequently featured in film and TV during that time.
“In My Bed – So So Def Mix,” release 96, is my favorite Dru Hill song. Although the original version was a slow and soulful R&B song, Jermaine Dupri’s upbeat remix helped it reach a broader audience.
Even before the new millennium, The 112 had already established themselves as one of the best male R&B groups of the 90s.
They had released two previous albums that featured hit singles, with their most famous song, “Peaches & Cream,” coming later.
The group was groomed by Sean Combs, also known as Puff Daddy during the 90s, and was fully ingrained in the hip-hop world.
Their collaborations with The Notorious B.I.G. and the rest of the Bad Boy family helped them rise to prominence.
My personal favorite 112 song is “Cupid” from their 1996 album. Slim leads the group in this soulful love song.
8. Bell Biv Devoe
Bell Biv Devoe is among the tremendous male R&B groups of the 90s. Emerging from the well-known group New Edition, they took their cutting-edge sound and style to a new level by blending smooth R&B with hip-hop and pop influences.
Ricky Bell, Michael Bivens, and Ronnie DeVoe moved forward with hip-hop heavy sounds that differed from their previous New Edition style. The trio produced funky and sexual songs that didn’t immensely gain the same level of popularity as before.
Their hit single, “Poison,” has become a staple in a DJ’s playlist to get people moving on the dance floor.
Although they had other music, it’s fair to wonder if they can still be considered a “one-hit wonder” due to the overwhelming success of “Poison.”
My favorite Bell Biv Devoe song is “Poison” from their 1990 album.
9. Mint Condition
While New Jack Swing and hip-hop continued to deviate from R&B, Mint Condition stayed solid to its soul core.
Deeply rooted in funk and jazz, Mint Condition performed ballads that held firm in a changing music environment.
Their most notable hit, “Pretty Brown,” eyes spent 34 weeks on the charts, even crossing over to pop charts while reaching certified Gold RIAA status. Their soulful vocals were not enough to compete with the wave of hip-hop that took over at the end of the decade.
My favorite Mint Condition song is: “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” – Meant To Be Mint, 1991.
A classic R&B track and essential listening for anyone who claims to love the genre.
This Atlanta-based group, originally consisting of five members, was discovered by Keith Sweat and gained popularity through their sensuous ballads such as “Freak Me” and “Meeting In My Bedroom.”
In 1992, Silk released their debut album, “Lose Control,” which received critical acclaim and achieved double platinum status.
Despite being released two years prior, the album won the Soul Train Music Award for Album of the Year.
My personal favorite Silk song is “Meeting in My Bedroom” from their 1999 album “Tonight.”
Next was a latecomer to the 90s R&B scene, with a successful 5-year run from 1997 to 2002.
They competed with Dru Hill and Jagged Edge to win over fans of contemporary R&B, which often featured more mature themes and suggestive lyrics.
My favorite Next song is “Wifey” from their album Welcome II Nextasy, released in 2000. Although it came out in the early 2000s, it’s still worth mentioning due to its unique content.
It’s tough to imagine many current R&B artists releasing a song with lyrics as bold as “getting wired up” as Next did.
This musical group, Shai, is often called a “one-hit wonder.” Their first album, If I Ever Fall In Love, gained significant popularity, particularly the title track, now considered one of the most essential 90s R&B songs.
However, despite this success, Shai produced no other songs that received significant recognition.
My favorite song by Shai is “If I Ever Fall In Love,” released in 1992.
The original acapella version of the song was unique and unlike anything else played on major radio stations at the time.
Music from the soul and funk genre was created by diverse individuals in the past decades, resulting in timeless pieces. However, in the 90s, R&B was commonly associated with “Black music” exclusively.
All-4-One, a quartet consisting of two Black men (Jamie Jones and Delious Kennedy), a white man (Tony Borowiak), and a Mexican-American (Alfred Nevarez), challenged those stereotypes.
They aimed for the best vocal mix possible and succeeded, producing ballads that stayed true to their soul and do-wop musical roots.
One of my favorite All-4-One songs is “I Swear,” from 1994, a classic hit that surpassed their other tracks.
While many groups on this list had only one successful song, All-4-One created several hits through their dedication to producing the best music possible.
14. Color Me Badd
A popular R&B group of the 90s was “Color Me Badd.” Comprised of five members, Bryan Abrams, Mark Calderon, Kevin Thornton, Sam Watters, and Anthony Hilton, they were a force to be reckoned with.
Their hits, including “I Wanna Sex You Up,” “All 4 Love,” and “Thinkin’ Back,” propelled them to stardom.
With smooth crooning, masterful harmonies, and an undeniable stage presence, Color Me Badd set the bar for future R&B groups.
Even after disbanding in 1998, they remain a staple of the 90s music era.
One of the unique aspects of Color Me Badd was their fusion of cultures into their music, whether intentional or not.
In the 90s, R&B music often contained suggestive themes and lyrics, and Color Me Badd’s hit single “I Wanna Sex You Up” was particularly explicit.
My favorite song by Color Me Badd is their cover of the famous Skylark song, “Wildflower,” from their album “Time and Chance,” released in 1993.
Have you heard of the R&B supergroup of Keith Sweat, Gerald Levert, and Johnny Gill?
LSG’s collaboration in 1997 created a significant impact in the R&B/hip-hop world that is still evident today through their joint projects.
Their first album, LSG, was a huge success, achieving platinum status. However, the group only released one more official project.
Sadly, Gerald Levert passed away in 2006, causing the group to take a break.
Fortunately, his father, Eddie Levert, a renowned lead singer for The O’Jays, joined the group in 2013 to replace his son in an LSG reunion. The group is still active and performing today.
One of my favorite LSG songs is “My Body,” released in 1997, originally recorded by Keith Sweat for his album.
However, he collaborated with LSG members Gerald Levert and Johnny Gill to create a new song rendition.
What was the biggest R&B group in the 90s?
The 90s was an iconic time in R&B music, with several legendary groups emerging from the decade.
Out of them all, Boyz II Men rose to become the biggest R&B group of the era, selling an impressive 64 million records worldwide and scoring four consecutive number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their classic tracks “End of the Road,” “I’ll Make Love to You,” “One Sweet Day” and “Motownphilly.”
The vocal quartet earned multiple awards, including two Grammy Awards, nine American Music Awards, eight Soul Train Music Awards, and a record-breaking 11 Billboard Music Awards for Top R&B Artist in 1997.
Who is the king of R&B music?
Usher Raymond IV is a prominent figure in contemporary R&B music, often called the “King of R&B.”
He has made a name for himself as a talented vocalist, songwriter, and dancer, enjoying worldwide success throughout his career.
His debut album, My Way, achieved six-time platinum status in 1997, and subsequent albums surpassed that achievement.
- 8701 (2001) sold 8 million copies,
- Confessions (2004) went 10-times platinum,
- Here I Stand (2008) sold 4 million copies,
- Raymond v. Raymond (2010) achieved triple platinum status,
- Looking 4 Myself (2012) reached double Platinum status,
- Hard II Love (2016) also achieved dual Platinum status.
Who is the king of R&B 90s?
The King of R&B 90s is regarded as the iconic singer-songwriter R. Kelly.
With hits such as ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ ‘Bump N’ Grind,’ and ‘Ignition,’ he revolutionized the genre and lit up his career with Grammy wins, platinum records, and numerous songwriting awards.
His unmistakable soulful sound has immensely influenced modern-day R&B and Hip Hop superstars.
Who is the father of R&B?
The father of R&B is usually attributed to blues musician and songwriter W.C. Handy, who was one of the first to popularize a style of blues music that would later become known as “the blues.”
His work became so influential that he was nicknamed the “Father of the Blues,” and his songs laid the groundwork for modern R&B genres such as soul, funk, hip-hop, and rap.
His legacy can be heard in countless classic recordings from artists across many eras, including Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and Alicia Keys.
What makes 90s R&B?
90s R&B had its unique sound, characterized by soulful vocals, smooth beats, and powerful instrumentals.
The genre mixed jazz, pop, hip-hop, and funk elements to create a distinct sonic experience that captured the essence of urban sounds in America.
90s R&B was a diverse soundscape featuring upbeat club anthems and slow jam classics, allowing artists to express themselves freely through music.
Here are the top male R&B groups from the 90s that significantly took R&B music to the next level as the new millennium approached.
Although many other outstanding groups from the 90s could have been mentioned (such as Guy or The Jets), I tried to limit this list to groups formed in the 1990s or had the most success.
I hope you found this enjoyable.