Definition of rhythm and blues in English:

rhythm and blues

(also R & B)


  • [mass noun] A form of popular music of US black origin which arose during the 1940s from blues, with the addition of driving rhythms taken from jazz. It was an immediate precursor of rock and roll.

    R & B
    • ‘Our sound is a crazy blend of hip hop, R & B and electronic sounds.’
    • ‘Second, while many festivals seek to preserve the Delta blues, most feature a variety of musical styles, including rhythm and blues, soul, gospel, and rock and roll.’
    • ‘On my album there are a few vibes like an R & B and a reggae vibe, but mainly hip hop.’
    • ‘For just as with rhythm and blues, hip hop is also riddled with racial, ethnic, class, gender, and generational contradictions.’
    • ‘I've just moved to London and I'm now working at the hottest record spot for R & B and hip hop tunes called Blendz Records.’
    • ‘This combination of R & B, two step and jazz flavours provides a backdrop for one of the most exciting voices to have emerged in recent years.’
    • ‘Is Edgar merely poking fun at modern hip hop / R & B's macho posturing?’
    • ‘This is not just urban, this is not just R & B, this is music for the soul.’
    • ‘Adapting quickly to new circumstances, he decided to stock up on rap, rhythm and blues, and jazz cassettes to market to African Americans in Harlem.’
    • ‘We have pop, hip hop, R & B - something for everybody because we're not just going in one direction.’
    • ‘He was not just a straight-ahead, three-chord folkie, but he created a harmonic fusion of folk, jazz, rhythm and blues, and soul stylings.’
    • ‘George Benson, the man who some 30 plus years ago made the crossover from jazz to rhythm and blues, soul and pop, belongs very much in the latter category.’
    • ‘An important nerve in reggae's musical spinal cord came directly from African American rhythm and blues and soul music and the evolving folk music movement.’
    • ‘The initial musical spark was built around a mixture of highly incongruous styles, including medieval folk, bossa nova, soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz.’
    • ‘Off ice, Evora listens to rhythm and blues, alternative and techno music, while Ladwig will listen to anything.’
    • ‘To my ears, Malian music is a direct precursor of American rhythm and blues, and listening to Doumbia is a lesson in the roots of classic R&B ballads.’
    • ‘The Rolling Stones evolved from Richards' and Jagger's teenage enthusiasm for black American rhythm and blues.’
    • ‘But with rhythm and blues and soul music you don't often get the best lyrics, so for that I kind of prefer Leonard Cohen, or Bob Dylan.’
    • ‘We want house music and rhythm and blues and spicy barbecue.’
    • ‘Ollie Bayston's voice veers between Robert Smith and Richard Ashcroft while beating out electric piano riffs, which borrow from 60's and 70's rhythm and blues.’


rhythm and blues