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30 Best 2000s Male R&B Singers & Groups

December 6, 2023
2000s male r&b singers

I’ve handpicked the best 2000s male R&B singers and groups, who defined a golden era with their smooth vocals and soulful rhythms.

This article is a tribute to the artists who shaped the R&B scene of the 2000s, leaving a lasting impact with their timeless music.

Best 2000s male R&B singers & groups

  • Ne-Yo
  • Usher
  • John Legend
  • Chris Brown
  • Trey Songz
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Jaheim
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Maxwell
  • Joe

1. Ne-Yo

It’s no doubt why Ne-Yo, known to his family and friends as Shaffer Chimere Smith, is such a musical talent!

Both of his parents with musicians, so it’s not surprising that he became one of the best male R&B artists of the decade.

The stage name Ne-Yo was invented by a producer who Smith worked with, Big D Evans, because “Ne-Yo sees music like the character Neo sees the matrix”. That’s a pretty cool nickname!

Ne-Yo has received over eight awards from thirty-one nominations during his career, including Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Contemporary album.

Ne-Yo and his tracks are timeless; you should definitely check him out.

2. Usher

Usher Raymond IV, who goes simply by the name Usher, learned he could sing at the young age of nine when he joined a local youth choir.

At the age of ten, he joined an R&B quintet, NuBeginnings, which launched his career as an R&B artist.

Only a few years later, Usher released his debut, self-titled album!

It was a moderate success, making it onto the R&B charts at number 167 and putting him on the map. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that Usher really hit his stride, though!

Confessions, Usher’s fourth studio album, established him as one of the best-selling artists of the decade.

The album contained an impressive four consecutive number-one singles, including “Yeah!”, “Burn” and “My Boo”, and he’s been unstoppable since.

3. John Legend

John Roger Stevens, i.e. John Legend, began his climb to the R&B hall of fame in the early 2000s when he worked behind the scenes on several hit tracks.

He pursued a solo career after signing with Kanye West’s record label GOOD Music.

John Legend’s 2004 debut album Get Lifted reached the Billboard top ten and became accredited double platinum, leading him to be nominated for a whopping nine nominations at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards in 2006!

In total, he has now received twelve Grammys, along with the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

John Legend is just that – an R&B legend!

4. Chris Brown

Chris Brown has been referred to by many as the ‘King of R&B’, and his awards certainly back that up!

With a total of 131 wins and 429 nominations, he has secured his standing as one of the greats.

Having sold over 197 million records around the world, Chris Brown has grown to be one of the world’s best-selling music artists.

To add to his accomplishments, Brown has had the most Top 40 hits of any R&B singer ever!

His self-titled debut studio album became certified triple platinum for sales of over three million.

Chris Brown’s musical success speaks for itself, and he’s definitely a male R&B singer to check out.

5. Trey Songz

Tremaine Aldon Neverson, who goes by the stage name Trey Songz, is an R&B singer, rapper, songwriter, and actor.

He has sold over 25 million songs and albums to date and has been nominated for countless awards.

Trey Songz released his first album, I Gotta Make it, in 2005, with Andy Kellman (AllMusic) stating that the album “carries a fine balance between throwback and modern hip-hop soul”.

His first top-ten hit came from his third album, Ready, which lead to Songz being nominated for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards.

His success in the 2000s led to further success in the 2010s and beyond!

6. Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake is one of the world’s bestselling artists, reaching sales of over 88 million records!

He is the best-performing male soloist on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40, with genres ranging from R&B to pop.

Timberlake began his career as the youngest member of NSYNC, but quickly launched his solo career after his debut R&B album Justified and its single “Cry Me a River” won him two Grammy Awards in 2002.

With his first two albums exceeding sales of ten million units each and subsequently being certified diamonds, Justin Timberlake has certainly solidified his place on this list!

7. Jaheim

Jaheim H. Hoagland, who goes by the stage name Jaheim, has produced several top 10 R&B albums, selling a total of 5 million records worldwide.

As the grandson of the late soul singer Hoagy Lands, Jaheim was born into the world of music.

His first two studio albums, Ghetto Love and Still Ghetto have both received platinum certifications and performed very well critically.

With three Grammy nominations under his belt, he’s certainly an R&B singer to check out.

8. Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx is best known as an R&B singer for his successful album Unpredictable, which reached the top of both the R&B chart and the mainstream chart in the US.

The album was certified double platinum by the RIAA and put Foxx on the R&B map.

A talented man, Foxx started his career as a teenager as a part-time pianist and choir leader for Terrell’s New Hope Baptist Church.

He moved on to sing in a band named Leather and Lace, before receiving a university scholarship to study music and performing arts composition.

With a total of five studio albums and eighteen solo singles, Jamie Foxx certainly made his mark on the R&B world!

9. Maxwell

Gerald Maxwell Rivera, known as Maxwell, shot to R&B fame when his debut studio album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite was said by music critics to have formed the ‘neo soul’ movement.

Maxwell has won an impressive total of eleven awards and thirty-six nominations throughout the 2000s.

He has released five studio albums, three of which have been certified platinum, with one certified as double platinum!

10. Joe

Joseph Lewis Thomas, known as Joe, is a seven-time Grammy nominee, as well as being nominated for countless other R&B awards.

With a total of thirteen albums, he has certainly made his mark in the R&B genre.

Joe’s third studio album, My Name is Joe, became an international bestseller, hitting the mainstream and R&B charts in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Sweden.

Eleven of his albums reached the top five on the Billboard R&B chart, and he has since been placed at number 45 on Billboard’s list of the Top 50 R&B and Hip-Hop artists of the past 25 years!

11. Omarion

Omarion, known to his friends and family as Omari Ishmael Grandberry, rose to stardom as the lead singer of the boy band B2K.

After the group split up in 2004, Omarion began his successful career as a solo artist.

His debut studio album O debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart, receiving a nomination for Best Contemporary R&B album at the 48th Annual Grammy awards. 

Omarion’s six studio albums and three compilation albums have led to six awards and sixteen nominations, with many of his singles being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

12. Ginuwine

Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, better known by his stage name Ginuwine, is one of the R&B greats.

He has sold twenty-one million albums in the US, according to Billboard, and received the Urban Music Icon award at the 2021 Black Music Honors.

Ginuwine has released seven studio albums over the course of his career, with one being certified double platinum and two being certified platinum.

With many platinum singles also, he’s known as one of the top R&B artists of the early 2000s!

13. Tyrese

Tyrese Darnell Gibson uniquely began his career! His career began when he made an appearance in a 1994 Coca-Cola commercial, singing the phrase “Always Coca-Cola”.

This led to the release of his self-titled debut album which debuted at number 17 on the Billboard charts and subsequently became certified platinum in the US for over one million sales.

Tyrese’s highest-charting single was “How You Gonna Act Like That” from the album I Wanna Go There, reaching number three and number 7 on the US Billboard R&B and mainstream charts, respectively.

14. Tank

Durrell Artaze Babbs, known as Tank, began his career as a backing vocalist for R&B star Ginuwine.

This led to the release of his 2001 debut studio album Force of Nature, which soared to the top of the weekly US R&B album chart.

Five of Tank’s singles have topped the US adult R&B chart, with “When We” receiving platinum certification.

He had sold a total of 1.76 million albums in the US by 2013 and has surely earnt his position on this list.

15. Avant

Avant, full name Myron Lavell Avant, has produced fifteen singles and seven albums, three of which are certified platinum for sales of over one million units.

He began writing R&B music at the young age of fourteen, leading to his first album in the year 2000.

His debut album My Thoughts produced a lot of buzz for Avant, selling more than 4.4 million copies worldwide.

He has since been nominated for four R&B awards.

Avant has named R. Kelly his biggest inspiration and influence; with Kelly being one of the reasons that Avant wanted to pursue a musical career in the R&B genre.

16. Bobby V

Bobby V, known also as Bobby Valentino, began his musical career as a member of the R&B group Mista.

He later released his first single as a solo artist, “Slow Down”, in 2005 which reached number eight on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Over his career, he has won three awards: a BMI award for Song of the Year, and two Urban Music Awards for Best Male Artist and Best R&B Act.

Three of his albums, Bobby Valentino, Special Occasion, and The Rebirth, peaked at number one on the US R&B album chart, helped along by collaborations with hip-hop stars such as Snoop Dogg.

17. Eric Benét

Eric Benét, born in Alabama, is an R&B and neo-soul singer.

He has released a total of 7 studio albums and 21 singles over the course of his R&B career.

Each of his albums, aside from one, performed well on the US R&B chart and put Benét on the map.

He has won two awards throughout his career: a Black Reel award for Best Original or Adapted song for his single “Love Don’t Love Me” and an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Song for “Spend My Life With You”.

18. Brian McKnight

Brian McKnight is an R&B legend, having earned 16 Grammy Award nominations and being third in line for the record of most Grammy Nominations without a win (behind Snoop Dogg and Zubin Mehta).

McKnight was offered a publishing deal at the age of 18 after he formed a local band.

In 1998 he signed with Motown, and a year later released his most successful album, Back at One.

Back at One sold over three million copies and is one of four of his albums to reach the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

19. Donell Jones

Donell Jones is best known for his second album Where I Wanna Be, released in the late 90s.

“U Know What’s Up”, a hit single from the album, became a global hit, reaching number two on the UK mainstream chart.

Jones’ following albums brought him great success and popularity in the 2000s; each reached the top 10 of the US R&B charts and led him to receive an American Music Award in the Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist category.

20. Carl Thomas

Carl Thomas began his music career in Chicago as a member of The Fourmula.

Before long he got spotted and signed to Bad Boy Entertainment as a soloist in 1997, and released his debut studio album in the year 2000.

Emotional earned Thomas a nomination at the 2001 Soul Train Music Awards for Best R&B/Soul album, and the hit single “I wish” was also nominated for Best R&B/Soul single.

The album was included on Rolling Stones’ list of the Top 50 Albums of 2000. 

21. Dave Hollister

David Le Chain Hollister, who goes by the shortened name Dave Hollister, began his career as a member of Blackstreet, an R&B quartet.

He was also in the band United Tenors.

He shot to fame upon the release of his first solo album, Ghetto Hymns, which earned gold certification and charted at number 5 on the US R&B chart.

His second album, Chicago ‘85…The Movie, also performed well, solidifying his position as an R&B star.

22. Lyfe Jennings

Chester Jermaine “Lyfe” Jennings, known as Lyfe Jennings, is often referred to by music critics as a ‘socially minded R&B singer’.

Jennings began his music career at age 14, but it quickly got put on hold after he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Upon release, Jennings hit the ground running and released his debut album Lyfe 298-162 in 2004.

The title comes from the identification number that he was given when incarcerated.

The album performed well, reaching number 7 on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Album chart.

23. Musiq Soulchild

Musiq Soulchild is known for blending R&B, jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, and gospel into his songs.

He knew he was musically gifted from a young age, which lead to him dropping out of high school to pursue his passion.

First first two albums, Aijuswanaseing and Juslisen, performed excellently, with the latter topping the US R&B album chart and the former reaching a respectable number 4.

They have both since been certified platinum for over a million sales each!

24. Mario

Mario Dewar Barrett entered the music scene at an incredibly young age!

He signed with J Records at just 14 years of age and recorded his self-titled debut album two years later.

His second album, Turning Point, won him two Billboard Music Awards!

Turning Point was certified platinum and was a worldwide hit, charting in the US, the UK, Austria, France, Germany, and Switzerland, among others. A

t the end of the 2000s, Billboard ranked Mario number 98 on their ‘Artist of the Decade list’!

25. Anthony Hamilton

Anthony Hamilton began his successful career at South Mecklenburg High School, where he sang in their award-winning choir.

He has been nominated for countless awards throughout his career, winning two.

His 2009 single “You’ve Got The Love I Need” won Hamilton the award for Best Traditional R&B Performance, and his popular 2003 R&B album Comin’ from Where I’m From was certified platinum.

26. Lloyd

Lloyd Polite Jr., who goes by the mononymous stage name Lloyd, started out as a member of the boy band N-Toon before pursuing a solo career in 2003.

His second album, Street Love, was his most successful, being certified gold by the RIAA.

Twelve of his singles entered the US R&B chart, with “You” featuring Lil’ Wayne soaring to number one and being certified gold.

His most successful single was “Dedication to My Ex (Miss That)”, which was certified triple platinum at the end of the decade.

27. Raheem DeVaughn

Raheem DeVaughn found his love for music at a young age, as he was brought up as the son of a jazz cellist.

He released his first album, The Love Experience, in 2005, launching his R&B career.

DeVaughn won three awards in 2008: a BETJ Award, Album of the Year for Love Behind the Melody, and Male artist of the year.

He has also received seven nominations for other awards; Raheem DeVaughn is definitely a male R&B singer to check out.

28. Glenn Lewis

Glennon Ricketts Jr., who goes by the professional name Glenn Lewis, was born into a family of music stars.

His father was the lead singer of Crack of Dawn, leading Lewis to pursue his passion for music.

He named Stevie Wonder as his inspiration after he won a talent contest for a cover of one of Wonder’s hits.

Glenn Lewis’ debut album World Outside my Window was released in 2002 and hit the top 5 of the US mainstream and R&B charts.

29. Bilal

Bilal Sayeed Oliver, known simply as Bilal, debuted as a solo artist with his single “Soul Sista”, which achieved moderate success.

He went on to win a Grammy award for Best Rap/Sung Performance for his single “These Walls”.

Bilal’s five studio albums each charted in the US Top 100, solidifying Bilal’s stance as an R&B and neo-soul star.

30. Dwele

Andwele Gardner, known by his stage name Dwele, had a tough start to life when he saw his father get shot outside of his home in Detroit.

Dwele stated that “I learned to put my emotions into music; it was my therapy.”

His six albums all charted in the US R&B chart, aside from his self-released album Rize.

Dwele has featured on singles with many greats during his career, including Kanye West’s single “Power”.

2000s Male R&B Singers – Final Thoughts

You should now have a little more clarity about who to check out!

This list included some of the biggest names of 2000s R&B.

These artists have influenced the genre and are sure to continue to do so for years to come.

We hope you enjoy listening to these 2000s male R&B singers, who are some of the best of the decade.

You may also like: Best R&B Songs of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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