The future of music

45 Best R&B Love Songs of All Time

June 7, 2023
Best R&B Love Songs

There is something about R&B love songs that feels so soothing.

And since most of the classic R&B love songs come from other music eras, they also bring a dash of nostalgia.

So for today’s article, we made a selection of the best R&B love songs of all time. 

Whether you’re happily in love or happily single, these songs will instantly put you in a better mood.

Table of Contents

1. “Crazy In Love” by Beyonce 

Is there a better way to start than with an absolute R&B love anthem? 

Beyonce released “Crazy In Love” on her debut solo album Dangerously in Love in 2003, so this was her first big solo hit.

“Crazy In Love” also became one of the best songs of the 2000s, and it remains popular to this day.

So if you’re making an essential R&B music playlist, you can’t skip this timeless classic.

2. “At Last” by Etta James 

Of course, R&B music started way before Beyonce’s solo career.

The legendary rhythm and blues singer Etta James released “At Last” in 1960, even though the song was initially written back in the 40s.

Nevertheless, James turned this tune into a timeless classic – “At Last” is by far one of the most iconic love songs of all time.

So if you’re wondering what are the roots of modern R&B love songs, checking out Etta James’ discography might be a good start.

3. “Why I Love You” by MAJOR.

“Why I Love You” is a romantic R&B song from 2016.

It’s slow-paced, tender, and sentimental, and it deals with raw emotions you can feel towards another person.

The lyrics are rather simple, but sometimes that’s all you need to hear when you’re in love..

MAJOR. may not be the most popular R&B artist, but if you like soulful tunes like “Why I Love You”, you should definitely check him out.

4. “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green

It’s time for the absolute best R&B love song in music history.

Al Green’s 1971 hit “Let’s Stay Together” will make you all warm and fuzzy.

This song feels like a cozy winter evening and being curled up by someone you love.

The song has been covered by many artists, including Tina Turner.

‘Cause you make me feel so brand new

And I want to spend my life with you…

5. “My Girl” by The Temptations 

“My Girl” is also a timeless R&B classic and a 60s favorite.

Released in 1965, the song became the Temptations’ first U.S. number 1 single, and it remains their signature song.

The song was written by Smokey Robinson, who got inspiration from his wife, Claudette Rogers Robinson.

That being said, “My Girl” expresses sweet, honest feelings of love and devotion.

6. “Whipped Cream” by Ari Lennox

“Whipped Cream” by Ari Lennox also appears on best R&B love songs lists.

The song is very easy to listen to – it’s soulful and sentimental, but it also has a cool, catchy beat.

However, this is not a song about falling in love – in the song, Lennox is reminiscing about her past relationship.

But the song sounds hopeful nevertheless. 

Lennox began gaining recognition in 2016, after releasing her first EP, and we’re looking forward to seeing how her musical style and career evolve.

7. “Here And Now” by Luther Vandross

On the other hand, “Here And Now” is undeniably a R&B song about everlasting love.

Luther Vandross released this romantic track in 1989, and it became his first single to chart in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song could be described as a mix of R&B, soul, and adult contemporary.

But most of all, it’s a song about romance, and Vandross’ vocals express fit that atmosphere perfectly. 

8. “Midnight Train To Georgia” by Gladys Knight & The Pips

“Midnight Train To Georgia” is one of the most popular songs from the 70s.

It became the group’s signature song, and arguably one of the best R&B love songs from that era.

It was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

All in all, it’s always nice to hear this tune, and you should definitely add it to your R&B feel good playlist.

9. “Thinkin’ Bout You” by Frank Ocean 

It’s time for a newer R&B tune, but no less iconic.

“Thinkin’ Bout You” was released in 2012, on Frank Ocean’s debut studio album Channel Orange.

In the song, Ocean talks about a romantic relationship and all the complex emotions and turmoils it can entail. 

So in essence, it’s a song about love, regret, and heartbreak.

10. “No One” by Alicia Keys 

“No One” is Alicia Keys’ signature song and one of the best R&B songs from the 2000s.

The song topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks, and it received a ton of airplay.

Well, that comes as no surprise – the song is well-crafted and honest as well as catchy, and Alicia’s incredible vocals fit it perfectly.

Plus, the lyrics are sweet and thoughtful.

So if you’re looking for R&B love songs for him, you can’t go wrong with “No One.”

11. “My Love Is Your Love” by Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston released “My Love Is Your Love” on her 1998 studio album of the same name.

The song became an R&B classic, and it’s widely regarded as one of the best R&B love songs in music history.

In fact, many critics agree this is one of Houston’s best works so far.

And we understand why – it’s a smooth, memorable, and positive song, and it doesn’t seem to get old.

12. “Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke 

Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World” is a romantic classic.

This song can cheer up every soul – it’s simple, sweet, and extremely catchy.

It’s Sam Cooke’s most famous song, and one of the 60s favorites.

And the song’s lyrics will melt your heart. 

Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you

And I know that if you love me too

What a wonderful world this would be.

13. “Spend My Life With You” by Eric Benet

“Spend My Life With You” is also considered to be one of the best R&B songs about loving someone.

And we’re sure many have this tune on their secret R&B love making songs playlist…

Nevertheless, Eric Benet’s 1999 track deserves a place on this list.

The song is very easy to listen to, but the message of the song is kind of serious – the singer expresses the wish to be with someone ‘til the end of all time.

14. “Make It Last Forever” by Keith Sweat 

“Make It Last Forever” sounds like a 90s R&B hit, but it was released in 1987.

It was released on Keith Sweat’s debut studio album Make It Last Forever.

Essentially, it’s a song about everlasting love and devoting yourself to someone.

Sweat and Jacci McGhee’s voices fit together really well, and they are the main reason why this tune feels so personal.

15. “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys 

Another Alicia Keys’ hit that deserves a place on this list “If I Ain’t Got You.” 

“If I Ain’t Got You” is raw and powerful, and it has everything you need for a good R&B love song: honest lyrics, soothing vocals, and a good beat.

And Alicia Keys on the piano is a cherry on the top. 

The song is taken from Keys’ 2003 album The Diary Of Alicia Keys

16. “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey 

“We Belong Together” is one of Mariah Carey’s most popular songs and an absolute R&B hit.

Released in 2005, the song achieved great success, and it marked the continuation of Mariah Carey’s active career and popularity.

Lyrically, it’s about missing someone you care about and wishing for them to come back.

So in essence, “We Belong Together” is a sad love song, but there’s also a hopeful tone to it.

17. “Be With You” by Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige has many great R&B songs in her repertoire, but “Be With You” is definitely the most romantic one.

It’s a sweet and sincere song about being and love and wanting to spend time with someone.

Besides sending a sweet message, Blige delivered a fantastic vocal performance. 

So all things considered, it’s not surprising that “Be With You” earned her two Grammys. 

18. “Love On Top” by Beyonce

It’s time for another Beyonce’s hit.

“Love On Top” is hands down one of her most upbeat songs.

It’s energetic, catchy, and danceable, and it captures the excitement of being in love perfectly.

So if you’re looking for an R&B love song with feel-good vibes, look no further – “Love On Top” is definitely on the top of the list. 

The song is taken from her fourth studio album 4 released in 2011. 

19. “Gonna Love Me” by Teyana Taylor 

“Gonna Love Me” is taken from Teyana Taylor’s 2018 album K.T.S.E. (an initialism of Keep That Same Energy.) 

Lyrically, the song talks about love and all its nuances.

The song seems very honest, and through the lyrics, Taylor reveals what she expects of love and what really matters to her.

We shouldn’t read into things so much

Overthinkin’, understandin’

Don’t let a feelin’ change it up.

20. “Adorn” by Miguel

Miguel’s 2012 track “Adorn” is cool, easy-going, and very catchy.

But there’s also something very romantic to it, and if you pay attention to the lyrics, the song gets pretty intimate too.

After all, Miguel is known for making sensual songs with straightforward messages, and “Adorn” is no different.

According to the singer, an inspiration for the song came from his girlfriend as well as dreams he had before writing the song. 

21. “Vision Of Love” by Mariah Carey

Another Mariah Carey tune that deserves to be among the top R&B love songs is “Vision Of Love.” 

Released on Mariah’s self-titled debut studio album, “Vision Of Love” is hands down one of the singer’s best early songs.

The album quickly climbed the charts, and helped Mariah establish herself as one of the most promising singers in the music industry.

And now we know that was only the beginning for her.

22. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” by Stevie Wonder 

Stevie Wonder also recorded his fair share of romantic R&B music.

The living legend definitely has many hits in his repertoire, but we decided to go for “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.”

It’s one of Wonder’s early soulful songs that earned him a Grammy.

The song also made it to the Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest songs of all time

When it comes to the lyrics, the song tells a story of a man who feels sorry for leaving his girlfriend.

23. “My, My, My” by Johnny Gills

Johnny Gills rose to fame as a member of an R&B/ pop group New Edition, but at one point, he started a successful solo career.

“My, My, My” is Johnny Gills’ award-winning signature song from his second solo album. 

The song became a number-one hit, and it’s still regarded as one of the best R&B love tunes.

Besides Gills’ soulful vocals, the song features backing vocals by an R&B group After 7 as well as Kenny G’s jazz solo.

24. “Love And Happiness” by Al Green

“Love And Happiness” is one of Al Green’s greatest hits.

This timeless classic is a soulful R&B song about the power of love.

And the combination of R&B beats, soulful vibes, and funky elements reflects the song’s message.

Green released “Love And Happiness” in 1972, on his studio album I’m Still In Love With You.

The song has been covered by many musicians, including Etta James.

25. “When A Man Loves A Woman” by Percy Sledge 

Another soulful gem you should add to your romantic playlist is “When A Man Loves A Woman” by Percy Sledge.

This familiar song was a huge hit in the 60s, making it to first place on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

So although this isn’t pure R&B, “When A Man Loves A Woman” is regarded as one of the most romantic (and flirtatious) songs ever written, and that’s why it wouldn’t be fair to skip it.

When a man loves a woman

Can’t keep his mind on nothin’ else

He’d trade the world

For the good thing he’s found.

26. “Always And Forever” by Heatwave 

“Always And Forever” is an R&B gem from 1977.

Essentially, it’s a song about loving someone deeply.

The song’s lyrics are rather simple, but they portray that feeling of loving someone quite vividly.

Moreover, since it has been covered by many artists over the years, the song sort of became a standard. 

27. “Anniversary” By Tony! Toni! Tone!

If you’re searching for a smooth R&B tune for your anniversary playlist, this one’s for you.

“Anniversary” was released in 1993, so it also has a nostalgic tone to it, especially if you like 90s R&B.

Lead singer Raphael Saadiq’s soothing vocals and delivery fit this song perfectly, and the lyrics express trust and devotion. 

Tony! Toni! Tone! are regarded as one of the best all-male R&B groups of all time for a good reason.

28. “Boo’d Up” by Ella Mai

Ella Mai rose to fame in 2018, after previously competing on the X Factor. 

And one of her first commercial singles was “Boo’d Up”, a soulful R&B track about young love. 

The song is both romantic and melancholic, since it also talks about getting over someone. 

“Boo’d Up” was nominated for two Grammy Awards: Song of the Year and Best R&B Song, and it won the latter. 

29. “Climax” by Usher 

Usher’s “Climax” is arguably one of the most popular R&B songs on this list.

It’s one of Usher’s best-known songs, released as the lead single from his 2012 studio album Looking 4 Myself.

Without a doubt, “Climax” has sexual references, but Usher claims it’s a song about complications in a relationship.

Well, it’s true – the lyrics partially tackle disagreements and disappointments in a romantic relationship. 

Either way, the song still sounds great, and it remains one Usher’s best songs to date.

30. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is one of the most popular songs from the 60s.

The song became a hit again in the 1970s after Diana Ross made a cover version.

Regardless of the cover, the song became timeless and iconic, and it sends an important message.

It’s essentially a song about love, but the lyrics will also remind you that there’s no obstacle in life you can’t overcome. 

By the way, this would also make a great karaoke duet, if you’re looking for some karaoke ideas. 

31. “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin

Can it get more romantic than the Queen of Soul and her classy love song from the 60s?

Aretha Franklin is hands down one of the most iconic female singers in music history. 

And her stunning performance in “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman” will never be forgotten.

In the song, she sings about loving her man and finally feeling reassured and peaceful.

Before the day I met you, life was so unkind

But you’re the key to my peace of mind.

32. “Find Someone Like You” by Snoh Aalegra

Snoh Aalegra is an L.A.-based Swedish singer who rose to prominence in 2017, after releasing her debut album Feels.

She is definitely one of the most promising singers out there, and “Find Someone Like You” is one of the proofs.

The song is very soothing, catchy, and a bit nostalgic, and her distinctive vocals express the emotions brilliantly.

I’ve been waitin’ my whole life, to find someone like you

Find someone like you…

33. “Caught Up In The Rapture” by Anita Baker 

Anita Baker’s “Caught Up In The Rapture” would make a nice addition to your romantic R&B music playlist.

The song has a pure R&B vibe, and its lyrics express the magic of being in love.

After all, Anita Baker is a Grammy-winning artist known for her soulful ballads.

She is also associated with quiet storm, a radio format and R&B subgenre usually performed in a romantic, jazz-influenced style.

34. “Everything” by Ella Mai ft. John Legend 

“Everything” is hands down one of Ella Mai’s best songs and an absolute R&B gem.

Plus, her voice blends with John Legend’s voice perfectly – so, it’s a match made in R&B heaven.

“Everything” is clearly a song about love, and the lyrics depict the way a person perceives someone they care about.

And, of course, it’s about complete devotion – about giving and having everything. 

35. “Untitled (How Does It Feel?)” by D’Angelo 

Let’s wrap things up with one of the most romantic R&B songs out there.

D’Angelo’s signature song was written and produced by D’Angelo and Raphael Saadiq, and it was released on D’Angelo’s 2000 album Voodoo.

Although it was originally composed as a tribute to Prince, “Untitled (How Does It Feel?)” is undoubtedly a flirtatious love song – especially if you watch the music video. 

Rolling Stone magazine named the song one of the best songs of the 2000s, and we understand why.

The song still sounds great, and besides being a perfect fit for our list, it’s such a great throwback.

36. “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo

“All My Life” is smooth, slow-paced, and sensual – it’s everything you need from a good R&B love song.

Released in 1997, the song has that recognizable 90s R&B vibe.

And it was a big hit back then – it topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks.

It also climbed the charts in many other countries.

It seems that many people can relate to this R&B love ballad.

37. “Hello” by Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie’s “Hello” is a heartbreaking R&B love song.

It talks about longing for someone who’s not yours and wondering if they’re happy with someone else.

“Hello” is taken from Lionel Richie’s second solo album, Can’t Slow Down, and it achieved success.

It’s another quiet storm gem on our list.

38. “That’s The Way Love Goes” by Janet Jackson 

Janet Jackson released “That’s The Way Love Goes” on her fifth studio album Janet.

Compared to her other songs from that time, the song is quite slow-paced, and it’s a blend of pop, R&B, funk, and soul.

Lyrically, “That’s The Way Love Goes” is about lust.

The song has been covered by many artists, including Bruno Mars and NSYNC.

After all, Janet Jackson is an inspiration to many R&B singers.

39. “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars 

Speaking of Bruno Mars… His first hit “Just The Way You Are” also belongs on this list.

It was released as a single for his debut studio album Doo-Woops & Hooligans, which blended pop, R&B, and reggae.

Along with “Grenade” and “Lazy Song”, “Just The Way You Are” stands out from the album, and it remains one of Bruno Mars’ signature songs.

It’s a sweet R&B track for anyone who’s falling in love – it’s about being infatuated with someone and loving them for who they are. 

40. “My Boo” by Usher and Alicia Keys 

“My Boo” is such a great throwback song.

After being released in 2004, Usher and Alicia Keys’ duet became a huge hit, staying on the top of the charts for a while.

In essence, it’s a romantic R&B track about reminiscing the good old days – it’s about a memory of first love.

41. “No Ordinary Love” by Sade 

In a way, Sade’s music is a genre of its own, but there are definitely romantic R&B vibes in many of her songs.

“No Ordinary Love” is a good example – it’s a smooth, sensual song with simple yet emotional and poetic lyrics. 

It’s also one of Sade’s most recognizable songs, released in 1992.

“No Ordinary Love” is, in fact, one of the best 1992 songs, and Rolling Stone magazine also included it in their list of “500 Best Songs of All Time.” 

42. “I’ll Make Love To You” by Boyz II Men 

Boyz II Men is an American vocal harmony group known for making soulful R&B songs and heartwrenching love ballads.

And “I’ll Make Love To You” is one of their best-known songs.

The song achieved commercial success in the 90s, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

It also earned the group a Grammy Award, which ultimately made them one of the most prominent vocal groups on the music scene. 

43. “Un-break My Heart” by Toni Braxton

“Un-break My Heart” is hands down one of the most popular R&B songs from the 90s.

It was Toni Braxton’s number-one song and generally one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Lyrically, it’s a song about heartbreak, and the protagonist wants (and begs) her lover to come back.

But the pain that has been caused can never be undone… 

44. “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye 

And if you’re searching for something more easy-going, Marvin Gaye has plenty to offer.

His 1973 track “Let’s Get It On” is an absolute R&B gem.

It was released on his album of the same name, which marked the singer’s first step into the funk genre.

However, “Let’s Get It On” has pure R&B and soul vibes, and in combination with Gaye’s soothing vocals, it sets the perfect mood.

45. “At Your Best (You Are Love)” by Aaliyah 

Is there a better way to end this list than with Aaliyah?

She released many R&B hits during her lifetime, but when it comes to R&B love songs, her rendition of “At Your Best (You Are Love)” definitely stands out.

Aaliyah brought new life to this Isley Brother’s 70s track, and in a way, she made it her own. She released the track on her unforgettable debut album Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.

Best R&B Love Songs – Final Thoughts

And that’s all for our list of the best R&B love songs of all time.

We hope you enjoyed our playlist, and that it reminded you of some R&B classics as well as showed you some great new tracks. 

Either way, if you’re in love (with someone or with yourself and your life), listening to these songs can make you feel even better! 

Similar Playlists:

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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