RnB Wedding Songs and Their Roots

Are you a fan of RnB music?

The term RnB has come to designate today’s music styled from the old-fashioned rhythm and blues sound accentuated by drum and electric bass.

It incorporates jazz, gospel, and rock sounds, and if you’re looking for RnB wedding songs, you’ve come to the right place.

RnB Wedding Songs

The forerunner of RnB was the blues sound, historically originated in the 1800s by African Americans as field hollers, hymns, and chants. Typically these songs lamented a situation, hence the term blues. Bessie Smith was the first widely known successful blues singer in the 1920s, and as her sound merged with those produced by popular jazz musicians like Louie Armstrong it evolved into rhythm and blues.

After World War II, the blues sound shifted to add riffs with electrical instruments such as guitar, bass, drums, and harmonica. Over the years, it changed to include white musicians as well as black, and the RnB sound runs the spectrum from jazz to funk to blues. So let’s pick out some great RnB wedding songs!

During dinner, since RnB is always exciting and never quiet, try something different:

Ask your DJ to have your favorite songs minus the vocals, like you might use for karaoke. Try these for RnB wedding songs played in the background while people break bread:

  • Can’t Get Enough of Your Love by Barry White
  • You Bring Me Joy by Anita Baker
  • Love Hangover by Diana Ross
  • Get Ready by the Temptations
  • Misty by Erroll Garner—or, you can play his instrumentals in the background during your entire dinner.

Yes, he was a jazz musician, but nobody does it better.

As the dinner winds down, your DJ can get people pumped up to party—start with something from years ago so that older guests as well as younger ones will want to tap their feet. But wait! You’ve got to choose a great RnB wedding song for your first dance.

  • Ribbon in the Sky by Stevie Wonder, with Stevie confessing “Oh so long for this night I prayed, That a star would guide you my way…”
  • Drowning in the Sea of Love has been covered by many artists, but we love it best by B.B. King or Willie Clayton.
  • Spend My Life With You by Eric Benet, asks that very question…appropriate for your first spin as husband and wife.
  • Here and Now by Luther Vandross lets you tell each other “I look in your eyes and there I see what happiness really means…”
  • Endless Love by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross says “There’s only you in my life…You’re every breath that I take…”
  • Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton, in which he sings about loving his lady.
  • All right, now get that groove on with these party tunes that you can use for great RnB wedding songs. Plus, don’t forget the regular versions of the songs you played during dinner.
  • Start with anything by Sly and the Family Stone—Dance to the Music or Stand.
  • This is How We Do It by Montell Jordan…because this is how you do it.
  • Love Is Like an Itching In My Heart by the Supremes, for something light and upbeat.
  • River Deep is a great old song first done by Tina Turner, but give Celine Dion’s cover a listen.
  • Love In This Club by Usher
  • No One Will Do by Mary J. Blige
  • Joy by Teddy Pendergrass
  • You Keep Me Hanging On by Vanilla Fudge—we know the Supremes did it first, but this is better.
  • I’ve Been Loving You Too Long by Otis Redding.
  • At Last by Etta James—she taught the boys at Cadillac Records how to do it right.
  • I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown…no dance floor playlist is complete without the Godfather of Soul.
  • I Never Loved A Man by Aretha Franklin…because she’s the Queen—and don’t forget you both have to “Respect” each other.

All the best with your wedding day,


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