Songbird Supreme: Mariah Carey

The term “rhythm and blues” has undergone a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s, it was frequently applied to blues records.The term “R&B” became used to refer to music styles that developed from and incorporated electric blues, as well as gospel and soul music. The migration of African Americans to the urban industrial centers of Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Los Angeles and elsewhere in the 1920s and 1930s created a new market for jazz, blues, and related genres of music.

Our feautured R&B artist Mariah Carey falls under a differeny categorgy of R&B known as contemporary R&B. Contemporary R&B combines elements of rhythm and blues, pop, soul, funk, hip hop and electronic music. It  features a distinctive record production style, pitch corrected vocals, and a smooth, lush style of vocal arrangement.The difference between R&B and Contemporary R&B is that R&B is jazzier and has a lot of natural rhythm and flow.

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Mariah Carey was born March 27, 1970, in Huntington, Long Island, New York, and began taking voice lessons at age four. At 18 she signed with Columbia Records, and her first album had four No. 1 singles, including “Vision of Love” and “I Don’t Wanna Cry.” People came to consider this R&B album one of the greatest in the 90’s. Many popular pop and R&B singers including Beyonce and Rihanna cite Mariah as a huge inspiration in their careers. She went on to produce several more albums and top singles, becoming one of the most commercially successful female artists of all time with more than 200 million records sold. Carey says some of her bIggest music inspirations include classic stars like Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, and Teena Marie. Carey is the only female artist (and second artist or group ever) to have 18 #1 songs on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts.

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