As fall is approaching and cooler weather nears, we take a look back at the hottest tracks that dominated the industry this summer. With R&B heavyweights like Usher, up & coming stars like Elle Varner, and comeback king Chris Brown vying for hits, see which songs we chose as the “Top 5 R&B Songs of Summer.”
5) “Refill” by Elle Varner
Repping for the females on this list, R&B newcomer Elle Varner burst onto the music scene with her debut single “Only Wanna Give It To You” with J. Cole, and wanted to give us another dose with “Refill.” Although the track did just barely missed out on the Hot 100, reaching #1 on the bubbling chart, it received heavy urban airplay reaching #10 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. A “new-school” throwback, accompanied by Varner’s raspy voices, critics were delighted with Varner’s presence in R&B Her debut album Perfectly Imperfect was received with rave reviews, and it debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200. Hopefully Varner will succeed beyond ‘Imperfect’.
4) “Adorn” by Miguel
Miguel‘s “Adorn” is a fairly new song to be on this list, but it became so big and blew up so much it was no way that we could not include it. Before even being officially released the song gained traction on the web and it spread to radio and before you knew it, the world was aware of Miguel’s impending comeback. It would be hard for him to attain a “Sure Thing”-sized hit, but he has done it, as the song as reached #41 on the Hot 100 (so far) and peaked at the top of the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs list.
3) “Thinkin’ About You” by Frank Ocean
So eclectic R&B newcomer Frank Ocean first leaked his demo of “Thinkin About You” on Tumblr in July 2011. Fast forward to a year later and Ocean is now a burgeoning R&B star hit album and hit single in “Thinkin’ About You.” A sparse, alternative approach to R&B was hailed my critics. The album was a huge hit, selling 131,000 copies in its introduction, solely from digital copies as it was not available in stories the first week. Ocean had everyone on to his music, with Beyonce even stating that she cried the first time she listened to “Thinkin About You” and everyone covering it, including Justin Bieber. Not to mention Ocean gave an epic VMA performance last week. The song has reached #39 on the Billboard Hot 100.
2) “Heart Attack” by Trey Songz
Many were expecting Trey Songz to not capture as many hits this era as he has in the past. However, “Heart Attack” was another smash, reaching #35 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart. Taking cues from his past R&B hits, a mainstream beat was added to appeal to a bigger audience, while still not abandoning his urban forte. The video, co-starring R&B singer Kelly Rowland was a cinematic affair as well.
1) “Climax” by Usher
People were tired of Usher releasing strictly pop songs over and over again (and he still continues to even now) but for the first single from Looking 4 Myself, Usher tried to bridge the gap. By using dubstep and electronic elements with Diplo to make an quiet-storm R&B song, the undisputed #1 R&B song of the summer, “Climax” ruled the roost. It reached #17 on the Hot 100, and spent eleven weeks at the top of the R&B chart. In a dark video, Usher delivered as well and after proved that being in the game for so long, he still runs this.
What are YOUR Top 5 R&B Songs of Summer?