As we countdown the days until the ESSENCE Music Festival and the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience on July 6-8, we’re also celebrating the last few moments of Black Music Month. To that end, we created a gallery of R&B’s 50 most influential stars, including our favorites like Mary J. Blige and Aretha Franklin, but not everyone agreed with our choices. Beyoncé and Michael Jackson’s inclusion really got the ESSENCE readers talking and here’s what you said:
“Beyoncé always makes the list!” -Jade Banks
“I’m sick of Beyoncé. Her music is just okay. Good looks big hair and a big booty will get you wherever you want #somethingnewplease.” -Marisela Estrada
“MJ, gone too soon! Miss ya MJ!” -Dorothy Wylie-Johnson
“What’s up with this list? There’d be no New Edition or Boyz II Men if there hadn’t been a Temptations or Four Tops or Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Since when is Rihanna an R&B singer? Most younger “artists” today are not R&B singers. They are top 40 soft Pop singers and do not fall under the category of a soul singer or Rhythm and Blues. There’d be no TLC if there hadn’t been the Supremes. Why aren’t Otis Redding and Al Green on this list? And even though Donna Summer was the “Queen of Disco,” she deserves to be on this list quicker than Rihanna and some of these other “singers.” Interesting cross selection but pretty obvious that some people are on this list based on current popularity, digital sales and YouTube hits.” -Natacha Yarbrough
“Maybe you guys never looked at the tittle influential. Look at who is selling millions of records, selling out concerts in one minute. Just because you don’t like Beyoncé does not mean she is not influential. It’s not your style okay, that’s fine. The millions of us who love her do think she is influential. By the way did you look at the list, 50 people in no order. Beyoncé works hard, her work ethnic is to be commended. She is 30 and has achieved a lot. Essence should celebrate her.” -Nikki Wallace
“Nikki, I understand you are a Bey stan. I like her too but the fact is she is a Pop singer and so is Michael (King of Pop). R&B is a different genre, it is Rhythm and Blues, something Essence should know.” -Sharon Rainey
“Michael Jackson is Pop, not R&B.” -Kareem Allen
Do you think Beyoncé and Michael Jackson should be included in the pantheon of R&B singers or they pop artists? Weigh in below!
And don’t forget to get your tickets here to see D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin and more at the ESSENCE Music Festival on July 6-8 in New Orleans!