Another style of music growing from blues roots was rhythm and blues (R&B), a harder, beat-driven sound that emerged in the 40s and 50s through African-American legends such as Ray Charles and the ‘Queen of R&B’, Ruth Brown. Soul exploded in the 60s—please bow before the incomparable Aretha Franklin—and rocketed into the 70s, spinning off variations including funk and the Philly sound. Whether you like Beyoncé or Diana Ross, Otis Redding or Stevie Wonder, the soul/R&B light keeps shining in the present day, with many artists combining the traditional elements with new sounds (such as Hip Hop ) to keep the groove alive.

As for funk, it threw in even more danceable beats and simplified melody to produce music that scores a direct hit on your groove chakra. Thank James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, for first strutting this stage in the mid-60s. And thank everyone from Parliament/Funkadelic through Living Colour to Talking Heads for keeping things funky since. Like other genres, funk has a multitude of hybrids and sub-genres, including jazz-funk, funk metal, acid jazz and even disco! Ladies and gentlemen, you are invited to get down and shake your funky thing.

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