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Watch: The Word On…The Ultimate R&B Diva

Who is the Ultimate R&B Diva?

It’s a question debated day-in and day-out here at That Grape Juice. Indeed, as one of the most active Urban Pop communities online, it’s little surprise that our comment section houses many different answers.

Ever keen to plough through the smoke and mirrors, we hit the streets of Hollywood to ask the masses which R&B star has the truest claim to the top spot.

Hit ‘PLAY’ above to watch The Word on The Ultimate R&B Diva!

Do you agree with their picks?

Your thoughts?

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60 Comments

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:00 am
    RoyalKev says:
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    Yessss! @ All that Beyonce Love! #Icon

    Even though I understand why some people would list Bey, Mariah and many others as the top R&B divas, I can’t help but think of how this title just doesn’t fit. Not every black woman does only R&B music.

    When I’m thinking R&B, I think:
    Alicia,Fantasia,Toni Braxton,Mary J Blige, Aretha.

    Pop/R&B makes me think of:
    Beyonce
    Whitney
    Mariah
    Diana
    TLC
    DC3
    Brandy

    When I think of Pop:
    Janet
    Madonna
    Katy Perry
    Christina Aguilera
    Rihanna
    Britney
    Pink

    I know most people aren’t so technical, but a part of me wish they all were. These things would be a lot more accurate.

    Reply

    PhuckYoTour Replied:

    Better get a publishing deal for that long novel you wrote boo boo.

    #AintNobodyGotTimeForDat
    #50ShadesOfFlopping
    #WhereIsBeyoncesNumberOneSingleHiding
    #IDoNotTheFuckKnow
    #QueenRihannaRunsThis
    #FatPussyGyal

    Reply

    BeyonceIsQueen(WorshipHa) Replied:

    Beyonce’s number one single is hiding in the same place as Rihanna’s p**** moisture. Know THAT.

    RoyalKev Replied:

    @PHUCKYOTOUR
    If it takes that much effort to read a list of names … Lawd help!
    I don’t know why we’re worried about Bey’s #1′s, she has 5 that keeps her in the record books for 36 weeks on the Hot 100 (that total is longer than some people that have more #1′s than she do).

    … I wonder why people insist on ignoring how many #1 albums their favs have? After all that cost 10x more than a 1.29 single!

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:08 am
    JOHNVIDAL says:
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    This kind of question is a little bit absurd cos of course some true greats did R&B but also pop and other things (like Mariah and Whitney). Even Beyonce.
    So if we have to choose pure R&B, classy, elegant and undeniably good for the last 12 years that would be Alicia Keys.
    About the video: the fact that people say Mariah Carey almost as many times as Beyonce in 2013, when the girl is 10 years older and has not released an album since 2009, makes it clear that the biggest diva with R&B influences alive is Mariah Carey right? :)

    Reply

    CreoleBey Replied:

    The only thing Mariah influences nowadays is the menu at Burger King.

    Reply

    Stephy Tha Lambily Replied:

    That can be said about Beyoncé’s thunder thighs

    JOHNVIDAL Replied:

    I didn´t talk about how she influences people (which she obviously does, see everybody after her debut trying to emulate the “new” singing style she started to use in pop music), I mentioned the influences that are clear in her music, what influences her. She is obviosly influenced by R&B music. Don´t you think? lol

    NaviRoyale Replied:

    Mariah’s influence is no more. She used payola to slay back in the day and now that’s gone she is flopping. The FACT that Ariana’s manager knew she could get away with that Billboard list without any backlash from Mariah’s team just shows how burned her name is in the industry.

    Reply

    Stephy Tha Lambily Replied:

    How is Mariah Carey influence is no more, when you have a girl being held ass the new her…

    JOHNVIDAL Replied:

    What type of absurd argument is that??? lol
    Mariah has to be the most relevant female musician among the ones that debuted in 1990 or so. Give me a f****** break. Didn´t you see how these people named her in 2013? When Beyonce or some others are supposed to still be on a roll of popularity and not people who debuted when mariah did?

    Anne Replied:

    But only one girl said Mariah and then she forced her views about Mariah and Beyoncé onto her girl who really wanted to pick Keri Hilson for whatever reason. There was a pick here or there for a few others but Beyoncé clearly had the most votes, no one else stood out nearly as much.

    Reply

    iamdiego Replied:

    not true. Mimi was on a popular TV everyday getting cursed out buy nicki minaj thats why these young girls know her. that album she came out with in 2009 was proof that nobody’s interested.

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:12 am
    Mattew says:
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    Well, Billboard ranked Mary J. Blige the most successful R&B female artist of the past 25 years. Ranking higher than Janet, Whitney, Beyonce, and Mariah. Mary is the pioneer of R&B. She and R.Kelly single handedly changed the sound of R&B music. Mary has 9#1 R&B albums, she has the most successful R&B song. She changed the sound of music. Mary is listed as an inspiration by Lauryn Hill, Beyonce, Brandy, Mariah Carey, Jazmine Sullivan, Pink and Adele sited Mary J. Blige as an inspiration behind “21.” This post is entirely pointless, random people from the streets doesn’t make a difference in the history books. People all have their inaccurate opinions, this is foolery. ANYONE who utters Ciara, K.Michelle, or Keri Hilson as R&B Divas should all die and go to hell.

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:12 am
    RG2 says:
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    I think Whitney, Mariah, Anita Baker, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Beyoncé and Diana Ross are the epitomy of ultimate R&B Divas. Rihanna is more so Pop, her music gets played on urban stations but its not R&B. Rih has madd her mark in pop music not so much R&B. Also, I do agree with Fantasia being considered an R&B diva. Too many people focus on whos more relevant instead of the impact that past generations of singers have had on todays generation. Relevancy means nothing if your only hot for the moment. Real legends/divas will always be remembered.

    Reply

    RG2 Replied:

    Also I forgot to mention Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, and Aaliyah. Although Aaliyah past her music was great and ahead of its time.

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:18 am
    Lisa says:
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    Ciara is so classy, smart, beautiful and give the best entertainment and the best dancer ever and this is what I call a diva!

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:18 am
    Ernest says:
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    A mess. Get new people to interview

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:23 am
    Stephy Tha Lambily says:
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    The biggest R&B artist in my opinion is Mary J Blige.

    Her albums My Life, Whats The 411?, Share My World, Mary, No More Drama & The Breakthrough are all R&B masterpieces…

    Be Without You is the longest running R&B song on billboard history. She has 7 multiplatinum albums & 10 Platinum albums all together…

    Mariah Carey is R&B/Pop… Mariahs only true full R&B albums are Butterfly & The Emancipation Of Mimi…

    Music Box is Pop/R&B with a tad bit of Gospel
    Emotions is Pop/Soul/R&B/Gospel
    Daydream is Pop/R&B with a tad bit of Gospel
    Mariah Carey is Pop/Gospel/R&B

    Alicia Keys comes in second place as the best R&B Female of the past 25 years….. Beyoncé is like number 5

    My List

    1.) Mary J Blige

    2.) Alicia Keys

    3.) Erica Badu

    4.) Mariah Carey

    5.) Maybe Beyoncé (If you don’t add India Are or Lauryn Hill)

    Reply

    Stephy Tha Lambily Replied:

    Or Toni Braxton….

    Reply

    RG2 Replied:

    I definitely approve this list. Its a shame how the current generation writes them off as irrelevant flops b/c they don’t get the attention like they used to in their prime. What these young folk don’t realize is is that these woman have way more class and talent that a lot of these new R&B singers or singers in general.

    Reply

    Mattew Replied:

    Great list, but I would take out Beyonce and and just make a top 3. Also, I think you should add Aretha in there. However, Mary revolutionized R&B music giving others their sound, like Lauryn, Aaliyah, Beyonce, Jill Scott, Eryca, Alicia. Even Mariah hired Mary’s producers after the “411?” album.

    Reply

    royalkev Replied:

    I agree, hands down the title belongs to Mary! That’s the totally unbiased answer! Alicia is definitely 2nd. I’d change the rest of the list, but you have made some very solid points.

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:31 am
    BrandyStan says:
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    First and for most I just knew they would mention Beyoncé’s name she may have started out doing R&B but one album in that genre doesn’t truly make you a R&B Ultimate Diva, for me she’s not in that category. Mariah has been crossed over to pop after Honey. The only ones that has stayed true to the craft of R&B is Brandy (note she’s been doing this for 20 years), the late Whitney Houston, Angie Stone, Alicia Keys, Fantasia, Anita Baker, Pattie Labelle, and lastly India Arie. Don’t y’all come on TGJ trying to put these R&B crossovers under R&B that just lets me me know you all don’t know real music. Just because it may sound like a ‘R&B’ song doesn’t make it one. Another few more I would say is Kelly Price, Faith Evans, of course Mary J in her good days, early Destiny’s Child, SWV, get your facts straight and last but not least The late great Aailyah.

    Reply

    royalkev Replied:

    I have to admit that I think Bran is Pop/R&B as well, but lately she’s stayed true to her R&B roots. I personally think it’s hard to do contemporary R&B better than Bran & Bey! That’s just my opinion, but most of the names you’ve listed are pure R&B. No R&B list is complete without Brandy & Toni in it. Both women made the top 10 for the highest sales in R&B history.

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:34 am
    JFB says:
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    The fact that i havent seen Monica (an Rnb icon) name on this post really disturbs me. Monica is 1 of the most CONSISTENT RNB Female acts to date. Not to mention she keeps it TRUE to RNB. No switch ups, just pure RNB.

    Reply

    Mattew Replied:

    True, but Monice isn’t an album seller. Her popularity was in the 90s and she was easily a pop star in the 90s. Mary gave R&B what it meant, which was the production, the passion, and inspiration.

    Reply

    Savannah Replied:

    The industry ignores Monica as well. They treat her as if her accomplishments are worthless. Her and Brandy deserve a damn tribute!!

    Reply

    royalkev Replied:

    You’re damn right! @Savannah

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:42 am
    BrandyStan says:
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    I also forgot Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, E.Badu, and Monica!!! They have been consistent in the genre of R&B music for years but of course I must stick with Brandy, hence my user name lol just because she’s the one of my generation and only one that keeps it relevant

    Reply

    Savannah Replied:

    Brandy is so underrated. She deserves a tribute at the Grammys/BET awards…somewhere! I hate how the industry ignores her.

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:47 am
    Stephy Tha Lambily says:
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    Aretha Franklin Is The Queen Of R&B/SOUL Tho…

    Reply

    Savannah Replied:

    Queen of Soul was the title given to her, not R&B. not taking anything away from her because Aretha is everything.

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:50 am
    Savannah says:
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    Mary J. Blige is theeeee quintessential R&B diva. Her lowest selling album (700k) has sold more than some peoples highest selling album. She was breaking records way past her prime. She’s one of the only pure R&B divas who was always asked to perform at events that didn’t normally feature R&B artists period. Most of her albums and singles are classics and she has never strayed from her roots. A lot of people say that she made better music when she was on drugs and heartbroken, but I beg to suffer. I love the downtrodden and the happy Mary. Her voice isn’t everyone’s fave now a days but Mary is the ultimate R&B diva no doubt….slaying for over 20 years and counting!

    Reply

    Savannah Replied:

    Beg to differ*

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 8:59 am
    5 says:
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    Interviewing kids in the steets you will recieve kids answers.
    The Queen and epitome of Diva of R&B IS Mary J. Blige.

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 9:16 am
    BrandyStan says:
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    I agree with a few of you, Mary J. Blige whether depressed or not never truly tampered with the crossover. Someone said Brandy crossed over to Pop, uh, no boo boo, that receipt is in valid lol. Monica is overlooked real talk abd deserves the upmost respect just as Brandy should too. I actually forgot about J. Hudson just because she hasn’t been out like the others I named, but when the fans and stans try those Whitney comparisons I be like #StopTheMadness lol but since I grew up on R&B music but the industry has already given MJB the title Queen of Hip-Hop and R&B I will stick with her and place Brandy as the true Princess of R&B lol. You have all the other legendary women of R&B as like their mentors (great grandmothers of R&B, no shade intended>>> Aretha, Pattie, Anita, and Whitney)

    Reply

    parkerj Replied:

    No disrespect to Brandy–she’s cool and all–but I think you’re giving her too much credit. i mean, let’s be honest, she hasn’t been musically successful since Full Moon. If anything Fantasia should be listed. She’s even more underrated, consistent and dare I say even more talented. In the almost 10 years that she’s been around she’s sold more than pretty much every R&B diva (excluding Mariah, Beyonce, Mary, Alicia). Fantasia appeals to all ages–I don’t really see anyone over the age of 35 checking for Brandy.

    Reply

    JFB Replied:

    Its nice 2 see a Brandy STAN giving Monica props as well.. We need more of that. Thankx. #TeamMonica

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 9:33 am
    Timago says:
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    SMELLY FLOPLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 9:34 am
    Timago says:
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    SMELLY FLOPLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 9:37 am
    kai2dashawn says:
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    When I think of R&b divas I think of the list as follow

    1)Mariah
    2)Whitney
    3)Mary j
    4)Toni
    5)Ashanti

    that is my top five because all these women gives you true r&b now my top five in pop would be

    1)Madonna
    2)RIhanna
    3)Pink
    4)Beyonce
    5)Christina

    now my top 5 rap female mcs would bu

    1)Nicki Minaj
    2)Lil’Kim
    3)Missy
    4)Lauryn Hill
    5)Eve

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 9:59 am
    BrandyStan says:
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    I know you were trying to make a valid point regarding album sales but Fantasia has put out 4 albums and none of them have outsold Brandy’s flops (Human and Two Eleven unfortunately) and her first four. Brandy admitted she isn’t worried about the sales, her longevity in this industry speaks volumes and the fact she’s been entertaining since Thea, Moesha, and various things. Her album sales still blows Tasia’s out the water so if you’re going to potentially argue me down with that do your research, the first 3 albums of when multi-platinum idk about Afrodisiac but those still outsold Fantasia. Fantasia, makes her music and looks at the sales, as to where you have Brandy humble as pie, can do three flops her longevity will still outshine Fantasia Barrino, have several

    Reply

    parkerj Replied:

    Every Fantasia album has outsold Brandy since she’s been out

    Free Yourself- 2.1 million
    Fantasia- 650,000
    Back To Me- 500,00
    Side Effects–is at the 300,000 mark.

    I’m not talking about her first 2-3 albums, Fantasia wasn’t around then so you can’t compare. I’ve done research.

    I’m not arguing Brandy’s talent, i like her (the first cd I ever bought was never say never)…I’m just stating facts.

    Reply

    Savannah Replied:

    Afrodisiac went gold. That album was severely underrated!!

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 10:09 am
    Silk Electric says:
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    It’s Diana Ross, you ignorant c*nts!

    Reply

    Savannah Replied:

    I love Miss Diana to death, but I detect lies…..

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 10:27 am
    BrandyStan says:
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    Well thanks Savannah, because I needed that research. Now I’m comparing Brandy’s first four album sales to Fantasia’s first four album sales combined. This is a battle of the 1st four albums and my research says that Brandy’ has sold over 30 million off those albums worldwide @Parker where is your evidence?!

    Reply

    parkerj Replied:

    Can you read? I said I’m not counting Brandy’s first 2-3 abums because Fantasia wasn’t around and it wouldn’t be a fair accurate comparison.

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 10:37 am
    BrandyStan says:
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    Uh no, Diana does give me everything but not R&B you need to quit which watching all that Dreamgirls lol Diana gives me a soul disco vibe but I still got love for her music

    Reply

    Savannah Replied:

    Diana was like the first black popstar/icon. She crossed over and pretty much paved the way for Whitney. Her class, sophistication, grace, style ahhhhhhh Miss Ross was everything! She was a b**** who used underhanded tactics to get ahead lol but she’s iconic nonetheless. The queen of R&B she is NOT but the first black popstar she is!

    Reply

    RoyalKev Replied:

    ^ SAVANNAH

    THANKYOU! I don’t understand why Black female recording stars = R&B Divas for most people. If you don’t know exactly what genre someone is under do a little research. I can’t figure out how some people can totally disregard half of someone’s discography.

  • October 11, 2013 at 11:30 am
    BrandyStan says:
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    Well since I did my research @ParkerJ Fantasia’s last album sold 20k more than Brandy’s Two Eleven, but Back to me didn’t and they aren’t near any 300k mark I love both of the girls and they both give life to R&B music differently

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 11:40 am
    SLAY ME GODNIKA (ASBEENISH) says:
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    What is Azelia Banks doing out. 00.58

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 12:21 pm
    BITCHDONTWEARMYWEAVETHO says:
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    I will have to Say Alicia Keys! She is a consistent album seller even tho her latest album sold around 700 plus copies in the US and about 2 million worldwide she still sold more than most new generation acts. Her album As I Am still has the record of best selling first week female R&B album with 742k copies! And not taking MJB’s place because she still the Hip-Hop/Soul Queen but I have to say that Alicia is the R&B Queen. If this was back in the day I would Say Mary J Blige. But Alicia kinda broke more records than MJB, Shes got 14 Grammy’s last decades Billboard top R&B female artist! She defo must be named the R&B Queen because it was already attributed a title to MJB. About Beyonce, Sorry but shes way more pop tan R&B and this is coming from a member of The Hive, Beyonce is my queen my goddess my style icon music icon my everything she gives me life back when I need it and have been in all her concerts in other words I stan for her. But in this one I must Say Alicia wins because she is pure R&B!!!

    Reply

    RoyalKev Replied:

    ^ *Applause* @BITCHDONTWEARMYWEAVETHO

    Reply

    RoyalKev Replied:

    I did initially think it was MJB, but you’ve pointed out some things that didn’t stick out in my mind right away. It all has to be taken into consideration.

    Reply

    JOHNVIDAL Replied:

    Like I said in my comment my choice would be Alicia Keys too.

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm
    BrandyStan says:
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    Either Mary J or Alicia theres consistency that orhers don’t have, but Alicia would still be my second out of respect for MJB’s longevity in this game in ONE genre :)

    Reply

  • October 11, 2013 at 11:39 pm
    Timago says:
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    OMG!! SMELLY FLOPLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

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