The “starting lineup,” also known as the “starting five” in basketball are the players we know will actively begin every game. They are their team’s most valuable assets and we (fans) depend on them to get the momentum going and aid in a win. Baseball, football, ice hockey, and nearly every sport has a starting lineup. As important as the lineup is in sports, the music industry also has its “key players” that keep our ears filled with life changing songs-more specifically RnB.
RnB music helps us get through heartaches, breakups, and tough times simultaneously providing us with the strength to know our worth and even move on. Jhene Aiko, Tori Kelly, and Andra Day are responsible for us finding that power that’s buried inside us due to a nasty falling out with our loved one. Not only is RnB our gateway to dealing with broken hearts, it brings out the sexy in us. That shy act is instantly thrown out the window once we hear Kehlani’s “The Way” or Tinashe’s “All Hands On Deck.” These two women along with Jhene, Tori, and Andra is what RnB Magazine like to call “RnB’s starting five.”
Position: Point Guard
Stats: 2014 American Music Awards Nominee, 2014 Bet Awards nominee/winner, three time Grammy Awards nominee, three time Soul Train Awards nominee
As point guard, Jhene controls RnB. She has been in the game since 2002-back in B2k days. The three-time Grammy nominee singer is the playmaker for RnB. The 27 year old’s line in Omarion’s “Post To Be” was dubbed ‘lyric of the year’ by MTV News’ Rob Markman Her music is infused of soul and hip-hop, meets contemporary RnB. Within her music are stories about her life, her pain, and love. Her musical style was compared to the work of Sade by Bradley Stern of Time. He calls her album’s (Souled Out) genre the “future R&B.”
Position: Shooting Guard
Stats: 1 Grammy Award Nomination, 1 sold out tour, various accolades from Complex, Billboard, Rolling Stone
As shooting guard, Kehlani comes with hit, after hit, after hit. Clutch like Kobe! Chance the Rapper, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Pusha T can vouch for the 21 year old’s ability to produce chart topping music. No matter what producer, no matter what beat, no matter who she works with, Baelani will deliver. Pass her a beat-trust me-she’ll drive it straight to the basket.
Position: Small forward
Stats: YouTube Music Award and BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Award winner, 2 Soul Train Music Award and Bet Award nominee
Small forward, Tinashe is the entire package. Just like her position, she is a versatile singer, dancer, model, actress, songwriter, and producer who has been entertaining since childhood. The 21 year old Kentucky native’s quickness and strength allows her endurance on the stage during her intense performances.
Position: Power Forward
Stats: 1 YouTube Music Award, Teen Choice Award, Streamy Award, MTV Europe Music Award, VH1 Big Music in 2015: You Oughta Know, People’s Choice Award, and Grammy Award Nominee, 1 Billboard Women in Music Award
It’s no surprise Tori Kelly holds the court down as power forward with that voice of hers. The 23 year old California native was born to sing. While she may not be big in stature, her voice is big enough to block her haters. With a voice that captured the attention of Scooter Braun after watching her YouTube channel, TK was born for her position.
Stats: 2X Grammy Award Nominee, NAACP Awards Nominee
As center Andra Day protects the original sound of RnB. We trust the 31 year old to keep our ears filled with the RnB music we fell in love with back in the 90’s, early 2000’s. She is in fact the “center” for RnB music because her music and voice helps keep RnB alive.