Ten Best R&B and Soul Songs of 2010

List Includes Hits By Chris Brown, Usher, R. Kelly, Ciuara, and Ne-Yo

Looking back at 2010, the top hits of the 2010 features established artists R. Kelly, Usher, Erykah Badu, Monica, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Ciara, and Fantasia. 2010 also marked the rise of a new generation of stars, including Miguel, and Janelle Monae.

"F** You," Cee-Lo Green

The X-rated "F**k You" by Cee-Lo Green was one of the most popular songs of the decade, certified five times platinum. From The Lady Killer CD, the radio version was titled, "Forget You." and reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, at The Grammy Awards and won Best Urban/Alternative Performance.

"There Goes My Baby," Usher

In 2010, "There Goes My Baby" became the eleventh number one R&B hit of Usher's career, tying him with Ray Charles and R. Kelly for the fifth most number one songs on the chart. The mid-tempo ballad earned a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

"Deuces," Chris Brown feat. Tyga and Kevin McCall

Following his Rihanna assault scandal in 2009, Chris Brown made a strong comeback in 2010 with "Deuces" featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall. It became his third number one hit on the Billboard R&B chart and was certified double platinum. "Deuces" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and a BET Award for Best Collaboration.

"When a Woman Loves," R. Kelly

From R. Kelly's 2010 Love Letter CD, "When A Woman Loves" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance, and a Soul Train Music Award for Record of the Year. The song is a Sam Cooke-style retro soul ballad with a classic vibe.

"Bittersweet," Fantasia

Fantasia won a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Bittersweet" from her 2010 CD, Back To Me. "Bittersweet" was also nominated for Best R&B Song, and won an  NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Song.

"Everything to Me," Monica

From her 2010 Still Standing CD, Monica reached the top of the Billboard R&B chart with her single "Everything To Me." Composed and produced by Missy Elliott, the song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

"Finding My Way Back," Jaheim

From the 2010 Another Round CD, Jaheim's "Fighting My Way Back" received Grammy nominations for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song.

"All I Want is You," Miguel feat. J. Cole

Miguel launched his recording career with the title tune of his 2010 debut CD, All I Want Is You. Featuring another new artist, rapper J. Cole, the song peaked at number seven on the Billboard R&B chart. With Miguel's urgent, pleading vocals, Cole's deft lyrics, and a tight beat by producer Salaam Remi, the haunting and emotional song wins on all levels.

"Tightrope," Janelle Monae feat. Big Boi

Despite not hitting the American music charts, "Tightrope" by Janelle Monae featuring Big Boi from Outkast was one of the best singles of 2010. From her debut solo CD, The ArchAndroid, the song uniquely blended R&B and hip-hop with a futuristic space theme.

"Ride," Ciara feat. Ludacris

From Ciara's 2010 Basic Instinct CD, "Ride" marked the fourth time Ludacris collaborated with Ciara. The erotic tune became her twelfth  top ten hit, reaching number three on the Billboard R&B chart. "Ride" won a Soul Train Music award for Best Dance Performance.

"Love All Over Me," Monica

From Monica's 2010 Still Standing CD, "Love All Over Me" became her twelfth top ten single on the Billboard R&B chart, peaking at number two.

"One in a Million," Ne-Yo

Ne-Yo co-wrote the gold certified single "One In A Million" for his 2010 Libra Scale CD.

"I Need a Dollar," Aloe Blacc

From his 2010 Good Things CD, "I Need A Dollar" by Aloe Blacc was an international hit in 2010, reaching number one in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Israel.

"Share My Life," Kem

From his 2010 Intimacy: Album III CD, Kem recorded a perfect song for men ready to propose marriage, "Share My Life."

"Jump Up in the Air (Stay There), Erykah Badu feat. Lil' Wayne

"Jump Up in the Air" by Erykah Badu featuring Lil Wayne and Bilal was not released as a single, yet it was one of the best of 2010. It is a bonus track on her CD, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh).

"Bulletproof," Raheem DeVaughn feat. Ludacris

From his 2010 The Love & War MasterPeace CD, "Bulletproof" is the best song ever recorded by Raheem DeVaughn. A social commentary about violence in American and abroad, it features Ludacris, and samples Curtis Mayfield's "The Other Side of Town."

"You're the One," Dondria

Jermain Dupri protege Dondria made her debut in 2010 with the single "You're the One." Dupri composed and produced the song for her debut CD Dondria vs. Phatfffat. It peaked at number 14 on the Billboard R&B chart.

"Free," Bilal

After releasing his debut album 1st Born Second in 2001, Bilal took nine years before dropping his second CD, Airtight's Revenge, in 2010. Unfortunately, his song "Free" was not on the new CD. Utilizing his falsetto voice, Bilal delighted his fans on this funky mid-temp track about an uninhibited trek across country with the love of his life.

"Next Best Thing," Nikki & Rich

The title song of Nikki & Rich's 2010 EP Next Best Thing is a tale of  a female serial heartbreaker who gleefully moves from one man to the next with little thought and no remorse. The duo consisted of vocalist Nikki Leonti and Grammy Award winning producer Rich Velonskis.

"Soul Strut," Lady Daisey

Lady Daisey from New York City displayed her retro R&B style "Soul Strut" from her 2010 CD, In My Pocket.

Edited by Ken Simmons on April 28, 2016