Best R&B Songs of 2007

Your Guide's Top 20

With the year 2007 almost over, it's time to take a look back at some of the best R&B songs of the year. Some important qualifiers, though: first, although the song had to have been a hit in 2007, the album it's on could have come out in 2006; and some songs are disqualified because although they're considered R&B, they're actually pop or hip-hop, like Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Chris Brown's "Kiss Kiss." With that said, here's your Guide to R&B's picks for the 20 best R&B songs of 2007.

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"Do You Feel Me?," Anthony Hamilton

This song, which is on the soundtrack to the Denzel Washington movie American Gangster is undoubtedly one of the most emotion-filled songs of the year. Anthony Hamilton always brings it on every song he sings, but on "Do You Feel Me?" Anthony took things to a whole 'nother level.

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"No One," Alicia Keys

Album cover © J Records.

This sweeping, emotional song about undying, invincible love is on Alicia's As I Am album. It was an unlikely - but welcome - hit because it's so unlike any other R&B song of 2007.

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"Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now," Joss Stone feat. Common

Image © Virgin Records.

Back in January, your Guide said that this is one of the better songs Joss has ever recorded, and that statement stands as true more than ever now. Listening to it is like the audio equivalent of taking a walk in the park on a beautiful Spring day. You can stream the song by clicking the image to the left or on the link below.

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"Bed," J. Holiday

It seemed like J. Holiday came up out of nowhere with this incredibly catchy and clever song that was co-written by The-Dream. Stream it by clicking on the link below or the album cover to the left.

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"Lost Without U," Robin Thicke

Cover © Interscope Records.

Although the album that this song comes from, The Evolution of Robin Thicke, was released in the Fall of 2006, "Lost Without U," didn't become a sleeper hit until early 2007, which is why its eligible for this list. It took a while for your Guide to warm up to this track, but there's no denying how sexy and romantic it is.

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"Do You," Ne-Yo

Who hasn't wondered at least once if their ex still thinks about them sometimes? Ne-Yo's knack for great songwriting came through again on this song, which is the second single from his Because of You album. If you get a chance, check out the remix with Mary J. Blige.

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"Same Girl," R. Kelly feat. Usher

Two of R&B's best male singers (and drama students) created one of the best duets (and surprising music videos) of the year.

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"Like a Boy," Ciara

This very clever commentary on the double standard for guys and gals is probably aimed at Ciara's ex-boyfriend, the rapper Bow Wow, but a lot of young females - and older ones, too - can probably relate to what Ci-Ci is talking about on this track.

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"Woman," Raheem DeVaughn

This song, which is off Raheem's upcoming album, Love Behind the Music, is a much-needed ode to females and was a welcome change from the various songs putting women down.

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"I'm a Flirt," R. Kelly feat. T.I. and T-Pain

Album cover © Jive Records.

Back when this song was fresh and you hadn't already heard it 50 million times on the radio, it was a fun, bouncy song. The most incredible thing about it is that it manages to raise one of R&B's worst "singers," T-Pain, up to the same level as one of R&B's best, R. Kelly.

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"Just Fine," Mary J. Blige

Mary's sounding quite happy on the first single off her Growing Pains album. "Just Fine" is all growing and no pain. You can stream it by clicking the link below or on the image to the left.

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"Angel," Chaka Khan

It takes a little while for "Angel" get going, but once it warms up - whew. With this song, Chaka Khan proved once again that she's still one of R&B's premiere vocalists. She hits notes on this song that most of today's young female singers can only dream about.

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"Never," Jaheim

This romantic song about a player who finds Ms. Right is off Jaheim's fourth album, The Makings of a Man. You can stream it by clicking the link below or the image to the left.

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"You," Lloyd

Cover © Universal.

Your Guide to R&B isn't real big on taking old hit songs and recycling the melodies to make new hit songs - it's kind of a lazy thing to do. But despite that, the use of a classic Spandeau Ballet song on Lloyd's "You" is brilliant. And the remix, which features the rappers Andre 3000 (Of OutKast) and Nas is pretty sweet.

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"Hate On Me," Jill Scott

Album cover © Hidden Beach Recordings.

This song is quite different from Jill's usual cool, peaceful, jazzy style. She says she wrote it as a response to a group of online haters talking trash about her while hiding behind a keyboard and computer screen.

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"My Love," Joe

Joe's latest album, Ain't Nothin' Like Me, may have slipped through the cracks in 2007, but one of it's best tracks, "My Love," is unquestionably one of the year's most romantic songs.

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"B.U.D.D.Y.," Musiq Soulchild

Image © Atlantic Records.

This song, off Musiq's fourth album, Luvanmusiq, is a breezy jam about the "friends before lovers" philosophy. It's laid-back, no-pressure mentality and catchy hook make it one of the best Musiq singles ever. You can stream the song's video by clicking the link below or the image to the left.

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"Last Night," Diddy feat. Keyshia Cole

Image © Bad Boy Records.

Although Diddy technically is a hip-hop artist and not an R&B one, "Last Night" makes the list for two reasons: first, because Diddy's actually singing on the track, not rapping; and more importantly, because of Keyshia Cole's uber-powerful vocals.

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"Ice Box," Omarion

Album cover © Sony/Epic.

Omarion's not the best singer, but this is a cold song thanks to Timbaland's dope production skills.

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"Like This," Kelly Rowland feat. Eve

Kelly Rowland may not be the best singer in the world, but she didn't have to be to sound good over this tight beat. Both Kelly and Eve - two talented stars who aren't quite superstars - were put in the best possible situation with this song.