Nineties R&B

One of the greatest moments for black women in mainstream music, the Nineties featured the success of a ton of neo “girl groups” like TLC and En Vogue and Mary J. Blige, who from the start had as much in common with Billie Holiday and Aretha. Sounding alongside the dance sounds popping up in the house clubs and the jazz-inflections of neo-soul pioneers like Maxwell, the women make the Nineties a cornucopia of treats for soul music aficionados. Mark Anthony Neal’s Songs in the Key of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation plays a key role in moving the conversation on black popular music out of the Sixties.