Is Soul Music Still Popular?

Soul music originated as long ago as the 1950s and 1960s in the United States. When first on the scene it was hugely popular throughout the country and continued to be so for many years. People may think that soul music is no longer popular but actually elements of this type of music still remain today.

It’s Influence on Other Genres

Many people think of soul as having most influenced gospel music, but it actually is a part of modern pop music as well. Such singers as Usher and Alicia Keys all incorporate soulful elements into their music. These two singers are extremely popular which really shows that the soul sound can be successfully blended into other styles of music. Soul music is based strongly on emotion and conveying that emotion through the lyrics and sounds of the song.

Back in the early days of soul music such singers as Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles were popular. The soulful sound that these musicians produced went on to be included in music in later years. Even during the early 2000s, the sounds could be heard as they were blended into the rap and hip-hop style of songs that were emerging at that time.

A New Kind of Soul

A New Kind of Soul
A New Kind of Soul

Some consider soul music to be well and truly gone, while others view it as having changed to a type of neo soul sound that is evident in singers like John Legend and Alicia Keys. It really comes down to a matter of opinion by people in the industry. What can be agreed on is that the great soul singers of decades ago have definitely influenced musicians and singers of later years.

Certainly, a singer such as aforementioned John Legend is very similar to the past singers of soul in that he started off his music career by singing in a church as well. Also, similar to other soul singers of the past, his music tackles social issues and injustices.

Another modern soul singer is Mary J Blige who has successfully combined rhythm and blues with soul. Anthony Hamilton is another singer who rose to fame in 2003 with his soulful sounding music. Similar to John Legend, he launched his career by singing in church. His music has even been compared to the great Otis Redding, who was nicknamed “The King of Soul”. Hamilton has, in fact, been nominated for numerous awards and has won a Grammy. This is further evidence that music with soul roots or soul sounds is far from dead.

Joss Stone, who comes from England, is another successful singer. Her music has been described as having features of rhythm and blues blended with soul. Her songs came to prominence in the 2000s and she has sold millions of albums worldwide. Her music is really a blend of several styles including reggae, rhythm and blues and soul.

Soul music is not exactly the same as it was back in the 1950s and 1960s. However, many elements of soul music still exist today, and these singers are often highly successful. This suggests that soul music or at least the very elements that are found in soul music are still popular to this day, even though it has been decades since soul first appeared.