Recommended R&B Love Songs

They Give Love a Good Name ...

Some may say that hate is the most powerful human emotion, but we all know that's not true, right? Sure, hate can make people do some wild things, but it's love that truly conquers all. Or as the Rev. Martin Luther King once put it: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." And when it comes to songs about love, no genre makes better songs about it than R&B. Almost since the birth of R&B music itself, songs about the joy of love have been a permanent part of Rhythm & Blues. An in honor of the mightiest of emotions, here's a list of a dozen recommended R&B love songs. Not all are famous or topped the charts, but each conveys a heartfelt message about how sweet love can be.

'Pretty Wings,' Maxwell

On this song, which is off Maxwell's 2009 album, BLACKsummers'night, he sings about meeting the right woman at the wrong time and that even though her loved her and their time together, he had to allow her to spread her wings and move on, even though it deeply hurt him to do so.

'So in Love,' Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton

So In Love," a fun, romantic duet between Jill Scott and southern Soul singer Anthony Hamilton, was the first official single from Jill's The Light of the Sun album in 2011.

'Next Breath,' Tank

If you've ever felt like you need someone more than you need oxygen or to live, then you can probably feel Tank when he sings "Girl, I need you more than my next breath, never would I ever leave you, 'cause darlin' I need you more than the next breath I breathe." That's pretty heavy stuff.

'4Evermore,' Anthony David and Algebra

This sweet romantic duet encapsulates what it's like to be in a loving, thriving relationship: "Forever's a mighty long time, But I really wanna spend it with you, I shine when you shine, And there's really no substitute," the vocalists sing in harmony.

'Lately,' Anita Baker

This love song from Anita Baker's seventh studio album is a tune that should already be familiar to devoted R&B fans: it's a remake of "Lately," the beautifully lush love song that was originally a hit for model-turned-singer (turned actor) Tyrese Gibson in the late 1990s.

'Tears of Joy,' Faith Evans

Faith Evans' "Tears of Joy," is a soaring reflection on how a good, positive and loving relationship is truly something to be celebrated.

'To Be Loved,' Stacy Barthe

"To Be Loved" is a warm, mellow tune about how a positive relationship between two people can make you a stronger person, both mentally and spiritually: "You make impossible so possible, With you I feel like I can move mountains, I searched around high and low, You just don't come close to anything I've ever known," she sings. "There's nothing more I'd rather be, than to be loved, loved by you."

'Real Love,' Eric Benet

As the title implies, this old fashioned love song's a celebration of genuine emotion, as opposed to the Kardashian kind. Or as Eric puts in in the song: "In a work full of make believe, we've got something real girl ... I bet everything on you and me."

'Be Without You,' Mary J. Blige

Cover © Geffen Records.
This chart-topping song, which was released in November 2005, is on Mary's The Breakthough album. Among the things that make it so great are the strong sentiments of faith and loyalty expressed, as well as the unbelievably strong vocals.

'One Love,' Midwest City

Image © Motown/Universal.
On "One Love," Midwest City, a four-man vocal group from Oklahoma talks love, marriage and loyalty: Through the storm, through the rain, through the sun, we remain one love," they sing.

'Crazy Love,' Brian McKnight

Although this song is sung really well, it's actually the amazingly poetic lyrics that are the highlight. A sample: "I can hear her heart beat for a thousand miles, And the heavens open up every time she smiles, And when I come home to her that's where I belong, Yet I'm running to her like a river's song." Fun fact: "Crazy Love" was written and first recorded by rock-pop artist Van Morrison.

'He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat),' Jill Scott

This song, which first appeared on Jill Scott's 2000 debut album, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1, is a warmly emotive ode to her first husband, Lyzel, whom Jill was still with at the time. Their relationship may not have lasted, but this beautiful, Grammy-nominated song is timeless.