Five Lesser-Known Soul Men Worth Your Attention

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You're right to believe Frank Ocean was robbed by Mumford & Sons for Album of the Year at the Grammys Sunday. But nevertheless, last year was a good one for r&b, one that saw different facets of the genre take center stage. By extension, Frank Ocean is now a household name. And though Kelly Clarkson might not have been familiar with him, lots more people know the name Miguel than when the LA-based crooner dropped his Kaleidoscope Dream in October.

It got us to thinking about some other r&b artists we've been listening to for years that never crossed over into the limelight. Here now, five lesser-known soul men you should lend your ear to.

See also: Frank Ocean, the Weeknd, Miguel: Who Will Be the Token Black Guy on Year-End Best of Lists?

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Six Great R&B Love Songs That You Might Hear On The Radio Sometime Today

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Over the weekend a lot of my Facebook friends reposted a CNN piece called "Where Is The Love In R&B?" that served as a sort of lengthy "get off my lawn with your sex and hedonism" diatribe; while it's undoubtedly true that commercial radio is more crass today than it was back in the era of WPIX playing nothing but love songs, the piece was not without its many issues, from citing that awfully flawed study about the narcissism in popular music that was floating around earlier this year to blaming the rise of the laptop musician for the nosedive in songs the writer saw as romantic. (Not to mention that it took Miguel's ode to getting off "Quickie" to task while failing to notice that his screwed-down fidelity pledged had actually performed better on the airplay-based R&B chart—by topping it.) What better day than today, which marks the release of Robin Thicke's super-uxorious, quite fantastic Love After War, to rebut the claims about R&B being a complete wasteland? Six tracks from this year that made the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts and that will melt even the coldest heart (take it from someone who knows!) below.

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