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If you're looking to relax, mellow out and/or get busy, hit print now 'cause this smooth soul list is sure to get the iciest princess bumpin' and grindin' in no time at all.





Usher: "U Don't Have To Call" and "You Make Me Wanna"
Usher moonwalks across genres with a high-pitched croon that speaks directly to the ladies. His smooth blend of R&B grooves and dance beats come through best on these two songs. The Neptunes--produced "U Don't Have to Call" is from the 8701 CD and has stuck in the Top 10 dance charts for eight months. "You Make Me Wanna" has racked up sales of 2.1 million--a ridiculously high number for a single.

  "U Don't Have To Call"
  "You Make Me Wanna"
  Bands A-Z: Usher
Ashanti: "Mesmerize" and "Foolish"
The princess of hip-hop/soul shines brightest on "Mesmerize," a smooth and sexy duet featuring Ja Rule's gravelly hip-hop bark, and "Foolish"--a song originally intended for Craig David. "I was playing the music in the studio and she heard it. She just started writing the verse right then," said producer 7 Aurelius in a Newsday article. "I said, "I guess this is yours now."

  "Mesmerize"
  "Foolish"
  Bands A-Z: Ashanti
Jaheim: "Put That Woman First" and "Fabulous"
If you're having problems with your significant other, slip a little Jaheim onto the player, and let the makin' up begin. "Put That Woman First" is a poignant reworking of the soul classic "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" by William Bell, while "Fabulous" boasts a contagious piano line reminiscent of classic Barry White. Smooooth, baby, and perfect for summer lovin'.

  "Put That Woman First"
  "Fabulous"
  Bands A-Z: Jaheim
R. Kelly: "Ignition" and "I Believe I Can Fly"
You can't front on Kelly's talents as a producer/arranger/vocalist, and you certainly can't argue with his record sales. Even amidst controversy, his popularity remains intact. The opening line to "Ignition" is: "Let me stick my key in your ignition, babe." No comment. The inspirational "I Believe I Can Fly" personifies the other side of Kelly, an idealist with dreams who--largely because of this song--became one of the biggest R&B singers of all time.

  "Ignition"
  "I Believe I Can Fly"
  Bands A-Z: R. Kelly
Mary J. Blige: "Family Affair" and What's The 411?
The biggest hit of Mary J.'s career, the Dr. Dre-produced "Family Affair," is an emotional homage to peace and love that Mary wrote in reaction to September 11. What's the 411 sold 2.8 million copies and confirmed Mary's status as true R&B diva with a hip-hop heart. The album's ripe with heartbreaking anguish and pure joy--a necessity in any soul fan's collection.

  "Family Affair"
  Bands A-Z: Mary J. Blidge
Craig David: "Walking Away" and "Fill Me In"
Craig David's crafty songwriting and soft melodies come to fruition in "Walking Away," a jazzy tune that tells the story of a dude who's walking away from his lady because she doesn't appreciate him. "Fill Me In" is about scamming on a girl next door whose parents are out of town. A mixtape with these two gems can get you nothing but boot-ay.

  "Walking Away"
  "Fill Me In"
  Bands A-Z: Craig David
Jill Scott: "A Long Walk" and Who Is Jill Scott?
If you don't know Who is Jill Scott?, one listen to the CD will answer the question. Scott combines spoken lyrics that address social themes with smooth, emotional R&B. She spearheaded the Philly Soul sound with sample-free songs featuring real instruments like "A Long Walk"--the quintessential neo-soul tune that scored her a Grammy nomination.

  "A Long Walk"
  Bands A-Z: Jill Scott
Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and "Killing Me Softly"
Lauryn Hill combines rap, soul, reggae and R&B to form her own unique sound. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was her first solo record, blindsiding the industry and netting five Grammys. "Killing Me Softly" is the Roberta Flack cover that shot Hill's band, The Fugees, to superstardom.

  "Killing Me Softly"
  Bands A-Z: Lauryn Hill
Aaliyah: "Miss You" and Aaliyah
Light years ahead of her time and sorely missed by fans and peers, Aaliyah's sexy vocal groove shines brightest on the hypnotic "Miss You." The 2.5-million selling Aaliyah proved to be one of the most potent urban soul releases of the new millennium.

  "Miss You"
  Bands A-Z: Aaliyah
Ginuwine: "Pony" and "Hell Yeah"
The "bump 'n' grind master" has been able to reinvent himself from sultry love balladeer ("Pony") to edgier hip-hop head ("Hell Yeah"). These tracks prove both hats suit Ginuwine just fine by showcasing his artistry and showmanship, not to mention his ruggedly high-pitched lover man croon.

  "Pony"
  "Hell Yeah"
  Bands A-Z: Ginuwine






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