Rhythm and blues

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A musical term that, rather than describing a recognisable musical genre, describes contemporary music popular with African-Americans. As their collective preferences have changed over time, so has the styles of music it has encompassed. In the early 1950's, it described music virtually identical to rock and roll later made popular by white imitators. Today, music referred to as "R&B" ecompasses pop heavily influenced by hip-hop, funk, and soul music.