Pictured clockwise from top left: Singers Teyana Taylor, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani and Summer Walker cover Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players issue.
All four ladies say the music industry is adapting slowly to their varying talents and, as a result, they don't get the radio airplay that their rap counterparts, such as Cardi B, enjoy.
R&B's marketshare is not as big as hip-hop, but it’s growing -- by 4.64% in market share compared with this time last year.
"Everyone has their own style and thing going on, but it's all the same truth," says Taylor, 29. "We're still women who have experienced love and heartbreak. It's dope to hear everyone express that truth in their different ways."
Aiko, a woman of color, says the biggest obstacle for her genre of pop/hip-hop is getting radio play. "The industry will still pigeonhole [my music], saying, 'Oh, this has to go to urban,'" says Aiko. "I'm like, 'Why?'"
But kehlani, 25, sees opportunity for her style of R&B/hip-hop to grow. "R&B keeps evolving, keeps getting cooler, more personal," she says.
"We'll always be here," says Taylor. "R&B is always going to be the realest bitch in the world."
Summer Walker sparked debate on Instagram over the government's response to the impact of Covid-19 on the Black community.
The 24-year-old "Girls Need Love" singer responded to a fan who wrote: "The whole system is corrupt. Burn everything down."
Summer replied: "You literally won't get anywhere doing that but making everyone go into martial law and nobody won't get s***. Y'all need to take that same passion and energy & use it to come together in the black community."
She added: "Black people have no unity. We want everyone else to support but won't support each other but nobody wants to hear all that… so unorganized."
According to blogger Jasmine Brand, back in May, Summer alleged COVID-19 was created by the powers that be to control overpopulation.
"All I wanna know is if these mf's cared about population control so much why they ain't put a cap on having kids globally like China a long a** time ago. You can have 1 MAYBE 2 & das it and das law, dese ppl with these 8 children families simply would be prohibited. Instead of going welllll over the Georgia guidestones [sic] and deciding to say we're f***ed so let's just create a fake a** virus implement martial law and throw everyone into fema camps murdering by masses. NOW FORGET EVERYTHING I just said. I like about everything I have no clue what I'm talking about."
Summer may be referring to a widespread theory that people who refuse to take Bill Gates' vaccines will be thrown into FEMA camps.
Singer Summer Walker showed off her new tattoo to celebrate Valentine's Day and to pay tribute to her favorite blog. Walker displayed her new rose tattoo by Black Ink Crew star Ceasar Emanuel.
The intricate tattoo takes up the right side of Summer's neck. Friends say the 23-year-old Atlanta native checks the blog at least once a day for the comments.
She is best known for her hit single "Girls Need Love" off her 2018 mixtape Last Day of Summer.
Summer made headlines in November after she lashed out at social media trolls who questioned the legitimacy of her social anxiety struggles. The up-and-coming R&B star insisted her mental health problem is not "an act".
Summer blamed her social anxiety disorder for her decision to scrap a series of concert dates on The First and Last Tour.
She has since opened up about her social anxiety in the hopes of helping others who suffer from the debilitating mental disorder.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
Summer Walker is dismayed and disappointed that her fans continue to believe she is making up her social anxiety disorder.
The 23-year-old "Girls Need Love" singer hit out at social media trolls for questioning the legitimacy of her social anxiety struggles. The up-and-coming R&B star insisted her mental health problem is not "an act".
Summer recently blamed her social anxiety disorder for her decision to scrap a series of concert dates on The First and Last Tour.
Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images
Summer, who won Best New Artist at the 2019 Soul Train Awards, kept her acceptance speech brief due to the overwhelming anxiety of public speaking.
Her short and sweet speech led to some rude criticism online. Many of her fans accused Summer of faking her disorder.
The young singer noticed how many of her critics appeared to be "ignorant" mothers, leading her to voice concern for today's youths who also struggle with mental health disorders.
"You know, the scariest s**t I've been witnessing is that most of the women leaving negative comments like 'it's an act,' 'I don't have the right to act like this b/c (because) I'm famous, b**ch you slow' or just flat out making fun of me for being vulnerable. HAVE CHILDREN, these women have children," she vented on Instagram.
"It makes me feel soo bad cause it's clear that if the children are developing or struggling with any type of mental disorder such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, it'll be brushed to the side and will never receive any treatment because it'll just be 'an act.'"
Walker went on to reveal that she has been dealing with social anxiety since she was six. She was afraid to leave home to attend school due to anxiety, so she sympathizes with kids who are experiencing similar problems.
"These parents are probably so ignorant that instead of reading up on symptoms they just whoop the child," she continued. "sad, my s**t started at 6 so yes kids have it to."
R&B singer Summer Walker announced the cancelation of her tour after fans complained that she refused to hug them during meet and greets.
The 23-year-old Atlanta native first gained popularity covering mainstream hits on social media. She signed a record deal with the record label LVRN Records.
Summer is best known for her single "Girls Need Love" off her critically acclaimed debut album Last Day of Summer, released in 2018.
Summer's personal issues, including social anxiety disorder, prevent her from coping with the stress of her newfound stardom.
On Sunday, Nov. 10, she wrote an Instagram post explaining why she declined to hug her fans who purchased expensive meet & greet VIP passes after her concerts.
"I'm an empath, and that transference of energy from that many people each day would literally KILL me," she wrote.
"y'all may not understand what I'm talking about but for example... there's a lot of people out here faking the funk with a smile on their face like they got it together but inside your actually suffering from some sort of traumatic experience, a loss, depressed, fearful, envious or whatever the case may be BUT I CAN FEEL IT. So I ask you please respect my space in those moments".
In another post announcing the cancellation of her tour, Summer wrote:
"I truly appreciate all the support and love. As you know, I have been very open about my struggle with social anxiety. I want to continue to be healthy and to make music for y'all, so I have decided to cut down some of the dates on the tour. I hope you all can understand. I'm grateful for every single one of you, and I hope that you understand that wellness/mental health is important. All cancelled dates will be refunded asap. Thank you."
Social anxiety disorder is a phobia characterized by a serious fear of interacting with others in social situations. Social anxiety disorder causes considerable distress and anxiety that stems from a fear of being judged or watched by others.
Sufferers avoid social situations due to an irrational fear that something bad will happen to them. Signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder includes palpitations (a racing heart), panic attacks, trembling, crying, vomiting, weakness, and sweating.