It’s that time of year! Yes, the holiday season, but also when we look back and take stock on the best music of the year. And in the countdown to Christmas, we want to know which R&B album released in 2022 was your favorite.
On Tuesday (Dec. 20), Billboard staffers ranked their ten picks for the year’s best R&B studio sets, starting with Brent Faiyaz‘s Wasteland. Calling it the indie artist’s “most transparent project to date,” the sophomore follow-up to 2017’s Sonder Son was led by singles “Dead Man Walking,” “Gravity” with DJ Dahi and featuring a guest assist from Tyler, the Creator, and “Wasting Time” featuring Drake before finally debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in July.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the year in R&B without considering Beyoncé‘s mammoth Renaissance, even if the Beyhive is still waiting for any hint of visuals from Queen Bey’s house-inspired opus, which includes fan favorite cuts like “Alien Superstar,” “Cuff It,” “Pure/Honey” and hit single “Break My Soul.”
Steve Lacy also made major waves in the genre thanks to his major-label solo debut, Gemini Rights, and its No. 1 hit “Bad Habit,” and Ari Lennox shared many a personal detail with her unapologetic sophomore album Age/Sex/Location.
Other powerhouse contenders that made Billboard‘s top 10 list included The Weeknd‘s radio broadcast-inspired Dawn FM, Ella Mai‘s vulnerable Heart on My Sleeve, Giveon‘s Give or Take and Lucky Daye‘s Candydrip. Plus, Kehlani and Mary J. Blige proved once again to be masters of their craft on their stellar respective albums Blue Water Road and the Grammy-nominated Good Morning Gorgeous.
Vote for your favorite R&B album of 2022 in Billboard‘s year-end poll below.