Great dancing has been synonymous with great music. Throughout history, African Americans have dominated dance. We can go as far back as ancient societies. However, that would be for another time. A history lesson for the hip hop heads, perhaps. With that said, let’s take a look at my top five African American Male dancers of all time. Shall we!
My Top Five Dancers
I must confess, James Brown must get an honorable mention. Because the late legendary entertainer is in a category of his own. Therefore, I did not include him in the top five. Be that as it may, the coveted top spot goes to the late entertainer Michael Jackson. See why James was no doubt the best.
1 – Michael Jackson
Michael was considered one of the greatest singers of all time. Michael was rightfully named the “King Of Pop”. For this reason, his dance moves put him ahead of all the rest I have chosen. Michael made the legendary “Moonwalk” a worldwide dance move. Certainly, most don’t know that it was Jeffrey Daniel who created the “Moonwalk.” Not only did Daniel create the phenomenal dance move. He performed it on the iconic dance show “Soul Train. Daniel’s danced with one of his group mates Jody Watson. Then Jeff and Jody formed the hit R& B group”Shalamar. Shalamar also featured R&B singer Howard Hewitt. Of course, Michael to the “Moonwalk” to another level. So many of the dancers I will mention having danced the “Moonwalk” in their videos. Let’s not forget Michael started his career with siblings Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, and Marlon of the “Jackson Five.” Did I forget to mention, Michael was the best-selling artist of all time. And, was considered to be the most philanthropic.
2 – Bobby Brown
Robert”Bobby” Brown made sexual dance moves mainstream. Although Bobby would receive backlash from the media for his provocative dance moves on stage, he never deterred. In fact, Bobby was told by security at one of his shows not to do any sexually explicit moves. Especially, with anyone else. However, Bobby sang his famous song”My Prerogative” then proceeded to do his explicit sexual dance moves. Not to mention, Bobby was notorious for bringing audience members on stage to “grind on.” For this reason, Bobby was reprimanded for it. Bobby is also part of the legendary R&B group “New Edition.” Many people thought Bobby would not make it as a solo artist. But Bobby proved them wrong. By the way, Whitney called Bobby the King of R&B.
3 – Usher
Usher Raymond started his music career at 14-years-old. It was after Usher performed on “Star Search” he landed a recording contract with LaFace Records, which is reported by Biography. Usher’s first album was released when he was only 15. Usher’s success is nothing short of phenomenal. In 2004, Usher released his critically acclaimed album entitled “Confessions. Confessions sold 1 million copies in its first week. Of course, Usher has earned several Grammy’s and People Choice awards. Currently, Usher is working in a Las Vegas residency. Some of my favorite Usher songs are “U Don’t Have To Call”, and “Here I Stand.” I must admit that Usher can dance as well as belt out fine tunes. Usher’s career has lasted for more than 15 years. As you can see, he is just getting started. Michael is the recipient of 13 Grammys. And countless other awards.
4 – Chris Brown
Much like Usher, Chris Brown started his career at the tender age of 15. After being discovered by Tina Davis who was working for Def Jam, Chris’s career flourished. Chris first album produced the hit song “Run It.” His first album garnered Chris two Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best R&B Contemporary Album. Even though Chris did not win the Grammys, he received NAACP Image Award for Outstanding New Artist. In addition, Chris won a Teen Choice Award for Choice Music Breakout Artist Male. Chris’s career now includes acting. Chris played had roles in the movie “Stomp the Yard” and “This Christmas”, Takers, “Think Like A Man”, and “Change.”
5 – Neyo
Shaffer Smith better known as singer Neyo has a smooth, sexy, bravado that ladies love. Not only is Neyo a singer, dancer, writer, but he is also an actor. Neyo came on the scene back in early 2000. Many took notice of Neyo with this first song “So Sick.” Then Neyo hit the charts with “Do You.” After those two songs, Neyo’s career took flight. Since then, Neyo has sung and danced his way into the hearts of R&B lovers. If that was not enough, Neyo started acting in films such as “Stomp The Yard”, Girl’s Trip, “Battle Los Angeles, and “Red Tails. Neyo has written songs for Beyonce “Irreplaceable”. Another songwriting hit for Neyo was with music artist Mario, “Let Me Love You” (2004). Also, Neyo has written for Britteny Spears, Celine Dion, and the late great singer Whitney Houston. Neyo won a Grammy award for Best Contemporary R&B Album in 2008. He won Grammy two Grammy’s for “Miss Independent”, and Best R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song, as reported by Biography.
I have to mention, all of these accomplished entertainers give accolades to the legendary James Brown. And rightfully so!!!
Click on the videos to see highlights.