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by Barry Walters

September 7, 2013

The Baddest Girls of R&B

by Barry Walters  |  September 7, 2013

K. Michelle recently stormed the charts with Rebellious Soul, an audacious album defined by hard-won independence and sex talk frank enough to make a baller blush. This reality show upstart may sometimes be shocking, but she's the latest of a long line of R&B songbirds who've done well by being bad.

These ladies gladly cross a line, one between "right" and "wrong," dependence and defiance, being discreet or letting it all hang out. Good girls might look the other way when facing infidelity, but these bad sisters sing about it and demand r-e-s-p-e-c-t -- or do some creepin' of their own. They celebrate their own pleasure, and tell their men exactly what they want. Bad girls may like the bad boys, but do not suffer fools gladly. We've assembled a playlist celebrating six decades of soulful feminine resilience and resistance, from the early '60s girl groups to today's independent women. Don't get it twisted: When we say these dames are bad, we mean they're mighty great.

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