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25 Best 80s Slow R+B Jams For Your Wedding Playlist

16 February 2022

You'd think that being one of the top wedding DJs in the country who specializes in 80s music, I would have put together this type of selection of songs a long time ago. Well, truth be told, I've had this screenshot in my phone for probably close to a year as a reminder.  I'm very surprised that its taken me this long to put together this selection of 80s R&B Slow Jams for your wedding playlist. Inspiration for this playlist actually goes all the way back to a private event I DJ'ed back in October of 2018 out at Folly Beach at a house on the beach.  Despite this client having a very diverse taste in music,  the prevailing theme for the evening included a ton of the best 80s R&B slow jams.  Putting together this playlist brought back a ton of 80s memories, as most all of the songs you'll see were released when I was in elementary, middle, and high school.   If you are a fan of 80s music and want to explore some slow R&B jams that are perfect for the end of the night at your wedding, you'll want to read on.

As a professional wedding DJ who is ALL about the music, you are about to embark on another one of my musical journeys. Simply put, the possibilities are endless as it pertains to the song selections on your wedding playlist. When you hire me to be your wedding DJ, I am here to work hard for you in designing the absolute best playlist that defines your musical tastes as a couple.  Since I am not a wedding DJ who wastes his time playing with lights or photobooths (there are separate companies who provide those services), my focus is on solely on the music. I love putting these types of musical posts together not only because I love music, but also because it allows me to reminisce when things were so much different in the world.

Be Sure To Head Over To My Spotify Profile To Get This Playlist
Brides and grooms these days demand more from their wedding DJ. Those demands include sharing playlists on Spotify. Since the beginning of 2020, I've migrated close to 150 playlists over to my Spotify account. Not only can you find this playlist but you can find so many others that will provide a ton of inspiration as you begin the daunting task of putting all your favorite music together. All you need to do is head over to Spotify now, and just search for DJ Mike Bills. WARNING. Be prepared to get lost in the music! 

"Nite & Day" | Al B. Sure
We start out with a song that immediately takes me back to being in the middle of my 8th grade year.  For more of The Best 80s Songs That Instantly Take Me Back <---Click HERE.  "Nite & Day" would be the first song by this Boston native.  This slow, seductive song would be released in February of 1988 and peak at #7 on the Hot 100, as well as #1 on the Hot Black Singles chart.

"Sexual Healing" | Marvin Gaye
While some folks may feel like a little uncomfortable about getting "sexual" at their wedding, this song has seen a lot of requests toward the end of the evening, just before the very last song.  Released in 1982, (just a few short years before his death), "Sexual Healing" would make it all the way to #3 on the Hot 100, and Number 1 on the Hot Black Singles chart.

"Don't Disturb This Groove" | The System
The System were an R&B duo formed in the early 80s comprised of David Frank and Mic Murphy.  "Don't Disturb This Groove" was originally released in the spring of 1987 and made it all the way to #1 on the R&B singles chart. Then, the song would become a Top 5 song on the Billboard Hot 100 during the summer of 1987. The song would peak at #4. For more of The Best Songs From 1987 For Your Wedding Playlist <---Click HERE

"All This Love" | Debarge
I certainly could not put together a playlist of some of the Best R&B Slow Jams Of The 80s without including Debarge.  Debarge were all over the radio and saw tremendous crossover success between the R&B and Hot 100 charts during the 80s.  Released back in the fall of 1982, "All This Love" would break into the Top 20 on the Hot 100, but make it all the wat to #1 on the AC (adult contemporary) chart.

"Through The Fire" | Chaka Khan
"Through The Fire" can be found on the same record as "I Feel For You", which was released back at the end of 1984.  "Through The Fire" would be released in the spring of 1985, just in time for prom season. The song would peak at #15 on the Hot Black singles chart, but only #16 on the AC chart.

"Secret Lovers" | Atlantic Starr
In 1985, Atlantic Starr would release their third album titled As the Band Turns.  "Secret Lovers" would peak at #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts, but stall at #3 on the Hot 100.  The song would peak at #4 on the Hot Black Singles chart.

"Sweet Love" | Anita Baker
From about 1986 through early 1989, it seemed as though you could not turn the radio on without hearing the amazing voice of Anita Baker. Anita's second record Rapture was released in March of 1986 and "Sweet Love" would be one of the first singles to hit radio. "Sweet Love" would hit #3 on the AC chart, and become a Top 10 single on the Hot 100, while peaking at #2 on the Hot Black Singles chart.

"Tender Love" | Force M.Ds
One of my favorite parts of this song is the amazing piano intro. You can find this song inside the movie Krush Groove, released in 1985.  "Tender Love" would become a Top 10 song on the Hot 100, as well as #4 on the Hot Black Singles chart in 1986. For more The Top Songs From 1986 For Your Wedding Playlist <---Click HERE

"Outstanding" | The Gap Band
If you are as big a fan of the 12 inch remixes that were always released when singles dropped in the 80s, you've absolutely got to hear this one.  You can find this song on the album The Gap Band IV, released in 1982. Once you take a listen to this song by clicking the link up above, you'll see why it peaked at #1 on the Hot Black Singles chart.

"Baby Come To Me" | Patti Austin & James Ingram
What a sexy song this is! With lyrics like "baby come to me, let me put my arms around you.....", you just know what might be happening coming up next! ;) Originally released in the spring of 1982, the song did not fare well on the Hot 100. Once it began being used in General Hospital later that year, the song would be released again and make it all the way to #1 in 1983.

"You Are My Lady" | Freddie Jackson
Wow. This song is such a beautiful representation of Slow R&B Jams of the 80s. Freddie Jackson knocked it out of the park with this slow and sexy song from 1985. "You Are My Lady" was the second song to be released from his record Rock Me Tonight.  The song would make it all the way to #1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart in late summer and fall of 1985.

"Cherish" | Kool & The Gang
Back in the latter part of 1984, Kool & The Gang would release the album, Emergency.  After the upbeat club singles "Misled" and "Fresh" were released, the group would release this beautiful ballad just in time for prom season in the spring of 1985. Are you seeing this common theme of releasing ballads during prom season?  "Cherish" would make it all the way to #1 on the Adult contemporary and Hot Black Singles chart becoming one of the most popular love songs of the 80s. For more of The Best Love Songs Of The 80s <---Click HERE

"Piano In The Dark" | Brenda Russell
Back in 1988, Brenda Russell would release her album Get Here.  "Piano In The Dark" was the first song to be released from this album and would become one of the biggest of her career. Released in the winter of 1988, "Piano In The Dark"  would peak at #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

"One In A Million You" | Larry Graham
If you've never heard this song before, you'll quickly realize why I had to put it on this playlist of song selections. What a beautiful song it is! Larry Graham would release his album One In A Million You in June of 1980.  The title cut would peak at #1 on the R&B chart.

"The Lady In My Life" | Michael Jackson
Buried beneath "Thriller", "Billie Jean", and "Beat It", you'll find this sexy, smooth song by the late Michael Jackson on his iconic Thriller record. I don't believe it was ever released as a single but I think you'll agree it could have made it all the way to #1 on the easy listening charts.

"I Still Believe" | Brenda K. Starr
Mariah Carey would  cover this song in 1999, but it would be Brenda K Starr who would first make it popular.  Released in February of 1988, "I Still Believe" would peak at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"Dreamin"| Vanessa Williams
I had such a crush on Vanessa Williams, and I still do! In 1988, she'd release her album The Right Stuff.  "Dreamin" would become Vanessa's first Number 1 on the R&B chart. Vanessa Williams is also featured on my Best Love Song Of The 90s Playlist For Weddings <---Click HERE

"Shake You Down" | Gregory Abbott
In 1986, Gregory Abbott would released his album Shake You Down. The title cut would be released that fall and would become one of the most enduring sexy soft rock songs of the 80s.  "Shake You Down" would make it all the way to #1 on the Hot 100. For more of The Best 80s Soft Rock Songs For Your Wedding Playlist <----Click HERE

"Smooth Operator" | Sade 
Slow and Sexy. Two words to describe the music of Sade. Lovemaking music to the nth degree. As a matter of fact, I think the music of Sade is so sexy that I published a post about it that you might want to review as well.  For more of those Sexy Sade Songs <--Click HERE

"Sign Your Name" | Sananda Maitreya
The fact that Terence Trent Darby would change his name did not change the fact that this song is still very sexy.  I will take a hard pass on the Sheryl Crow version of this song. "Sign Your Name" would make it all the way to #4 on the Hot 100 chart in 1988.

"You Give Good Love" | Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston would become a household name in 1985 after the release of her first album.  "You Give Good Love" was the first song to be released from her debut album and would peak at #3 on the Hot 100 chart. For more of The Most Popular Whitney Houston Songs For Wedding Playlists, <---Click HERE

"Love You Down" | Ready For The World
In 1985, Ready For The World would see significant chart success with "Oh Sheila". By the fall of 1986, they'd release "Love You Down" making it all the way to #7 on the Hot 100, and #1 on ther Hot Black Singles chart.

"If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful" | Jermaine Jackson (with Whitney Houston)
Until I was doing the research for this post, I had totally forgotten about this song. I remember it being in my mind  during the beginning of my 7th grade year in the fall of 1986.  The song appeared on Jermaine Jackson's 1986 album, Precious Moments, but was not released as a single.

"I Want To Be Your Man" | Roger
Back in the fall of 1987,  Roger Troutman released his album Unlimited. "I Want To Be Your Man" was the first song to be released from the album and would make it to the top of the R&B charts, and #3 on the Hot 100. 

"On The Wings Of Love" | Jeffrey Osborne
Jeffrey Osborne would release his self-titled album back in 1982.  "On The Wings Of Love" would be the 3rd song to be released from the album. The song would see it's greatest success on the AC charts, peaking at #7.

Interested in Booking Mike Bills To Be Your Wedding DJ?
Hopefully you enjoyed reading over all the outstanding songs on this post as much as I enjoyed putting it together for you. Don't ever let any wedding DJ sway you in any direction of your music. It's YOUR wedding, so a playlist should be curated around your likes. As a wedding DJ who truly specializes in music, I put these posts together just to create a little inspiration for my clients and prospective clients. If you are interested in learning more about me or want to know my availability, please click the link up above and you'll be taken over to my contact form. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Congratulations on your engagement! Thanks for stopping by.