By Drew Dorsey


Their songs make us swoon and are the soundtrack for our first kisses, walks down the aisle and post break-up wallowing sessions. Classic crooners sweetly interpret a ballad’s beautiful poetic lyrics and melody into more than just a song.  Their voices create moments that are simply ripe for romance.


This month, as part of our annual celebration of men, we salute some of our favorite crooners and enjoy some of their signature ballads.


Nat King Cole – “Unforgettable”

When paying homage to some of the great balladeers, it would be criminal to not mention the man who taught us all how to spell “L.O.V.E.” His easily identifiable clear baritone voice and style are timeless. Cole rose to popularity in the 1950’s and ‘60’s  and was the first African American to host several television programs – proving his undeniable appeal to mainstream audiences despite much racial opposition.


 Frank Sinatra – “The Sultan of Swoon” – “Strangers in the Night”

Cock your hat to the side and say “Rat-a-tat-tat.” You hear the name “Frank Sinatra” and automatically your fingers snap. Sinatra’s smooth jazz style and finesse epitomized “cool.” While others have tried to imitate Sinatra’s swag, there has and will always be only one Chairman of the Board. Modern nods to “Old Blue Eyes” and his Rat Pack continue to be evidenced in current films, fashion and music – a true testament to his enduring influence on popular culture.



Smokey Robinson – “Ooh Baby, Baby”

Arguably one of the most prolific songwriters of all time, Smokey Robinson is truly a creative genius. He has written an estimate of over four thousand songs for various artists, himself included. As one of the early founders of Motown, Smokey Robinson played an integral role in one of the most significant movements in music history. He is dual induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as both a member of The Miracles and as a solo artist further attest to his immeasurable contributions to the industry.


Sam Cooke – “You Send Me”

As a singer, songwriter, and owner of his own music publishing company, Sam Cooke could do it all. Cooke went on to gain full ownership of his recordings, which was a monumental accomplishment for an artist in the 1960s. His vocals convey a charismatic and soulful tone that is unlike any other. Catchy ballads like “You Send Me” and“ Bring It On Home To Me” are just two of Cooke’s timeless tunes that will make any music lover “Twist the Night Away.”



John Legend – “Ordinary People”

The rich, gravelly voice of John Legend has been making audiences rock and swoon since the release of his debut album Get Lifted in 2004. On track after track, Legend consistently delivers a winning combination of sophisticated lyrics, perfect production and his signature sensual delivery – making him a favorite of both male and female music fans.



Robin Thicke – “Lost Without You”

This sexy lady-killer possesses a sweet falsetto that puts birds to shame. Robin Thicke has credited legends such as Al Green and Marvin Gaye as influences on his soulful musical style, and Thicke’s ability to effortlessly create a romantic groove prove that he studied them well.. Thicke initially entered the business as a writer for various artists, but by 2003, he decided it was time to bless the world with his own vocals and went on to release hits such as “Lost Without You,” which camped out on the Billboard charts for an extensive stay.


Bruno Mars – “If I Knew”

Bruno Mars is a self-taught musician who broke into the industry writing hits for other artists such as Flo Rida, Brandy, and Travie McCoy before getting his big break as a solo artist. Offering a rare blend of Doo-Wop, Bohemian, Pop and soul, Mars gives audiences a taste of James Brown and the Temptations while contributing his own fresh spin.



Do you have a favorite crooner you’d like to add to our list?  Well, Join the Conversation on Facebook and Twitter and let us know which classic balladeer sets your heart aflutter!

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