Valentine’s Day playlist featuring iconic Black artists

Whether you’re with a partner or on your own this Valentine’s Day these songs will leave you with butterflies in your stomach and romance on your mind.


Photo Illustration by Kaitlyn Lavo

While this valentines may be different than most, we hope you are able to celebrate love and joy with this playlist.

Jenna Wilson, Reporter

This Valentine’s Day, the Daily Sundial is celebrating love and Black History Month with soulful ballads by iconic Black artists from Sam Cooke to H.E.R. Black R&B musicians have consistently blessed the industry with soulful music. These sounds will have you and your sweetheart swooning.

Consisting of 10 handpicked songs, this playlist features hits from the great decades of ‘60s and ‘70s soul music along with newer songs that were inspired by the originals.

Let’s Stay Together – Al Green

Almost immediately recognizable, “Let’s Stay Together” is a smooth seductive song that was the headliner and title for Al Green’s album that came out in 1972. The song expresses a passionate dedication between two people with a slow sensual rhythm and deep bass that embodies the substance of soul music.

Everything You Touch is Gold – Gregory Porter

Artist Gregory Porter himself said he “wanted this to be one of those lovemaking songs,” according to Apple Music. “Everything You Touch is Gold” is the longest song on the playlist at about six and a half minutes. So sit back and enjoy Porter’s passionate testimony of love with a deep voice that moves effortlessly from calm to strong.

Show and Tell – Al Wilson

“These are the eyes that never knew how to smile / Till you came into my life,” Al Wilson serenades with a smooth relaxing voice, followed by a melodious “Do-do-do-do-do” in the first line of this hit. “Show and Tell” was the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 for a week in 1974 and it’s easy to see why it is still considered one of the great soul love ballads today.

Every Kind of Way – H.E.R

Displaying an impassioned expression of desire, H.E.R, whose real name is Gabriella Wilson, left hearts in puddles with this intoxicating R&B song featured on her self-titled album that thrust her into the spotlight in 2017. “Every Kind of Way” shows Wilson’s ethereal vocals and immaculate songwriting skills which made her an instant sensation.

La-La Means I Love You – The Delfonics

In 1968, The Delfonics released the single “La-La Means I Love You.” Lead singer William Hart’s tenor voice reaches a whine-like note that leaves a lasting impression of vulnerability and is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of harmony when the trio comes together.

Coming Home – Leon Bridges

One of the newer songs on this playlist but not lacking in retro soul or depth is Leon Bridges’ “Coming Home.” Bridges’ voice was made for this mixture of gospel and blues and it’s hard to believe this was written and released in 2015 because of its warm ‘60s feel. You won’t be able to resist swaying to this lovely ballad.

Just the Two of Us – Grover Washington Jr. (feat. Bill Withers)

“Just the Two of Us” is one of the jazziest songs on this playlist with the saxophone popping in and out of the track. Released in 1981, this smooth jazz/R&B single will soothe any tension between lovers because “We can make it if we try / Just the two of us.”

(You Make Me Feel) Like A Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin

Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin is known for this intimate ballad, which was co-written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin specifically for Franklin. Released in 1967, this song has been covered many times by artists such as Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige and Amber Riley on an episode of Glee. The tone of the song starts solemnly then builds to a powerful climax to celebrate the natural woman within herself.

Nothing Can Change This Love – Sam Cooke

Following the queen of soul music is the king, Sam Cooke. His voice is distinct as ever in this song, “Nothing Can Change This Love.” Cooke uses his charm and musical intuition to breathe life into the lyrics, “But if you wanted, to leave me and roam / When you get back, baby, I’d just say welcome home.”

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Get ready to turn it up because this last one is a classic sing-along favorite. Marvin Gaye, known mostly for his lovemaking music, paired with Tammi Terrell for a powerful duet in “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” The song describes everything two people in love would go through to be together with lyrics professing forever love in lyrics like, “And from that day on I made a vow / I’ll be there when you want me, some way, somehow.”