Rhythm and blues originated from such areas as jazz and blues, popular in the 30s and 40s of the last century. The style was originally popular among African Americans. In fact, it was black American pop music, which is a kind of groovy, entertaining and frivolous variation on the blues theme. The official name was given in the 1940s.
It was widely performed by the African American US performers. In the 1940s-1950s, along with the country music, it was very famous among the younger generation. In the second half of the 1950s, the style began to be divided into soul, funk and, a little later, disco. It contributed also to the development of rock and roll.