37 R&B Funeral Songs

Often, funerals are held to gospel music, but it's equally alright to explore other genres to match your emotions and the personality of your deceased loved one.

These R&B funeral songs provide the ideal blend of passion and remembrance for honoring the departed.


“It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday ” by Boyz II Men

Song Year: 1991

Boyz II Men released several songs about mourning, but this 1991 smash depicts the agony of saying goodbye better than any other. It's an acapella version of the song, originally penned for a 1975 film, Cooley High. The soothing, gospel-inspired song reflects the loss of someone important and the inevitability of death.

“I Miss You” by Beyonce

Song Year: 2011

You can't fill the void left behind by losing your loved one. While coping with the loss becomes easier with time, the initial shock is unbearable for most people.

Beyonce's ode to emptiness propels her to our R&B funeral songs compilation. Its emotional lyrics express the longing that comes with missing a deceased loved one.

“So Alone” by Men At Large

Song Year: 1992

When you lose your loved one to death, you may feel that they are somewhere unreachable yet still existent. However, death is irreversible, and recognizing your loved one is not simply out of sight is a common grieving experience. Men At Large understood the loneliness and bittersweet wish to see a loved one again in their touching tribute R&B hit, “So Alone.”

“I'll Be Seeing You” by Billie Holiday

Song Year: 1944

“I'll Be Seeing You” is a golden oldie released in 1944, in the heat of WWII, when thousands were struggling with the loss of loved ones globally.

Even though the song was released several decades ago, its message is still as compelling today. The lyrics depict how the narrator will see her deceased loved ones, even though they're long gone.

“One Sweet Day” by Boyz II Men & Mariah Carey

Song Year: 1995

This song portrays the experience of meeting someone you've lost in heaven. The beautiful and poignant collaboration between two R&B juggernauts is a homage to the people living with AIDS, notably Mariah Carey's sister.

The R&B homage is now a well-known memorial tune. Most famously, it was performed during Prince Diana's memorial service in 1997, demonstrating that it is well suited for various tributes.

“Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith

Song Year: 2014

Sam Smith's lovely, calm voice shines through in his R&B tune “Lay Me Down.” The hit's tear-jerking lyrics are about the desire to lay beside your fallen loved one's side one more time.

It's the anguish of knowing that you won't meet your departed loved one again. The song is an emotional appeal, conveying feelings we've all experienced during grief.

“Unforgettable” by Natalie & Nat King Cole

Song Year: 1991

This 1950s classic hit is the ideal way to remember someone special. Natalie reworked this tune by editing and recording the original rendition by her father. This duet rendition presented Natalie with an opportunity to connect and cherish the memories of her late father, who passed on in 1965. The song is a touching tribute to your loved ones, even though you aren't together.

“Walk Around Heaven” by Patti LaBelle

Song Year: 2006

Patti Labelle created an R&B cover of “Walk Around Heaven,” an iconic soul classic from the 60s by The Caravans. Instead of being saddened by the notion of death, this tune glorifies a spiritual existence in heaven.

Patti is eager to walk with her departed loved ones in heaven. This song may be a great source of solace for individuals who believe in an afterlife.

“Bye Bye” by Mariah Carey

Song Year: 2008

This song is about Mariah’s heartfelt dedication for anyone battling grief. The song depicts how heartbreaking it is to lose a person you care about and how difficult it is to move on, knowing they're no longer in your life.

The lyrics are about Mariah's estranged father, with whom she had brief but significant contact after his terminal illness. This heartbreaking ballad, sung over minimal piano and bass, provides a gloomy yet optimistic mood.

“Missing You” by Brandy, Tamia, Chaka Khan, & Gladys Knight

Song Year: 1996

“Missing You” is a heartfelt track about loss, yet it is also uplifting and hopeful. The song was adopted to promote “Set It Off,” a 1996 film, and became a top-ranking smash on the global charts.

The song's lyrics address a departed sister directly, describing her untimely and unexpected demise. The narrator continues to state that while she misses her sister dreadfully, she acknowledges that time is a healer.

“Can't Let Go” by Anthony Hamilton

Song Year: 2005

This romantic song is about loving someone unconditionally, despite the obstacles you face in life. While the song isn't an exclusive tribute to losing a loved one, its unlimited love theme is suitable for a funeral.

The tune depicts how love can beat all odds and encourages the bereaved that death isn't a barrier to love – you'll continue loving your loved ones even after they depart. 

“Missing You” by Diana Ross

Song Year: 1984

This song combines a special delivery by Diana Ross with gorgeous lyrics penned by Lionel Richie, putting together two of the finest soul and R&B voices.

The lyrics tell how both artists grieve their friend and label partner Marvin Gaye following his untimely death. The sorrowful piece offers intense melancholy that captures you with touching melodies.

“Sparrow” by Emeli Sandé

Song Year: 2019

“Sparrow” is Emeli's homage to someone who everyone idolizes. The song features a military drum roll production and Sandé's powerful vocals, enhancing it into a powerful and moving song.

The lyrics have a strong gospel flavor, honoring the death of fallen heroes who inspire Emeli to press on with her quest. It's a powerful song appropriate for a befitting send-off for a community leader.

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