Obviously he doesn't qualify for being "classic" yet, but I'm on an Akon spree on Youtube and thinking about it, he has to be without a doubt one of the most successful RnB artists of all time. This man was a hit MACHINE. Just reading this excerpt from his Wiki page is incredible.
He is the first solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts "twice". Akon has had four songs certified as 3x platinum, three songs certified as 2x platinum, more than ten songs certified as 1x platinum and more than ten songs certified as gold in digital sales. Akon has sung songs in many languages like Spanish, Hindi etc. He was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the #1 selling artists for master ringtones in the world.
Akon often sings hooks for other artists and is currently credited with over 300 guest appearances and more than 35 Billboard Hot 100 songs. He has worked with numerous performers such as Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Whitney Houston, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Gwen Stefani and many more artists. He has had five Grammy Awards nominations and has produced many hits for artists such as Lady Gaga, Colby O'Donis, Kardinal Offishall, Leona Lewis etc. Lady Gaga, T-Pain and many other artists who were given their chance at fame by Akon.
This man owned 04-08.