The name Doo-wop is given to a style of vocal-based rhythm and blues music that developed in African American communities in the 1940s and achieved mainstream popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s. It emerged from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Newark, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and areas of greater Los Angeles including El Monte and Compton. Built upon vocal harmony, doo-wop was one of the most mainstream, pop-oriented R&B styles of the time.
As a musical genre, Doo-wop is a type of vocal group harmony with the musical qualities of many vocal parts, nonsense syllables, a simple beat, little or no instrumentation, and simple music and lyrics. It is ensemble singing with single artists appearing with a backing group. Solo billing usually implies that the individual is more prominent in the musical arrangement.