Tupac Amaru Shakur known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Shakur was born in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City but relocated to Los Angeles in 1988, by the time he released his debut album 2Pacalypse Now in 1991, he became a central figure in West Coast hip hop, introducing social issues in the genre at a time when gangsta rap was dominant in the mainstream. Shakur achieved further critical and commercial success with his follow-up albums Strictly 4 My N. I. G. G. A. Z... and Me Against the World. That year, after suffering legal troubles and a robbery and shooting, Shakur became involved in the growing East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry, his double-disc album, All Eyez on Me, released in 1996 became one of the best-selling albums in the United States. On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas; the Notorious B. I.
G. Shakur's friend turned rival, was at first considered a suspect, but was murdered in another drive-by shooting several months later. Five more albums have been released since his death. Outside music, Shakur gained considerable success as an actor, with his starring roles as Bishop in Juice, Lucky in Poetic Justice, Ezekiel in Gridlock'd, Jake in Gang Related, all garnering praise from critics. Shakur is one of the best-selling music artists of all time having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Much of Shakur's work has been noted for addressing contemporary social issues that plagued inner cities, he is considered a symbol of resistance and activism against inequality. Tupac Amaru Shakur was born on June 16, 1971, into an African-American family in the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City, his birth name was Lesane Parish Crooks. The following year, he was renamed after Túpac Amaru II, the 18th-century Peruvian revolutionary, executed after leading an indigenous uprising against Spanish rule.
His parents, Afeni Shakur and Billy Garland, were active members of the Black Panther Party in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Lesane was born a month after his mother was acquitted of more than 150 charges of "Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks" in the New York Panther 21 trial. Many people in Shakur's life were involved with the Black Liberation Army, his godfather, Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, a high-ranking Black Panther, had been convicted of murdering a school teacher during a 1968 robbery, although his sentence was overturned. His stepfather, Mutulu Shakur, spent four years at large on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, beginning in 1982. Mutulu was wanted for having helped his friend Assata Shakur, Tupac's godmother, to escape from a penitentiary in New Jersey in 1979. Mutulu was caught in 1986 and convicted and sentenced to prison for the 1981 robbery of a Brinks armored truck, during which two police officers and a guard were killed.
Shakur had an older stepbrother, Mopreme "Komani" Shakur, a half-sister, two years his junior. Mopreme performed in many of his recordings. In 1986, the family moved from New York to Maryland. After completing his second year at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Shakur transferred to the Baltimore School for the Arts. There he studied acting, poetry and ballet, he performed in the role of the Mouse King in the ballet The Nutcracker. Shakur, accompanied by one of his friends, Dana "Mouse" Smith, as his beatbox, won many rap competitions and was considered to be the best rapper in his school, he was remembered as one of the most popular kids in his school because of his sense of humor, superior rapping skills, ability to mix with all crowds. Shakur developed a close friendship with Jada Pinkett. In the documentary Tupac: Resurrection, Shakur says, "Jada is my heart, she will be my friend for my whole life." Pinkett Smith calls him "one of my best friends. He was like a brother, it was beyond friendship for us.
The type of relationship we had, you only get that once in a lifetime." A poem written by Shakur, titled "Jada", appears in his book, The Rose That Grew from Concrete, which includes a poem dedicated to Pinkett Smith called "The Tears in Cupid's Eyes." During his time in art school, Shakur became affiliated with the Baltimore Young Communist League USA. He began dating the daughter of the director of the local chapter of the Communist Party USA. In 1988, Shakur and his family moved from Baltimore to Marin City, California, a small unincorporated suburban community located 5 miles north of San Francisco, he attended Tamalpais High School in nearby Mill Valley. Shakur contributed to the school's drama department by performing in several productions. In an English class, Shakur wrote a paper, "Conquering All Obstacles," in which he said: our raps, not the sorry story raps everyone is so tired of, they are about. Our goal is have people relate to our raps, making it easier to see what is happening out there.
More important, what we may do to better our world. He began attending the poetry classes of Leila Steinberg in 1989; that same year, Steinberg organized a concert with Shakur's group, "Strictly Dope".
Pony (Ginuwine song)
"Pony" is the debut single of American singer Ginuwine, released as a single from his first LP Ginuwine... The Bachelor in 1996. Ginuwine co-wrote the song with Swing Mob associates Static Timbaland. Pony was producer Timbaland's breakthrough as a producer; the song is noted for its chorus. Timbaland's production was unique among R&B releases of the day: "Pony"'s instrumentation features a start-stop rhythm pattern similar to drum and bass music, a bassline and melody formed by vocoded vocal samples, a cartoon slide whistle. Along with his concurrent work for Aaliyah's One in a Million LP, "Pony" and Ginuwine...the Bachelor marked the emergence of Timbaland as a successful R&B producer. The song is sampled in Rihanna's "Jump", featured on her album, Unapologetic; the song experienced a resurgence in popularity after being featured in the 2012 film Magic Mike, its 2015 sequel Magic Mike XXL. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for two weeks from November 16, 1996 to November 30, 1996, reached number six on Billboard's Hot 100 on November 23, 1996.
The song received an A– from Entertainment Weekly, who said it had "irresistible funk grooves lope at an easy gait, seducing the listener with a velvety tenor and belching synthesizer hook". The official music video for the album version of the song was directed by Michael Lucero; the music video for the remix version of the song was directed by Christopher Erskin. The video depicts Ginuwine and his crew entering a Western bar as strangers and gaining the favor of the craggly cowboy-patrons; the video was filmed at the Cowboy Palace saloon in California. A video for the "Ride It" Mix was released; the video is shot in a factory. European CD maxi single"Pony" – 5:25 "Pony" – 5:20 "Pony" – 5:05 "Pony" – 4:32 "Pony" – 4:29 "Pony" – 4:31US and Australian single"Pony" – 5:25 "Pony" – 5:20 "Pony" – 5:18 "Pony" – 3:48 British house music duo Tough Love collaborated with Ginuwine and revamped the song, released on 7 August 2015 as their second single. In 2008, the California rock band Far made a rock version cover of the song under the pseudonym'Hot Little Pony' in connection with their reunion the same year.
The cover reached heavy rotation on the biggest modern rock radio stations on the West coast. R&B number-one hits of 1996 "Pony" at AllMusic Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
I Believe I Can Fly
"I Believe I Can Fly" is a 1996 song written and performed by American singer R. Kelly, from the soundtrack to the 1996 film Space Jam, it was released on November 26, 1996, was included on Kelly's 1998 album R. In early 1997, "I Believe I Can Fly" reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Although Kelly has had two number one songs on the pop chart, "I Believe I Can Fly" is his most successful single, it reached the number-one spot of the Billboard R&B Singles Chart and remained there for six non-consecutive weeks, keeping "Un-Break My Heart" from the top position of that chart for four of those weeks. "I Believe I Can Fly" topped the charts in eight countries, has won three Grammy Awards, was ranked number 406 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004. The music video was directed by Kelly with Hype Williams and designed by visual artist and designer Ron Norsworthy. Produced and arranged by R. Kelly Recorded by Stephen George at Battery Studios, Chicago Assistant recording engineers: Chris Brickley and Rick Behrens String Orchestra recorded by Carl Robinson at United Sound Systems – Studio A, Detroit Mixed by R. Kelly and Stephen George at Chicago Recording Co.
Assistant mix engineer: Ron Lowe Programmed by R. Kelly and Stephen George Lead vocals: R. Kelly Background vocals: The Luv Club Choir, directed by Percy Bady Keyboard: Percy Bady Strings: Paul Riser and The Motown Romance Orchestra, led by Hart Hollman Executive producer: Barry Hankerson In 2003, punk rock band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covered the song for their album Take a Break. American singer William Hung recorded this song for his 2004 album Inspiration. Saxophonist Marion Meadows covered the song from the album Dressed to Chill. American singer and actress Patti Labelle sang the chorus of the song on her 1998 live album Live One Night Only as an addition to her signature tune "Over the Rainbow". American singer and actress Jessica Simpson sang the song on her DreamChaser Tour in 2001; the song has been covered by Jane McDonald, Irene Reid, Etta James, Yolanda Adams, Ruth Brown, James Ingram, Ronan Keating, Bianca Ryan, of Woe, Is Me Tyler Carter. American Idol candidates Katharine McPhee, Anwar Robinson, Aaron Kelly, Curtis Finch Jr. and Jacob Lusk all performed the song in different seasons of the TV show.
Singer Yolanda Adams performed the song at the Ronald McDonald Concert for World Children's Day in 2003. The song was covered by Jermaine Paul on season 2 of The Voice; the song was covered by Tim Olstad on season 3 of The X Factor. The song was covered by Delvin Choice on season 6 of The Voice; the song has been covered live by Faith No More in numerous tours to segue into other songs. The song has been covered live by James Carter's Organ Trio on Out of Nowhere. Other than appearing on the soundtrack for the film Space Jam, "I Believe I Can Fly" was performed by the school band in the movie Drumline during the high school graduation ceremony of Devon Miles. In Ice Age: The Meltdown, Crash the possum sings the song after Manny catapults him with a tree before he crashes into another. In the film Good Boy!, Wilson sings the song while diving into a pool. In Season 1, Episode 5 of the TV Series Da Ali G Show, Ali G performs the song during the opening skit. In Fun with Dick and Jane, Jim Carrey sings along with the song.
This song appeared on the first American season of The X Factor, where R. Kelly performed "I Believe I Can Fly" for the first time as a duet with the eventual winner of the show Melanie Amaro; this song was performed on The Voice as the last solo song for the second season's winner Jermaine Paul. American musical TV series Glee, performed a version of the song in episode fourteen of season three, "On My Way", it is a mash-up track with the song "Fly" by Nicki Minaj featuring Rihanna. In The Hangover Part III, Leslie Chow sings a 12-second portion of the song, while parachuting through Las Vegas. In Red Velvet's Level Up Project, Wendy Shon sang the chorus while parasailing and riding on a speed boat in Pattaya, Thailand, she sang the chorus in Level Up Project 2 in 2017-2018 and in Battle Trip's Episode 103 while paragliding in Krems an der Donau, Austria. Kelly performed his song at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards. In The TP-2.com Tour, Kelly performed a 10-minute long remix of "I Believe I Can Fly," which included dialogue from a priest, Kelly's mother, God as characters.
The remix was featured on the bootleg release Loveless. STS-122 crew heard this song on flight day 10. Since its release, it has become associated with the NBA, most notably with Michael Jordan; the song played at the conclusion of NBC's broadcast of the 1997 NBA Finals. In addition to the NBA, the song found use at other sporting events, most notably at Major League Baseball's New York Yankees home games during their four consecutive World Series runs from 1998 to 2001, the first three of which they won. A version of the song, recorded by the Halifax community choir, was used as the backing track to a 2012 UK TV advertisement for the Halifax Bank. On October 13, 2012, when the Space Shuttle Endeavour was being transferred from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center through the streets of Los Angeles, the recording was played as the shuttle left The Forum, the song was performed live by James Ingram that day at Debbie Allen's live show celebrating the Endeavour's arrival at the corner of Crenshaw Blvd and Martin Luther King Blvd.
(The shuttle was delayed over five hours in arriving there.
Toni Michelle Braxton is an American singer, pianist, record producer, television personality, philanthropist. She began performing with her sisters in a family group known as The Braxtons in the late 1980s, who were signed to Arista Records. Braxton attracted the attention of producers Antonio "L. A." Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds recording a series of songs for them before being signed to their Arista-distributed imprint, LaFace Records. Her self-titled debut studio album reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States, selling 10 million copies worldwide and seeing the international success of the singles "Another Sad Love Song" and "Breathe Again"; the album brought Braxton three Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist. Secrets, Braxton's second studio album, saw continued commercial success, selling 15 million copies and generating the singles "You're Makin' Me High" and "Un-Break My Heart", which became her first singles to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.
Secrets brought Braxton an additional two Grammy Awards, for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. This is only the 2nd time in Grammy history that a female artist has won both Pop & R&B Vocal Performance awards at the same ceremony, her third studio album, The Heat, opened at number 2 on the Billboard 200 and saw the success of its lead single, "He Wasn't Man Enough", which reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and brought Braxton her sixth Grammy Award, for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Braxton's subsequent studio albums, More Than a Woman and Pulse, were released amid contractual disputes and health issues, including a lawsuit against her former manager for mismanaging her relationship with Arista Records. In 2014, Braxton and longtime collaborator Babyface released a duet album entitled Love, Marriage & Divorce, which earned the duo an additional Grammy Award for Best R&B Album in 2015. In 2018, Braxton released Cigarettes; the album earned Braxton three Grammy Award nominations: Best R&B Album, Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song for the single "Long as I Live".
Throughout her career, Braxton has sold over 67 million records, including 41 million albums worldwide. She has won seven Grammy Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, seven American Music Awards, among numerous other accolades. Aside from her success in music, Braxton has become a television executive producer and personality, being involved in the seventh season of the reality competition series Dancing with the Stars and in a reality series entitled Braxton Family Values, where Braxton is executive producer and star since 2011 on We TV. Braxton is an executive producer of its spin-off, starring her younger sister, Tamar & Vince. In 2011, Braxton was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Toni Michelle Braxton was born in Maryland, her father, Michael Conrad Braxton Sr. was a Methodist clergyman and power company worker, her mother, Evelyn Jackson, a native of South Carolina, was a former opera singer and cosmetologist, as well as a pastor. Braxton's maternal grandfather was a pastor. Braxton is the eldest of six siblings.
She has a younger brother Michael Jr. and four younger sisters Traci, Towanda and Tamar. They were raised in a strict religious household, Braxton's first performing experience was singing in her church choir. Braxton attended Bowie State University to obtain a teaching degree, but decided to sing professionally after she was discovered by William E. Pettaway Jr. who heard her singing to herself while pumping gas. On her appearance May 24, 2014 broadcast of NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, she stated that she was not singing to herself at the gas station. Pettaway, working as an attendant at the Annapolis service station where she was refueling, recognized her from local performances and introduced himself, saying he wanted to produce her. Although skeptical, Braxton decided in her words, "take a chance" and accepted. Braxton and her four sisters began performing as The Braxtons in the late 1980s and were signed to Arista Records in 1989, their first single, "Good Life", was released in 1990.
Though the song was not successful, it attracted the attention of Antonio "L. A." Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. Reid and Babyface recruited her to record a demo of "Love Shoulda Brought You Home", a song that they had written for Anita Baker for the soundtrack of Eddie Murphy's film, Boomerang. Baker, pregnant at the time, did not record the song but suggested, that Braxton record it, her recording was included on the soundtrack along with "Give U My Heart", a duet by Braxton and Babyface. Braxton, was signed to Reid and Edmonds' Arista-distributed imprint, LaFace Records, began recording her solo debut album. On July 13, 1993, LaFace Records released Toni Braxton; the album, produced by Reid and Daryl Simmons, peaked at number one on the U. S. Billboard 200 albums chart; the first single, "Another Sad Love Song", peaked at number seven and number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B Singles charts respectively. The song was the first #1 song on the newly created Adult R&B Charts. Billboard created the chart in September 1993.
The album's second single, "Breathe Again", peaked in the top five of both the Hot 100 and R&B singles charts and no 2 in the UK. More singles from Toni Braxton were released in 1994, including "You Mean the World to Me", "Seven Whole Days", "I Belong to You/Ho
Aaliyah Dana Haughton was an American singer and model. Born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in Detroit, she first gained recognition at the age of 10, when she appeared on the television show Star Search and performed in concert alongside Gladys Knight. At the age of 12, Aaliyah signed with Jive Records and her uncle Barry Hankerson's Blackground Records. Hankerson introduced her to R. Kelly, who became her mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer of her debut album, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number; the album sold 3 million copies in the United States and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. After facing allegations of an illegal marriage with Kelly, Aaliyah ended her contract with Jive and signed with Atlantic Records. Aaliyah worked with record producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott for her second album, One in a Million, which sold 3 million copies in the United States and more than 8 million copies worldwide. In 2000, Aaliyah appeared in Romeo Must Die.
She contributed to the film's soundtrack, which spawned the single "Try Again". The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 on airplay, making Aaliyah the first artist in Billboard history to achieve this goal. "Try Again" earned Aaliyah a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocalist. After completing Romeo Must Die, Aaliyah filmed her role in Queen of the Damned, released her self-titled third and final studio album in 2001. On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah and eight others were killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas after filming the music video for the single "Rock the Boat"; the pilot, Luis Morales III, was unlicensed at the time of the accident and toxicology tests revealed that he had traces of cocaine and alcohol in his system. Aaliyah's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Blackhawk International Airways, settled out of court. Aaliyah's music continued to achieve commercial success with several posthumous releases, has sold an estimated 24 to 32 million albums worldwide, she has been credited for helping redefine contemporary R&B, pop and hip hop, earning her the nicknames the "Princess of R&B" and "Queen of Urban Pop".
Billboard lists her as the tenth most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years, the 27th most successful in history. Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on January 16, 1979, in Brooklyn, New York, was the younger child of Diane and Michael "Miguel" Haughton, she was of African-American descent, had Native American heritage from a grandmother. Her name has been described as a female version of the Arabic "Ali", but the original Jewish name "Aliya" is derived from the Hebrew word "aliyah", meaning "highest, most exalted one, the best." The singer was fond of her Semitic name, calling it "beautiful" and asserting she was "very proud of it" and strove to live up to her name every day. Aaliyah's mother enrolled Aaliyah in voice lessons at an early age, she started performing at weddings, church charity events. When Aaliyah was five years old, her family moved to Detroit, where she was reared along with her older brother, Rashad, she attended a Catholic school, Gesu Elementary, where in first grade she was cast in the stage play Annie, which inspired her to become an entertainer.
In Detroit, her father began working in the warehouse business, one of his brother-in-law Barry Hankerson's widening interests. Her mother raised Aaliyah and her brother. Throughout Aaliyah’s life, she had a good relationship with Rashad, who recalled Aaliyah having a beautiful voice as a child. Aaliyah's family was close due to the struggles of her grandparents and when they moved to Detroit, the Hankersons were ready to take them in if necessary; these same bonds led under the Blackground Records label. Aaliyah's mother was a vocalist, her uncle, Barry Hankerson, was an entertainment lawyer, married to Gladys Knight; as a child, Aaliyah traveled with Knight and worked with an agent in New York to audition for commercials and television programs, including Family Matters. Aaliyah chose to begin auditioning, her mother made the decision to drop her surname. She auditioned at age 11 appeared in concerts alongside Knight, she had several pet animals during her childhood, including ducks and iguanas.
Her cousin Jomo had a pet alligator, which Aaliyah felt was too much, remarking, "that was something I wasn't going to stroke."Her grandmother died in 1991. Years after her death, Aaliyah said her grandmother supported everyone in the family and always wanted to hear her sing, as well as admitting that she "spoiled" her and her brother Rashad, she enjoyed Aaliyah's singing and would have Aaliyah to sing for her. Aaliyah said. Aaliyah's hands reminded her of her aunt, who died when she was young and whom Aaliyah remembered as an "amazingly beautiful woman"; when she was growing up, Aaliyah attended Detroit schools and believed she was well-liked, but got teased for her short stature. She grew to love her height, her mother would tell her to be happy that she compliment her. Other children disliked Aaliyah. "You always have to deal with people who are jealous, but there were so few it didn't matter. The majority of kids supported me, wonderful; when it comes to dealing with negative people, I just let it out the other.
Those people were invisible to me." In her adult life, she considered herself small. She had "learned to
Mary J. Blige
Mary Jane Blige is an American singer and actress. She started her career as a backing singer on Uptown Records in 1989, she has released 13 studio albums. Blige has sold over 80 million records, has won nine Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards and has received three Golden Globe Award nominations, including one for her supporting role in the film Mudbound and another for its second original song "Mighty River" for Mudbound. In 1992, Blige released her first album, What's the 411?. Her 1994 album My Life is among Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, Time magazine's All-Time 100 Albums, she received a Legends Award at the World Music Awards in 2006, the Voice of Music Award from ASCAP in 2007. As of 2018, Blige has sold 80 million records worldwide. Billboard ranked Blige as the most successful female R&B/Hip-Hop artist of the past 25 years. In 2017, Billboard magazine named her 2006 song "Be Without You" as the most successful R&B/Hip-Hop song of all time, as it spent an unparalleled 15 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and over 75 weeks on the chart.
In 2011, VH1 ranked Blige as the 80th greatest artist of all time. Ln 2012, VH1 ranked Blige at number 9 in "The 100 Greatest Women in Music" list. Blige was born on January 11, 1971 in New York City, in the borough of The Bronx, but grew up in Savannah, Georgia, she and her family moved back to New York and resided in the Schlobohm Housing Projects, located in Yonkers, New York. She was born to mother Cora, a nurse, father Thomas Blige, a Jazz musician, she is the second of three children, she has an older sister LaTonya Blige-DaCosta, brother, Bruce Miller. The family subsisted on her mother's earnings as a nurse after her father left the family in the mid-1970s, the former an alcoholic and the latter a Vietnam War veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Blige spent her early years in Richmond Hill, where she sang in a Pentecostal church. At the age of five, she was molested by a family friend, as a teenager she endured years of sexual harassment from peers of both sexes, she taught herself boxing in an effort to defend and protect herself.
She would turn to alcohol and promiscuous sex to try and numb the pain. Blige moved to Schlobohm Houses in Yonkers, New York north of New York City, where she lived with her mother and older sister. Blige dropped out of high school in her junior year. Pursuing a musical career, Blige spent a short time in a Yonkers band named Pride with band drummer Eddie D'Aprile. In early 1988, she recorded an impromptu cover of Anita Baker's "Caught Up in the Rapture" at a recording booth in the Galleria Mall in White Plains, New York, her mother's boyfriend at the time played the cassette for Jeff Redd, a recording artist and A&R runner for Uptown Records. Redd sent it to the CEO of the label, Andre Harrell. Harrell met with Blige and in 1989 she was signed to the label as a backup vocalist for artists such as Father MC, becoming the company's youngest and first female artist. After being signed to Uptown, Blige began working with record producer Sean Combs known as Puff Daddy, he produced a majority of the album.
The title, What's the 411?, derived from Blige's past occupation as a 4-1-1 operator. "What's the 411" established Blige as a dynamic storyteller whose performances of love narrative drew upon both her musical influences and her lived experiences as a hip-hop-generation woman. The music was described as "revelatory on a frequent basis". Blige was noted for having a "tough girl persona and streetwise lyrics". On July 28, 1992, Uptown/MCA Records released What's the 411?, to positive reviews from critics. What's the 411? Peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 and topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, it peaked at number 53 on the UK Albums Chart. It was certified three times Platinum by the RIAA. According to Entertainment Weekly's Dave DiMartino, with the record's commercial success and Blige's "powerful, soulful voice and hip-hop attitude", she "solidly connected with an audience that has never seen a woman do new jack swing but loves it just the same". According to Dave McAleer, Blige became the most successful new female R&B artist of 1992 in the United States.
What's the 411? Earned her two Soul Train Music Awards in 1993: Best New R&B Artist and Best R&B Album, Female, it was voted the year's 30th best album in the Pazz & Jop—an annual poll of American critics nationwide, published by The Village Voice. By August 2010, the album had sold 3,318,000 copies in the US. What's the 411? has since been viewed by critics as one of the 1990s' most important records. Blige's combination of vocals over a hip hop beat proved influential in contemporary R&B. With the album, she was dubbed the reigning "Queen of Hip Hop Soul" The album's success spun off What's the 411? Remix, a remix album released in December, used to extend the life of the What's the 411? singles on the radio into 1994, as Blige recorded her follow-up album. With combined sales of more than 5 million albums and singles from her debut album, Blige was the best selling female artist on the Uptown label. Following the success of her debut album and a remixed version in 1993, Blige went into the recording studio in the winter of 1993 to record her second album, My Life.
The album was a breakthrough for Blige, who at this point was in a clinical depression
I Can't Sleep Baby (If I)
"I Can't Sleep Baby" is an R&B single by singer R. Kelly, from his 1995 eponymous album; the song spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart. Kelly wrote this song after he split from his girlfriend at that time, whom he was in love with. In 2010, Kelly said, he ranked this song as one of his favorites. In his autobiography, Kelly states that he intended the song to be recorded by Toni Braxton. However, Braxton was unhappy about the fact that they would not be writing together, she disagreed with Kelly over how the melody would be sung, they agreed to disagree, Kelly recorded the song himself. The music video for both the original and the remix is directed by Hype Williams; the music video for the original song opens with R. Kelly, he is shown singing outside a house and inside the house. He drives to a phone booth. Wearing a fur coat, he sees a helicopter, boards it, it flies away. Puff Daddy features on the video of the remix. R. Kelly does not perform this song despite its huge success; the first time he performed this song was at "The Down Low Top Secret Tour" in 1996.
The song was number one on the R&B/hip hop charts for two weeks and peaked at number five on the Pop Chart. In 2011, Gospel singer Genita Pugh sampled this song for her single "Can't Live" on her album My Purpose. In 2017, American hip hop rapper PnB Rock sampled this song for his song "Hanging Up My Jersey" on his album GTTM: Goin Thru the Motions. R&B number-one hits of 1996