Tuesday, April 24, 2012

RoyalKev's On Blast: 100 Most Iconic Eras Since 1990 (Women)

There are many women who've landed a number one single or have a few hits they're remembered by, but few have a career-defining era.  These types of eras change and influence music -- it becomes a template. This list was formed to praise only the most iconic women with the most iconic eras since 1990. Each era selected for these artists made the list on its own merit and significance.  No special consideration was given to any particular artist, despite their status.  Each era was individually selected based on how truly outstanding that moment in time was.  What we did weigh was how their music aged, what impact was felt, how inspiring the era was, as well as successful (in sales, which was a main factor in, perhaps, 85% of these cases). Albums that were released after 2005 did get some consideration, since music sales have seen a drastic decline.

You can't make this kind of list without toiling over it for a while. These accomplished women seem to have more of a competitive edge than their male counterparts. Check out the list which spans through several decades.

*Now you can also check out our 100 Most Iconic Men List (here)

100. 702 - 702 (Released June 15, 1999)

702 was an R&B trio with lots of attitude.  Their 3rd self-titled album dispayed just that and a lot more. It produced their biggest hit, 'Where My Girls At' (peaking at #4).  The album went platinum.

 99. Mya - Mya (Released April 21, 1998)

Mya entered the music scene, ready to make a big impression.  Mya earned 2 top 5 hits on the Billboard R&B charts with 'It's All About Me' (#2) and 'Movin On' (#4) from her self-titled debut album. The album went platinum-plus.

Cited Music Influence: Janet jackson, Sade, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Chaka Khan, Gregory Hines

98. Keyshia Cole - Just Like You (Released September 25, 2007)

Keyshia Cole came pretty hard on her 2nd album, 'Just Like You'.  It featured 3 #1 Billboard R&B singles ( 'Let It Go', ' I Remember' and 'Heaven Sent').  The album sold almost 2 million copies in the U.S. 

Cited Music Influence: Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Anita Baker

97. Fantasia - Free Yourself (Released November 23, 2004) 

American Idol winner, Fantasia was certainly a household name by the time she released her debut album, 'Free Yourself '.  Fantasia scored 2 top 5 R&B hits. 'Truth Is' went as high as #2 and 'Free Yourself ' peaked at #3. 

Cited Music Influence: Aretha Franklin

96. Ciara - Ciara: The Evolution (Released 5, 2006)

Ciara was riding high on her sophomore album, 'Ciara: The Evolution'.  The releases are some of Ciara's best work ('Get Up', 'Like A Boy' and the platinum single, 'Promise'). The album sold 2 copies million worldwide.

Cited Music Influence: Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston

95. India Aire - Acoustic Soul (Released March 27, 2001)

India Aire's debut album, 'Acoustic Soul' released memberable hits such as: 'Video', 'Brown Skin' and 'Ready For Love'. The album sold over 2 million copies in the U.S.  It was nominated for 2 Grammy awards (Album of the Year and Best R&B Album) in 2002.

Cited Music Influence: Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack

94. Eve - Let There Be Eve... Ruff Ryders' First Lady (Released September 14, 1999)

Eve's debut album, 'Let There Be Eve... Ruff Rider's First Lady' performed well for this female rapper. She obtained 1 top 10 R&B hit single with 'Gotta Man' (#10).  Her follow-up single, 'Love Is Blind' peaked at #11 on that same chart.

93. Annie Lenox - Diva (Released April 1, 1992)

Scottish Pop/Rock singer, Annie Lennox (who was a former member of the 80's synthpop duo, Eurythmics) made a big splash in 1992.  Her 'Diva' album produced some of her most loved songs ('Walking On Broken Glass' and 'Why'). The album sold over 2 million copies in the U.S.

92. Anita Baker - Rhythm of Love (Released August 23, 1994)

Grammy award winning singer, Anita Baker, had a solid era with her 5th album, 'Rhythm of Love'.  She saw continued success on the R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart.  Her first 2 singles ('Body and Soul' and 'I Apologize') both placed inside the top 10.  The album sold over 2 million copies in the U.S.

91. Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday (Released November 19, 2010)

Nicki Minaj may be the new girl on the block, but she's making quite a name for herself.  Her debut album, "Pink Friday" sold over 3 million worldwide (it sold almost 2 million in the U.S.). She has 2 platinum singles ('Your Love' and 'Moment for Life') that have peaked at #1 on Billboard's Rap Songs chart. Her biggest single, 'Super Bass' peaked at #3 on Billboard's Hot100 and have sold over 3 million. Her wrap up single, 'Fly' (featuring Rihanna) also sold over a million copies and peaked inside the top 20 on the Hot100.

90. Missy Elliott - Under Construction (Released November 12, 2002)

They say good things come to those who wait.  Missy Elliott's 4th album, 'Under Construction' was her biggest to date.  Missy peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot100 with her first single 'Work It'. The single went all the way to the top of the R&B /Hip-Hop Songs chart for 5 weeks (she hasn't had one since 1999's 'Hot Boyz').  Her follow-up single ('Gossip Folks') performed well too, it landed at #8 on the main singles chart. The album sold over 2 million in the U.S.

89. Lil Kim - Hardcore (Released November 12, 1996)

Lil Kim was the Queen of Raunch. She broke some barriers for women that wanted to express their sexuality candidly with a raw and in-your-face kind of style.  Her debut album, 'Hardcore' scored Kim her first platinum album.  Her biggest hits off the album both peaked at #6 on the Billboard main singles' chart -- 'Crush on You' and the remixed version for 'Not Tonight' featuring Da Brat, Missy Elliott, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Angie Martinez.

Cited Music Influence: MC Lyte and Lady of Rage

88. Jojo - Jojo (Released June 22, 2004)

Jojo was the little girl with the big voice. Her self-titled debut project was released when she was only 13 years old.  Her first single, 'Leave (Get Out)' went to #1 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart. The album sold over 3 million copies worldwide.  Jojo became an instant star.

Cited Music Influence: Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Etta James, George Benson, Beyonce

87. Vanessa Williams - Comfort Zone (Released August 20, 1991)

Vanessa Williams was the former Miss America that became a hot music sensation. It was plain to see that the diva "arrived" during her 'Comfort Zone' era.  Her first single landed at #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs  chart.  It was a great start. She did even better with her third single (and most successful of her career), 'Save The Best For Last', which reached #1 and spent 5 weeks on the Hot100.

86. SWV - It's About Time (Released October 27, 1992)

SWV was an active girl group in the 90's that were big on the R&B scene.  Their debut album, 'It's About Time' saw them chart  a host of hits on the Billbaord main singles chart. 'I'm  So Into You' was their second single that peaked at #6. Their third single, 'Weak' topped the Hot100 for 2 weeks and  their fourth single, 'Right/Here (Human Nature)' peaked at #2. These girls were definitely on top of their game.

Cited Music Influence: Clark sisters, Patti Labelle


85. Monica - The Boy Is Mine (Released July 14, 1998)

Monica's 2nd album was the most successful of her career. The album spawned 3 #1 singles ('The First Night', 'Angel of Mine' and the 11 week Hot100 chart topper, 'The Boy Is Mine' featuring Brandy).  'The Boy is Mine' earned her a Grammy win for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.  Monica's album sold over 3 million copies in the U.S.

Cited Music Influence: Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Rachelle Ferrell

84. TLC - Oooooooh ...On the TLC Tip - (Released February 25, 1992)

TLC's debut album, 'Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip' did quite well for them. The group singles earned them a string of top 10 hits on the main singles chart. 'Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg' peaked at #6, 'Baby, Baby, Baby' went as high as #2 and 'What About Your Friends' #7.  This set the pace early for the world domination by the trio that would come later in their careers. 

Cited Music Influence: Janet Jackson, Prince

83. Aaliyah - One in a Million (Released August 27, 1996)

Aaliyah's 'One in a Million' was the young diva's sophomore album. It charted 2 #1's on the Billboard R&B/ Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks chart (with 'If Your Girl Only Knew' and 'One in a Million').  The album went three times platinum in the U.S.

Cited Music Influence: Janet Jackson, En Vogue, Michael Jackson, Sade, Prince

82. Madonna - Bedtime Stories (Released October 25, 1994)

Madonna was brave and fearless during her 'Bedtime Sories' era.  She covered racy topics such as sex, and was at her most artistic. The album produced 2 top 5 Hot100 hits, 'Secret' peaked at #3 and 'Take a Bow' spent 7 weeks at #1. The album sold over 6 million worldwide.

81. Toni Braxton - The Heat (Released April 25, 2000)

Toni Braxton's third album, 'The Heat' was another multi-platinum selling album for the diva. It sold over 6 million copies worldwide. Her debut single from the album, 'He Wasn't Man Enough For Me' peaked at #2 (which won Braxton a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance).

80. Sinead O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got (Released March 20, 1990)  

Irish recording artist, Sinead O'Connor took over the airways with her moving ballad 'Nothing Compares To You' (which was a song written by Prince).  It spent 5 weeks on top of the Billboard main singles' chart. It was a worldwide hit topping the charts in Ireland, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and many more countries. The album, 'I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got' was nominated for four Grammy awards and won for Best Alternative Music Performance. O'Connor refused to accept the nominations and the award.

79. Jennifer Lopez - This is Me... Then  (Released November 19, 2002)

Jlo was hitting hard with her 3rd studio album, 'This is Me... Then'.  Her first single peaked at #3 ( 'Jenny From The Block' featuring Styles P and Jadakiss), which was followed-up by her fifth #1 Billboard Hot100 hit, 'All I Have' (featuring LL Cool J).  

Cited Music Influence: Selena, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson

78. Mary J. Blige - My Life (Released November 29, 1994) 

Mary J. Blige just about single-handedly put urban Hip-Hop Soul music on the map.  'My Life' is one of many-a-Mary-fan most treasured albums by Blige.  Mary released 'Be Happy', 'You Bring Me Joy', 'Mary Jane (All Night Long)' and 'I'm Going Down' from 'My Life' - which help see it accumulate 3 million in U.S. album sales. It was also Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Album of the Year.

77. Ciara - Goodies (Released September 28, 2004) 

Ciara made a big splash with her debut album, 'Goodies'.  She was hailed as the princess of 'Crunk&B'.  Her first single, 'Goodies' (featuring Petey Pablo) went on to become a smash hit Hot100 #1 single for 7 weeks. Her follow-up #2 hits on that chart '1,2 Step' (featuring Missy Elliott) and 'Oh' (featuring Ludacris) went platnium just like her debut. The album sold 3 million copies in the U.S.

Cited Music Influence: Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston

76. Mary J. Blige - What's The 411? (Released July 28, 1992) 

Mary J. Blige earned the titled of Queen of Hip-Hop Soul after delivering her debut, ''What's The 411?'.  It combined elements of Hip-hop music and Soul.  It was really the first of its kind.  Mary's first two R&B #1's ('You Remind Me' and 'Real Love') pushed the album to move more than 3 million units in the U.S.

75. Ashanti - Ashanti - (April 2, 2002)

Ashanti's self-titled debut album was hugely successful.  It enetered the Billboard 200 albums' chart at #1, selling over 503k in its first week (the highest first week sum by a new female artist at the time).  Her first single, 'Foolish' was #1 on the Billboard Hot100 and R&B songs chart for 10 weeks.  Her follow-up single, 'Happy' became a top 10 hit (peaking at #8).  The album sold over 6 million worldwide.

Cited Music Influence: Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Prince, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Mary J. Blige

74. Jennifer Lopez - On The 6 (Released June 1, 1999)

Jennifer Lopez album debut, 'On The 6' allowed for her to make the transition from movie star into pop music sensation.  The debut single, 'If You Had My Love' topped the main singles' chart for 5 weeks.  Lopez also managed to get a top 10 with her 3rd single, 'Waiting For Tonight' (#8).

Cited Music Influence: Selena, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson

73. Whitney Houston - The Preacher's Wife Soundtrack (Released November 27, 1996) 

Whitney Houston, at the height of her fame (post Bodyguard) released her 'Preacher's Wife' soundtrack (to the 1996 film of the same name), taking things back to her gospel roots.  The album became the biggest selling gospel album of all time, selling over 6 million copies worldwide.  Its biggest hit, 'I Believe in you and Me' peaked at #3.

72. Erykah Badu - Baduizm (Released February 11, 1997)

Erykah Badu's Neo Soul takeover took off in the late 90's, with her debut album, 'Baduizm'.  'On and On', Next Lifetime' and 'Otherside of the Game' are a handful of singles that allowed this eccentric headwrapping diva to see her album go triple platinum.  Erykah won an American Music Award for Favorite R&B Soul or Rap New Artist, 2 Grammys for R&B Album and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (for 'On and On') and several other high profile awards around this time. 

71. Mary J. Blige - No More Drama (Released August 28, 2001) 

Mary J Blige fifth studio album, 'No More Drama' was the first to produce a #1 single on the Billboard Hot100 for Blige. Her single, 'Family Affair' topped the main singles' chart for 6 weeks.  Mary J Blige won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance Female (for 'He Think I Don't Know), which was on the re-release.

70. Mary J Blige - The Breakthrough (Released December 20, 2005)

In December 2005, Mary J Blige had one of her biggest music breakthrough's of her career, with her 7th studio album, 'The Breakthrough'.  Its first week saw sales of over 729k (which was the 2nd highest total, behind Alcia Keys', 'As I Am').  Her biggest hit off the album, 'Be Without You' peaked at #3.  The album sold over 7 million copies worldwide.

69. Susan Boyle - I Dreamed a Dream (Released November 23, 2009)

Scottish singer, Susan Boyle, appeared on the TV programme Britian's Got Talent singing 'I Dreamed a Dream' by Les Miserables.  Global interest in Boyle was triggered by the contrast between her powerful mezzo-soprano and her plain appearance on stage. Fast forward a few months later to the release of  her 2009 debut album, 'I Dreamed a Dream' and you'll find that Boyle became a big music success story.  Her album remains Britian's biggest selling album to date.  In the U.S. Boyle's album came in at #1 with 701k in its opening frame.  It became the highest debut by a new solo act (beating out Eminem's Relapse which sold 608K).  It was the 2nd biggest album of 2009 selling 3.1 million, (behind Taylor Swift's, 'Fearless' which sold 3.2 million).

68. Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster (Released November 18, 2009)

After Lady Gaga's big success with her debut album, 'The Fame', she released 'The Fame Monster' (which was an EP containing only 8 songs that Gaga initailly planned to use on a re-release of 'The Fame').  Lady Gaga churned out 3 top 5 Billboard hits with her signature song, 'Bad Romance' (#2), 'Telephone' featuring Beyonce (#3) and 'Alejandro'(#5).  Lady Gaga's 'The Fame Monster' won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album.

Cited Music Influence: David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Queen

67. Katy Perry - Teenage Dream (Released August 24, 2010)

Katy Perry's 'Teenage Dream' is the singer's sophomore set.  Perry has tied with Michael Jackson for the record with the artist earning the most #1 songs on Billboard's Hot100 chart from one album.  Katy has 5 from 'Teenage Dream' ( including 'California Gurls', 'Teenage Dream', 'Firework', 'ET' and 'Last Friday Night').  The album's last single,'The One That Got Away' stalled at #3.  Don't feel sorry for Katy, her re-release of the album, 'Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection' snagged the diva her last #1 to date ('Part of Me').

Cited Music Influence: Alanis Morissette, Freddie Mercury(Queen), Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Pat Benatar

 66. Brandy - Brandy (Released September 27, 1994)

Brandy's self-titled debut album instantly made the teenage diva a hot commidity. At just 15, Brandy burst on to the scene with a slew of top 10 Billboard Hot100 hits: 'I Wanna Be Down' (#6), 'Baby' (#4) and 'Brokenhearted' (#9).  Her album quickly went 4x platinum in the U.S.  She won 4 Billboard Awards (including wins for Best New R&B Artist and Best R&B Artist).

Cited Music Influence: Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Enya, The Clark Sisters, Mariah Carey

65. Melissa Etheridge - Yes I Am (Released September 1, 1993)

In 1993, Melissa Etheridge ruled with her 'Yes I Am' album.  It featured a rock ballad song that she's noted for, 'Come To My Window'; however, her biggest hit was her top 10, 'I'm the Only One' (which peaked at #8). 'Come To My Window' earned the rocker a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance Female.

64. Salt N Pepa - Very Necessary (October 12, 1993)

Rap female pioneers, Salt-N-Pepa's biggest era came along during their success from the 'Very Necessary' album.  These women scored 2 top 5 hits with 'Shoop' (#4) and 'Whatta Man' featuring En Vogue (#3).  It was the first single they've ever managed to place in the top 10, let alone top 5.  The album went on to sell over 5 million in the U.S.

63. Destiny's Child - Destiny's Fufilled November 15, 2004)

The final album, 'Destiny's Fulfilled' by the trio that forms Destiny's Child was a farewell that went out with a bang.  'Lose My Breath' and 'Soldier' both packed some heat and peaked at #3 on the Billboard main chart.  The group won several awards for Best Selling Pop, R&B and Female Group (of all time) at the World Music Awards.  The album went on to sell over 8 million.

Cited Music Influence: Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston

62. Fergie - The Dutchess (Released September 13, 2006)

Fergie was the female member of the Black Eyed Peas that went on to became a break-out solo star in 2006.  The release of Fergie's 'The Dutchess' spawned 3 #1 Billboard singles (and a total of 5 top 5 singles). Her singles: 'London Bridge' was a chart topper for 3 weeks and sold 2 million copies, 'Glamorous' did as well for one week and 'Big Girls Don't Cry'  did for an additional 3 weeks selling over 3.5 million.  The album sold over 8 million worldwide.  

Cited Music Influence: Fiona Apple, Jill Scott and John Legend

61. Gwen Stefani - Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (Released November 23, 2004)

Gwen Stefani had a massive hit with 'Hollerback Girl' from her 'Love. Angel. Music. Baby'.  It ruled the top of the Hot100 singles' chart for 4 weeks.  The video for the single won at the MTV awards for Best Choreography.  The album sold 8 million copies worldwide.  She was the Best Selling New Female Artist at the World Music Awards in 2005.

Cited Music Influence: Madonna

60. Rihanna - Loud (Released November 12, 2010)

Rihanna had an oustanding run during her 'Loud' era.  She scored 3 #1 hits on the Billboard Hot100 with the album's singles ('Only Girl', 'What's My Name' and 'S&M', which fellow diva, Britney Spears joined for the remix version).  'Only Girl' won Rihanna a Grammy for Best Dance Recording.  The diva's 'Loud' tour raked in 90 million.

Cited Music Influence: Madonna, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Destiny's Child, Janet Jackson, Brandy

59. Amy Winehouse - Back to Black (Released October 4, 2006)

The British Jazz/Soul singer Amy Winehouse made people take notice with her debut album, 'Back To Black'.  Her top ten Billboard Hot100 single, 'Rehab' became her signature record.  The album sold over 3 million to date. Winehouse became a 5x Grammy winner (tying with Lauryn Hill, Alica Keys, Beyonce, Norah Jones and Alison Krauss) winning honors for, Best New Artist, Song and Record of the Year ('Rehab') as well as the award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the song.

58. Rihanna - Good Girl Gone Bad (Released May 30, 2007)

Rihanna came into her own with the success of her junior  'Good Girl Gone Bad' album.  The album boast 3#1's (including 'Umbrella', 'Take A Bow' and 'Disturbia').  It's one of her best selling albums, (selling over 7 million worldwide).  Rihanna won a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (with rapper, Jay Z for 'Umbrella').  

Cited Music Influence: Madonna, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Destiny's Child, Janet Jackson, Brandy

57. Jennifer Lopez -J.Lo (Released January 23, 2001)

Jennifer Lopez was hitting her stride with her sophomore self-titled album.  She was the first actress and singer in history  to have an  album debut at #1 (with sales of 272,000) as well as a #1 movie ('The Wedding Planner') in the same week.  Lopez opened with her first single 'Love Don't Cost a Thing', reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot100, then later celebrated #1 hit's with 'I'm Real'and 'Ain't It Funny'.  The album sold over 8 million worldwide.   

Cited Music Influence: Selena, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson 

56. Mariah Carey - Emotions (Released September 17, 1991)  

 Mariah Carey's 2nd studio album continued to secure Mariah's place as a dominant force in the music world. On her single 'Emotions' (which was also the title of the album),  Carey's vocal range spans more than four octaves from C3 to E7.  It was her first song to require the execution of multiple whistle notes, which Mariah has become well known for.  The single went to #1 on the Billboard Hot100.  Singles, "Can't Let Go' and 'Make It Happen' also went top 5 (#2 and #5 respectively).  Mariah became Billboards Top Female Single Artist (for 'Emotions') as well as the Top Female Album Artist in 1992.

55. Pussycat Dolls - PCD (Released September 12, 2005)

The pop girl group and Dance ensemble, the Pussycat Dolls were on top of the world during their 'PCD' era. These women first single 'Dont'Cha' became a anthem, reaching a #2 postion and landing in the top ten in many countries (Austrailia, Belguim, New Zealand, Switzerland and the UK).  The album produced 3 top 5 Hot100 hits: 'Don't cha' (#2), 'Stickwitu' (#5) and 'Buttons' (#3).  The album sold more than 9 million copies worldwide.  The Pussycat Dolls received the MTV award for Best Dance Video (Buttons).  

Cited Music Influence: Janet Jackson, Gwen Stefani, Puala Abdul and M.I.A

54. Alicia Keys - The Diary Of Alicia Keys (Released December 1, 2003) 

Alicia Keys sophomore album proved that this diva wasn't just a one trick pony.  Her album, 'The Diary of Alicia Keys' spawned 3 top ten Billboard Hot100 hits and 2 #1's on the R&B singles chart.  She was also featured on Usher's 'My Boo' single, which went to #1 (off his 'Confessions' album).  'Diary' sold over 9 million copies worldwide. In 2004, Alicia was Billboard's Artist of the Year, Hot100 Songwriter of the Year, Female R&B/ Hip-Hop Artist of the Year, R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Artist of the Year and the Female Hot100 Artist of the Year.  Her single 'If I Ain't Got You' became the R&B/Hip-Hop Single of the Year and the R&B Hip-Hop airplay Single of the year. 

Cited Music Influence: Prince, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill

53. Nelly Furtado - Loose (Released June 7, 2006)

Nelly Furtado made a big splash with her 'Loose' album.  It spawned 2 #1 hits on the Billboard Hot100.  'Promiscuous' featuring Timbaland (which is probally Furtado's best known single to date) dominated the top spot on the singles chart for 6 weeks.  It became Billboard's Best Pop Single of the Year in 2006.  Furtado also snagged a #1 with 'Say It Right'.  

Cited Music Influence: TLC, Bjork, Whitney Houston

52. Sheryl Crow -  Tuesday Night Music Club (Released August 3, 1993

Sheryl Crow was the funky singer/songwriter with a  catchy hit on her hands.  'All I Wanna Do' was Sheryl's second released single from 'Tuesday Night Music Club', which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot100.  Crow won 3 Grammy awards (Best New Artist, Record of The Year and Best Female Vocal Performance for 'All I Wanna Do').  The album eventually sold over 7 million in the U.S. alone.

51. Tracey Chapman - New Beginnings (Released November 14, 1995)

Folk singer, Tracey Chapman's, fourth studio album, 'New Beginning' allowed the singer to obtain her biggest hit of her career.  'Give Me One Reason' climbed up to #3 on the Billboard Hot100 singles chart.  The Song also won a Grammy for Best Rock Song.

50. En Vogue - Funky Divas - (Released March 24, 1992)

En Vogue was the personification of sass, class, sophistication and divahood.  The 4 women of En Vogue embodies all these attributes and was one of the most important girl group's from the 90's.  Their 2nd album, 'Funky Divas' snagged 3 top 10 Billboard hit's: 'My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It' (#2), 'Giving Him Something He Can Feel' (#6) and 'Free Your Mind' (#8).  The album went triple platinum in the U.S.

49. Sade - Love Deluxe (Released November 1, 1992) 

The English based Soul/Jazz band, Sade (whose lead vocalist was Sade Adu) released their 4th studio album, 'Love Deluxe' in November 1992. It went quadruple platinum in the U.S.  Her single 'No Ordinary Love' won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.  'Cherish the Day' and 'Kiss of Life' are 2 of Sade's most memorable classic's from this era.

48. Janet - All For You (Released April 24, 2001) 

MTV's first tributed Icon, Janet Jackson, was in high demand (and in total 'Control') during her 'All For You' era.  Her lead single, 'Doesn't Really Matter' (which was featured on the soundtrack from the film she co-starred in, 'The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps') went straight to #1 on the Billboard Hot100.  Her follow-up single, 'All For You' is the longest #1 of Janet's career (and of the year 2001), also topping the Billboard main single's chart for 7 weeks.  Janet won a ton of awards that year.  She received an award of merit form the American Music Awards (as well as honors for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and Favorite  Soul/R&B Artist), she was honored with Billboard's Artistic Achievement Award, she's also won Grammy's ( including a special Recording Academy's Governors Award as well as one for the Best Dance Recording for 'All For You').

47. Taylor Swift - Fearless (Released November 11, 2008)

In 2008, Taylor Swift was a country artist poised to crossover to the "big" chart.  Her 2nd album, 'Fearless' (which debuted at #1) sold 9 million copies worldwide and the debut single from that album, 'Love Story' sold 6.5 million worldwide.  The album actually broke the record for having the most singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart within the top 40 (13 to be precise).  Swift was named Billboard's Artist of the Year. She also won 4 Grammy awards (for Album of the Year, Best Country Album, and with her single, 'Wild Horse' she won honors for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song).

46. Faith - Breathe (Released April 21, 1998)

Faith Hill was a country star ready to cross over like her predecessor, Shania Twain did in 1999.  It was with her senior album, 'Breathe' that she saw her biggest success.  Her #1 country songs, 'Breathe' and 'The Way You Love Me' became crossover hit single's on the Billboard Hot 100 (placing at #2 and #7 respectively). The album sold 8 million in the U.S. and won a Grammy for Best Country Album.

45. Janet Jackson - The Velvet Rope - (Released October 7, 1997)

Janet Jackson's 'The Velvet Rope' was said to be her most personal album she's ever recorded.  The album debuted at #1 and it's #1 single 'Together Again' was a huge commercial success (selling 6 million worldwide) spending 2 weeks at the top of the Hot100 chart and 14 weeks inside the top 10.  The album sold 10 million copies worldwide.  It set the bar for many artists that created more in depth introspective type of albums.  Janet was the reciepent of Legend Award for Oustanding Contributions to Pop and R&B music from the World Music Awards. The Velvet Rope Tour is said to be one of Janet's most artistic, it grossed more than 78 million worldwide.

44. Destiny's Child - Survivor (Released May 1, 2001)

Destiny's Child's much anticipated junior album (sophomore for DC3), 'Survivor' didn't disappoint.  It debuted at #1 with 663,000.  The lead in single, 'Independent Women' dominated the Hot100 singles chart for 11 weeks, which made them the only female group in music history to have a single lasting that long at #1. It didn't stop there, 'Bootylicious' was another chart topper for the girls.  This time the popularity of the song put the word in the dictionary.  The girls won 3 World Music awards (for Best-Selling Artist or Group, Best Selling Pop Group and Best Selling R&B Group), 2 American Music awards (for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Soul R&B Band/Duo/Group)  and a Grammy (for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group Vocal for 'Survivor').   

Cited Music Influence: Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston

43. Madonna - Music (Released September 19, 2000)

Madonna's 'Music' release was her 4th #1 studio album.  It followed behind Madonna's 'Ray Of Light' era, which served as a big comeback for the pop icon.  Keeping things on an upward swing, Madonna found early success with the debut single, 'Music'.  It was Madonna's first #1 since accomplishing that feat in 1995 with 'Take a Bow'.  It also made Madonna the 2nd artist to have a #1 in the 1980's, 1990's and 2000's (Janet Jackson was the first).  Madonna's Drowned World Tour (which helped in promoting 'Music') grossed around $75 million.

 42. Christina Aguilera - Stripped (Released October 26, 2002)

Christina Aguilera wanted to prove that lightening can strike twice, with the (2nd English studio album) follow-up, 'Stripped'  to her self-titled debut.  Christina released one of her biggest ballads, 'Beautiful' off this album (which peaked at #2 on the Billbaord Hot100).  It won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In 2003, she joined Justin Timberlake for the Justified/Stripped Tour which raked in $75 million.  

Cited Music Influence: Etta James, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill

41. TLC - Fan Mail (Released February 3, 1999)

TLC's 'Fan Mail' was packing quite a one-two knock out punch.  The first single, 'No Scrubs' was just about popular enough to carry the whole album.  It went to #1 on the Billboard Hot100 for 4 weeks (and stayed in the top ten for 17 consecutive weeks).  It was the top airplay song of 1999.  It sold over 6 million worldwide.  'Unpretty' followed and also went to #1 for 3 weeks on the singles chart.  The album went on to sell over 6 million in the U.S. alone.

Cited Music Influence: Janet Jackson, Prince 

40. Mariah Carey - Butterfly (Released September 11, 1997)

Mariah Carey assembled one of her most creatively evolved albums on 'Butterfly' after divorcing her ex-husband Tommy Mattola whose guided her career since 1988.  Carey went from experimentive Hip-Hop influences in 'Honey' (which was co-written by Sean 'Puffy' Combs) and The Roof (Back in Time), to her rap/sung vocals with Bone Thugs and Harmony on 'Breakdown'.  She scored 2 #1's with 'Honey' and 'My All'.   Mariah Carey received a special Billboard honor commerating her acheivement of 13 #1's singles by a female solo artist (the most by any female artists at the time).  She also won several World Music Awards in 1998 (The Aretha Franklin Award for Female entertainer of the Year, Best Selling Female Soul/R&B Artist and Best Selling Artist of the 90's).

39. Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway (Released November 30, 2004)

Kelly Clarkson was the first big winner from the singing competition American Idol to conquer the big leagues.  Her sophomore album, 'Breakaway' released 4 top 10 Billboard Hot100 singles: 'Breakaway'(#6), 'Since U Been Gone'(#2), 'Behind These Hazel Eyes'(#6) and 'Beacuse of You'(#7).  The last 3 listed all went platinum -plus.  The album sold over 12 million worldwide. 

Cited Music Influence: Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Etta James

38. Pink - M!ssundaztood (Released November 20, 2001)

Pink was everyone's favorite rebel ruling the charts with her 2nd album, 'Missundaztood'.  It was Pink's breakout albums selling over 5 million copies in the U.S.  Three top ten singles: 'Get the Party Started', 'Don't Let Me Get Me' and 'Just Like A Pill' were the album's biggest hits.  The former peaked at #4 and both singles that followed peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot100.  

Cited Music Influence: Madonna, Janis Joplin, Whitney Houston

37. Britney - Britney (Released November 5, 2001)

Britney was remaining consistent with this era, proving that she's one of last decade's finest.  She was a little more everything this go around (sexier, edgier, more agressive).  Her self-titled album included the hits: 'Slave For You' and 'Boys'.  The album sold over 12 million worldwide.

Cited Music Influence: Michael Jackson, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston

36. Beyonce - B'Day (Released September 4, 2006) 

Beyonce was still clearly running the world during the reign of her sophomore project.  'Bday' sold 541K, in it's debut week at #1. It spawned Beyonce's biggest solo chart-topper, 'Irreplaceable'.  The single stayed at #1 for 10 weeks on Billboard main single chart.  During this time Beyonce released an Anthology Video Album featuring 13 music videos (accompaning a deluxe edition of her album).  Many of the visuals were a hit and made Beyonce the Queen in that realm. Beyonce later dazzled on stage in concert, she visited over 90 venues during her 'The Beyonce Experience' tour.

Cited Music Influence: Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Prince, Josephine Baker

35. Mariah Carey - Emancipation Of Mimi ( April 4, 2005)

Mariah made one of the best comebacks in music ever with her 'Emancipation of Mimi' album.  She already own the record for the longest running #1 ever with 'One Sweet Day' featuring Boys II Men (lasting 16 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot100, see: 'Daydream' at #7).  Well, 'We Belong Together', which many consider to be Mariah's "ultimate signature song" also managed to make history, owning the singles chart for 14 weeks (becoming the 2nd longest running #1, along with only Whitney Houston, Boys II Men, Los Del Rio, Elton John and The Black Eyed Peas).   Mariah Carey won 3 Grammy awards for Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (for 'We Belong Together').

34. Destiny's Child - The Writing's On The Wall (Released July 27, 1999)

The women of Destiny's Child came into their own with their sophomore album that put them on the map, 'The Writing's on the Wall'.  The group earned 2 #1's ('Bills, Bills, Bills' and their international breakthrough hit, 'Say My Name'), which propelled them to reach a brand new superstar status.  Beyonce was the talented group leader, her quick scatting, rap-singing style was something different and innovative for music.  The album sold over 12 million worldwide (and 8 million albums stateside).

Cited Music Influence: Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston

33. Whitney Houston - My Love Is Your Love (Released November 17, 1998) 

Whitney's 'My Love Is Your Love' album really reaffirmed just why Whitney was the Queen.  Its three released top five singles were a big hit with listeners (#2 'Heartbreak Hotel' featuring Kelly Price and Faith Evans,  #4 'It's Not Right, but It's Okay', #4 'My Love Is your Love').  It also featured a high-profile, power diva duet with Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey on 'When You Believe'.  Whitney performed these singles everywhere from The Grammy's, to the Oscars, to Vh1's Diva's Live.  Whitney won a Grammy for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance for 'It's Not Right, but it's Okay' and the album over 13 million copies worldwide.

32. Alicia Keys - Songs in a Minor (Released June 5, 2001)

Alicia Keys is the very comtemporary, classically-trained pianist, with great songwriting abilities and vocal talent.  Her debut album "Songs in A Minor" quickly earned the diva respect as a gifted musician.  She won 5 Grammy's for 'Minor' (including wins for Best New Artist and Song of the Year for 'Fallin').  Keys tied Lauryn Hill's record (as the only female with the most Grammy wins in one night at the time).  'Fallin'' and 'A Woman's Worth' were the album's biggest hits, respectively, placing at #1 and #7 on the Hot100 singles chart.

Cited Music Influence: Prince, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill

31. Whitney Houston - I'm Your Baby Tonight (Released November 4 1990) 

Whitney Houston's 'I'm Your Baby Tonight' was Houston's 3rd studio album.  The #1 hit's: I'm Your Baby Tonight' and 'All The Man That I Need' (as well as the #9 single, 'Miracle') contributed to the album selling over 13 million albums worldwide.  'I'm Your Baby Tonight' was Billboard's #1 R&B Album and Whitney was also the #1 R&B Artists in 1991.

30. Toni Braxton - Toni Braxton (Released July 13, 1993)

Toni's smoldering silky vocals took the world by storm.  Her sexy alto was drenched in class and it mesmerised millions of new fans.  Toni's first signature song, 'Breathe Again' was the song that elevated her to the new heights a full fledged diva.  Braxton's debut self-titled album won the diva a Grammy award for Best New Artists and eventually two consecutive awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1994 (for 'Another Sad Love Song') and '95 (for 'Breathe Again').  Toni enjoyed grand diva sales of 8 million in the U.S. by the end of the era.

29. TLC - CrazySexyCool (Released November 15, 1994)

In 1994, TLC made their mark with their sophomore set 'CrazySexyCool'.  The groups third single, 'Waterfalls' stayed a top Billboard's Hot100 singles chart for 7 weeks.  It was the 2nd biggest song of that year (1995) on the Year End charts.  The threesome sold 11 million in the U.S. alone giving them the distinction of being one of the few groups in music history to have a diamond album. The album would successfully release 4 top 5 singles ('Creep', 'Red Light Special', 'Waterfalls' and 'Diggin' on You').

Cited Music Influence: Janet Jackson, Prince

28. Shakira - Laundry Service (Released November 13 2001) 

Shakira's junior set, 'Laundry Service' was pretty major for the latin singer.  Its releases went top 10, 'Whenever, Wherever' (#6) and 'Underneath your Clothes' (#9). What was so fascinating about Shakira was the way she moved her body perculiarly like a trained contortionist.  Laundry Service is the singer's biggest seller in her career (15 million worldwide).   

Cited Music Influence: Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, U2, Prince

27. Jewel - Pieces of You (February 28, 1995) 

Folk/Pop Rock singer, Jewel's debut album, 'Pieces of You' produced a moderatedly successful first single initially with 'Who Will Save Your Soul' (peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot100) when it was released in 1995.  It wasn't until almost 2 years later that Jewel's 'Pieces' would start making a big impact.  Its ssubsequent singles, 'You Were Meant For Me' and 'Fooloish Games' both peaked at #2 and the album climbed back up the charts to #4. 'Pieces of You' sold over 12 million copies and is the one of the biggest albums in the U.S. ever.

26. Mariah Carey - Mariah Carey (Released June 13, 1990)

Mariah Carey's self titled debut album was a huge success.  Influenced by one of the greatest and most recognizable voices in the world ever (Whitney Houston), Mariah was determined to follow in her footsteps, yet carve out her own niche.  That she did! She had similar success right off the bat, earning 4 #1 hit singles from this album on the Billboard Hot100 ('Vision of Love', Love Takes Time', 'Someday' and 'I Don't Wanna Cry').  Carey won 2 Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (for 'Vision of Love').

25. Toni Braxton - Secrets (Released  June 18, 1996)

The sultry Toni Braxton was one of music's leading ladies during her 'Secrets' era.  The 'Secrets' album was her 2nd 8 million plus seller in the U.S. and it spawned 2 #1 hit singles.  Toni's classic #1 single, 'Unbreak My Heart' is one of the most celebrated power ballads, spending an astonishing 11 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot100.  Toni Braxton won 2 American music awards, 4 Billboard music awards and 2 Grammy's (1 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for 'Un-Break My Heart' and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for 'You're Makin' Me High' ) and so much more during this time.

24. Brandy - Never-Say-Never (Released June 4, 1998)

Brandy was the charming princess of Pop/RnB during this era.  She was a teen covergirl, Moesha on the small screen and Karla Wilson on the big one (I Know What You Did Last Summer).  Of course, you can't forget her history making portrayal of Cinderella (as the first African American to do so) playing alongside with her mentor, the late great Whitney Houston.  Aside from her stellar credits, she was a gifted musician. Her quick, smooth-flowing vocals and sonically unique tone influenced so many artist that followed behind her.  Brandy's 'Never-Say-Never' album produced 2 #1's, 'Have You Ever' and one of the biggest duets of all time, 'The Boy Is Mine' featuring Monica (that Brandy co-wrote with songwriter Rodney Jerkins).  It lasted 13 weeks at #1 on the Hot100 singles chart (which makes it 1 of only 9 songs to spend that long at #1) and won Brandy and Monica a Grammy Award for Best R&B performance by a Duo or Group (for 'The Boy Is Mine').  Never-Say-Never sold 16 million worldwide.  

Cited Music Influence: Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Enya, The Clark Sisters, Mariah Carey

23. Lady Gaga - Fame (Released August 19, 2008)

Lady Gaga eccentricities certainly allowed for her to make one of the most memorable entrances into pop music ever.  She was over the top and often making a bold statement.  'The Fame' was packed with pop hits like 'Just Dance' and 'Poker Face', (both managing to snag the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot100).  Those 2 singles along with 'Paparazzi' each sold over 3 million digital downloads.  Lady Gaga also racked up on the Billboard Pop charts, 4 pop #1's from her debut.   

Cited Music Influence: David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Queen

22. Madonna Ray Of Light - (Released March 3, 1998)

'Ray of Light' was an electronic, dance album from pop icon Madonna.  It was a bit of a departure from her previous work at the time.  The album's first two singles from the project  reached the top five, 'Frozen' (#2) and 'Ray of Light' (#5).  Madonna won 3 Grammy's (including wins for Best Vocal Pop Album, Best Dance Recording and Best Short Form Music Video for 'Ray of Light', as well as a win for 'Beatutiful Stranger' for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media).

21. Avril Lavigne - Let Go (Released June 4, 2002)

Avril lavigne was another female rocker full of spunk with a rebellious side.  Avril debut single "Complicated" was an instant smash hit. It rose up the Billboard singles chart to #2 and went platinum. At only 18, she was a mega star.  Her debut album, 'Let Go' was one of the biggest releases of 2002, selling over 18 million worldwide.  

Cited Music Influence: Blink-182, Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty

20. Christina Aguilera - Christina Aguilera (Released August 24, 1999)

Christina Aguilera was one of the rising stars of the new millenium.  Her self titled debut album made the young diva known for her big voice, an instant huge commercial success.  Christina earned 3 #1's and churned out charming pop tunes like 'Genie in a Bottle' and 'What a Girl Wants'.  The album sold over 8 million copies in the U.S.  The world realized by then that Christina was a force to reckon with and one of the best voices of her generation.

Cited Music Influence: Etta James, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill

19. Cher - Believe (Released November 10, 1998)

Cher just might be the queen of all comebacks.  She started her career in 1965 with a hit song, 'I Got You Babe' as one half of the pop rock duo Sonny & Cher.  More than 30 years later (in 1999) Cher would deliver her biggest selling album 'Believe', which featured the smash hit single of the same name.  The album sold over 20 million and the single went to #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart (which made Cher the oldest artist to have a #1 hit at 52).  It was the years biggest single of the year on both the Hot100 and Hot Dance Club Play charts.

18. Adele 21 - (Released January 19, 2010)

Adele is 2011's golden girl. She's an English recording artists whose album, "21" has broken records in music at a time when it is extremely rare to do so due to today's music climate.  The album has folk and soul influences and is ballad heavy.  Adele has been credited for the industry's return to "real music" and talented artistry.  Her sophmore album ('21') has now sold over 20 million copies worldwide.  She's taken home a record-breaking 6 Grammy awards (tying with Beyonce and including a win for Album, Record and Song of the year for 'Rolling in the Deep').  Adele recently outpaced Whitney Houston's 'Bodyguard' soundtrack, spending 23 non-consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200 Album's chart.

Cited Music Influence: Lauryn Hill, Pink, Destiny's Child

17. Whitney Houston (&Various Artists) - Waiting To Exhale Soundtrack (Released  November 14, 1995)

This project was a major event, spear-headed by the great late Whitney Houston.  It was the memorable soundtrack for the motion picture, 'Waiting To Exhale' starring Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon.  Whitney selected the cream of the crop in the industry and each song (with the exception of 1 sung by Chaka Khan) was written by her good friend and accomplished songwriter, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds (who also assisted in picking out the talent).  It was a huge international success, selling over 20 million albums worldwide.  The lead singles were all top 10 Billboard Hot100 hits, which included the #1 single 'Exhale (Shoop Shoop) performed by Whitney Houston, the #2 hit single(s), 'Sittin' Up in My Room' performed by Brandy and 'Not Gon' Cry' performed by Mary J Blige, as well as the #8 single 'Count On Me' performed by Whitney Houston & Cece Winans.

16. Norah Jones - Come Away with Me (Released February 26, 2006)

Norah Jones was a quiet storm in 2002 with her 'Come Away with Me' album that infused an acoustic pop style incorporating jazz, folk and country music elements.  The album sold over 10 million units in the U.S. alone.  Jones won 5 Grammy awards (tying with Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys) for  Best New Artist, Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for 'Don't Know Why'.

15. Britney Spears - Oops!... I Did It Again (Released May 16, 2000) 

Britney's sophomore album proved just how much star power this budding icon had.  Her 2nd album, 'Oops! I Did It Again...' opened with a first week frame of 1.3 million (which is the record held by a female). Britney's biggest hit off the album ('Oops I Did It Again'...) landed at #9 on Billboard's main single's chart. Britney was quickly solidifying her status as America's pop princess with her high energy performances this era and hit singles.  The album went on to sell over 25 million worldwide.

Cited Music Influence: Michael Jackson, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston

14. Spice Girls - Spice (Released November 4, 1996)

The British pop girl group, Spice Girls became a tremendous music sensation internationally with the release of their debut album.  Their first single, 'Wannabe' was a huge hit, topping the charts in 31 countries.  It was the best selling single by a female group (selling over 6 million worldwide).   'Say You'll Be There' and '2 Become 1' followed behind their 'Wannabe single', both placing in the top 5 of Billboard's Hot100 singles chart (at #3 and #4 respectively).  The album, 'Spice' would go on to sell over 28 million units.  The Spice Girls may have been many fans guilty pleasure of some sort, but their accomplishments were to be taken quite seriously.

13. Celine Dion - Falling into You (Released March 8, 1996)

Celine Dion's 'Falling into You' album was hugely successful.  Some of her biggest power ballads, came from this era. The album's second single, 'Because You love Me' reached #1 on Billboard's Hot100 and reigned for 6 weeks.  Celine's follow-ups, 'It's All Coming Back To Me and 'All By Myself' also went top 5.  Each of these singles also went to #1 on the Adult contemporary chart.  The album won a Grammy for Best Album and Best Pop Vocal Album.  Celine was also the World's Best Selling Pop Artist of the Year at the World Music Awards.

12. Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill (June 13, 1995) 

Alanis Morrissette was the wild child that wrote clever music lyrics and crafted a sonically magnificient album  that was so ahead of its time.  While so many of her contemporaries were making catchy pop songs or heartfelt RNB and Hip-Hop, Morrissette stayed in her own lane as the Alternative rocker chick that went mainstream.  Her smash hit album, 'Jagged Littel Pill' sold over 33 million worldwide becoming the 2nd biggest selling album of the 90's.  Alanis took home a Grammy for Album of the Year beating out stiff competition from Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson.

11. Shania Twain - Come On Over (Released November 4, 1997)

This diva was a little bit country and a little bit Rock n Roll.  'Come On Over' was the album that made Shania Twain become a house hold name.  It holds the record for being the best selling album in the U.S. (20 million).  Her classic hit, 'You're Still the One' will always be one of the country star's most romantic gems.  That single was her highest charting Hot100 single, peaking at #2.

10. Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Released August 25, 1998)

One could go out on a limb and declare Lauryn Hill's debut solo album, 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' to be Hip-Hop's finest piece of work ever made by a female Rap artists.  The album is a classic and is revered by critics and much of the listening public as a brillantly structured masterpiece.  It serves as one of the most versatile recordings of the last 20 years.  It is the most successful era by a female rapper ever, (selling over 8 million in the U.S. alone).  In 1999, Lauryn Hill was the first woman to win 5 Grammy awards in one night, after receiving 10 nominations (making her by then, the most nominated (10) and awarded female recorded artists)Hill's honors include wins for 'Best New Artists' and 'Album of the Year'.

9. Beyonce - I Am... Sasha Fierce (Released November 18, 2008)

Single Ladies became a music phenomenon for Mrs. Beyonce Knowles on her third (2008) offering.  Her album, 'I Am... Sasha Fierce' debuted at #1 and tallied up 4 charting top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Beyonce's signature song, 'Single Ladies' went to #1 and remained there for 4 weeks.  It also topped the R&B/Hip Hop songs, Pop songs and Hot Dance/Club Play charts and was awarded  the World's Best Single at the 2010 World Music Awards.  Beyonce also was the first female artists to win a record breaking, 6 Grammy awards, which was the most ever in one night for a female during this time (winning for Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best Female Pop Performance for 'Halo', Song of the Year/Best R&B Song/Best Female R&B Vocal for 'Single Ladies' and Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for 'At Last'). Single Ladies started a worldwide dance crazed and the visual became one of the most viewed videos ever by a female.  Beyonce's polished off the era with her 'I am...' tour, grossing over 103 million.

Cited Music Influence: Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Prince, Josephine Baker


8. Beyonce - Dangerously In Love (Released June 24, 2003) 

'Dangerously In Love' was the era that officially re-introduced us to the front woman of Destiny's Child, Beyonce.  She was fearless, exceptionally talented, possessing great showmanship with oustanding singing abilites.  She, indeed was the total package.  If one had to label any era as the most influential of the last decade it would certainly be this one, due to it being impacting in so many ways.  The album debuted at #1 and sold over 11 million worldwide and won a record breaking 5 Grammy's in 1 night (tying Ms. Knowles with Lauryn Hill, Norah Jones and Alicia Keys for the most wins).  Beyonce won Grammy's for Best Contemporary R&B Album and awards for 'Crazy in Love' (including, Best R&B Song and Best Rap Sung/Collaboration with Jay Z just to name a few).  Her first 2 singles ('Crazy in Love' and 'Baby Boy') spent 17 weeks total on the Billboard Hot 100, which allowed her to win the Billboard Hot 100 honor for having the most weeks at #1 in 2003.  Beyonce also won MTV awards for Best Video in 2003 and '04 for 'Crazy in Love' and 'Naughty Girl' respectively.

Cited Music Influence: Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Prince, Josephine Baker

7. Mariah Carey - Daydream (Released October 3, 1995)

It was during the 'Daydream' era that Mariah Carey would release the longest running #1 single in Billboard history, 'One Sweet Day', which featured RNB group Boys II Men.  The song debuted at #1 and it remained there in the pole position for 16 weeks.  Carey actually pulled off a total of 3 #1's with this album ('Fantasy', 'One Sweet Day' and 'Always Be My Baby').  Her single, 'Fantasy' was also ground-breaking.  It's actually one of the first Pop singles to infuse Hip-Hop (by adding rapper, 'Ol Dirty Bastard to the remix).  The album sold 25 million worldwide.  Mariah easily established herself as one of the top international female recording artists of the dacade by this time earning over 100 million (which was achieved with the finish of this era).  This was only Carey's 6th project release

6. Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time  (Released January 12, 1999)

Britney Spears made a big splash with her debut single, '...Baby One More Time'.  It seemed to instantly overnight turn Spears into a pop culture icon.  'Baby One More Time' (the album) debuted at #1 and was Britney's first certified diamond album, which is listed in the Guinness World Records as the best selling album by a teenage solo artists (eventually selling 12 million units in the U.S.).  Spears was only 17 at the release of the album. 

Cited Music Influence: Michael Jackson, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston

5. Mariah Carey - Music Box (Released August 17, 1993)

Mariah Carey's 'Music Box' is her most successful album to date, selling over 32 million worldwide.  The album boast 2 Billboard Hot 100 #1's, 'Hero' and 'Dreamlover'.  In 1994, Carey was awarded the Rhythm & Soul Songwriter award at the 12th Annual ASCAP awards.  The following year she won for Pop songwriter for penning one of her signature songs, 'Hero'. 

4. Celine Dion - Let's Talk About Love (Released November 14, 1997)

Celine Dion's unforgettable classic, 'My Heart Will Go On' was the gargantuan masterpiece that was the theme song from the "Titanic" soundtrack.  It was also featured on her 'Let's talk About Love' album.  The song won a Golden Globe and Academy award for Best Original Song in 1997.  Dion also won Grammy's for Record of the Year, Song of the Year as well as the award for the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for 'My Heart Will Go On' in 1999.  The single sold a staggering 15 million worldwide.  Dion is recognized often as one of the greatest female voices of all time.

3. Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation 1814 (Released September 18, 1989)

This has to be a contender for the world's most important Pop album ever.  Janet changed the face of pop music by layering her music with thought provoking messages that addressed the ills of the world.  With so many nay-sayers expecting the diva to not be able to reach the masses with heavy driven social topics, Janet was eager to prove them wrong.  That she did! The success of Janet's 'Rhythm Nation' (which spoke out on sexism, racism, illiteracy and the homeless) spoke volumes.  It was noted that Pop music can have substance!  It produced 4 #1's on the Billboard Hot 100 and a record-breaking 7 top 5 hit singles on that same chart (off this 1 album). This record still stands today.  Jackson's 'Rhythm Nation' tour (which was her first) would end up holding the record for being the biggest debut tour of all time (grossing over 76 million worldwide).

2. Janet Jackson - Janet. (Released May 18, 1993)

The 'Janet.' era was simply a magically flawless era that was sexually liberating and dynamic. At this point it is where Janet made a transformation into a sex symbol and became what many refer to her today as, the 'Goddess' of music.  Janet was one of the leading live performers of her time and the "Janet tour" is considered by many to be one of her most oustanding.  It grossed in the neighborhood of $83 million.  Everything from her videos to her elaborate shows was groundbreaking and this completely inspired many of the Janet -equse type of performers.  Jackson incorporated a great variety of different styles of music in her work, from Pop and RnB, to Dance and House.  That along with the intensity of Janet's live shows made her one of pop music's greatest standouts. The 'Janet.' album sold over 20 million worldwide and produced 2 #1 singles ('That's the Way Love Goes' and 'Again').  The album also released 6 top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits).

1. Whitney Houston - The Bodyguard (Released November 17, 1992) 

Here is the definition of a truly iconic era:  Whitney Houston's 'The Bodyguard" soundtrack saw a surge of Whitney's star power skyrocket right through the stratosphere.  Already reaching unbelievable career highs with her prior releases, this era would later prove to be Houston's career-defining moment.  The Bodyguard soundtrack is the highest selling soundtrack of all time and ultimately is the biggest era amongst all the women in music ever (selling over 45 million worldwide). Whitney's signature song, 'I Will Always Love You' spent 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and won Houston Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance  honors at the 36th Annual Grammy Awards. The soundtrack won Best Album of the Year as well.  Aside from all the accolades and milestones achieved during this time, it could also be marked as the era that established Whitney as the best songstress of her geneartion ('the voice').  Whitney was glamorous, her music was timeless and her talent was in its peak condition. Everything coming together the way it did made Whitney Houston the supreme vocalist.

R.I.P Nippy!


  • Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson seem to have the most memorable era's ever and this was the standout era that we feel represents the most intruiguing eras of all time. These 3 eras were chosen because we feel that those specific eras shaped and inspired music artists and their artistry.  It has to be the very best the last 2 decades had to offer.

  •  Mariah Carey - going through the era's it's easy to spot Mariah's consistency and her relevance to the music world.  She's listed more than any other artist (6 albums in total, 5 in the top 50).  It's clear that she was one of the main women dominating the 90's.

  • Beyonce is another female artist clearly dominating the last decade.  She's on the list 6 times (as a solo artist and with her former group, Destiny's Child).

  • Mary J Blige also made an impressive showing with 4 of her studio albums (70 - 78).

  • Also the women of Rap from Lauryn Hill to Nicki Minaj have earned a spot on the list.


  1. I loved this post, but there isn't one Michael post at all. Really? Thriller is definately the most iconic era. It produced the best selling album and the most grammys in one night which has yet to be broken.

    1. Have you read the Description Idiot? it says WOMEN!!!!

  2. where is the Control era from Janet which opened the doors for all of these women on this list.