In this music life, we must always remember…so many divas, all day to vocally sort them all out.
In fact, an eardrum full of your favorite leading music ladies are helping close out Philly Mixtape‘s 5 Albums Celebrating Milestones in 2016, column, including Diana Ross, Mariah Carey, Xtina, Beyoncé and Janet Jackson, all of whom probably have an album on this list that you’re most likely screeching it to as we musically speak. So until next year, dive right in and let the divas take a hold of you once more…as if they weren’t already.
Diana Ross/Self-titled/40 YO Ms. Ross’ second self-titled set (because we all know only a true diva can get away with that), the lively record would become the legendary chanteuse’s biggest-selling set since 1973’s Touch Me in the Morning, and the first of her albums since her debut to yield more than four hit singles. Peaking at #5 on the US Billboard 200 album chart, two of the singles served up became #1 hits: “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” (also included on the Mahogany soundtrack), and the slinky disco anthem, “Love Hangover.” Both tracks wouldn’t both just go on to become the iconic soul goddesses most widely regarded solo hits, but ones that prove why Ms. Ross is still a diva force to be reckoned with today.
Mariah Carey/Emotions/25 YO If there’s one thing to take away from MC’s now quarter-of-century old sophomore opus (besides the fact that it’s home to two of the diva’s most underrated singles “Can’t Let Go” and “Make it Happen), is that you really, really, really need to stop trying to hit all…those high notes in the bouncing title track during karaoke nights. Because much like Gretchen Wieners and “fetch” in Mean Girls…it’s just never going to happen.
Janet Jackson/All for You/15 YO This may be very, very hard to believe, but it was 15 years ago when Ms. J served us with her last Billboard chart topping single, the Luther Vandross “The Glow of Love” sampling title track, but that it was also her last set to achieve multi-platinum chart status. Either way, what music bliss, because not only is All for You full of light, coo-ey R&B grooves, but it showcased a newfound growth and maturity for the singer being that a year prior to its release, Ms. Jackson-if-you’re-nasty announced that she divorced Rene Elizondo after being married to him for seven years. Janet’s newfound grown-and-single sexiness glows in tracks like, “Someone to Call My Lover,” “Come on Get Up,” and “China Love.” But the true standout is the Carly Simon inspired “Son of a Gun” which would be later rewerked by Ms. Missy Elliot into one hell of a remix.
We also can’t forget that the fun-loving title track was also accompanied on radio by the one, two Billboard chart punch of Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” and that rewire of “Lady Marmalade,” all creating a magical moment that anyone who lived that 2001 music life has never forgotten since. Sigh…
Christina Aguilera/Back to Basics/10 YO Waaaay before she was a coach on The Voice, Ms. Christina Aguilera actually made albums…that people paid attention to. (no music shade…when’s the last time you listened to Bionic and Lotus?) Recorded as a double album (although some critics weren’t sure why), Xtina took her love for 1920s–1940s music idols, including Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Ella Fitzgerald, while enlisting modern-day producers DJ Premier, Mark Ronson and Rich Harrison to combine all the elements to give the set a mainstream radio feel.
Lead single, “Ain’t No Other Man” (which was inspired by her future ex-husband, Jordan Bratman), would become her last top 10 solo smash, that would help the album hit #1 on the album charts as well as launch the ultra-successful Back to Basics Tour, in which she closed the road spectacle by announcing to the world that she was then pregnant with her son, Max. While some fans grumbled that Xtina was taking it back to the old school way too soon n her career, the jazzed up record was met with positive reviews from music critics who complimented its musical diversity from Aguilera’s previous albums (hey, Stripped), which helped the record secure a Grammy win for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Ain’t No Other Man” the following year.
While we’re all still waiting for Christina to make her next album move (seriously, when is it coming out), it’s always nice to go back in time (literally) to hear that voice when it wasn’t just on The Voice.
Beyoncé/B’Day/10 YO No explanation needed because you’re most likely doing the choreography from the “Get Me Bodied” video as we speak. Right, Michelle? Or, you’re kicking your ex to the curb while playing “Irreplaceable” at full Bey blast. Enough said.
And purr on, “Kitty Kat,” of course.
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