When you think of today’s most successful R&B solo artists, you may sometimes forget their humble beginnings. Many originally started out as members of a singing group before they took a leap of faith, and pursued careers of their own. Let’s take a look back at some of our favorite R&B stars, and how it all began:
R. Kelly: Mr. Robert Kelly was a member of Public Announcement before he pursued a solo career in 1993. Nine hit albums and three Grammys later, it might have been the best decision he ever made.
Bobby Brown: New Edition certainly was a highly admired pop group, but group member Bobby Brown experienced comparable success when he made his solo run in 1987. He even became the pioneer of New Jack Swing which was a combination of hip hop and R&B.
Beyonce: We don’t have to say much about “Sasha Fierce” except that her start as lead singer of Destiny’s Child set her up for a multi-platinum solo career that only gets bigger each year. We can’t wait to see what the pop diva does next.
Letoya Luckett: Letoya might have begun her singing career as an original member of Destiny’s Child, but she definitely didn’t end it there. After being ousted out of the group, Letoya eventually embarked on a solo singing project. Her latest and second solo album, Lady Love, was released last year and debuted at #1 on the US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums Chart.
Omarion: When teen sensation group B2K hit the scene, they were an instant hit. Lead singer Omarion left the group in 2005 to pursue a solo career. Fast forward five years: Omarion has achieved a great deal and his fan base has expanded to include more than just teenage females.
Lauryn Hill: The Fugees (made up of Wyclef Jean, Pras and Lauryn Hill) were a huge phenomenon in the hip hop world in the mid-1990s. But the bigger phenomenon was Lauryn Hill when she went solo in 1998 and released The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which inspired fans everywhere and ended up winning five Grammy Awards. In April, she reportedly said that she might be working on a sophomore album. It’s been almost ten years, but still we’ll patiently wait.
—— By: Crystal Tate