Just because you have talent or passion doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. It’s one of the great tragedies of being in the music business. The sassy songbirds on this list may have had a hit, but one hit does not a career make. These female artists shot for the stars but fell short of mainstream success.
Cassie doesn’t have the strongest voice, but in 2006 she had a radio hit. Her song “Me and U” peaked at number 3 on the Billboard charts but that’s the most success she’s had so far. Even with music producers Ryan Leslie and P. Diddy steering her career, Cassie failed to wow the music industry. Today, she’s more known for being Diddy’s other main chick than for making music.
The young Dominican singer took over radio airwaves in the summer of 2007 with her dance hit “Whine Up.” Her debut album 9 lives charted at #58 in the US, but was received much better in the European market. To date, Kat’s major success has been in Belgium, Poland, and France but it hasn’t been enough to catapult her into stardom.
You’d think being the younger sister of Queen Bey would equal instant stardom or at least garner the same amount of interest, but when Solange made her music debut back in 2003 there just didn’t seem to be a place for Beyonce’s little sister, and she spent the next several years in Beyonce’s shadow. Though she released 2 albums to moderate success, up until recently, Solange struggled to carve out an identity of her own. Now that she’s got an image, let’s see if she can bring the music to match.
This half Korean-half Black beauty made her music debut in 2002 with her album All I Have earning the number 9 spot on the Billboards its first week. The album went on to be certified Gold, but it was her lead single “1 Thing” from her sophomore album Touch that earned her the most recognition, and became her biggest hit to date. Amerie has earned 2 Grammy nods, toured with Usher and Nas, collaborated with just about every popular hip-hop artist in the business, was featured on the soundtracks to Honey and Maid In Manhattan, and has released 4 albums, but it’s just one thing that’s got us trippin’: Amerie’s career hasn’t really taken off.
We’d hate to say it, but Brooke is looking a bit like a one hit wonder. Her first single “About Us” featuring rapper Paul Wall gained heavy rotation in 2006 but that was her only hit. While her debut album Undiscovered made it to #28 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 127,000 copies in the US, her second album The Redemption only sold 15,000 total. It’s a shame, too, because Brooke actually has a voice when people get past her image.
No doubt when Jive signed Livvi they had visions of her being the next Rihanna. The British-born Barbadian released the catchy tune “Now I’m That B—-” in 2009. The song topped the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart while her second single “Automatik” peaked at #6 on the same chart, but her debut album was shelved by Jive. Livvi is now signed with Warner Bros. and finishing up her album.
When Brooke’s debut single “Girl fight” caught on to radio and MTV, it was sassy, it was tough, it had lil Jon and Big Boi, it was a hit. Her first album Chain Letter achieved moderate success, selling 290,000 copies in the US, but Brooke’s second album and subsequent career suffered the fate of many other young starlets: it was shelved.
Nivea achieved mild success back in the early 2000’s with her first two albums Nivea and Complicated charting on the Billboards. Her biggest hit was the song “Don’t Mess With My Man.” She, no doubt, gained herself a lot of street cred collaborating with the likes of Mystical, T-Pain, R. Kelley, and her baby daddy Lil Wayne but the R&B singer hasn’t had much staying power in the business.
When Diddy fired Aubrey from the hit girl group Danity Kane in 2008, she set out to prove that she could make it in the music business on her own terms and on her own merit with her new, sex-ier image. She even got a reality show to prove it, but outside of the girl group structure Aubrey just hasn’t seemed to stand out in music on her own.
Lumidee’s dance track “Never Leave You (Uh Oh..)” was a breakout hit that had everyone mindless singing “Uh uh uh-oh..” in 2003, but that has been the soft-voiced Latina’s biggest success. Following the release of her album Almost Famous Lumidee continued her career overseas.
The technically trained vocalist wowed viewers on American Idol season 7, but outside of the show America’s runner-up didn’t drum up quite as much excitement. Her debut album fell flat, lacking the spunk she displayed on TV. McPhee was criticized for not having a distinctive sound. Her album debuted at # 2 on the charts but it wasn’t enough to keep her from being dropped by RCA.
With her 2006 debut single “Lip Gloss” Lil Mama seemed poised for stardom. Certainly, she filled a gap in the industry being a 17-year old female rapper, and even dubbed herself “The Voice of the Young People,” but after the mild success of her first album it seems that the only thing popping for Lil Mama just might be her lip gloss.
Nikka Costa proved that being the God-daughter of Frank Sinatra wasn’t a title she took lightly. She’s got the talent and soul that would surely make Sinatra proud. Her song “Like A Feather” gained her notoriety when it was featured in a Tommy Hilfiger ad back in 2000. The album Everybody’s Got Their Something reached #120 on the Billboard 200 charts with the title track also being a radio hit. Since those days, the self declared “funky white B—-” has been off the mainstream music radar for a minute.
Tiffany Evans is the tiny girl with the big voice, but talent doesn’t always equal success, especially in the music business. Tiffany’s single “Promise Ring,” featuring Ciara and then the song “I’m Grown” with Bow Wow reached marginal success on the Billboard R&B/Hip-hop charts but that’s the biggest buzz she’s had. Now married with a daughter, the 20-year old is on her own label called Little Lady Entertainment and planning to release an EP in 2013.
Tynisha Keli’s R&B music has a very raw emotional vibe. She’s got a street personality that is not often seen among Caucasian singers. Her most popular tune “I Wished You Loved Me” was her only track to chart in the US. The tiny-voiced singer has been bubbling on the underground music scene for the last 5 years, and has been a big success in Japan where her 2 albums were released, but mainstream success has thus far eluded her.