Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Now, it was cute for Brandy and Monica, and I loved me some Aaliyah, but none of those girls could touch Traci Spencer -- the original, '90's R&B, teen princess. I believe if she wouldn't have waited nine years between releasing her second and third studio albums, her career would've lasted much longer.

    You may have had to swim through the mental Rolodex for Tyler Collins, but I know you remember the string of hits Spencer had from 1990 to 1992. She made history as being the youngest female artist signed to a major label and the youngest female artist at the time to receive the ASCAP songwriter of the year award.

    By 1990 Spencer released two albums and in 1996 she released a greatest hits album... I'm still confused on how you can have a greatest hits album after only two albums. Nonetheless, 1990's Make the Difference spawned the #3 Billboard Hot 100 hit, "This House" (a song that never really moved me). It was her mature ballads that blew up urban radio and gave Tevin Campbell a hot-hot battle for the most singing teen. "Tell Me What You Want Me To Do" and "Tender Kisses" had an evil battle on Video Jukebox!

    I've never been clear on why her next studio album wasn't until 1999's Tracie. I heard she wanted to focus on school, but maybe some of the music gurus will clear it up in the comments. The self-titled album did rack up at #18 Billboard Hot 100 hit with "It's All About You (Not About Me)", but it didn't make the impact of her previous work. According to Wikipedia, Tracie is now on hiatus from the music industry. Check out the greatest hits...

    "I'm so confused, you're so unpredictable... " Yes LAWD -- "Tender Kisses", a number one hit on the Billboard R&B singles chart (only #42 on the then segregated Billboard Hot 100 -- thanks to Alizoom for the explanation last week) and a song she co-wrote. The ballad still sounds modern today -- classic R&B!


    ****
    Two years after Make the Difference was released, the singles were still charting. In 1992, a then 16 year-old Spencer, hit #2 on the Billboard R&B singles chart (#48 on the Billboard Hot 100) with "Love Me". Those were the days... why do young teen singers today run around doing the oochie-wallie-bang-bang versus just singing?


    Damn, Tracie and Aaliyah look like family!

    Labels:

    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 11 comments

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