Maybe it was a good thing that the Billboard music charts were segregated pre 1991. Not that I’m for any form of segregation, but starting in early 1991 Billboard integrated their charts and only the raw numbers mattered (thanks again to alizoom for that info). Doing these throwback posts I've noticed a trend, many of these artists had successful careers up until the early '90s and major hits on the R&B charts, which was once considered relevant. They all had one or two hits posts 1991, but if they couldn't survive, they were axed.
Back then there was more room for a Stephanie Mills or Phyllis Hyman, but when everything was integrated, we lost some of the options in R&B music. Now everything has to sell according to everyone else, so a top twenty hit on the R&B charts is useless if you don't crack the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Today, an artist like Miki Howard couldn't achieve the level of success that she reached in the late '80s and early '90s.
Between 1986 and 1992 Miki Howard scored seven top ten R&B singles, received heavy rotation on urban radio and was considered by many the next Anita Baker. The Chicago native had a series of successful albums for the time like 1989's self titled album (#4 on the Billboard R&B album chart) and, probably the most popular, 1992's Femme Fatale (#7 on the Billboard R&B album chart), which gave her highest charting album at #72 on the Billboard 200.
Miki Howard still makes music, performs and is signed to an independent label. However, her last charting single was in 1992. Again, post the integration of the music charts, many black artists were suddenly forgettable.
Check out Miki's greatest hits.
Listen to this voice! You can't hear anything like this on the radio today and this song was a hit, which she wrote with the late-great Gerald Levert. "Love Under New Management" charted at #2 on the R&B charts and #89 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"I’ve been up and I've been down, I've had my feet swept off the ground by somebody who just picked me up and threw me away!" Talk about it Miki! "Ain't Nobody Like You" is my favorite Miki Howard song and probably one of the best R&B songs from the '90s. The video was classic with a look that encompassed the '90's, plus, her voice found that balance of pop and soul. The song was a #1 R&B hit in 1992 (#64 on the Billboard Hot 100). After such a big hit, 1992 would be Miki's last appearance on the Billboard singles chart.
Labels: Old School
Posted by Clay ::
12:30 AM ::