Aaliyah – “If Your Girl Only Knew”
Aaliyah had everyone wrapped around her little finger by the mid ’90s. With the release of her second album One In A Million, the sweet girl from New York City stomped out any chance of a sophomore slump and helped redefine the sound of R&B. Teaming up with Missy Elliot and Timbaland, the album’s lead single “If Your Girl Only Knew” was an instant smash. It topped the R&B Singles chart for two weeks, and peaked at No. 11 on the Hot 100 becoming her third single to reach the top 20. Aaliyah made it known that no other female should let their man get around her, and no one was even mad.
Toni Braxton – “You’re Makin’ Me High”
Toni Braxton was another artist that had no problem avoiding the sophomore slump. Leading the release of her incredibly successful second album Secrets, was the Babyface and Bryce Wilson written and produced smash hit “You’re Makin’ Me High.” The single became Braxton’s first No. 1 single on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. The song earned Braxton her third Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1997.
SWV – “You’re The One”
SWV continued their reign as one of the ’90s favorite female groups with their second album New Beginning. The LP’s lead single “You’re The One,” produced by Allen “Allstar” Gordon, is a fun-filled party starter with it’s Hip Hop influenced mid-tempo beat, and it became one of the groups signature songs. As a single it peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also spawned two remixes, one featuring Jay Z and one featuring Busta Rhymes.
Total – “Can’t You See”
Sean “Puffy” Combs and his Bad Boy Entertainment had one of the biggest runs of the ’90s thanks to his business acumen and rap artists like The Notorious B.I.G., Ma$e, The LOX and more. But, R&B was just as much of the label’s success as Rap. The first group to emerge from Bad Boy was female trio Total, consisting of Kima Raynor, Keisha Spivey and Pamela Long. Their first single “Can’t You See” featuring The Notorious B.I.G. first appeared on the soundtrack to the 1995 movie New Jersey Drive. The song peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached No. 3 on the R&B Singles chart.
112 – “Only You (Remix)”
The second group to be introduced to the world through Bad Boy Records was Atlanta based quartet 112. Their debut single “Only You” and the remix took over the summer of 1996. The song was produced by Steve J and Puffy, it featured Notorious B.I.G. on the main version, and on the remix they added Ma$e. The single reached No. 3 on the Hot R&B Singles chart and peaked at No. 13 on the Hot 100.
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