Where Are They Now? Black Female Performers From The '90s
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In the 1990s the music industry was rich with talent and financial bandwidth to support artists in every genre. Legends like Babyface, Puff Daddy, L.A. Reid and even Mona Scott Young were just beginning their careers —helping fresh faces cement their place in pop culture. From Adina Howard to Monie Love, these female performers had major moments in the 1990s.
Queen Latifah protégé Monie Love found huge success in 1991 with her hit single “It’s a Shame (My Sister)”. The single, which was nominated for a Grammy alongside her other single “Monie in the Middle,” became her only hit in the U.S. and peaked at number 2 on the U.S. Dance charts. Since then, Monie has become a mother of four, has hosted radio shows and became an official Myspace DJ. Currently, she is a co-host on the ‘Ed Lover Morning Show’.
Whether or not you remember No Limit Records signee Mercedes, there may be a high chance that you remember her Master P-featured single “It’s Your Thing". Taken from her only studio album to date titled ‘Rear End’, the track found success on the charts. Though not much has been said about the Detroit-bred songstress since the 1999 album and single release, she made a rare appearance during the No Limit Soldiers reunion at Essence Fest 2017.
Sisterly trio Cleopatra introduced their debut single “Cleopatra’s Theme” in 1998 and it seemed their pop sound would catch the ear of every young girl around. Though they were already very successful the U.K., the sisters found their U.S. success with their debut song —through the help of Madonna signing them to her label, Maverick. In 2013, lead singer Cleo Higgins appeared on The Voice UK with hopes of jumpstarting a solo career, but ended up exiting during semi-finals. While the sisters have performed together in 2008 and 2009, no new music or plans to reunite have been announced as of 2017.
Originally starting off as a quartet, ‘90s R&B group Allure touched the hearts of many with the release of their 112-featured single “All Cried Out”. While there have been a few other singles that received airplay, none by the group are as memorable as their 1997 remake of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam original song. Since then, the group has become a trio, formed their own label — A.L.A. Recordings — and released four albums to date.
Stepping on the scene in 1995 with their hit single, “He’s Mine,” MoKenStef seemed to be on a path to R&B greatness. Unfortunately, though, the tracks to follow did not solidify that feeling. After releasing three singles and featuring their song “Jock’n Me” on the soundtrack to the film ‘Phat Beach’ from 1996 to 1999, the group was still unsuccessful with matching the momentum of their initial single and decided to disband in 2000. As of 2014, the group has reunited and — according to their Instagram page — is working on something for fans.
Although “Twisted” was a duet with R&B crooner Keith Sweat, it has been known as the biggest hit of Kut Klose’s career. Prior to the 1996 release of that single, the trio released an album titled 'Surrender', which featured singles such as “Get Up On It” featuring Keith Sweat and “I Like.” Aside from releasing the buzz single “Let It Ring” in 2010, the group has been relatively quiet.
If you’re a fan of the movie ‘Bad Boys’, then you’ll remember — and probably know all the words — to Diana King’s “Shy Guy". Receiving charting success in its 1995 release year, the single has been known to be the Jamaican artist’s biggest song to date in the U.S. In 2012, King became known as the first Jamaican artist to publicly come out as LGBTQ and she currently lives in India with her recently adopted a daughter named Omar.
Though British R&B recording artist Des’ree found success in the U.K. over the years, it was her most prominent 1994 single “You Gotta Be” that is remembered. Releasing four albums from 1992 to 2003, not much has been said about Des’ree since the 2007 suing of Beyoncé for covering the single “I’m Kissing You". The case was dismissed shortly after.
Back in 1995, Adina Howard made the entire world shake with the release of her raunchy single “Freak Like Me.” Though the singer has released singles since then, none have packed the flavor needed like that of the debut. Now, over 20 years later, Adina has married, graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2012, taken on roles in stage plays, and recently released her fourth studio album, 'Resurrection'.