This classic album tells the story of a young woman searching for love yet desperate to love herself first. Filled with angst and lovesick laments, Blige is painfully honest in expressing her sadness (she wrote all the lyrics) over a relationship gone sour. A must-have for any woman needing to get “real” with herself.
Almost 15 years after this album’s release, folks are still waiting for Ms. Hill to put out something that even comes close to its power. Spirituality, motherhood, relationships, coming of age — this Grammy-winning hit covers it all, and well.
With its immaculate take on all of the ups and downs of relationships, this album is, and always will be, the musical equivalent to a breakup survival guide. Enough said.
Packed with one musical tribute to self-love after another, India.Arie’s debut album has earned an eternal spot on any Black woman’s playlist. To all the sisters who embrace their beautiful “Brown Skin,” aren’t the average girls on the “Video,” and pride themselves on “Strength, Courage and Wisdom,” this one’s for you.
Those “American Idol” kids cover Michael Buble’s version of “Feeling Good,” but most of us know that it was Nina Simone who really threw it down on this 1965 album. Her haunting voice on that track and on the title song (her take on a blues tune by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins) makes the album unforgettable.
Stepping out of her famous brothers’ shadow, Janet proved that sisters could do it for themselves on an album that ranged from the defiant (“What Have You Done for Me Lately,” the title song, “Nasty”) to the sweet and whimsical (“When I Think of You,” “Let’s Wait Awhile”).
This was the moment Alicia Keys proved that all she needed was a piano and a microphone to win our hearts, and that there was a little room for classical vibes in our musical fairytales.
Filled with social commentary, odes to love, and one of the most unforgettable songs a father could write for his daughter (“Isn’t She Lovely?”), this 21-track offering is one of Black music’s finest moments.
She’s playful on “Cleva,” vulnerable on “Green Eyes,” and inspirational on “Time’s a Wastin.” But on “Bag Lady,” a musical metaphor about the emotional baggage we carry around, she’s truly genius.
The title track, “Respect,” “Dr. Feelgood,” “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” — all these classics are on the Queen of Soul’s 1967 breakthrough album, Franklin’s statement about what a woman wants and deserves.
Because there are so many amazing Sade albums to choose from, “The Best of…” offers listeners the British songstress’ finest tunes, from “The Sweetest Taboo” to “Kiss of Life.” Listen as Sade effortlessly helps you heal a broken heart.
Nearly all of those sultry, powerful love ballads that made Whitney Houston famous can be found within this pitch-perfect collection. The only one missing is her bona fide hit “I Will Always Love You.”
The “rough patches” in a woman’s life are chronicled in Braxton’s debut album. On each track Braxton reminds us that although life is an emotional roller coaster, as long as those feelings are pure and honest, we shall overcome.
Every woman needs a man to praise her genius and beauty — Maxwell is an expert.
It’s not often you get a man to be as honest and heartfelt about a breakup as Marvin Gaye is on this 1978 album, written for his ex-wife Anna Gordy (Motown founder Berry Gordy’s sister). With each song, we get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a relationship, from its beginnings to its bitter end. Throughout, Gaye is tormented, yet relieved, by the end of his marriage.
Singing her biggest hits, like “Vision of Love” and “Emotions,” Carey delivers for every woman who ever found herself happily belting out her favorite tunes in the shower, on the bus, or along with her radio.
There’s no album more inspiring and encouraging than “Beautifully Human.” With each heartfelt song Jill reminds us how beautiful and strong we are.
One of the most beautiful breakup albums we’ve heard in a while. On “21” Adele is ready to “Set Fire to the Rain” but not before asking her lover “Don’t You Remember” the good times. She even wishes she could find ‘Someone Like You" in her near future. What girl hasn’t wished for that? Adele is at once vulnerable and empowered on this already classic album — expected to clean up at this year’s Grammys.
Filled with messages about safe sex, strong friendships and just being your authentic self, TLC’s debut is a must-have for any young woman still shaping her identity.
Never mind the fact that Jazmine Sullivan can sang — on this debut she also manages to deliver love songs laced with the kind of angst that only sisters can understand. “I’m in Love With Another Man” will surely go down as one of the ’00s best love songs.
On “ArchAndroid,” Monae empowers us all by showing that Black women are not monolithic. Some of us love a little bit of rock and roll, a little bit of futuristic soul and a whole lot of funk.
Okay, including a greatest hits album is a bit of a cheat… But with so much hip-shaking, life-affirming music on one collection, it’s hard to resist. “I’m Every Woman,” “Through the Fire,” “Ain’t Nobody,” “Tell Me Something Good” — all here.
Chaka Khan: "Greatest Hits"
Queen Bey's third studio album turns 10.
10th Anniversary (Nov. 12) - I Am…Sasha Fierce
Nobody sings about “Sweet Love” better than Ms. Anita Baker. Every hit single on this album makes love feel freeing, fun, and most importantly, real.
Queen Latifah made her debut in a male dominated industry and still managed to lay down her own law with songs like “Ladies First” and “Latifah’s Law.”
Its not often you get a man to be as honest and heartfelt about a breakup as Marvin Gaye is on this 1978 album written for his ex-wife Anna Gordy (Motown founder Berry Gordy’s sister). With each song, we get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a relationship from its beginnings to its bitter end. Throughout, Gaye is tormented, yet relieved, by the end of his marriage.