In 2001, a grand complete of 15 songs hung out on the prime of the Billboard Scorching 100.
For the unfamiliar, the music publication’s weekly chart compiles information collected by Nielsen SoundScan regarding the gross sales efficiency and radio play, rating the 100 most profitable. The record is business customary. Reaching the highest of it’s a large freaking deal. And 20 years in the past, solely 15 songs did it.
Of these 15 songs, six of them—or 40 p.c—belonged to Black ladies. To place that into some context, Black ladies have been solely answerable for 22 p.c of the No. 1 hits in 2020. In 2019, simply 12 p.c.
Fairly merely, 2001 was a serious 12 months for Black ladies in music.
Whereas their contributions proceed to be felt 12 months in and 12 months out, no matter their efficiency on the charts, a have a look at the totality of their influence twenty years in the past is sufficient to have the least sentimental amongst us eager for a visit again in time. In spite of everything, this was the 12 months that gave us landmark albums from Future’s Little one, Janet Jackson and Missy Elliott, launched us to Alicia Keys, compelled us to say goodbye to Aaliyah and noticed Whitney Houston earn precisely what her estimable expertise was price.