From her show-stealing verses to her genre-shifting albums, the self-proclaimed “Queen Of Rap” has earned her title. The best Nicki Minaj songs reveal how.
Even before the advent of streaming, musicians rewrote the rules and delighted fans with surprise albums. Here are some that shook the industry.
Rihanna’s second record, ‘A Girl Like Me,’ saw her evolve beyond the dancehall and introduced the world to an emerging pop force.
Steeped in tradition while pushing music into new frontiers, modern R&B has infiltrated the mainstream and become the go-to sound for pop music.
After ruling the charts for over a decade, Rihanna was ready to leave the pop assembly line and get personal on her eighth album, ‘Anti.’
With a PhD in emotional honesty, she keeps it street and soulful. The best Mary J Blige songs show why the singer remains a unique force in R&B.
With her ‘Christmas & Chill’ EP, Ariana Grande put a trap-flavored twist on holiday standards to create a new Christmas classic of her own.
Rather than turning away from her trauma, Rihanna remerged with her most revelatory and defiant work to date with her ‘Rated R’ album.
With her ‘Talk That Talk’ album, Rihanna continued her reign over pop music, throwing genre and romantic conventions to the wind.
Addressing her public controversies and her party girl reputation on ‘Unapologetic’, Rihanna created a thrilling conclusion to a stunning four-album run.
After unburdening herself of trauma on ‘Rated R’, ‘Loud’ saw Rihanna return to the pop fold, delivering the party album the world was waiting for.
On the genre-merging ‘My Everything’ album, Ariana Grande moved away from the fizzy pop of her debut and started coming into her own.
No longer masking her ornate bravado with hip-hop samples, ‘Mary’ saw Mary J Blige follow her 70s muse and take a plunge into neo-soul.
From a string of surprise releases to her openly revealing public persona, Ariana Grande has redefined what it means to be a pop star today.
On ‘Queen’, crossover artist Nicki Minaj reclaimed the hip-hop crown with her most rap-oriented album yet, and demanded fealty from the newcomers.