Happy Birthday, Faith Evans!
Although not as notarized as Biggie and the shiny suit era, Bad Boy has been pretty big when it comes to that R&B market -- whether we're talking Mary J. Blige or what's arguable the best rap/R&B collaboration. Today (June 10), we talk about Faith Evans, the first female artist to sign with Bad Boy Records, because it's her 42nd birthday.
Evans unfortunately spent a lot of her prime years embroiled in tabloid headlines. A lot of it came because of her famous, at times volatile, marriage to the late Notorious B.I.G. The relationship made her a central figure in the East Coast-West Coast rivalry; she was referenced in one of hip-hop's most vitriolic disses of all time (Tupac Shakur's "Hit 'Em Up").
But it must also be noted that she wasn't just an unwilling focal point in one of hip-hop's most tragic moments. Evans made some good music. "One More Chance" (the remix, of course) also happens to be one of the best R&B/rap collaborations ever. In 1998, Evans had the honor of collaborating with the late Whitney Houston for "Heartbreak Hotel." Not many singers can say they teamed up with a legend and didn't falter.
The Florida-born, New Jersey-raised Evans wasn't only great as a guest artist. Her most popular performance was singing the hook on "I'll Be Missing You," a tribute to her husband that went No. 1. She also released five albums, and her second, 1998's Keep the Faith, is an underrated goodie. Her most recent single, "I Deserve It" featuring Missy Elliott and her protege Sharaya J, proves that she still has plenty more to give to the game.
Watch Faith Evans' "I Deserve It" Video Feat. Missy Elliott & Sharaya J
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