It’s Black History Month y’all.
And of course, Throwback Tuesday’s couldn’t get any better as we go on a month-long celebration!
Today we give a much-deserved shout out to a largely under-rated R’n’B vocalist who pretty much slayed the game in the late 90’s and early noughties, but seems to be getting the shorter end of the stick like a majority of the early noughties’ artists desperately trying to make a come-back of late. Ashanti anyone?
It’s sad to see R’n’B songstress Mya’s albums post 2003’s Gold-certified ‘Moodring‘ either being shelved or released in Japan only – does anyone remember the album ‘Sugar And Spice‘ released in 2008? Too bad – the album’s a stellar R’n’B gem (give the lead single ‘Paradise‘ a listen).
But before Mya’s musical popularity went downhill (she’s still a well known star following her appearance on ‘Dancing With The Stars‘) post 2003, Mya’s name was synonymous with a string of bankable Top 40 smashes along with meticulously choreographed music videos – garnering her comparisons with pop legend Janet Jackson. Back in the day, Mya’s sexy ‘girl next door’ image would ooze enough chutzpah for her to be up there with the likes of R’n’B greats like Aaliyah and TLC.
I’ll have to admit – Mya, along with Pink were easily the best dancers in the game in the early noughties with Janet leading the brigade. On a different note , who could have predicted that Pink – with her R’n’B/Punk début ‘There You Go‘ – would go on to unleash a decade and a half of slay-age.
Following her Platinum-certified self-titled 1998 début, Mya’s sophomore effort ‘Fear Of Flying‘ arrived at an average # 15 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart in the year 2000 – raising fears of another diva hitting the sophomore slump.
Largely due to the album’s lead single ‘The Best Of Me‘ featuring Jadakiss which under-performed, stalling at # 50 on the Hot 100, the album served up luke-warm sales of 72,000 (these figures could easily get you to # 1 these days) in its first week. But it was the album’s stunning second single ‘Case Of The Ex‘ that made Mya a global name, while the album slow-burned its way past Platinum-plus sales all over.
‘Case Of The Ex‘ had radio-smash written all over it. Although Mya’s voice wasn’t the strongest in the game, the choppy beats and the slick productions suited and complimented her vocals perfectly as she unleashed a vicious rant against her man who was heading back to his ex. The Diane Martel-directed video for the single was choreographed by Tina Landon – still on top of her game after creating iconic routines and breakdowns for Janet’s videos for over a decade. Unsurprisingly, the video and routine was similar to Janet’s 1993 smash ‘You Want This‘, choreographed by Langdon, who dances along with Janet in the flawlessly sexy video.
‘Case Of The Ex‘ soared up the charts, peaking at # 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks, at # 3 on the UK Top 40 Singles Chart, as well as # 1 on the Australian ARIA Charts for 2 weeks.
Irrespective of a # 15 début in the US, ‘Fear Of Flying‘ eventually blasted past sales of over 1.2 million units in the States alone, spending an unprecedented 52 weeks on the Billboard 200.
Mya would go on to achieve dizzying heights of success over the next three years – including her first # 1 single in the form of the global smash ‘Lady Marmalade‘ from the soundtrack of ‘Moulin Rouge‘ with Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim and Pink – eventually winning her first and only Grammy, along with 2 MTV VMA’s including the coveted Video Of The Year nod for the same song.
Although Mya’s third album ‘Moodring‘ would become her highest charting album (peaking at # 3 and receiving a Gold certification) – Mya unfortunately fell off the radar on the music scene. Her 4th studio album ‘Liberation‘ was shelved, and her follow-up albums were largely ignored or released only in Japan. Irrespective of her absence on the music charts, Mya still made a mark on the acting scene, with roles in movies like ‘Chicago‘.
Check out Mya at her peak in the classic ‘Case Of The Ex‘ right here. It’s time she made a much awaited come-back. Sing it girl!