2001 was quite the year for amazing music, specifically for female artists. With that in mind, we’ve listed 13 fantastic albums by superstar women that turn 20 this year.
Before the days of streaming and YouTube, you had to walk into a store and purchase a CD to actually hear your favorite artist’s new record. Unless you used Bearshare, of course.
2021 has already seen Jennifer Lopez’s sophomore album JLo, Dido’s multi-platinum-selling No Angel, and Eve’s Scorpion celebrate their 20th anniversaries. Here are 13 more epic female albums that will reach the same milestone in the upcoming months.
Janet Jackson – All For You
Released: April 16, 2001
By 2001, Janet Jackson was an unstoppable force whose career kept going from strength to strength. After breaking records with Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 and janet., you would have probably thought Miss Jackson had reached her peak. However, that was far from true.
All For You hit the shelves in April 2001 and topped the US Billboard 200 chart, becoming her fifth consecutive No. 1 album. Not only that, but she achieved her highest first-week sales of over 605,000, per MTV. The album title track served as the lead single and made radio history by being added to every pop, rhythmic and urban radio station during its first week.
All For You is an all-round classic pop/R&B album and contains some of her best-ever deep cuts: When We Oooo, China Love, and Trust A Try.
Destiny’s Child – Survivor
Released: May 1, 2001
After the release of their breakthrough album, The Writing’s On The Wall, Destiny’s Child knew they had to follow-up the LP with something that would keep them on top. And with Survivor, they did that.
The album was Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams’ first album as a trio and cemented their status as the world’s biggest girl group at the time. Their empowering album title track won the songstresses a Grammy Award, while their other singles, Independent Women Part I, Bootylicious, and Emotion, helped contribute to the album selling over 12 million copies around the world.
P!nk – Missundaztood
Released: November 20, 2001
While P!nk’s Missundaztood remains her most successful album to date with some of her biggest singles — Get The Party Started and Just Like A Pill — on the tracklisting, it doesn’t always get the flowers it deserves for its influence.
A large portion of the album was written with and produced by Linda Perry, who at the time was known for being a member of the 4-Non-Blondes. The magic they created together turned P!nk into a megastar and Perry into a huge hitmaker who went on to work with established artists on their next LPs.
Without Missundaztood, we probably wouldn’t have Avril Lavigne’s Let Go and Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway. Without Perry’s input on the album, we wouldn’t have Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful and Gwen Stefani’s What You Waiting For?
Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Read My Lips
Released: August 27, 2001
Read My Lips remains Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s most iconic album and it comes as no surprise.
After dominating the charts with Spiller’s Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love), she continued to deliver singles for the dance floor and quickly became the UK’s queen of disco.
This album’s first three singles — Murder On The Dancefloor, her cover of Cher’s Take Me Home, and Get Over You — are considered some of her signature hits, but Move This Mountain and Music Gets The Best Of Me are gems not to be forgotten about.
As for the album cuts, Lover and The Universe Is You take the crown for the best unreleased tracks.
Mis-Teeq – Lickin’ On Both Sides
Released: October 29, 2001
Mis-Teeq’s debut album, Lickin’ On Both Sides, is full of bops and deservingly spawned five top 10 singles. Why? is a certified classic and began their flawless run of singles that followed — All I Want, One Night Stand, B With Me, and Roll On / This Is How We Do It. The record has achieved platinum status in the UK and includes album cuts such as That Type Of Girl and Stamp Reject that are worth checking out if you haven’t already.
Since Mis-Teeq’s departure from the music scene, no girl group has followed in their footsteps and held the garage/R&B torch they once held. More reason for a reunion if you ask me.
Britney Spears – Britney
Released: October 31, 2001
Britney Spears’ self-titled album was considered the superstar’s first “grown up” record and was a shift from her bubblegum sound. Even though critics attempted to slate Spears for her “provocative image,” that didn’t stop the music and impact from speaking for itself.
Britney opened with sales of 745,750 copies and became her third chart-topper on the US Billboard 200, proving once again that she was unstoppable, per MTV. I’m A Slave 4 U remains one of Spears’ best and legendary singles and was followed with more classics — Overprotected, Boys, and I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.
No Doubt – Rock Steady
Released: December 11, 2001
One year after releasing the dark and alternative Return Of Saturn, No Doubt quickly released Rock Steady, which was heavily inspired by Jamaican dancehall music.
The LP saw Gwen Stefani and her band members, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, and Adrian Young, work alongside a whole range of talented producers and musicians, including The Neptunes, William Orbit, Nelle Hooper, and the late Prince and Ric Ocasek.
The band’s career was on an all-time high at this point. Their singles Hey Baby and Underneath It All won them Grammys, and they got to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2003. Rock Steady proved once again that No Doubt was a band that could conquer any genre they wanted.
Aaliyah – Aaliyah
Released: July 7, 2001
Aaliyah’s self-titled album was sadly the last album she released before she passed away. Parts of the LP was an evolution of the sound she and Timbaland had created on her sophomore album, while other parts heard her experiment with Middle Eastern influences and rock music.
The album’s second single, More Than A Woman, ended up topping the charts in the UK after her death and is considered a stone-cold classic. According to The Official Charts, Aaliyah is one of the most influential R&B albums of all time and has had an impact on the likes of Beyonce, Frank Ocean, and Janelle Monae.
Missy Elliott – Miss E… So Addictive
Released: May 15, 2001
After her next-level debut and sophomore albums, Missy Elliott was ready to take over the world with her third release. And that, she did!
Miss E… So Addictive’s lead single, Get Ur Freak On, showcased her commercial side while maintaining her super creative self. As everyone already knows, Elliott is an innovator who has been delivering top-notch music videos since the beginning of her career. The video for the LP’s second single, One Minute Man, was clearly on Cardi B’s mood board for her WAP video.
Miss E… So Addictive lives up to its title and is full of bangers. It has a Metascore of 89 on Metacritic and is currently her highest-rated album.
Alicia Keys – Songs In A Minor
Released: June 5, 2001
Alicia Keys’ debut album, Songs In A Minor, instantly put her on the map and was a hit from the word go. Fallin’ is without doubt one of the best debut R&B singles of all time and took home three Grammy Awards in 2002 — Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Along with that, she also won Best New Artist and Best R&B Album.
Songs In A Minor is a neo-soul/R&B album that tapped into a whole range of genres, including blues, jazz, and soul. Keys wrote, arranged, and produced the majority of the album herself and was recognized as one of music’s most exciting new artists.
Kylie Minogue – Fever
Released: October 1, 2001
Fresh from releasing Light Years the year before, Kylie Minogue wasn’t ready to get off the dance floor. In 2001, she returned to the top of the charts with her decade-defining single, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, which was followed up with more perfect pop songs — In Your Eyes, Love at First Sight, and Come In To My World, which won her a Grammy for Best Dance Recording.
Shakira – Laundry Service
Released: November 13, 2001
Shakira was already a Latin superstar prior to 2001. However, Laundry Service was her first album to primarily be recorded in English. The results? Quite legendary.
The record produced the smash hits Whenever, Wherever and the heartfelt power ballad Underneath Your Clothes and saw Shakira credited as a producer on every track. Laundry Service introduced the Colombia-born singer to new audiences around the world and sold over 13 million copies.
Garbage – beautifulgarbage
Released: October 1, 2001
By the time it was 2001, Shirley Manson and her band Garbage were on a creative roll. beautifulgarbage is one of their most overlooked albums and was a mini departure from their heavier sound that defined them in the 1990s.
The album included some of their best singles — Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!) and Breaking Up The Girl — and album cuts — Can’t Dry These Tears and Silence Is Golden.