When your album sales don’t match up to your talents…
Jazmine Sullivan arrived on the scene, backed by a major label, in 2008 with the hit single “Need U Bad.” The song not only showcased Sullivan’s vocal chops but she gained a number one single on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop charts; not bad for a new artist.
She then gave a theme to her music in the department of heartbreak. Songs like “Lions, Tigers and Bears,” “10 Seconds” and “In Love With Another Man” cemented her as a voice that conveyed so much pain and passion pertaining to failed relationships. That theme was and still is an attractive one to female fans who can identify with her material.
The Philly native eventually made headlines for being snubbed at the 2009 Grammy Awards where signature song “Bust Your Windows” was nominated for Best R&B Song.
Her album “Fearless” sold only 65,000 copies which is her highest selling album –to date— out of her three releases.
She then made headlines for taking a “break” from music. After an interview with “The Breakfast Club,” it was revealed that Sullivan took the hiatus to build a better relationship with God along with needing time to heal after ending an abusive relationship.
However, before the interview took place, Sullivan emerged strong with singles like “Dumb” and the emotional ballad “Forever Don’t Last” that had fans praising her much needed return to music.
Released from her junior effort “Reality Show,” Sullivan didn’t fall off the bandwagon of a great album. With songs like “Mascara” and fan favorite “Stanley,” she continued to prove why she’s a much needed presence in today’s musical climate.
Here’s where the concern comes in – “Reality Show” reportedly sold 29,708 copies in its first week making it her lowest selling album to date.
Sullivan’s effort found itself at #12 on Billboard 200 far behind her previous work. Once you add music streams in the equation, “Reality Show” moved 32,254 units.
Often dubbed by fans as the “black Adele,” Sullivan’s records can find itself being compared to the British singer. An article on VIBE.com stated that Sullivan’s “Forever Don’t Last” wouldn’t see the light of day on pop radio but if Adele sang it, it could and would go further.
Questions could arise all day for true fans of Sullivan however, one should consider – What does Sullivan define as “success?” Success to one person isn’t the same for another.
Instead of choosing to harp on comparisons of artists or album sales, why not simply ask the artist what they think of how their projects pan out profit wise? Not every talented artist is going to be a big album seller. However, an artist shouldn’t be shamed if they can’t pull a Taylor Swift straight out the gate.
“Reality Show” is already in stores and available on iTunes.
If you haven’t heard “Stanley,” let’s just say the universal message of appreciating a good woman (or man) is nicely demonstrated by Sullivan. Sometimes you just need to take a “b***h to dinner.” And we ain’t talking about no Red Lobster. Maybe Pappadeaux’s?
At the end of the day, Sullivan’s passion for love reminds many of us why we end up losing the one who was a winner by finding too many excuses as to why we couldn’t appreciate the good when God supplied it. You can’t pray for a good man (or good woman) and then when they show up, you be like “Gee, you are just ‘too available.'”