10 Greatest Sophomore R&B Albums of All Time


An artist’s sophomore album is considered the “make or break” project. Three scenarios can happen after the artist drops his or her second album- the artist’s career ends, the artist becomes just an average entertainer, or the artist takes his or her career to the superstar level. The “sophomore jinx” has ended a lot of careers because most artists can’t live up to all of the hype, or their debut album was so successful that no other project will ever surpass its greatness. The artists on this list were able to record masterpieces that can still be played today.

Number One: Mary J. Bilge- My Life (1994)
Notable songs: “My Life,” “I’m Goin Down,” “You Bring Me Joy,” and “Be Happy”
Albums sold: 3 million in the US

Number Two: Brandy- Never Say Never (1998)
Notable songs: “The Boy Is Mine,” “Almost Doesn’t Count,” “Top of the World,” and “Have You Ever”
Albums sold: 16 million worldwide

Number Three: R. Kelly- R. Kelly (1995)
Notable songs: “Down Low,” “You Remind Me of Something,” “I Can’t Sleep Baby (If I),” and “Religious Love”
Albums sold: 5 million in the US

Number Four: Mariah Carey- Emotions (1991)
Notable songs: “Emotions,” “If It’s Over,” “Can’t Let Go,” and “Make It Happen”
Albums sold: 8 million worldwide

Number Five: Jodeci- Diary of a Mad Band (1993)
Notable songs: “”My Heart Belongs to U,” “Cry for You,” “What About Us,” and “Feenin'”
Albums sold: 2 million in the US

Number Six: Monica- The Boy Is Mine (1998)
Notable songs: “The Boy Is Mine,” “The First Night,” “Angel of Mine,” and “Street Symphony”
Albums sold: 5 million worldwide

Number Seven: Jagged Edge- J.E. Heartbreak (2000)
Notable songs: “He Can’t Love U,” “Let’s Get Married,” “Promise,” and “Keys to the Range”
Albums sold: 2 million in the US

Number Eight: Aaliyah- One in a Million (1996)
Notable songs: “One in a Million,” “4 Page Letter,” “Hot Like Fire,” and “The One I Gave My Heart To”
Albums sold: 10 million worldwide

Number Nine: Toni Braxton- Secrets (1996)
Notable songs: “You’re Makin Me High,” “Un-Break My Heart,” “I Don’t Want To,” and “Let It Flow”
Albums sold: 15 million worldwide

Number Ten: Whitney Houston- Whitney (1987)
Notable songs: “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me,” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional,” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”
Albums sold: 20 million worldwide