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Faith Evans, the Queen of R&B

Full Name Faith Renée Evans
Born June 10, 1973 in Lakeland, Florida, United States
Age 49 years old
Spouse The Notorious B.I.G. (m. 1994–1997), Todd Russaw (m. 1998–2011)
Children 4
Genres R&B, soul, hip hop
First Album Faith (1995)
Record Label Bad Boy, Capitol
Net Worth $3 million
Social Media Facebook

Faith Evans burst onto the music scene in the mid 1990s and quickly became one of the most influential R&B artists of her era. Over the course of her decades-long career, Faith has released 8 studio albums, won numerous awards, and collaborated with many hip hop and R&B legends. As a longtime fan, let me give you an in-depth look at the life and career of this R&B icon.

Early Life and Singing Beginnings

Born in Lakeland, Florida in 1973, Faith showed artistic talent from a very young age. She grew up listening to classic R&B and soul artists like Minnie Riperton, Al Green, and Chaka Khan. After relocating to New Jersey as a teen, Faith started wowing crowds with her powerful singing voice in local talent shows. Her island roots and Baptist gospel choir background influenced the soulful, emotive style she became known for.

In the early 90s, an ambitious Faith moved to Los Angeles to pursue music professionally. She did backup singing sessions and eventually connected with music executive Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs. He was so blown away by her vocal ability that he made history signing her as the first female solo artist to his Bad Boy Records label in 1994.

Releasing Her Debut Album “Faith”

In August 1995, Faith delivered her hugely anticipated debut R&B album Faith on Bad Boy Records. I remember the excitement building for months as her first single "You Used To Love Me" lit up the radio airwaves. The album showcased Faith‘s incredible talent blending hip hop beats seamlessly with soulful melodies and heartfelt lyrics.

Faith was a monumental success, selling over 5 million copies and establishing Faith as Bad Boy Record‘s First Lady. She paved the way for other female R&B artists with hits like "Soon As I Get Home" and "Ain‘t Nobody" which still sound as fresh today as they did in ‘95. Critics raved about nineteen-year-old Faith‘s mature and nuanced vocal control on the album. She sounded wise beyond her years and proved an exciting new voice had arrived in R&B.

Winning a Grammy with "I‘ll Be Missing You"

One of Faith‘s career highlights came in 1997 when she collaborated with Puff Daddy on the tribute smash hit "I‘ll Be Missing You." The heartfelt song was dedicated to her late husband, rapper Notorious B.I.G., who had been tragically killed that year. "I‘ll Be Missing You" topped the charts for months and went on to win the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1998. This Grammy win cemented Faith as a major force in 90‘s R&B with one of the most iconic musical collaborations of all time.

Continued Success with Multi-Platinum Albums

After the success of her debut, Faith continued releasing hit albums showcasing both her vocal range and star power as a songwriter. Keep the Faith (1998) went double platinum and earned her two Grammy nominations for the single "Love Like This." In 2001, she followed up with Faithfully which also went platinum and contained unforgettable R&B classics like "You Gets No Love" and "I Don‘t Need It."

Faith dazzled critics and fans with her ability to blend hip hop, pop, and vintage R&B flavors into soulful records that highlighted the power and purity of her voice. She has an instantly recognizable sound and emotive delivery that connects deeply with listeners.

Legacy as a Hip Hop Soul Pioneer

Over a career spanning 25+ years, Faith Evans has earned her title as The First Lady of Bad Boy and a Queen of modern R&B. She has won 2 Grammy Awards, 4 ASCAP Awards, and 4 BMI Awards. In 2021, she was honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to music.

As one of the pioneering female voices of hip hop soul in the 90s, Faith helped usher in a new musical era. Along with Mary J. Blige, she bridged the gap between hip hop and R&B with her unique style and widespread appeal. Faith‘s music opened doors for many artists who followed to experiment blending genres.

Even today, Faith‘s influence can be heard from artists like Ari Lennox, SZA, and Summer Walker who emulate her relatable lyrics and jazz-laced vocals. The "Mesmerize" singer‘s career has spanned over two decades, but her legacy as an R&B great is sure to last forever.

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