6 Reasons Why 2001 Was a Huge Year for Black Women in Music 》

Black artists have always been a major force within the music industry. But many years these instrumental artists are not recognized for their contributions to the industry. But there are some years when the powers that be surprise us and pay homage to black artists, specifically black women. One of these years is 2001. This time in history proved to be a game changer for black women in the music industry. One of the markers of success in the music world is the Billboard Top 100 charts. It is a great feat for an artist’s single to make the charts, especially if it stays there for weeks at a time. In 2001, only 15 songs made the Billboard Top 100: and 40% of them were all by black women. Veteran artists by 2001, like Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston, continued to solidify their careers, while newcomers like Alicia Keys exploded on the scene and redefined black women in music. Read on to learn more about why 2001 was a huge year for black women in music. 

Destiny’s Child

Destiny’s Child made a huge push in their career in 2001 with the release of their third studio album, “ Survivor.” It was one of the most successful albums thus far for the group, and had major hits that year, some making it pretty high on the Billboard charts. Those include “Emotion,” “Survivor” peaking at #2, and “Bootylicious” peaking at #1. 

Janet Jackson

In 2001, Janet Jackson released her seventh studio album called “All for You.” That year, she had two songs top the Billboard Top 100 charts, “Son of a Gun,” and “Someone to Call My Lover,” which topped at #3. 

Missy Elliot

Missy Elliot released “Miss E…So Additctive,” her third studio album on May 15, 2001, and it was a great record for her career. It contained singles “Get Ur Freak On,” and “One Minute Man,” which both topped the Billboard 100 chart at #7 and #15, respectively. She also had “Is That Your Chick,” top at #68 on the chart, and was credited with her feature on Janet Jackson’s chart-topping single “Son of a Gun.”


2001 was a huge year for singer Aaliyah as far as her career, but also the same tragic year she lost her life in a plane accident on August 25. She had two songs top the Billboard 100 charts that year, “We Need a Resolution,” and “Rock the Boat.” These two songs were singles on her final studio album, released posthumously on July 7, 2001. 

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston has a long list of accomplishments, recognition and songs that have topped the charts in several categories. Although she did not release an album in 2001, Whitney still managed to have a song peak at #1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart: “The Star Spangled Banner.” It is considered one of Whitney’s greatest live performances, when she originally sang it at the 2001 Super Bowl XXV at Tampa Stadium. After the attacks on 9/11, Arista Records released the recording, and Houston donated all the proceeds and royalty revenue of the single to victims and firefighters affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

Alicia Keys

2001 is the year a new RnB and Neo Soul singing sensation Alicia Keys took the world by storm. Keys released her debut studio album “Songs in A Minor,” on June 5, 2001. The music industry had never seen anything quite like it before. Her single “Fallin’,” peaked on the Billboard Top 100 chart on August 18, 2001. This wildly popular single stayed on the charts for a whopping 32 weeks.