Faith Evans is on a high celebrating 20 years in R&B music. Yet, before executive producing the R&B Divas reality TV franchise or becoming a NY Times best-selling author, the soulful singer from Newark entered the music scene as the first female artist signed to Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs’ Bad Boy label back in the early ’90s. He signed her on the spot after her writing and arranging skills impressed the young hip-hop mogul. In 1995, Evans released her self-titled debut album that is often cited as her strongest body of work thanks to her angelic tone, lush harmonies and street vibe. The album produced the hit singles “You Used to Love Me,” “Ain’t Nobody” and “Soon As I Get Home” which helped make Faith Evans a ’90s icon.
While recording her debut album she married the late rapper Notorious B.I.G and unfortunately became part of hip-hop tabloid drama that often involved other big names at the time such as Tupac and Lil’ Kim. Nevertheless, Evans always proved in her music that she was much more than a media target. Like a true diva she turned negative energy into mesmerizing soul music that made audiences, as well as music peers from around the world relate to her story (especially if you saw her perform it live). Her albums are often mentioned by popular singers as inspiration. Think about it, until Faith Evans came around I don’t think there were many singers layering their backing vocals quite like her. That crisp sound had everyone from Whitney Houston to DMX and Jay-Z wanting Faith Evans on their tracks.