Fiona reminds me a lot of one of those character actors you see in films. You know the guys and gals, who are in about 10 films a year, usually a supporting cast or sidekick to the main character. You know them by face but if someone was to ask you their name, the best you could do is describe the character and the films he/she had played in. And when that somebody says, “Oh, you mean Stan Shaw?” And you’re like, “Yeah that guy. Yeah, I like him. What’s his name again? I got to write that one down so I can remember it.” Yeah, that’s Fiona.
It might come as a surprise to know that Fiona, born Melanie Hallim Fiona, is now on her second album. Her first album, The Bridge, debuted in 2009 with the smash hit, “It Kills Me,” which spent nine weeks at the top of Billboard’s top 100 R&B songs and garnered her a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Performance. She has been constantly on tour, opening for artists such as Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige. She would eventually go on to win two Grammys for R&B song and traditional R&B performance for her guest appearance on Cee-Lo Green’s “Fool for You.” Currently, her new album, The MF Life, which features musical heavyweights such as Nas, John Legend and T-Pain, has received critical praise. However, despite the fanfare from critics and industry folks alike, as demonstrated by the standing ovation she received from Beyoncé at the BET Awards, Fiona has not be able to connect with audiences the same way as demonstrated by her low record sales.
Some may contribute her lack of appeal to having that certain je ne sais quoi, also known as the “It” factor, to spur a legion of fans. It’s true that Fiona doesn’t exude the whole sexpot thing, nor does she have a noticeable gimmick as say a Lady Gaga, but neither does Adele or Beyoncé for that matter. Bey switches up styles like most folks change underwear, so that can’t be it.
Honestly, I think her lack of appeal might have to do with her being a foreign-born artist. While Justin Bieber and Drake, who coincidentally used to be in a group with Fiona, have been riding the Canadian wave, truth is, not many entertainers from North of the border have had great success Stateside. For instance, while Deborah Cox and Tamia both burned up the R&B charts with two of the greatest woman anthems of all time, neither could really capitalize off of that success and go beyond a few hit singles.
But who knows for sure. Audiences can be very fickle sometimes and there are many examples of great talents, who for some varied reason seem to fall by the wayside of fame. But I’m interested in hearing your thoughts: Why do some singers make it while others seem to fall from our memory?
Oh, in case you were wondering, Mary J killed it. And D’Angleo still has got it. I couldn’t see him too good – because of the scandalously bad seats and all–but he sounded on point. He performed for about 45 minutes, doing like four or five new songs and a melody of his older joints. He also teased the crowd with his joint, “How Does It Feel” when he paused and gestured as if he was about to take off his shirt. The ladies went bananas, screaming for him to “take it off.” He didn’t. Good thing he still has his voice…
More on Madame Noire!
- CASTING CALL! TV Shows That Should Come Back With A New Cast!
- Are You A Nice Girl or A Pushover?
- Things Women Think Are Hot But Men Don’t
- Free Drinks Are Never Free: The Price Of Being Thirsty
- You Should Take Things Slow, But How Slow Is Too Slow? 7 Signs You’ve Been Put In The Dreaded “Gray Zone”
- Bison For Life: 10 Famous Ladies Who Went To Howard University
- How I Learned To Stop Expecting My Vagina To Smell Like Roses And Just Loved It For What It Is