Nothing Was The Same: Artists We Thought Would Be Hot Forever

October 9, 2014  |  
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Was there an artist you saw everywhere at one time or another and thought that they would always be “on”? Yeah, the 00s (and the ’90s) were filled with them, but a change in the sound of Hip-Hop and R&B, and a change in the way people buy and obtain music (and a change in skills and vocal abilities…) has caused some of the people who used to be on top to be somewhat forgotten about these days. It happens often, but we were surprised when these particular people (who aren’t one-hit wonders) were on top–and then all of a sudden were nowhere near the top years later.

Credit: AP Image

Ja Rule

You couldn’t tell me after Ja Rule was on top of the charts with albums like Rule 3:36 and Pain Is Love, and after helping Jennifer Lopez get two #1 hits with “I’m Real” and “Ain’t It Funny,” that he wasn’t going to be on top for years to come.

But alas…

Well before and after the release of The Last Temptation, Ja Rule (born Jeffrey Atkins) started heavily beefing publically with 50 Cent, who would be a formidable threat in the rap game about to take the top spot. And on top of that, after a while, Murder Inc. was under investigation for drug trades, so Ja ended up leaving the company behind in 2009. From there, he was no longer the big fish and eventually found himself in prison for gun possession. Now out and about, Ja still performs (he just did a show in Nigeria with Ashanti), but people aren’t necessarily checking for him like they used to.



Say what you will now, but when Ashanti first came out with her self-titled debut album, it was major. So major that at the time (2002), it set a Soundscan record for the biggest opening week sales for a new female artist. Back then she was also the first female entertainer to hold the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time (for “What’s Luv?” with Fat Joe and “Foolish”). Yeah, she was kind of like a big deal, and also went #1 with her second album, Chapter II. 

But after the release of her third album (Concrete Rose), the interest in her sound waned as competition heated up. And like labelmate Ja Rule, she left Murder Inc. behind to go it alone. She hasn’t reached anywhere near the level of success she had in the early 00s, but she’s having success with acting these days.

Image Source:


How many people had Nellyville? Go ahead and raise your hand because you’re definitely not alone. Nelly was one of the biggest artists of the last decade and that is evident through the sales of his first three to four albums. But by the time he came out with Brass Knuckles in 2008, folks were getting a little tired of the country twang and his album sales started to decline.  Well, the good news is that he looks better than ever! And for those tried and true Nelly fans, you’ll be glad to know that aside from doing “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” he’ll also have his own reality show on BET.



Stop acting like 100% Ginuwine wasn’t everything back in the day! After going double platinum with his sophomore effort, which was heavily produced by Timbaland, Ginuwine was everything with the ladies and got lots of respect for his slick dance moves. And he also gained even more fans with “Differences” in 2001. But after that, he and Timbaland stopped working together and the quality of his music, along with the sales, went down.  Nowadays, he’s running around with TGT, and being accused of being high on-stage and off, more often than not.

The host of this year’s BMAs, Ludacris. Judy Eddy/


Album after album, Ludacris was a musical force to be dealt with, thanks to his punch lines and colorful music videos. And he was on a roll (out of Back for the First Time, Word of Mouf, Chicken-n-Beer, The Red Light District and Release Therapy, I’m sure you had at least one or two of those albums).  But once he cut off his braids, he decided to focus his energy on acting (going as Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges), which was a good move. So when he tried to return to the rap game, people weren’t really here for it like they used to be.


50 Cent

Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was quite the mega-hit in 2003, and you couldn’t go through that year without seeing 50 on the cover of somebody’s magazine, picking up some major award, or being interviewed any and everywhere. He had singlehandedly shut down Ja Rule’s career, and hell, he had been shot nine times before–the man was like a machine.

But oh how the mighty fall…

While 50 is making money hand over fist with his endorsements, investments and other business ventures, he spends a lot of his time picking at fellow celebrities to get attention. As for his music career, his latest album, Animal Ambition, has so far sold 91,000 copies since its release in June.

Image Source:

Alicia Keys

Can’t get enough of Songs in A MinorThe Diary of Alicia Keys or As I Am, but the A. Keys of yesteryear and the Alicia Keys of today sound totally different. I’ll take “You Don’t Know My Name” and “Jane Doe” on repeat over “Girl on Fire” any day. Just saying! You know we still love you Alicia…

Source: WENN


As Sisqo put it, everything he did back in the day when he was hot is what everyone is trying to do now–including dyeing their hair–and maybe that’s why he was on top of the world in 2000. The “Thong Song” catapulted him from Dru Hill frontman to international pop star (a pop star with his share of beefs–including ones with R. Kelly and Usher). But just as quick as he was on top of the world, people forgot about “the dragon” and it was back to trying to keep his career going with Dru Hill.

Image Source:


Brandy, to me, was America’s sweetheart at one time. She had her own successful TV show, her own Barbie doll, and two massively big albums (I still play Never Say Never out). But after word spread about the marriage that wasn’t, things just weren’t the same for Brandy, which is a shame because her voice has really matured. Honestly, it’s stronger than it has ever been and deserves to be heard. But we all know that these days, people are only trying to support the same two or three singers.



Dark Man X is still one of the best-selling hip-hop artists to ever do it (with more than 30 million albums sold and five consecutive #1 spots on the Billboard 200 chart), but with album delays, back-to-back arrests, drug problems and children by multiple women that he fails to support, Earl Simmons’ personal life became more popular than his music career.



While she didn’t have the strongest voice in the world, for a time there, Mya was pretty big. You have to be making some type of waves for Nickelodeon to want you to make a song for one of their movies (“Take Me There”). And “Case of the Ex” was every scorned woman’s anthem in 2000.  She could dance well, she could sing pretty good, and she was cute! But Mya’s career definitely didn’t go as far as I thought that it would during that time (yet and still, “My Love is Like…Wo” is still my jam).



You couldn’t tell me (and hundreds of other women) that Mason Betha wasn’t my husband back in the day. For his good looks, wordplay and hits, I was quite sure that Mase was going to be huge for years to come. I mean, alongside Lil Kim, he managed to keep Bad Boy afloat after the Notorious B.I.G. passed. But when Mase decided to leave music to serve God (an honorable thing), people somewhat forgot about him by the time he tried to come back years later. Plus, the fact that he was dipping in and out of the church and the rap game at the same time still doesn’t sit well with folks. It was fun while it lasted, Mase.


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  • Bukola Adedeji

    Why are they all black??!!!!

  • Goldiebambino

    without knowing most of these and there being no before and after pics how the hell are we ment to see how they have changed and got ugly!!!!!

  • rich

    I don’t even know who most of these people are.

  • olgurlatcsu

    Kinda fizzled out in that article after the first 3 or 4. A few of these artist are VERY relevant in the entertainment industry; just not in music.

  • sydnaz

    why are all these artists black? lol. surely there are some artists of other ethnicities that aren’t seeing the limelight these days too! weeeeeird

  • b

    all these artists are still millionaires

  • Dale Lenting

    I’ve heard of two of these people….no clue who the rest are.

  • inpips

    Why are they all black?

    • Shock Wave

      because they got black parents…duh!

  • HipHoplover78

    A misleading fact was written twice in this article. 50 Cent did not singlehandedly shut down Ja’s career. He had some help from someone that a few people may have heard of before, Eminem….. I appreciate this site is a celebration of black culture but lets not be untruthful about things just because it may have involved somebody who happens to be white.

  • Thomas Tara

    Dmx is an ANIMAL ABUSER on top of being a LOSER.

  • hanna

    Err this article should be called ‘Black artists we thought would be hot forever’.

  • Jimbopbeebop McDonald

    Who are these people? They can’t be famous.

  • Sonyafun

    I may not like “Girl On Fire” as much as Alicia’s first hits , although I do like it, but there are some other songs on the album that are really great and some I like as well. “Listen To Your Heart” is my favorite and just as good as anything she has ever done. “Brand New Me” is another good one and “When It’s All Over” is very nice. Alicia can’t stay the same forever but she is still here making the music I love. I hope she continues for a lot longer.

  • Chris Moon

    not one white person on the lst

  • Pani B

    You literally (and I mean literally) Listed all the artists I HATED back in the early 00’s They ruined hip hop and rnb for me and screw anyone who bought their crap!

  • Inder Singh Dhaliwal

    thats racist

  • professormouse

    Nowhere in the Ja Rule part did it mention his slip up on Live TV.
    The go to guy for Pop Damsels wanting to sound ‘Extra Black’,
    was asked in ‘South Efrica’ if he was going to Soweto later on.
    “What’s that, a Club ?”, he says !

  • CapitalistPig

    Is this like a black site or something? i didn’t recognize any of them. I’m just getting so uncool. sniff sniff.
    I can’t help it but I probably would call the police if saw any of them outside & they weren’t doing the lawn maintenance.

    • James Lowell Jr

      You’re gross, but I think you know that and I think that’s your intent. Get a life.

      • CapitalistPig

        Hope none of them come into our offices looking for a job dressed that way. Sounds like a few of them have hit hard times too.

  • James Lowell Jr

    I’m surprised to see Craig David didn’t make the list, or was he never as big as I thought he was? I loved his songs ‘Fill Me In,’ ‘Seven Days,’ and ‘Walking Away.’ Then he just disappeared.

    Also, you guys should edit the entry about Mase to include his recent Instagram embarrassment.

  • Jamie McDonald

    50 cent’s new album is GOOD and woulda sold like nuts… if people still bought music lol…

  • Papa Doc

    Wow.. Out of all the people you listed, only ONE stands out as a “surprise” that they didn’t “last forever” and that’s Alicia Keys (ok Maybe Brandy too). for the rest of that list. When Murda Inc went belly up you knew Ja and Ashanti were going with them.. and who honestly that they had a long future in this business.. Really?

    ..and I know of VERY few “down south style” rappers that have had a long lasting careers. Let me say what most are probably thinking.. it’s throw away music and you KNOW IT. ok ok ok.. Maybe Scarface, T.I. and Outkast.. but name some others that are still considered “classic”.. I’ll wait.

    ..and Finally DMX was a Crackhead before he even started doing music.. really?..Really? smh.

  • Rita Taylor

    Other than Alicia Keys, I didn’t see a single artist, only rappers and weak, weak singers.

  • Magz

    haha, of this list I have vaguely heard of two…so guess they were never that “Hot” in the first place!

  • Radek Milik

    Funny, how most of the “artists” listed here were never anything more that talentless wannabes anyway. Does anyone actually remember them?

  • Brice

    Why are the all black?

  • James James

    Seems the music industry is dominated by black musicians, well noise makers. I would like to see them just drop off the edge. They are not cool, not attractive and the few so called talented ones have relatives in the business pushing their records sales. But who is buying them?

  • Bob

    where da white women at?

  • coke

    alicia keys won best rnb album at the grammys this year so don’t know why the fuq she on this list

  • SamyyCiao

    You folks must be doing crack – I see more black women than ever with White Men in the malls, sporting events, church, everywhere – White Men have cash and good jobs – why not spend it for them most black women I know say. Another trend your missing – more and more married black women are having affairs with white men – same reason – cash and power are in!

  • Steve Frank

    jew media loves it when non jews fight each other over trivial stuff.

    Can we get a list of the 12 jews who we thought were going to be hot forever?

  • sumdumcracka

    Im sure they have all invested wisely and are keeping their noses clean, or can at least fall back on their formal education.

  • King Kamau

    I stopped looking after page 3 once I figured this was aimed at Blacks..Plus Ashanti is still good looking. Nice attempt at racism. Remind to never read from this writer/site again

  • lakawak

    Most of these either never WERE attractive, or are still reasonably attractive.

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  • Tim Parry

    More celebrities on this list than artists.

  • Trigger Hippy

    Jay-Z isn’t on this list. Who ever wrote this article doesn’t know much about HipHop in my opinion

  • MrCris

    “But when Mase decided to leave music to serve God (an honorable thing)…”

    Hhahah hilarious!

  • racist police (bob)

    very racist list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Paul David Graham

    Another waste of time. None of these people got uglier. In fact some of the girls ended up quite beautiful. (I’m not into guys so I can’t judge, but they appear to have grown up looking good.)

    Is the author a racist? All I saw were people of color being dumped on and none of them deserved it. I know there are some other ethnic people that were cute young and ended up NOT looking good. Why pick on these people?

    I’m getting tired of being tricked into looking at articles that were written by immature fools that have an agenda against the people they’re writing about. Half the time they can’t even spell and their grammar is atrocious… like VannDigital who has nothing intelligent to add to the conversation.

    As for the music: Many record companies ditch the older ones so they can sell new, younger ones – many of which need vocal correction to stay on pitch. The older singers need to go back to their original style of singing and work with producers that don’t tell them to scream during a song and ruin it. Alicia Keyes doesn’t need to sound like every other “hot” singer out there. We liked her because she was sincere – not a Mariah Carey knock off.

    Unfortunately, the record biz is looking for young kids to produce, not mature or original voices. It’s today’s gimmick.

  • Pat Rice

    Regarding Alicia, lord that superbowl performance was god-awful. I still like her music, but yeah her earlier stuff was much better.

  • Bill

    Funny how all of these artists are black.

  • temple62

    Pimps and crack ho’s – what’s to like!

  • jrg

    Why is it everyone on this list is Black? Could it be that their “talent” was minimal and the public finely woke up? If you ain’t got it in the first place, it ain’t gonna last in the second place…

  • Alice Enland

    I’ve heard of 1 of these people in my entire life.

  • Patrick Woods

    Never heard of any of them. Who are these unfamiliar losers?

  • John

    Of course they’re not cute any longer. They are mostly black.

  • Guest

    Were there any white people in that?

    • Walter Bellhaven

      consider what website this article is on.

  • Deir Omar

    so is this a “Black Artists” we thought were going to be pretty forever? Did i miss the part where it said they are focusing on blacks only?

    • Walter Bellhaven

      Did you notice that the name of the website is Madamenoire ? Noir is ‘black’ in French.

  • majicmahon

    So…you don’t like black artists?

  • jonathan larche

    Lots of racoons.

    • MsPhillyG

      Stop looking in the mirror….

  • guest

    Why are all these artists black? Is there a shortage of other artists that have become irrelevant? Not sure what the motive behind the segmented selection of these people

  • michael granato

    Why are they all black? Oh…it’s a black woman’s lifestyle magazine site!

  • ironmansouth

    Thugs on parade.

  • hisashi

    why are they all black artists? where are all the white one hit wonders or is that list waay to big.

  • Sherly Teegs

    I was wondering why everyone on the list is a ni$$er then I realized I am in that part of town….anyways shame on you house ni$$ers.

    • MsPhillyG

      You are the only ni$$er on this site….you ignorant POS.

  • Mumu27

    Why are all of the people on this list African-American? I’m not trying to be rude. It just seems odd because there are plenty of people who were popular, aren’t anymore, and aren’t African-American. This list seems pretty racist to me!

    • Michael Red

      This is a site dedicated to Black women. How do you not know this? I don’t even come here a lot, and I knew this. That’s like watching television in the US or Europe and saying, “why are all of these people on my television, white?”

      • Walter Bellhaven

        so it’s a FUBU kind of thing ?

  • dustin

    jesus man got something against blacks or what?
    what happened to britney spears, christina aguleria. all those pop starts that came and went this is a fallen rap list

  • Guest

    If you’re going to do a ‘who’s not hot’ list, you could put before and after photos to validate it.

  • Gary Mack

    all black artists? wow

    • wassup

      Had same thought

    • pete g

      i didn’t even realise that – because i don’t see colour as important at all heheh

      • Keep_It_Real

        That’s like saying that if you walk into a room filled with one side black and one side white, you wouldn’t notice? It’s not a crime to notice, it’s only a damn crime when you’re rude about it!

  • pete graham

    I viewed up till alicia keys and they all look the same as they did. just older and fatter, as expected. even then its not much different. what a negative article as well

  • Dawnsana

    I never really cared for Chump Change anyway (I’m sure you can figure out whom I’m talking about)…LOL

    For someone that was as so much Talent as Mya, I hated the song “WO”
    I did like her (song excluding lil wayne) “Lock U Down”, but it didn’t get much air play
    I’m into lyrics not just the beat. And the lyrics to this song is my anthem.

  • Fred

    None were/are hot. Are they all in prison? I’ve not heard of them.

  • Ashstar Noir

    Alicia Keys was only interesting to the R’N’B/Urban/Ghetto crowd because she was a rarity in this genre of music. She actually played an instrument, otherwise she was as lame as the rest of them with their generic/simplistic and obvious lyrical contents.

  • Khadijah

    Our school had a Ludacris concert recently where tickets were going for about $20 for students. By the week of the concert they were were giving out refunds for the tickets and giving them out for free…and that concert was still a bust

    • Nessa Fox


    • Damn, I thought Luda had more ;love than that.

  • positivebeatsnegative

    This article is hmmmmm kinda not the business…no one stays on top forever…look at the careers of most if not all the legends…MJ, Diana Ross, Prince, CHER, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi..heck Barbara Steisand (until recentlywhen was the last time they charted #1’s) most artist fluctuate in their career it adjusts, they will still book shows(depending on who they are) but as far as remaining at the top of the charts and everyone’s it list ususally doesn’t happen forever.

    • ackius

      True but I don’t think there’s any white people on any of these lists otherwise they would be a perfect example

  • tiredofyouall

    now I know why stopped looking at these blogs : STOP holding us hostage with the damned ads in the middle of an article !!

    • Paul David Graham

      If you look at the address (URL) you can see at the end a number between two /11/. When they tell you you can’t continue without listening to their stupid add, just go to that address and change the number to the next one. In this case /11/ to /12/ then press ENTER. It skips the ad and goes to the next page. You can do that on almost every site with lists like this.

      Also: If you want to look at #5 again, just replace the number with a /5/ and it will go directly to it without having to press BACK so many times and having to wait for each previous page to load.

  • Doll Phace

    AK fell out of favor when she became a homewrecker

    • Sonyafun

      You’ve got to be kidding. She didn’t fall out of favor except to those people who judge others on what they THINK they know. Anyway her personal life doesn’t concern me, she is the same beautiful person, artists, human being she’s always been.

      • Doll Phace

        Shut up.

  • Who’s that lady

    Man Ashanti just needed better writers, still my girl tho

  • ITrue

    Brandy can always come back, I think she is dope.

    • James Lowell Jr

      Totally agree. She just needs to work with the right people. I still play Full Moon, Afrodisiac, and Human all the time. Human was underrated. Afrodisiac deserved all the critical love.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    People thought Ashanti, Nelly, and Sisqo would remain relevant? People who know the music business or nah?

  • soisaid

    this list should have been called, “your 15 minutes are up”

  • wliu81

    i disagree with this article. at least the vast majority of songs they released back in the day is still 100% better than the so-called pop hip hop & r&b that is being churned out. they are still talented compared to the likes of jason derulo and others. she is also implying that just because they aren’t releasing that many records today, it means they are not worth listening to. that is bull.

  • NYClater

    Well 50 cent is still doing his thing. Some music fans are just immature and need things to look the way it looked to them when they were teenagers forever.

  • face

    brandy is still hot. dont be mad.

  • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

    I’d rather not have ears than have to listen to girl on fire ever again for the rest of my life

    • lulubear

      and her singing it live…

      • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

        i’m sure it’s like being waterboarded lol

        • lulubear

          lmao bye but yea extreme torture

    • Kim_Karsmashian

      She is a girl on fire…hell fire for sleeping with a married man…SMH

      • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

        lol…love ur name

        • Kim_Karsmashian

          😀 Thank you!

    • Ajuanya Washington


  • ladybug

    I actually agree with this list. I totally thought mya wOuld be hotter than she is now. And I still love brandy.

    • PolkaDots

      I love Mya! She STILL has my support. 50 shouldn’t be on this list. I don’t care what ANYBODY says.

    • Doll Phace

      Me too I love me some brandy and some chardonnay! !! Lol

  • Pingback: Nothing Was The Same: Artists We Thought Would Be Hot Forever - Beauty Tips Around The World | Beauty Tips Around The World()

  • Ayoka

    Whoever wrote this is disqualified. I know you didn’t put Brandy, Alicia, and Luda on the same list with Sisqo, Mya, and Ginuwine. LMAO. Obvious fail from the author.

    • Doll Phace

      Yeah they hit wit me wit Sisqo out tha left lol I’m like wth!!!

  • DaisyDuke

    The only thing I can say for Alicia Keys is this…

    Yes, people say thing changed because of the Swizz Beats situation, but I really think things went south once she started producing less and less with Krucial Keys and eventually stopped working with him. That was a production match made in heaven! Ever since then, she just hasn’t found a producer that she can create that magic with.

    • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

      I 100% agree! Her and Krucial keys flowed so well together. Hate that they had to mix business with pleasure and felt that they couldnt reconcile. Swizz is an awesome producer but his style and Alicia’s just didnt mesh well. To me he tried to make her more pop/hip hop vs neo-soul/hip hop and thats not who she is. I know that’s her husband and all but if it’s not broke, dont fix it.

      • Bored@Work

        That’s what JD did to Janet’s sound, and that failed miserably.

        • Doll Phace

          Just goes to show you Jay-Z knows what the hell he’s doing because this last beyonce album was my favorite besides crazy in love

    • Just Saying

      Things went south when she started all that hollering and screaming in a hoarse voice.

      • Youknowwhatiitis

        She did that on “Falling”. IDK why people hear what they wanna hear.

        • aDawn217

          She did that for effect on a few phrases in “Falling,” not the whole damn song. It’s like when Mariah Carey felt the need to start putting melismas on every. single. word.

        • Johnta Oneil

          She started singing with “raw emotion”, as she calls it, around when she released the unplugged album. She sounded the best in her more natural contralto voice, and she used mixed voice to hit the higher notes on Diary, and songs in A minor. She has damaged her voice singing the way that she did.

      • Bored@Work

        Her singing at Whitney’s funeral had me saying “Wtf, did she always sound like that?” My sister was like “where have you been?” I still love Diary of AK tho lol

        • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

          I think it was because she was emotional and trying not to cry. Diary was the ish but my favorite will always be Songs in A Minor

          • Ajuanya Washington

            I_am, you are so nice, but she just can’t sing gospel, real singers when they get emotional, they sing even better. It’s just certain songs she needs to stay away from and gospel for sure!

        • jetsetter01

          Omg! I was so distressed. Crying over Whitney & having to listen to A.Keyes holler & bam on the piano was torturous.

          • Kim_Karsmashian

            LOL She sounded a kitten being heated up in a microwave! I couldn’t take it and the flashbacks are bothering this Friday vibe I’m on…ROTFL

            • jetsetter01

              Right?! I have PTSD from that day & her name or any visions of her brings back the trauma. Suffering now @ the thought of her, lol

            • A kitten being heated up in a microwave…ROFL!!!!!!

      • Ajuanya Washington

        Amen! like she did @ Whitney’s funeral it was awful, thank God they had CeCe to let us know how you sing at funeral’s.

  • whoever wrote this article needa stop fuckin with that sh!t

    • Ron1429

      A wonderful command of the English language. You should wash your filthy mouth out – children use this site also.

      • out of everybody on this article you coulda fucked with, you had to fvck with me??? anyway, thats your problem. i aint got 1

        • neverusebadlanguage

          You haven’t got much of a brain either have you?

          • dont seem like you got much of a damn brain either with a name like neverusebadlanguage & liking your own comments

            • pete g

              burned! 🙂

            • Jaelynne Nicole

              Can’t we all just get along?

      • pete g

        no imo he is right, and children don’t need protecting from nothing-shit like that. otherwise they will be destroyed in the outside world. get a grip.