Fail: Songs Singers Thought Would Blow Up But Didn’t

September 12, 2013  |  
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Sometimes a musician will strike gold with a song but more often than not, the song will fall quickly out of the minds of fans and radio stations. These singers thought they were releasing a hit but then the track failed to keep them in the spotlight. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent musical flops

Run the World (Girls)

Beyonce has certainly proved she is one of the biggest entertainers on the planet but even the “Bootylicious” singer has a misstep every now and again. After ditching her fellow Destiny’s Child members for a solo career, Beyonce became an international superstar. Gearing up for her 2011 album 4, Beyonce released the single “Run the World (Girls),” a mash of pop and R&B with a hint of an African beat. The single did receive moderate success but none near the height of Beyonce’s other hits like “Single Ladies.” The married mom of one did find her hit single of the album with “Love On Top” though.

Girl on Fire

Women everywhere were able to relate to Alicia Keys’ first single “Fallin,” the 2001 smash hit about falling in and out of love with the same person. With her piano playing and husky voice, Alicia Keys became one of the biggest R&B singers of her time. After taking a break from the music business to start a family, Keys returned with a flame in her belly and the new song “Girl On Fire.” She recruited rapper Nicki Minaj for the inferno version. Although she received moderate success, the song failed to return Keys to her original superstar status — and mostly annoyed everyone with the hook.

Mariah Carey

Maiah Carey has been in the game for a long time and has seen her share of ups and downs in her career. After her first movie, Glitter, bombed and she parted ways with her record label, Carey saw her career sink to new lows. But with a rebirth and a new album, The Emancipation of Mimi, in 2005, Carey was once again back on top. The “Butterfly” singer took some time off to get married and become a mother but even though she returned to the spotlight as a judge on Fox’s “American Idol,” Mimi took a bit longer returning to music. She finally released a song earlier this year by teaming up with R&B sensation Miguel for “Beautiful.” Although it received moderate success, in large thanks to debuting on the hit reality singing competition show, Carey is still looking for another number one hit.

Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland got her start with the R&B girl group Destiny’s Child, but after lead singer Beyonce left to pursue a solo career, Rowland had to watch from the sidelines as her best friend and sister became an international superstar. Although she was proud of Beyonce, Rowland did cop to having feelings of jealousy in her new song “Dirty Laundry.” Causing quite a stir, Rowland was very upfront with her feelings and even revealed she had been a victim of abuse. “Dirty Laundry” was a hot topic when it was first released, but it barely cracked the 50th mark on the Billboard chart.


Back in 2010, Usher released his sixth album, Raymond v. Raymond, to critical acclaim and commercial success. He had so much material left over that didn’t make it onto the platinum-selling album, the “Burn” singer decided to release another project. The lead single off of the Versus album was the Jay Z collaboration “Hot Tottie.” Although the ruckus beat provided the perfect rhythm for a club banger and it briefly peaked at 21 on the Billboard chart, the song quickly became a distant memory for most Usher fans.

Keyshia Cole

Keyshia Cole has been in the music industry for over a decade. After gaining success and fans with her platinum selling albums and a reality television show, Cole took a brief hiatus from music to start a family. Emerging with new management, the California native couldn’t move albums the way she used to. Cole released “I Ain’ Thru” featuring rapper Nicki Minaj on her birthday in 2010. Too bad the reception wasn’t a great gift to Cole. She admitted to making a poor choice in releasing “I Ain’t Thru” instead of going with a more soulful selection like hr record label suggested.


Singer Amerie instantly garnered fans with her syrupy sweet yet soulful debut single “Why Don’t We Fall In Love?” in 2002. After teaming up with Jay Z for a song off of her second album, the New York native scored her biggest hit with “1 Thing.” Amerie released the follow up single “ Talkin About” which also climbed up the Billboard chart. After parting ways with her old record label, Amerie’s career floundered. Staging a comeback, the Hot singer released brand new music in 2009. “Why R U” served as the lead single off of her fourth album. But the song never quite reached the same level her previous hits reached. Reports surfaced that Amerie would release another project in 2013 but has yet to debut any new material.

Whitney Houston

She may be the only artist to chart seven consecutive number one hits on the Billboard charts but every song Whitney Houston sings, doesn’t go gold. After a stellar career with almost 30 years in the business, the “I Will Always Love You” singer tried to recharge her career in 2009 with the new song “I Look To You.” Written by R. Kelly, the song failed to make it past number 70 on the Billboard charts. Houston was planning on making yet another musical comeback in 2012 when she passed away suddenly the night before the Grammy Awards.

Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown got his start in the R&B group New Edition before ditching the crew and flying solo. After marrying superstar Whitney Houston, Brown tried to resurrect his music career by recruiting his then wife to sing a duet with the “Don’t Be Cruel” singer for his 1992 solo album Bobby. The couple sang “Something In Common,” a song celebrating two people with different backgrounds finding love and common ground. Although a video was shot for the song, its tepid response was the reason why the song was never released as an official single.


Ashanti was christened as the First Lady of Murder Inc. During the label’s heyday, the Long Island native could be heard singing the hook on countless songs for her fellow labelmates, including Ja Rule. After taking an almost a three-year break from releasing new music and suffering several setbacks, Ashanti finally dropped a new song at the top of 2012. Set to drum up some buzz for her upcoming Braveheart album, “The Woman You Love” failed to keep the spotlight back on Ashanti, who has pushed the album back to early 2014. Luckily for the “Baby” singer, she landed her first recurring acting role on Lifetime’s “Army Wives.”

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj made her name working the underground mixtape circuit in the rap game before catching the eyes and ears of rapper Lil Wayne. After signing to his label, Minaj was featured on countless guest spots and had a huge buzz bubbling before her first official album was released. Gearing up to drop Pink Friday towards the end of 2010, the “Super Bass” rapper released the single “Massive Attack” featuring Sean Garrett. Although the video featured Minaj and model Amber Rose in skintight bodysuits showing off their curvaceous bodies, the song was panned by critics and fans alike and never made it on to her debut album.

Brad Paisley

Singer Brad Paisley released his first single in 1999 and soon after that he became a country star. After releasing nine albums, Paisley decided to address what is still considered a taboo topic in the U.S.: racism. Looking to collaborate with someone from another genre, the West Virginia native asked old school rapper LL Cool J to lend his services. The result was “Accidental Racist.” Although his intentions were harmless, the song caused quite a bit of controversy for its content and was panned by critics as a poor attempt to apologize. The controversy didn’t turn into sales but it did get the country to continue the conversation about racism.

Jennifer Hudson

Fans across the country were shocked when Jennifer Hudson was voted off early on the third season of Fox’s “American Idol.” Undeterred by the loss, Hudson snagged the role of Effie in the 2006 Dreamgirls remake. After earning an Oscar in the first role ever, the Chicago singer could do no wrong. In 2011, a slimmed down Hudson became the spokesperson for Weight Watchers. Although the commercial, which featured Hudson singing the song “New Day” was the talk of the town, more people were concerned with her shape than her music. Originally from a 1964 musical, Hudson’s version was a promotional single that found a home on the 2011 I Remember Me album.


In 2004, Ciara had everyone doing the “1, 2 Step” after her debut album Goodies was released. After two platinum selling albums, the Hot singer saw her sales and popularity decline with each new release. Earlier this year, Ciara once again dropped new music hoping to reclaim her fame with the song “Body Party.” The NSFW video featured a scantily clad Ciara giving her boyfriend and producer of the song Future a lap dance and it immediately went viral. Although the song was nominated for “Best Choreography” at the MTV VMAs, the song didn’t reach the heights of her previous hits.

Kim Kardashian

After conquering the world of reality television, Kim Kardashian decided to try her hand at music. In 2011, Kardashian teamed up with uber-producer/singer The-Dream in the studio. The result was the dance/pop hybrid song “Jam (Turn It Up).” The song was dissed by critics and fans alike. Kardashian recruited famed music video director Hype Williams and although the video shoot spanned over several days in L.A., it was never officially released. After the less than stellar reception her only song received, the most famous Kardashian sister retired from the music business.

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