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Best Female Pop Single (1991)

Here are some of the 10 biggest pop songs sung by female solo artists in 1991.

This was the peak for Janet and Madonna, and the R&B dance/pop from Paula Abdul/Tara Kemp/Karyn White/Cathy Dennis proved to be just a fad.

Which is your personal favorite?

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by Anonymousreply 11306/09/2020


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by Anonymousreply 105/12/2020


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by Anonymousreply 205/12/2020

Paula Abdul:

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by Anonymousreply 305/12/2020

Karyn White:

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by Anonymousreply 405/12/2020

Tara Kemp:

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by Anonymousreply 505/12/2020

Cathy Dennis:

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by Anonymousreply 605/12/2020

I had that Cathy Dennis single, back in the day

by Anonymousreply 705/12/2020

Technically, wasn't Justify My Love 1990? I thought Rescue Me, which followed up Justify My Love, came out in January, 1991.

by Anonymousreply 805/12/2020

R8 it went to #1 in 1991 for two weeks though

I remember Madonna being inescapable from 1989-1992, Like a Prayer era through Sex book/Erotica era

On every magazine cover, talked about everywhere, nonstop Madonna weekends on MTV etc

by Anonymousreply 905/12/2020

I'll one up you R7 I had the Tara Kemp cassette and I thought I was the shit in my neighborhood

by Anonymousreply 1005/12/2020

Yes R8, it was released in 1990.

I used the Billboard year end chart for 1991, so it must have been a hit in winter 1991.

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by Anonymousreply 1105/12/2020

There was a whole episode of Nightline devoted to the controversy around "Justify My Love," MTV wouldn't play the video before a certain hour. I half expected it to feature uncensored fisting rather than mild s&m and a few flashes of tit.

by Anonymousreply 1205/12/2020

Tara Kemp is an American singer/songwriter best known for her Gold Record HOLD YOU TIGHT. Releasing new music! Stay tuned!

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by Anonymousreply 1305/12/2020

R12 yes and the video controversy made the cover of Entertainment Weekly and Time (!) magazine, during the Gulf War no less

People tend to forget or weren't around to witness Madonna's astonishing peak, everything in pop culture was Madonna, Madonna, Madonna

by Anonymousreply 1405/12/2020


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by Anonymousreply 1505/12/2020

Justify My Love has my vote. But if this had been on the list--this was never released in America--it would have been my choice. (Released January, 1991)

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by Anonymousreply 1605/12/2020

It's funny to think that there was a time when Amy Grant had music videos regularly played on MTV. And she was even nominated for an MTV video music award. This would never happen today:

Best Female music video:

Janet Jackson – "Love Will Never Do (Without You)"

Paula Abdul – "Rush Rush"

Neneh Cherry – "I've Got You Under My Skin"

Amy Grant – "Baby Baby"

Madonna – "Like a Virgin (Truth or Dare version)"

But Heart in Motion is a great album, I don't care what people say.

by Anonymousreply 1705/12/2020

Tara Kemp owes Jazzie B some royalties.

And no love for Whitney? I think this is one of her best.

by Anonymousreply 1805/12/2020

R18 I prefer Miracle by Whitney

by Anonymousreply 1905/12/2020

True R14, she got rich off that banned video. The SNL parody:

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by Anonymousreply 2005/12/2020

Amy Grant:

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by Anonymousreply 2105/12/2020

I always hated “Baby Baby” by Amy Grant. “Good For Me” was much better.

by Anonymousreply 2205/12/2020

Whitney's National Anthem performance completely overshadowed IYBT. It was one of those moments that everyone was talking about the next day. Then radio started playing it as a single and she did that concert for HBO for the Gulf War Troops.

Bette Midler's From a Distance and Whitney's National Anthem were Gulf War anthems.

by Anonymousreply 2305/12/2020

[quote] It's funny to think that there was a time when Amy Grant had music videos regularly played on MTV.

This was the #28 song of 1991.

Nirvana, Dr. Dre and the Clintons spelled the end for this style of pop.

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by Anonymousreply 2405/12/2020

R24 how do you explain Celine Dion exploding in late 1993 then?

by Anonymousreply 2505/12/2020

R20 is pure nostalgia that will never come back: funny, likable Madonna and non-irritating, non-asshole Mike Myers.

by Anonymousreply 2605/12/2020

This was also the year of Truth or Dare. Back when Madonna was still fun and entertaining and somewhat self-aware.

by Anonymousreply 2705/12/2020

R27 the highest grossing music documentary of all time in 1991

by Anonymousreply 2805/12/2020

Why does every music thread have to turn into a Madonna thread?


by Anonymousreply 2905/12/2020

[quote] There was a whole episode of Nightline devoted to the controversy around "Justify My Love," MTV wouldn't play the video before a certain hour. I half expected it to feature uncensored fisting rather than mild s&m and a few flashes of tit.

Madonna was certainly hotter in early 1991, but that vanished once Janet's video took over MTV.

It was the first time she expressed her sexuality in a video. Janet's video exposed Madonna's tit flash as a pathetic last grab for attention.

by Anonymousreply 3005/12/2020

It’s not like we’re lauding “Die Another Day”, R29. It’s arguably the most interesting song on the list.

by Anonymousreply 3105/12/2020

R30 hi Janbot, you would know about "pathetic tit grabs for attention" being a Janet fan and all

Madonna STILL hadn't released the Sex book and Erotica video yet

by Anonymousreply 3205/12/2020

Tara's 2nd big 1991 hit:

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by Anonymousreply 3305/12/2020

[quote] Why does every music thread have to turn into a Madonna thread?

Any "female pop music" thread from 1983 - 2000 has to mention Madonna.

I'm not her biggest fan but her influence can't be erased.

by Anonymousreply 3405/12/2020

Madge and Janet getting the most votes. Of course.

by Anonymousreply 3505/12/2020

Janet just won an online poll!

Janbot is busy updating her Wikipedia page with her newest award:

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by Anonymousreply 3605/12/2020

Thank you, R33. Piece of My Heart was so much better than Hold You Tight.

by Anonymousreply 3705/12/2020

It seems ridiculous now, but Paula's song destroyed Whitney, Madonna, and Janet on the charts.

It was the #4 hit of 1991.

Her second release (below) was the #41 song of the year. It was not without its own controversy, as its video tricks may have foreshadowed the MTV "Vibeology" fiasco in September 1991.

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by Anonymousreply 3805/12/2020

Karyn hit #12 with her next single.

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by Anonymousreply 3905/12/2020

Mariah silences her critics with this performance:

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by Anonymousreply 4005/12/2020

Tracie Spencer's biggest hit was the #45 song of 1991.

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by Anonymousreply 4105/12/2020

"Just Another Dream" is a song by Cathy Dennis, released as her debut solo single in 1989. It initially failed to enter the UK charts, and was later re-issued in 1990, and then again in 1991. It was released in the United States with a different version (a shorter edit of the album version).

"Just Another Dream" reached the Billboard top 10 in January 1991, peaking at No. 9 on February 2, 1991. It also peaked at number two for three weeks on the dance charts.

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by Anonymousreply 4205/12/2020

Janbot, don't forget that Enya, Shania and Beyoncé have all outsold your alleged global "icon".

by Anonymousreply 4305/12/2020

Did Justify My Love go to number one based on sales alone? Because I never once heard that song played on the radio stations where I lived (maybe because I was in the Midwest?).

by Anonymousreply 4405/12/2020

I was listening to tons of pop music in 1991 but I don't remember "This House" at all

by Anonymousreply 4505/12/2020

Fair point R25. Celine was #37 of 1991 with this hit.

Janet/Mariah/Whitney ruled the charts in 1992/1993/1994. The disposable dance/pop was no longer fashionable.

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by Anonymousreply 4605/12/2020

R44, Justify My Love was #1 for 5 weeks on the Sales chart and #2 on the Airplay chart but I don't ever remember hearing it on the radio either and I lived in Brooklyn.

by Anonymousreply 4705/12/2020

I loved me some Tara Kemp and Cathy Dennis in 7th grade! Not surprisingly, I turned out to be gay.

by Anonymousreply 4805/12/2020

[quote]People tend to forget or weren't around to witness Madonna's astonishing peak, everything in pop culture was Madonna, Madonna, Madonna

We will never see anything like that again. Nobody is that famous anymore, or has that kind of cultural impact.

by Anonymousreply 4905/12/2020

Another example of Madonna being untouchable at this point: Madonna also released a video single for “Justify My Love” which sold over a million copies despite costing about $10.

by Anonymousreply 5005/12/2020

Someday, Mariah Carey, big time. I loved that video.

by Anonymousreply 5105/12/2020

I was SHOCKED my mother actually gave me the Justify My Love video as a stocking stuffer that Christmas.

by Anonymousreply 5205/12/2020

Either she was a cool mom, or a clueless mom.

by Anonymousreply 5305/12/2020

I'm not a huge Mariah fan, but Someday is a fun song

by Anonymousreply 5405/12/2020

Mariah's peak was from 1990 through 1997 and she released like 6 albums during that time (including the Unplugged album) but it's interesting that her fans seem most interested in the songs from Music Box, Merry Christmas, Daydream and The Emancipation of Mimi. Her first two albums and Unplugged are ignored on youtube and spotify by comparison.

by Anonymousreply 5505/12/2020

I lived in Orlando and they played Justify My Love constantly. I even remember hearing it for the first time on Y106. It was, in terms of airplay on the station I listened to, like Vogue: it seemed they played it every half hour or so. There was definitely airplay behind it but I can see where some stations might have been hesitant to play it. Remember that there was the whole obscenity in music movement at that time and you had performers being arrested and venues being threatened (2Live Crew, for one, in Florida and Madonna threatened with arrest a few months before in Canada. )

by Anonymousreply 5605/12/2020

Definitely Miss Cathy Denis because she made a cover of the song that played during the gayest scene in horror movie history!

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by Anonymousreply 5705/12/2020

R52 She knew her son was a fag.

by Anonymousreply 5805/12/2020

Who the fuck are Karyn White and Tara Kemp?

by Anonymousreply 5905/12/2020

The poor woman's Jody Watley and Paula Abdul.

by Anonymousreply 6005/13/2020

1991 belonged to Corina and her purple crushed velvet catsuit!

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by Anonymousreply 6105/13/2020

The Hold You Tight video is soooo early 90s

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by Anonymousreply 6205/13/2020

This should have made the poll. It continues to be the best song and video from a female pop act for the year 1991, it has aged so much better than the other shit listed here also.

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by Anonymousreply 6305/13/2020

Rescue Me (Club MTV):

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by Anonymousreply 6405/19/2020

I thought Rescue Me was just okay

by Anonymousreply 6505/19/2020

You have horrid taste OP

by Anonymousreply 6605/19/2020

LOL, it's not me, these were the biggest female hits on the 1991 Billboard chart.

by Anonymousreply 6705/19/2020


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by Anonymousreply 6805/19/2020

Emotions is the only one that held up and is still played.

by Anonymousreply 6905/19/2020

1990-91 was a weird transitional couple of years in pop music. Lots of awful songs.

by Anonymousreply 7005/19/2020

That was my era and there are some songs here that I don't even remember. I also looked over the charts and Bette Midler had it for "From a Distance", Oleta Adams made it for the equally treacly "Get Here". Bonnie Raitt's "Something to Talk About" is better known than many of them but wasn't a huge single because everyone had the album. Martha Wash deserves a mention because C&C is #3 and #51 and wouldn't have achieved the success without her vocals. In true Dreamgirls fashion, she was replaced in the videos by a prettier, slimmer girl.

by Anonymousreply 7105/19/2020

"Gonna Make You Sweat" by C+C Music Factory is one of my secret guilty pleasures. I play it on my earbuds when I work out at the gym. I would only admit to this anonymously.

by Anonymousreply 7205/19/2020

Something to Talk About was huge!

by Anonymousreply 7305/19/2020

[quote] Who the fuck are Karyn White and Tara Kemp?

Tara Kemp hit #3 with Hold You Tight. Her Instagram is at R13.

Karyn White was #1 with Romantic. She married Janet's producer Terry Lewis in 1992.

by Anonymousreply 7405/19/2020

Tara Kemp's "Piece Of My Heart" and "Hold You Tight" still sound good today, unlike a lot of other songs on that chart.

by Anonymousreply 7505/19/2020

Debbie Gibson had the worst stylist and Art Director. All her album cover are horrendous.

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by Anonymousreply 7605/19/2020

Totally disagree R70. There were so many good songs from 90-91

by Anonymousreply 7705/19/2020

My favorite female songs from that year were a trio of Kylie hits. Better the Devil You Know Step Back in Time What Do I have to Do.

I was a young gay on overseas study in Europe and loved Kylie from that moment.

Dumbass David Geffen didn’t release this album though after one flop record in the USA

by Anonymousreply 7805/19/2020

r77 look at the chart of the top 100 songs of 1991 above. Most of it is just garbage.

by Anonymousreply 7905/19/2020

Miracle was my fave Whitney song in 1991. Such a beautiful voice.

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by Anonymousreply 8005/19/2020

Vanessa Williams:

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by Anonymousreply 8105/19/2020

Lisa Lisa:

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by Anonymousreply 8205/19/2020

[quote] look at the chart of the top 100 songs of 1991 above. Most of it is just garbage.

THis was the last year before Soundscan changed the Billboard 100. Most of these hits were payola.

[quote] Previously, Billboard tracked sales by calling stores across the U.S. and asking about sales—a method that was inherently error-prone and open to outright fraud. Indeed, while transitioning from the calling to tracking methods, the airplay and sales charts (already monitored by Nielsen) and the Hot 100 (then still using the calling system) often did not match (for instance Paula Abdul's "Promise of a New Day" and Roxette's "Fading Like a Flower" reached much higher Hot 100 peaks than their actual sales and airplay would have allowed them to.

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by Anonymousreply 8305/19/2020

Debbie's last hit:

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by Anonymousreply 8405/19/2020

Oleta Adams beautiful version of "Get Here". Brings me to tears. Done with grace and simplicity.

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by Anonymousreply 8505/19/2020

Wendy Ho's parody of "Get Here," called "Fuck Me."

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by Anonymousreply 8605/19/2020

DL always brings da class.

by Anonymousreply 8705/19/2020

That's not even her raunchiest, r87.

by Anonymousreply 8805/19/2020

Holy shit, I think that's Camille Grammer dancing in R64's video. She was dancing like a hoe even then!

by Anonymousreply 8905/19/2020

Where R84? In Germany? Certainly not in the US.

by Anonymousreply 9005/20/2020

Debbie Gibson was the last female teen pop star who looked like a normal teenager and not like an underaged prostitute.

by Anonymousreply 9105/20/2020

R91 you are correct. Teen pop would die down around 1991. Debbie Gibson and Tiffany were done by then. Pop music turned to grunge rock and hip hop, two relative extremes. I was very tuned into pop music and dance music as a kid, and around 1992-93, it was like a switch flipped. Top 40 stations started playing artists like Nirvana and Snoop Dogg. Suddenly I couldn't stand anything on the radio anymore. Teen pop wouldn't come back until the Britney/Christina/Spice Girls wave starting around 1996-97. That's when music got lighter and fun again. But yes, the teen pop stars of the late 90's would be the first set to be aggressively marketed with sex.

by Anonymousreply 9205/20/2020

Debbie Gibson and Tiffany were done by 1989.

by Anonymousreply 9305/21/2020

R93 correct. The 80's teen pop stars had a much shorter shelf life. I grew up around NYC, and dance music was HUGE on the radio then. Hot 97, now known for 20+ years as a flagship station for hip hop music, was a full dance pop station from 1986-92. Even our Top 40 stations began to play freestyle and house music records. 1991 was a huge year for those sort of records. Then in '92 things got weird. It's like everyone suddenly wanted to listen to grunge or rap, and anything happy sounding was suddenly a four letter word. It was like that for a good 4 years or so until dance music really re-emerged in pop form with acts like La Bouche, Real McCoy etc. The early 90's was a very strange time for pop music.

by Anonymousreply 9405/21/2020

R94 AIDS crisis, Greed and Leave It To Beaver facade of the Reagan years led to mass depression.

by Anonymousreply 9505/21/2020

I remember a critic from Slant Magazine writing that The Cranberries debut was probably the happiest thing on the radio in 1993. But let's not forget the biggest song of the 90s is I Will Always Love You from 1992. So it wasn't like pop really was dead. As a whole, it just took a back seat to those other genres for a bit.

by Anonymousreply 9605/21/2020

[quote] Hot 97, now known for 20+ years as a flagship station for hip hop music, was a full dance pop station from 1986-92. Even our Top 40 stations began to play freestyle and house music records. 1991 was a huge year for those sort of records

Madonna's Vogue surprised a lot of people when it was such a big pop hit (Spring 1990).

After that there was a rush of house-influenced pop for the next year or two.

by Anonymousreply 9705/22/2020

Ce Ce Peniston.

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by Anonymousreply 9805/22/2020

"...let's not forget the biggest song of the 90s is I Will Always Love You from 1992."

Biggest song of the 90s?

Excuse me...???

by Anonymousreply 9905/23/2020

Candle in the Wind does not count, it was a charity single.

by Anonymousreply 10005/23/2020

The candle burned out long before the royalties ever did.

by Anonymousreply 10105/23/2020

"...let's not forget the biggest song of the 90s is I Will Always Love You from 1992."

Biggest song of the 90s...???

Excuse me...???

Nippy was #1 for 14 weeks.

by Anonymousreply 10205/24/2020

I will Always Love You sold much more than One Sweet Day did. 4 million in the US and like another 10 million globally.

by Anonymousreply 10305/24/2020

I Will Always Love You is more highly regarded than that schmaltzy It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday Part 2.

by Anonymousreply 10405/24/2020

Right, One Sweet Day is one of those songs like My Heart Will Go On that I think is looked back on with more embarrassment than nostalgia. At least by Americans.

by Anonymousreply 10505/25/2020

Does anyone remember this one?

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by Anonymousreply 10606/08/2020

I couldn't listen to most of this stuff back then, let alone now. Siouxsie for me that year...

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by Anonymousreply 10706/08/2020

Mariah was so pretty when she was young and skinny.

by Anonymousreply 10806/08/2020

No contest: Whitney.

by Anonymousreply 10906/08/2020

Tara Kemp is a great example of the music industry's one time ability to take a charisma-free individual with a decent voice and make a star out of that person.

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by Anonymousreply 11006/08/2020

R106, a “hipster” bar I frequent regularly (or used to pre-COVID) has that song in its regular rotation.

It’s weird as shit but so fun. Was it an actual hit?

by Anonymousreply 11106/08/2020

I think using the word star when describing Tara Kemp is a bit much. She had 2 top 10 hits, even though the album from which they were released only reached 109 on the Billboard 200. Most people don't remember her songs or her name.

by Anonymousreply 11206/09/2020

r111, this says it peaked at #98 (in the US)

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by Anonymousreply 11306/09/2020
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