Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past. So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.
Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits. Today, we lend a look back at Letoya Luckett‘s self-titled, solo debut album…
Southern songbird Letoya Luckett rose to fame as one-fourth of R&b quartet Destiny’s Child. But, after a string of hits as a foursome, a highly publicized split saw Luckett and fellow former group member Latavia Roberson left behind as the group continued its reign atop charts with new members Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin (despite Franklin’s addition being short-lived).
‘No No No’
The DC-dismissal did not deter Luckett’s try at chart success, however. For, after the failure of the quickly defunct group Angel (with Roberson), the Houston-bred beauty began to eye a solo path. A path all too familiar to her former Destiny’s Child counterparts as, by 2005, each of them had tasted varying levels of solo success.
After the assembly of an all-star production team (Just Blaze, Scott Storch, Jermaine Dupri, Bryan Michael-Cox, Johnta Austin, Teddy Bishop, and more), Luckett crafted an album christened ‘Letoya’. Boasting writing credits on 10 of the album’s 14 tracks, summer of 2006 saw the ‘You Are Everything’ (Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross) sampled tune ‘Torn’ act as the songstress’s official introduction to charts:
In an era of music dominated by the hip hop flavored ‘Crunk’ and ‘Snap’ movements, a number of detractors thumbed down Toya’s decision to kick off her debut with a ballad. As luck or fate would have it, they were wrong…very wrong. The song shot to the top of R&B and pop charts, lending Letoya her first and only top 20 single on the Hot 100.
Heavy promotion of the tune helped the singer nab her first #1 album on Billboard, making her the second Destiny’s Child graduate to do so. And, despite follow-up singles ‘She Don’t’ (featuring then-boyfriend/rapper Slim Thug) and ‘Obvious’ not making the stamp the album’s lead single did, its success had critics championing the former underdog a winner.
We anxiously await what Lady Luck will be offering in the future. With two very solid, critically acclaimed albums under her belt, we are hoping #3 will be on the same plane – a glowing mix of R&B ballads with Houston-influenced upbeat numbers like modernized versions of ‘Tear Da Club Up’ and ‘Gangsta Grillz’…
‘Tear Da Club Up’