All roads lead to March 25th (today) for three of today’s most celebrated Urban pop acts – Zayn Malik, K. Michelle, and Anthony Hamilton.
Collectively stiffening competition for the existing heavyweights on the Billboard 200, the trio are set to unlock the gridlock Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Adele have had on the upper rankings of the album charts since the beginning of the year (read more on that here).
With stakes high for different reasons per player, tuck in below to tell us: who are you buying?
First, there’s K. Michelle.
An anomaly amongst her R&B contemporaries, Michelle has successfully navigated the reality show game in a way that has yielded excellent returns on her desired claim to fame – music. Lifting two consecutive albums to the top of R&B charts (with impressive sales to match), her new release, ‘More Issues Than Vogue,‘ comes at an interesting time in the singer’s career. While her brand is hotter than ever (see: multiple reality shows, endorsement deals with Jack Daniels and other, furniture line, and other business ventures), such “wide stretching of self” may have come at the expense of her music career. Proof of this is found in the album’s leading singles, ‘Not A Little Bit’ and ‘Aint You,’s “so-so” performance on charts.
Will their failure to impact charts cause the third time to be the strike out for K’s luck?
Then, there’s Zayn Malik.
Using his ever-successful boy band One Direction as a launching pad, Malik has crossed musical shores from their Pop’ier offerings to lend tunes that are a bit more Urban-skewing. Like the Justin Timberlake‘s and Nick Jonas‘s before him, the move proved itself quite lucrative. His first solo single, ‘Pillow Talk,’ skyrocketed to the top of the Hot 100 upon its debut and has been a mainstay in the top 10 since.
And, while his subsequent releases from the set haven’t fared as well, the buzz around his inaugural project, ‘Mind of Mine,’ is enough to float it to the top of the Billboard 200 (where it’s projected to land based on the strength of pre-orders alone).’
Last, but never least, there’s Anthony Hamilton.
Hamilton has long proven himself a ‘rock’ in R&B – strong, steady, and consistent. A celebrated crooner whose every effort has been met with a hat-tipped from critics, contemporaries, and fans alike, Hamilton has prepared his 7th studio album, ‘What I’m Feelin,’ to enter the race for the Billboard 200’s upper dectet.
Like the releases that preceded it, ‘Feelin’ has been greeted with critical acclaim for its offerings ‘Amen,’ ‘Save Me,’ and more. Now, the Grammy winner is undoubtedly hoping that acclaim is shared among his faithful fans and certainly hoping to gain some new ones along the way.
So, after being introduced to this week’s highest anticipated players, tell us: who will win your coins?