Readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past.
So, as our retrospective features ‘From the Vault’ and ‘TGJ Replay’ allow us the chance to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday of one artist, our newest feature Chart Rewind – a variation of our current Retro Rewind assay – accedes salutes to an entire era of music history.
This week we’re pressing play on ‘Fortunate’ – the 1999 top 10 hit from R&B divo Maxwell. Meet us inside:
Although his polarizing sophomore effort, ‘Embrya’ (1998), still managed to tip toe to platinum success despite being the antithesis of what catapulted him to fame with 1996’s ‘Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite,’ Max and team must have taken the critical and commercial response as indication he ought to return to his neo-soul flavored bearings.
The result? ‘Fortunate’ – an R. Kelly-penned slow jam slated for the official motion picture soundtrack of Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy comedy, ‘Life.’ Reportedly frowned upon by Max at first listen as he was more interested in the soundtrack’s title track, ‘Life’ (given to K-Ci & JoJo), the story has it Kelly persuaded the crooner to keep ‘Fortunate’ as his own because he could yield a more convincing vocal performance on it than its counterpart. The advice proved lucrative.
Cracking the Hot 100 top 10 this week 20 years ago (seen at #9 on the chart below), the song would eventually go on to peak at #4 – a feat that made it the singer’s first appearance in the tally’s top 5. Also coming as his first #1 on the R&B charts, ‘Fortunate’ went on to be certified Gold by the RIAA and nab a Grammy nod.
Currently listed as his most successful song to date, ‘Fortunate’ – despite being succeeded by a number of qualitative offerings since its arrival – stands as his first and last appearance in the Hot 100’s top 10.
Hot 100 This Week in 1999
Hot 100 This Week in 2019
Click here to see this week’s entire TGJ Chart Check: Hot 100.