1998 R&B Albums

25 Y/O: Iconic R&B/Soul Music Albums Celebrating 25th Anniversaries In 2023

1998 was another pivotal year for R&B music, with several albums becoming milestones for the genre. Lauryn Hill’s debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, was universally acclaimed and acknowledged as a masterpiece. Hill’s blend of R&B, hip-hop, and gospel was a stunning combination, with songs like “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and “Ex-Factor” setting the charts on fire. The album won several Grammys and elevated Hill to superstar status.

Brandy’s sophomore album, Never Say Never, is considered a landmark release in the R&B genre. The album includes a mix of uptempo pop- and hip-hop-infused tracks and lush ballads, with standout singles like “The Boy Is Mine” and “Have You Ever?” becoming instant classics.

Whitney Houston’s My Love Is Your Love is considered by many to be one of her most innovative works. The album features Houston’s signature soaring vocals blended with contemporary R&B, hip-hop, and reggae influences, and includes the hit singles “My Love Is Your Love,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay.”

Mariah Carey’s #1s is a collection of her greatest hits up to 1998, featuring all of her chart-topping singles and highlighting her incredible vocal range and songwriting talents.

R. Kelly’s R. was another well-received R&B album that showed off his versatility through tracks like “Half on a Baby” and “I’m Your Angel” (a duet with Celine Dion). He leveraged his signature style and pioneering sound to explore, push boundaries, and expand his influence through the music journies on R. Tyrese’s first album, self-titled Tyrese, also made big waves debut, featuring his smooth vocals and soulful demeanor. Hits like “Sweet Lady” and “Lately” quickly became R&B classics, and earned him a devoted following.

Dru Hill’s Enter the Dru, 112’s Room 112, and Tamia’s eponymous debut were also noteworthy R&B albums from 1998. Faith Evans’ Keep The Faith album showcased her deep, soulful voice and cemented her place in the genre. Maxwel’s Embrya wowed audiences with its cool, seductive sounds, adding to an already amazing year in R&B music.

In this article, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of several game-changing R&B albums released in 2023 and reflect on their hit singles, fan-favorite tunes, and acclaimed deep cuts that made their lasting impact on the genre.

Discover the best of ’90s R&B with this list of iconic albums celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2023. From smooth grooves to heartfelt ballads, these albums represent the genre’s essence and have stood the test of time, continuing to inspire and influence artists today.

Never S-A-Y Never

album: Never Say Never
artist: Brandy
release date (USA): June 9, 1998
notable songs: “Have You Ever?” “Top of the World” “The Boy Is Mine” “Almost Doesn’t Count” “U Don’t Know Me (Like U Used To)” “Truthfully” “Angel in Disguise”

The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill

album: The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
artist: Lauryn Hill
release date (USA): August 25, 1998
notable songs: “Doo Wop (That Thing)” “Lost Ones” “Ex-Factor” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” “Everything Is Everything” “Nothing Even Matters” “To Zion”

Tamia

album: Tamia
artist: Tamia
release date (USA): April 14, 1998
notable songs: “So into You” “Imagination” “Loving You Still” “You Put a Move on My Heart” “Careless Whisper”

My Love Is Your Love

album: My Love Is Your Loveartist: Whitney Houston
release date (USA): November 17, 1998
notable songs: “Heartbreak Hotel” “It’s Not Right but It’s Okay” “My Love Is Your Love” “I Learned from the Best” “If I Told You That” “When You Believe”

#1s

album: #1s
artist: Mariah Carey
release date (USA): November 17, 1998
notable songs: “Sweetheart” “I Still Believe” “When You Believe”

One Wish

album: One Wish
artist: Deborah Cox
release date (USA): September 15, 1998
notable songs: “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” “It’s Over Now” “We Can’t Be Friends” “Couldn’t We”

Let's Ride

album: Let’s Ride
artist: Montell Jordan
release date (USA): March 31, 1998
notable songs: “Let’s Ride” “I Can Do That” “Anything & Everything” “When You Get Home”

Enter The Dru

album: Enter The Dru
artist: Dru Hill
release date (USA): October 27, 1998
notable songs: “How Deep Is Your Love” “These Are the Times” “Beauty” “The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind)” “You Are Everything”

Embrya

album: Embrya
artist: Maxwell
release date (USA): June 30, 1998
notable songs: “Luxury: Cococure” “Matrimony: Maybe You” “I’m You: You Are Me and We Are You (Pt. Me & You)”

From The Soul Of A Man

album: From The Soul Of Man
artist: Kenny Lattimore
release date (USA): September 8, 1998
notable songs: “Days Like This” “If I Lose My Woman” “Love Will Find a Way” “Just Can’t Get Over You”

Destiny's Child

album: Destiny’s Child
artist: Destiny’s Child
release date (USA): February 17, 1998
notable songs: “No, No, No” “No, No, No Pt. 2” “With Me Part I” “With Me Part II” “Sail On” “Killing Time”

Traces Of My Lipstick

album: Traces Of My Lipstick
artist: Xscape
release date (USA): May 12, 1998
notable songs: “Softest Place on Earth” “My Little Secret” “The Arms of the One Who Loves You”

Tyrese

album: Tyrese
artist: Tyrese
release date (USA): September 29, 1998
notable songs: “Sweet Lady” “Lately” “Nobody Else”

Mo'hogany

album: Mo’hogany
artist: Monifah
release date (USA): August 25, 1998
notable songs: “Touch It” “Suga Suga” “Bad Girl”

Love & Consequences

album: Love & Consequences
artist: Gerald Levert
release date (USA): July 21, 1998
notable songs: “Thinkin’ Bout It” “Taking Everything” “That’s The Way I Feel About You” “Breakin’ My Heart”

I Know

album: I Know
artist: Luther Vandross
release date (USA): August 11, 1998
notable songs: “I Know” “Nights In Harlem” “I’m Only Human” “Get It Right”

Soul Of A Woman

album: Soul Of A Woman
artist: Kelly Price
release date (USA): August 11, 1998
notable songs: “Friend of Mine” “Friend of Mine (remix)” “Secret Love” “Secret Love (remix)” “You Complete Me”

The Nu Nation Project

album: The Nu Nation Project
artist: Kirk Franklin
release date (USA): September 22, 1998
notable songs: “Lean On Me” “Gonna Be A Lovely Day” “Revolution” “Something About the Name Jesus” “Hold Me Now”

The Boy Is Mine

album: The Boy Is Mine
artist: Monica
release date (USA): July 14, 1998
notable songs: “The Boy Is Mine” “Angel Of Mine” “The First Night” “Street Symphony” “Right Here Waiting” “For You I Will”

KW

album: KW
artist: Keith Washington
release date (USA): March 10, 1998
notable songs: “I Love You” “Bring It On” “I Don’t Mind”

Keep The Faith

album: Keep The Faith
artist: Faith Evans
release date (USA): October 27, 1998
notable songs: “Love Like This” “All Night Long” “Never Gonna Let You Go” “Lately I”

Princesses Nubiennes

album: Princesses Nubiennes
artist: Les Nubians
release date (USA): September 22, 1998
notable songs: “Makeda” “Les Portes Du Souvenir” “Tabou”

Mya

album: Mya
artist: Mya
release date (USA): April 21, 1998
notable songs: “Movin’ On” “It’s All About Me” “My First Night with You”

Room 112

album: Room 112
artist: 112
release date (USA): October 27, 1998
notable songs: “Anywhere” “Love You Like I Did” “Love Me” “Your Letter”

A Rose Is Still A Rose

album: A Rose Is Still A Rose
artist: Aretha Franklin
release date (USA): March 24, 1998
notable songs: “A Rose Is Still A Rose” “Here We Go Again” “Watch My Back” “Never Leave You Again”

Dr. Dolittle: The Album

album: Dr. Dolittle: The Album
artist: various artists/soundtrack
release date (USA): June 16, 1998
notable songs: “Are You That Somebody?” (Aaliyah) “Same Ole G” (Ginuwine) “That’s Why I Lie” (Ray J) “Rock Steady” (Dawn Robinson)

Kima, Keisha & Pam

album: Kima, Keisha & Pam
artist: Total
release date (USA): October 27, 1998
notable songs: “Trippin'” “Sitting Home” “I Tried”

Make It Hot

album: Make It Hot
artist: Nicole Wray
release date (USA): August 25, 1998
notable songs: “Make It Hot” “Eyes Better Not Wander” “I Can’t See”

All Work, No Play

album: All Work, No Play
artist: Public Announcement
release date (USA): March 24, 1998
notable songs: “Body Bumpin’ (Yippie-Yi-Yo)” “It’s About Time” “All Work, No Play”

R.

album: R.
artist: R. Kelly
release date (USA): November 10, 1998
notable songs: “Home Alone” “Half On A Baby” “When a Woman’s Fed Up” “If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time” “I’m Your Angel” “Did You Ever Think” “Only the Loot Can Make Me Happy” “Spendin’ Money”

Which of these albums did you play in heavy rotation during their popularity? Which of these albums do you have in your current music streaming rotation? Let me know in the comments section.

About Waddie G.

Waddie G. is the Founding Editor of The G-Listed. Based in New York City, Waddie G.’s writing shows off his biggest passions for pop and gay cultures. Born in Sacramento, raised in Kansas City, developed in Atlanta, and matured in Chicago, Waddie G. is an unabashed foodie, proud R&B junkie, adventurous traveler, serial scribbler, and textbook Virgo. Waddie G. and his content has been featured on the "Wendy Williams Show," TMZ, Grindr, Vice, I-D, Windy City Times, and The Gothamist.

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