2003 R&B Albums

20 Y/O: Iconic R&B/Soul Music Albums Celebrating 20th Anniversaries In 2023

By Waddie G. August 31, 2023

2003 was a significant year for R&B music, with some of the biggest names in the genre releasing iconic albums. Beyoncé made her solo debut with Dangerously in Love, which featured hits like “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy.” The album showcased her powerful voice and ability to blend different musical styles. Alicia Keys also released her sophomore album The Diary of Alicia Keys, which included hits like “You Don’t Know My Name” and “If I Ain’t Got You.” The album further solidified her status as one of the most prolific R&B artists of the modern generation.

Erykah Badu released the album Worldwide Underground, which featured a fusion of R&B, neo-soul, and hip-hop. The album showcased Badu’s ability to push the boundaries of soul music and paved the way for other artists to experiment with different sounds. R. Kelly also released his album, Chocolate Factory, which featured hits like “Step in the Name of Love” and “Ignition (Remix).” The album showcased Kelly’s signature sound and helped to keep him at the top of the R&B charts.

Monica released After the Storm, which included hits like “So Gone” and “U Should’ve Known Better.” The album showed a more mature side of the singer while still delivering the soulful R&B that fans had come to love. Anthony Hamilton also released Comin’ from Where I’m From, which showcased his raw, soulful voice and was ranked among the best R&B albums of the year. Additionally, Amy Winehouse made her debut with Frank, which blended R&B, jazz, and soul music to create a unique sound that captured the attention of listeners worldwide.

Luther Vandross released his final album, Dance With My Father, which featured hits like the title track and “Think About You.” The album was a tribute to his late father, showcasing Vandross’s incredible voice and his ability to connect with listeners on an emotional level. Reggae superstar Wayne Wonder released No Holding Back, which included hits like “No Letting Go,” which became a huge hit worldwide. Finally, Ginuwine released The Senior, which showcased his signature R&B sound and included hits like “Stingy” and “In Those Jeans.” Overall, 2003 was a year that solidified R&B’s place in music and showcased the incredible talent of the genre’s biggest names.

In this article, we celebrate the 20th 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.

Step back into the early 2000s with these iconic R&B albums turning 20 in 2023. From neo-soul to contemporary R&B, these albums represent a new wave of artists who redefined the genre and gained critical and commercial success.

Worldwide Underground

album: Worldwide Underground
artist: Erykah Badu
release date (USA): September 16, 2003
notable songs: “Back in the Day (Puff)” “Danger” “Love of My Life Worldwide” “The Grind”

The Diary of Alicia Keys

album: The Diary of Alicia Keys
artist: Alicia Keys
release date (USA): December 2, 2003
notable songs: “You Don’t Know My Name” “If I Ain’t Got You” “Diary” “Karma” “Heartburn” “If I Was Your Woman/Walk On By”

After The Storm

album: After The Storm
artist: Monica
release date (USA): June 17, 2003
notable songs: “So Gone” “Knock Knock” “U Should’ve Known Better” “Get It Off” “Don’t Gotta Go Home”


album: Moodring
artist: Mya
release date (USA): July 22, 2003
notable songs: “My Love Is Like…Wo” “Fallen” “Sophisticated Lady” “Whatever Bitch” “Late”

Dangerously In Love

album: Dangerously In Love
artist: Beyoncé
release date (USA): June 20, 2003
notable songs: “Crazy in Love” “Baby Boy” “Me, Myself and I” “Naughty Girl” “The Closer I Get to You”

The Senior

album: The Senior
artist: Ginuwine
release date (USA): April 8, 2003
notable songs: “In Those Jeans” “Stingy” “Hell Yeah” “Love You More”

Private Room

album: Private Room
artist: Avant
release date (USA): December 9, 2003
notable songs: “Read Your Mind” “Don’t Take Your Love Away” “Wanna Be Close”


album: Tasty
artist: Kelis
release date (USA): December 5, 2003
notable songs: “Milkshake” “In Public” “Millionaire” “Trick Me”


album: Subject
artist: Dwele
release date (USA): May 20, 2003
notable songs: “Find A Way” “Truth” “Hold On” “Without You”


album: Frank
artist: Amy Winehouse
release date (USA): October 20, 2003
notable songs: “Pumps” “Stronger Than Me” “In My Bed” “Help Yourself” “Take The Box”

No Holding Back

album: No Holding Back
artist: Wayne Wonder
release date (USA): March 4, 2003
notable songs: “No Letting Go” “Bounce Along” “Saddest Day” “Friend Like Me” “The Mood Is Right” “Slowly But Surely”


album: Bittersweet
artist: Blu Cantrell
release date (USA): June 24, 2003
notable songs: “Breathe” “Sleep In The Middle” “Make Me Wanna Scream” “Risk It All”

Surrender To Love

album: Surrender To Love
artist: Kindred The Family Soul
release date (USA): February 25, 2003
notable songs: “Far Away” “Stars” “Surrender to Love” “What Happens Now”


album: Hard
artist: Jagged Edge
release date (USA): October 14, 2003
notable songs: “Walked Outta Heaven” “What’s It Like” “Girls Gone Wild”

Dance With My Father

album: Dance With My Father
artist: Luther Vandross
release date (USA): June 10, 2003
notable songs: “Dance With My Father” “Think About You” “Buy Me a Rose” “The Closer I Get to You”

Love & Life

album: Mary J. Blige
artist: Love & Life
release date (USA): August 26, 2003
notable songs: “Love @ 1st Sight” “Ooh!” “Not Today” “It’s a Wrap”

Comin' From Where I Come From

album: Comin’ From Where I From
artist: Anthony Hamilton
release date (USA): September 23, 2003
notable songs: “Charlene” “Comin’ from Where I’m From” “I Tried” “Cornbread, Fish & Collard Greens” “Chyna Black”

Chapter II

album: Chapter II
artist: Ashanti
release date (USA): July 1, 2003
notable songs: “Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)” “Rain on Me” “Breakup 2 Makeup” “I Found Lovin'”


album: Kemistry
artist: Kem
release date (USA): February 25, 2003
notable songs: “Love Calls” “Matter of Time” “Miss You”


album: U-Turn
artist: Brian McKnight
release date (USA): March 25, 2003
notable songs: “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda” “All Night Long” “So Sorry” “Good Enough”

The Soul Sessions

album: The Soul Sessions
artist: Joss Stone
release date (USA): September 16, 2003
notable songs: “Fell in Love with a Boy” “Super Duper Love” “Some Kind of Wonderful”

Meet The Girl Next Door

album: Lil Mo
artist: Meet The Girl Next Door
release date (USA): April 29, 2003
notable songs: “4Ever” “Ten Commandments” “So Lost Without You” “Get Over It”


album: MH
artist: Marques Houston
release date (USA): October 21, 2003
notable songs: “That Girl” “Clubbin'” “Because Of You” “Pop That Booty”


album: Soulstar
artist: Musiq Soulchild
release date (USA): December 9, 2003
notable songs: “forthenight” “whoknows” “missyou” “dontstop/her” “dontstop/her”


album: Priceless
artist: Kelly Price
release date (USA): April 29, 2003
notable songs: “He Proposed” “Take It to the Head” “Sister” “Someday” “How Does It Feel (Married Your Girl)”

Ice Cream

album: Ice Cream
artist: JS
release date (USA): July 29, 2003
notable songs: “Ice Cream” “Love Angel” “Stay Right There”

Body Kiss

album: Body Kiss
artist: The Isley Brothers featuring Ronald Isley
release date (USA): May 6, 2003
notable songs: “What Would You Do?” “Busted” “Body Kiss”


album: Soulful
artist: Ruben Studdard
release date (USA): December 9, 2003
notable songs: “Sorry 2004” “What Is Sexy” “What If” “Superstar” “Play Our Song”

Things That Lovers Do

album: Things That Lovers Do
artist: Kenny Lattimore & Chanté Moore
release date (USA): February 11, 2003
notable songs: “Loveable (From Your Head To Your Toes)” “You Don’t Have To Cry” “Things That Lovers Do”

Chocolate Factory

album: Chocolate Factory
artist: R. Kelly
release date (USA): February 18, 2003
notable songs: “Ignition (remix)” “Step In The Name Of Love” “Ignition” “Snake” “Forever” “I’ll Never Leave” “Dream Girl”

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.

Written By

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.