Top 10 – Groups to Solo

In the wake of Robbie WIlliams and Justin Timberlake, coming to Brisbane I takes a look at my picks for the best 10 artists around now to come out of groups and flourish as solo performers.

#10 – Gwen Stefani:
In at number 10 is the pop/rock princess who found fame as the vocalist for No Doubt, before making her way into the solo spotlight with such memorable tracks as “Hollaback Girl”, “What You Waiting For?”, “Rich Girl” and “The Sweet Escape”, and finds herself on this list with only a few solo albums to her name.

#9 – Ice Cube:
The first member of N.W.A to make the list, Ice Cube has fashioned himself in to one of the most renowned MC’s in Hip-Hop/Rap, as well as one of the defining figures in the Gangsta Rap movement. Not only is he a actor, writer, director and producer, but his lyrical storytelling is amongst the best of any artist around

#8 – Peter Gabriel:
After leaving the band Genesis, Gabriel has had an incredibly successful solo career including hits such as “Sledgehammer”, “Biko” and “Blood of Eden”. With 4 self titled albums and the smash success of his release So, the progressive rock icon is not only influential with his music, but also his videos and subject matter of many of his tracks.

#7 – Sting:
Widely recognised from his work with The Police, “The King of Pain” has subsequently had a critically and commercially lauded solo career. With tracks such as “Fields of Gold” and “All for Love” with Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart, he’s sold over 100 million records worldwide, 16 Grammy awards and also being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not bad for a bassist.

#6 – George Michael:
Despite the controversy surrounding the man, there’s no denying that after Wham! he continued to be one of the most successful artists of all time. Having 8 number one hits in the US, and 7 in the UK, songs such as “Faith” and “Freedom” have seen him sell over 100 million albums worldwide as well being the most played artist on british radio between 1984 and 2004.

#5 – Dr. Dre:
The second artist to come from the rap group N.W.A, Dre has cemented himself as one of the most important figured in Hip-Hop/Rap music period. With smash releases like “The Chronic” as well as bringing the likes of Eminem to the forefront, the Dr. has won 6 Grammy’s including a Producer of the Year, and has ranked in the top 60 in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All-Time” list.

#4 – Robbie Williams:
Originally a member of UK boy band Take That, Williams has had a solo career many solo artists could only dream of. Smash hits such as “Let Me Entertain You”, “Angels”, “Rock DJ” and “Millennium” secured his spot in the high life, while collaborations with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Nicole Kidman, Pet Shop Boys and Gary Barlow have only strengthened his Resume.

#3 – Justin Timberlake:
Beginning as the noodle haired one from boy band *NSYNC, JT has established himself as one of the powers of modern performance art. A musical artist with 9 Grammy awards and each of his albums selling at least 7 million copies, an actor with 4 Emmy awards and a dancer who can rival MJ, songs like the unforgettable “Cry Me A River” and “SexyBack” will live on for decades to come. And he’s very, very attractive.

#2 – Sir Paul McCartney:
Coming in at number 2 is the former Beatle who everyone knows, the one and only Sir Paul McCartney, MBE. With 32 songs that have reached the peak in the US, the most UK #1’s of all time, and the only artist to reach the UK #1 spot as a Soloist, Duo, Trio, Quartet, Quintet and part of a musical ensemble for Charity. It only leaves to wonder who in the word could top this Group gone solo man to this #1.

#1 – Beyonce:
Hailing from Destiny’s Child, Beyonce Knowles-Carter is one of the most successful, influential and well loved artists ever. Selling over 75 million albums as a solo artist, along with 60 million with Destiny’s Child, earning 17 Grammy awards and the highest earning black musician in history, the figures don’t lie. But with era-defining solo efforts such as “Crazy in Love”, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)”, ‘Irreplaceable”, “Halo”, “Drunk In Love”, “Telephone” with Lady Gaga and a marriage to Jay-Z, Queen Bey is the only one who could have topped this list.

-AJ Lienert

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Top 10 – Groups to Solo

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