Ever since she burst on the scene with her debut Fearless in 2008, Jazmine Sullivan has raised the bar for modern R&B with a once-in-a-generation voice, and vivid lyrics about heartbreak, hope, and healing. It’s no mistake that Sullivan’s been stamped by legends like Missy Elliot, Snoop Dogg and the BET Awards, where she’s celebrated one win and six total nominations so far, including two this year for Best Album (Heaux Tales) and Best Female R&B / Pop Artist.
Tune in to catch the 2021 BET Awards on June 27 at 8/7C to see if Jazmine will take home two more trophies to add to her collection. But until then, take a trip down memory lane with us and remember the five songs that got us falling for the fine girl from Philly in the first place.
2008: “Bust Your Windows”
Jazmine’s breakout hit was the appropriately titled “Bust Your Windows,” a Tango-tempoed revenge ballad that inspired a range of remixes by Trey Songz, Busta Rhymes, and Glee and became impossible to escape as it climbed the charts. Even if you never had the urge to destroy your cheating ex’s property, Jazmine’s shocking vocal range will make you feel the pain enough to justify why someone would want to. As long as you don’t follow suit, the track can be a healthy release to unload negativity from your spirit.
2008: “Need U Bad”
To balance the tough gal image of “Bust Your Windows,” Jazmine showed her sensitive side with this wild sonic ride produced by Missy Elliot and assisted by Pepa (from Salt-N-Pepa). In the middle of the track, the music transitions seamlessly from reggae to neo-soul with Jazmine riding the beat into one of the most iconic choruses of the decade. For extra seasoning, Pepa sprinkled on an authentic patois breakdown on the outro that had fans wondering if Jazmine has Jamaican roots.
2008: “Lions, Tigers & Bears”
In one of her most relatable tracks ever, Jazmine flexes her world class talent as a writer and performer, delivering an instant classic that still tugs at our heart strings from the opening note. Co-written with producer extraordinaire Salaam Remi, this song asks why love can scare even the most fearless among us. With brilliant lines like, “Why do we love love, when love seems to hate us,” Jazmine is clearly the only force of nature anyone needs to be afraid of in this equation.
2015: Lost One
Warning: This song is not safe for recent victims of heartbreak. The vivid lyrics cut so deep that they might thrust you back there no matter how well the wound has healed. You can more than likely identify with wanting to text the line, “Please don’t forget about me, try not to love anyone,” to the one that got away, one of the many poignant moments on this track from her sophomore album, Reality Show. “Sometimes it’s too late to make amends,” as Jazmine puts it in a gut-wrenching moment of clarity. If you don’t know her music, start here and you’ll soon be giving Ms. Sullivan her flowers.
2021: "Girl Like Me"
Oh how we missed her between 2015’s Reality Show and 2021’s "Album of the Year" nominee Heaux Tales. Thank heavens her sound evolved to include fresh features from Ari Lennox (“On It”) and Anderson .Paak (“Pricetags”). On the album’s standout track, “Girl Like Me,” Jazmine and her fellow 2021 "Best R&B / Pop Artist" nominee H.E.R. fearlessly face hard times and heartbreak as they express deep pain freely while vowing to continue on in spite of it. A lot has changed in the music world since she first jumped on the scene, but Jazmine Sullivan has proved once again that great songs and great voices never go out of style.
Watch the 2021 BET Awards on June 27 at 8/7C p.m.