On My Own: The Best Solo Breakouts

Superstars who started out in groups.

Prodigy: November 2 - The Mobb Deep frontman celebrates his 38th birthday.   (Photo: Terrence Jennings/PictureGroup)

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On My Own: The Best Solo Breakouts - Prodigy's Mobb doesn't roll so deep anymore. After he and his MB bandmate Havoc announced they were taking a hiatus in the wake of their bizarre Twitter beef earlier this year, Prodigy released a solo project, The Bumpy Johnson Album, last Monday, October 2. The album hasn't been making that much noise, but all isn't lost for Prodigy's solo career: Some of music's biggest stars didn't reach their superstar peaks until they stepped out on their own. Read on to check out just some of the superstars who started out in groups before breaking out solo. —Alex Gale(Photo: Terrence Jennings/PictureGroup)

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Curtis Mayfield - Late soul icon Curtis Mayfield was a member of Chicago group The Impressions until 1970, when he emerged as a tour de force with his solo debut Curtis. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Lauryn Hill - Reppin' South Orange, New Jersey, Lauryn Hill started her career by getting booed off the Apollo stage. She turned that around, though, with a role in Sister Act 2. After her short-lived film career, Lauryn joined the Fugees before releasing her critically acclaimed debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. (Photo: Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty Images)

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Lauryn Hill - Unsatisfied merely outshining her bandmates on the Fugees' 1996 blockbuster The Score, Lauryn Hill one-upped them with her powerful 1998 solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, selling 19 million copies worldwide and snagging five Grammys. (Photo: Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty Images)

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Diana Ross - Diana Ross finally made good on mounting rumors of a solo career in 1970, when she left the Supremes and released her own eponymous debut. (Photo: Reuters /ANDREA DE SILVA /LANDOV)

Busta Rhymes - After turning in perhaps the best guest verse ever on A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario," Busta Rhymes and his singular talents needed room to breathe. He split from his old crew, Leaders of the New School, and released his solo debut, The Coming, in 1996.    (Photo: Joe Kohen/Getty Images)

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Busta Rhymes - After turning in perhaps the best guest verse ever on A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario," Busta Rhymes and his singular talents needed room to breathe. He split from his old crew, Leaders of the New School, and released his solo debut, The Coming, in 1996.    (Photo: Joe Kohen/Getty Images)

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Teddy Pendergrass - Teddy Pendergrass did his thing alongside Tony Bennett and the Miami Sound Machine during the halftime of Super Bowl XXIX in 1995.(Photo: Retna UK/Landov)

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Teddy Pendergrass - Teddy Pendergrass first broke through as lead singer for Philly soul group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, but he took his career to a new level with his platinum-selling self-titled 1977 solo debut. (Photo: Retna UK /Landov)

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Smokey Robinson - Smokey Robinson headed up The Miracles for years before departing in 1972 to spend time with his family and focus on his job as vice president of Motown. But just a year later, he came out of retirement and released his solo debut, Smokey. (Photo: Tim Alban/Getty Images)

Ice Cube - Ice Cube left pioneering gangsta-rap group N.W.A. in 1990 over contractual and financial disagreements with the group's manager, Jerry Heller, and bandmate Eazy-E. He released his classic debut, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, the same year. In 1991, N.W.A. targeted Cube throughout their landmark sophomore LP, Elfil4zaggin, comparing him to Benedict Arnold. (Photo: Kristian Dowling/PictureGroup)

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Ice Cube - Ice Cube left pioneering gangsta-rap group N.W.A. in 1990 over contractual and financial disagreements with the group's manager, Jerry Heller, and bandmate Eazy-E. He released his classic debut, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, the same year. In 1991, N.W.A. targeted Cube throughout their landmark sophomore LP, Elfil4zaggin, comparing him to Benedict Arnold. (Photo: Kristian Dowling/PictureGroup)

Dr. Dre - Dr. Dre partnered with Chrysler in 2011 for the unveiling of the Chrysler 300S series, fitted with Beats by Dre speakers. The commercial also featured a cameo from Dre protégé Kendrick Lamar.(Photo: Karl Walter/Getty Images for Coachella)

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Dr. Dre - Ironically, the same year that Dr. Dre and his N.W.A. bandmates lit into Cube for leaving the group on Efil4zaggin, Dre himself, like Cube, left the group after citing differences with Heller and Eazy E. Dre released his amazing debut, The Chronic, on Death Row, the label he co-founded with former bodyguard Suge Knight, a year later.    (Photo: Karl Walter/Getty Images for Coachella)

Bobby Brown - Bobby Brown left New Edition in 1986; A VH1 Behind the Music episode said he was voted out by the group's management team, overruling some of his bandmates' objections. Either way, Brown released King of Stage in 1986, a warm-up to his solo blockbuster Don't Be Cruel two years later.  (Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

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Bobby Brown - Bobby Brown left New Edition in 1986; A VH1 Behind the Music episode said he was voted out by the group's management team, overruling some of his bandmates' objections. Either way, Brown released King of Stage in 1986, a warm-up to his solo blockbuster Don't Be Cruel two years later. (Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

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R. Kelly - R. Kelly first met success as frontman for new-jack swing group Public Announcement before embarking on his own career with his stellar solo debut, 12 Play, in 1993.    (Photo: Donna Ward/Getty Images for Arise Made in Africa)

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R. Kelly - R. Kelly first met success as frontman for new-jack swing group Public Announcement before embarking on his own career with his stellar solo debut, 12 Play, in 1993.   (Photo: Donna Ward/Getty Images for Arise Made in Africa)

Beyonce - Competing in the same category as Baker, Beyonc? is up for Best Traditional R&B Performance with her single "Love On Top."

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Beyoncé - Beyoncé released her multiplatinum debut, Dangerously in Love, in 2003, but she didn't officially go solo until two years later, when Destiny's Child shocked fans by announcing they were splitting at the end of a worldwide tour to promote their fourth album, Destiny Fulfilled.(Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Michael Jackson - The Jackson 5 first rose to popularity via a deal with Motown, under which Michael Jackson began releasing his solo albums. After a while, however, the brothers felt the label was stifling their creativity too much and they jumped ship for Eipc, where MJ went to record the rest of his catalogue, including Off the Wall, Thriller and Invincible.(Photo: EPA/JAN NIENHEYSEN /Landov)

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Michael Jackson - Add going solo to the list of things Michael Jackson did better than anyone else. Though he released his solo debut, Got to Be There, in 1972, he didn't officially leave the Jackson 5 until 1984. With the career that followed, it's easy to say he made the right move. (Photo: EPA/JAN NIENHEYSEN /Landov)