In 2001, a grand whole of 15 songs hung out on the high of the Billboard Scorching 100.

For the unfamiliar, the music publication’s weekly chart compiles knowledge collected by Nielsen SoundScan referring to the gross sales efficiency and radio play, rating the 100 most profitable. The record is trade commonplace. Reaching the highest of it’s a massive freaking deal. And 20 years in the past, solely 15 songs did it. 

Of these 15 songs, six of them—or 40 p.c—belonged to Black girls. To place that into some context, Black girls had been solely liable for 22 p.c of the No. 1 hits in 2020. In 2019, simply 12 p.c. 

Fairly merely, 2001 was a significant yr for Black girls in music.

Whereas their contributions proceed to be felt yr in and yr out, no matter their efficiency on the charts, a take a look at the totality of their affect twenty years in the past is sufficient to have the least sentimental amongst us eager for a visit again in time. In spite of everything, this was the yr that gave us landmark albums from Future’s Baby, Janet Jackson and Missy Elliott, launched us to Alicia Keys, pressured us to say goodbye to Aaliyah and noticed Whitney Houston earn precisely what her estimable expertise was price.