Our top 10 Solange Knowles songs list digs deep into the music of a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter renowned for her impactful input to the contemporary R&B scene. Born in 1986, Solange started her music career inspired by her elder sister Beyoncé. Just before starting her solo career, Solange Knowles joined Destiny’s Child in Christina Aguilera’s 2000 debut global tour where she briefly replaced Kelly Rowland who had broken her toe. She would later feature on the group as a dancer. Destiny’s Child played a pivotal role in Solange’s major debut solo musical outing, backing her on the theme song of the TV series The Proud Family in 2001. Eventually, the singer received critical acclaim thanks to her unique retro-soul and pop-infused R&B songs.
Solange Knowles’ Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
In December 2002, Solange Knowles issued her debut studio album, Solo Star. The album was a result of work invested since she was fourteen. Among notable names that assisted Solange Knowles with her debut album were her supportive dad Mathew Knowles, Jermaine Dupri, Timbaland, Beyoncé, The Neptunes, and Linda Perry, to name a few. Solo Star was a mainstream success, scaling both the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.
The album rose to a peak position of number forty-nine on the Billboard 200 while peaking at number twenty-three on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart. “Feelin’ You,” “Naïve,” and “Crush” are the best Solange Knowles songs from the album. While the album was a mainstream success, it failed to catapult Solange Knowles to major commercial accomplishments, only selling slightly over a hundred thousand copies in the US.
Solange Knowles’ Album Releases over the Years
The mainstream success of Solange Knowles’ debut studio album helped the singer make a mark as one of the promising contemporary R&B talents of the new millennium. However, the singer took a break from releasing new music only to make a major comeback in 2008 with her sophomore studio album. Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, the singer’s sophomore LP, is a Motown Sound-influenced effort that saw Solange work with The Neptunes, Mark Ronson, Jack Splash, and production trio Bama Boyz.
“I Decided,” “Sandcastle Disco,” “Would’ve Been the One,”’ and “T.O.N.Y.” are the top musical gems by Solange Knowles from the album. Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams was Solange’s first album to make it to the UK Albums Chart, peaking at number one hundred and eighty. The album also made it to the Billboard 200 Chart, rising to a peak position of number nine. Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams sold slightly over a hundred and ninety thousand copies.
In 2012, Solange Knowles issued her first EP, True as a follow-up to her sophomore studio album, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. True was issued through Terrible Records with Solange venturing into the neo-soul sound. The EP achieved fair reception in the US mainstream, rising to number one hundred and fifty-seven on the Billboard 200. “Losing You,” “Lovers in the Parking Lot,” and “Looks Good With Trouble” are the best Solange Knowles songs from the album. True was quickly followed up by Solange’s first compilation album Saint Heron, which featured original recordings by Solange, Sampha, Cassie, and Jhené Aiko, among others.
A Seat at the Table, issued in 2016, marked Solange Knowles’ third studio album. The album saw Solange collaborate with tons of artists including Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne, Q-Tip, Sampha, and The-Dream. “Mad,” “Don’t Touch My Hair,” “Weary,” and the Grammy Award-winning single “Cranes in the Sky” are some of the best Solange Knowles songs from the album.
The album was a mainstream success, having topped the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. A Seat at the Table also made it to number two on the UK R&B Albums chart, gracing the UK Albums Chart at number seventeen. The album catapulted Solange to commercial success, achieving Gold certification in the US and Silver certification in the UK. A Seat at the Table was nominated for the Album of the Year accolade in the 2017 BET Awards ceremony. However, the album lost the award to Lemonade by Solange’s sister Beyoncé. Other albums that had been nominated for the award include 4 Your Eyez Only by J. Cole, 24K Magic by Bruno Mars, and Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper.
In 2019, Solange Knowles returned with her fourth and most recent album, When I Get Home. The album pays homage to Houston, Texas, the hometown of Solange Knowles. When I Get Home finds Solange collaborating with multiple artists including Tyler, the Creator, Scarface, Steve Lacy, Gucci Mane, and Earl Sweatshirt, among others. The album was a mainstream success, peaking at number seven on the Billboard 200 and number eighteen on the UK Albums Chart. “Stay Flo,” “Almeda,” “Dreams,” and “Way to the Show” are some of the popular songs by Solange Knowles from the album.
Solange Knowles’ Accolades and Legacy
While she might not be as successful as her sister Beyoncé, Solange remains one of the most impactful artists in the contemporary R&B scene. Her signature hit “Cranes in the Sky” earned her a Grammy Award in 2017 in the Best R&B Performance category. Solange’s remarkable music career saw open for Kelly Rowland in the Simply Deeper Tour and Justin Timberlake in The Justified World Tour. Besides singing, Solange Knowles is renowned for her impactful dancing and acting career. Here we present the ten best Solange Knowles songs of all time.
#10- Stay Flo
Opening our top 10 Solange Knowles songs list is the striking hit “Stay Flo.” This sentimental hit is among the most sought-after songs by Solange featured on her fourth studio album, When I Get Home. The song features background vocals of Metro Boomin, who also plays a huge role in the production of this hit. Metro Boomin has had a successful career, producing for 21 Savage, Post Malone, Future, Drake, The Weeknd, and Migos, among others. The song is an ode to the work ethic of the black race and a reflection on misogynoir. “Stay Flo” features lyrics emphasizing how black women are disrespected but still rise to become the ‘most’ impactful.
Solange’s viewpoint on this song remains to be a bone of contention for some. However, with her sister Beyoncé winning the most Grammys by any female, Solange’s claims might just have found some backing. Other notable black women whose impactful careers have seen them become popular faces at the Grammys include Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, CeCe Winans, and Chaka Khan. “Stay Flo” peaked at number sixteen on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs Chart.
#9- Mad ft. Lil Wayne
“Mad” is among the most successful collaborative hits by Solange Knowles from her third studio album, A Seat at the Table. The song features the legendary American rapper Lil Wayne on the vocals. “Mad”’ finds Solange and Lil Wayne crooning about the emotional vulnerability of the black race. The song is preceded by the interlude “Dad Was Mad,” where Solange’s father, Mathew Knowles, speaks of his childhood experiences of racism.
On the other hand, Lil Wayne raps about his sad past when he attempted suicide at twelve years of age. The rapper had earlier addressed his suicide attempt on his hit “London Roads.” “Mad” made it to the forty-fifth spot on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. The song missed entry to the Billboard Hot 100 but peaked at the ninth spot on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Chart. “Mad” was covered in 2016 by the hip-hop artist Rapsody.
#8- Almeda ft. Playboi Carti
Coming in number eight on our top 10 Solange Knowles songs list is the ravishing hit “Almeda.” The song is among the top hits by Solange Knowles from her fourth studio album, When I Get Home. This song’s title refers to an area in Houston, Solange’s hometown. “Almeda” had its lyrics penned by Solange Knowles, Playboi Carti, and The-Dream. The song was inspired by Solange’s experiences growing up as an African-American girl in Houston.
“Almeda” finds Solange making reference to the Florida Water, a unisex perfume, which in this hit serves as a metaphor for the strength of black faith. “Almeda” features vocal performances by Playboi Carti. The song made it to the twelfth spot on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs Chart, rising to number eighteen on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Chart. “Almeda” was nominated for three awards in the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Editing, Best Choreography, and Best Cinematography accolades.
“T.O.N.Y” is one of the exceptional R&B ballads featured on Solange Knowles’ sophomore studio album, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. The song was penned by CeeLo Green and Jack Splash, who is best known for writing and/or producing music for Alicia Keys, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, and Natasha Bedingfield.
“T.O.N.Y.” alludes to a lamentable one night stand. The song topped the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart, rising to number sixty-two on the Billboard Hot 100. “T.O.N.Y.” had its music video feature appearances by Solange Knowles’ son Daniel, CeeLo Green, and Kid Cudi.
#6- Lovers in the Parking Lot
Number six on the top 10 Solange Knowles songs list is the magnificent hit “Lovers in the Parking Lot.” The song is among the most sought-after hits featured on the EP, True. “Lovers in the Parking Lot” brings the best of Solange’s killer dance sequences reminding us of her younger version at Destiny’s Child. Solange’s vocals on this hit are evocative of her sister Beyoncé’s vocal elegance. The song’s glistening synth tunes and fervent disco beats stand out making it a must-listen track!
#5- I Decided
Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams is home to the fifth pick on our ten best Solange Knowles songs list “I Decided.” Unlike most of the songs by Solange that take after her R&B sound, “I Decide” is more inclined to electropop and funk sounds. The song was penned by Solange Knowles with notable inputs from Pharrell Williams.
“I Decided” topped the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart, rising to the forty-fourth spot on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. The song was critically acclaimed in the UK where it reached position twenty-seven on the UK Singles Chart. “I Decided” has its intro sounding identical to that of the 1964 hit “Where Did Our Love Go” by the female group The Supremes.
#4- Losing You
“Losing You” is an archetypal dance-pop infused R&B song penned by Solange and former Test Icicles’ member Dev Hynes best known for his successful works with The Chemical Brothers, Mac Miller, Jazmine Sullivan, and Florence and the Machine. The song is the best Solange Knowles song off the EP, True.
“Losing You” had its music video recorded in South Africa and directed by the Grammy Award-winning director Melina Matsoukas. The song managed to rise to number twenty-two on the UK Independent Chart, peaking at number one hundred and fifty-five on the UK Singles Chart. “Losing You” sampled the 1981 hit “Dynamite” by Euro Funk.
#3- Don’t Touch My Hair ft. Sampha
The third spot on our best Solange Knowles songs list goes to the gorgeous hit “Don’t Touch My Hair.” “Don’t Touch My Hair” is featured on A Seat at the Table, Solange’s third LP. The song was penned by Solange and Sampha, who also collaborates with Solange on the vocals. Sampha is best known for his successful collaborative works with Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West.
“Don’t Touch My Hair” is a strong ode that alludes to the beautiful reflection of Solange’s identity as a black woman. The song was a success in the US mainstream, peaking at number thirty-eight on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. “Don’t Touch My Hair” also graced the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number ninety-one.
#2- Feelin’ You ft. N.O.R.E.
“Feelin’ You” is among the raw R&B tracks Solange Knowles issued at the beginning of her career. The song served as her debut single which later featured on her debut studio album, Solo Star. Solange Knowles penned this hit in collaboration with Mark Penn, and rapper N.O.R.E. who features on the vocals. The song was an instant success, peaking at number seventy-three on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. “Feelin’ You” sampled the 1998 hit “How’s It Goin’ Down” by DMX and Faith Evans.
#1- Cranes in the Sky
Number one on our top 10 Solange Knowles songs list is the melancholic hit “Cranes in the Sky.” This soul-influenced R&B track was penned by Solange and produced by Raphael Saadiq, who is best known for his successful work with TLC, Jill Scott, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, and Erykah Badu. “Cranes in the Sky” is featured on Solange’s third studio album, A Seat at the Table.
The song finds Solange crooning about her deep yearning to escape the agony in her life. “Cranes in the Sky” made it to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number seventy-four. This Gold-certified hit earned Solange Knowles her only Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance in 2017. Other songs that had been nominated for the award include “Needed Me” by Rihanna, “I Do” by Musiq Soulchild, “Permission” by Ro James, and “Turnin’ Me Up” by BJ the Chicago Kid.
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