From Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Tamia Hill first began her career as an actress, producer, singer, and songwriter in 1994 after signing with Warner Bros. Records. She earned this opportunity through the recognition she received while competing in dancing and singing performances ever since she was a small child. On April 14, 1998, through Elektra Records, the artist better known as Tamia released her first studio album, which was titled after her first name. From there, she recorded and released six more studio albums, as well as an EP, a compilation album, and twenty-five singles.
While recording her third studio album, More, Tamia learned she had multiple sclerosis (MS), which is a disease that strikes at the body’s nervous system. For Tamia, because the MS was caught early enough, she was able to put the illness into remission but continues having to deal with some of its symptoms to this day. This hasn’t, however, stopped her from recording and touring.
Top 10 Tamia Songs
#10 – Leave It Smokin’
“Leave It Smokin’,” as a single, was the result of an inspired Tamia after getting caught up in the summer vibe of New York City’s highly diverse music scene that seems to be at its best during that time of year. Its associative album, Passion Like Fire, was fueled with music that has an array of retro-style R&B music. Leave It Smokin’ lit up the US Adult R&B Songs chart as high as number two while on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number twenty-one.
#9 – Can’t Go for That
From Tamia’s second studio album, A Nu Day, which was released on October 10, 2000, “Can’t Go for That” served as the first single release. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it peaked at number twenty-three. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it charted at number eighty-four. Since its release, it has undergone a series of remixes that have taken their own versions to the dance club scene and underground music scene.
#8 – You Put a Move on My Heart (featuring Quincy Jones)
From the 1994 album, Q’s Jook Joint, the duet performed by Quincy Jones and Tamia, “You Put a Move on My Heart,” was a powerfully performed song full of romantic soul. Originally recorded in 1993 by Mica Paris, the combined vocal talent of Jones and Tamia fueled the song with sex appeal, which contributed to its popularity among the fans who appreciate the impact of genuinely soulful music. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it peaked up to number sixteen. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it charted at number ninety-eight.
#7 – Slow Jams (featuring Quincy Jones, Babyface, Barry White, and Portrait)
The combined talent of Quincy Jones, Babyface, Barry White, Portrait, and Tamia made what was the second recording of “Slow Jams” a charted hit on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number nineteen. It was also insanely popular on the Recorded Music of New Zealand’s chart as it peaked as high as number two. It also became certified platinum in that nation.
On the US Billboard Hot 100, Slow Jams appeared at number sixty-eight. What made the difference between the original recording of Slow Jams and the remix was the vocal talent of Tamia. Her sensual, soulful addition to the track also played a contributing factor that had this single nominated for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals during the 1997 Grammy Awards. Killing Me Softly by Fugees won the award that year.
#6 – Officially Missing You
Tamia’s third studio album, More, was released on April 6, 2004. The acoustic-favoring ballad, “Officially Missing You,” served as the album’s lead single. On the US Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart, it peaked at number one while on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, it peaked at number four. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it reached as high as number thirty-one. The US Billboard Hot 100 charted Officially Missing You at number eighty-three.
#5 – Imagination
In 1998, Tamia’s self-titled debut album brought forth its first official single, “Imagination.” owes its Motown flair to the Jackson 5’s 1969 single, I Want You Back. Built around its sample music, this R&B-influenced track charted as high as number twelve on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and at number thirty-seven on the US Billboard Hot 100. It also earned international recognition as it also peaked at number twelve on Canada’s Hot Digital Singles, and at number thirty with New Zealand’s official singles chart.
#4 – Missing You (featuring Brandy, Chaka Khan, and Gladys Knight)
The first single to Tamia’s credit is “Missing You.” In 1996, the combined performances of Brandy, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Tamia) served as a promotional single for the feature film, Set It Off. Each bringing her unique character as a performer, the ladies pooled their vocal talents together to turn Missing You into one of the most tear-jerking, influential singles of the 1990s. It earned a nomination at the 1997 Grammy Awards for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, but it lost out to Nat King Cole and his daughter, Natalie, for the brilliant performance of When I Fall in Love. With the Recorded Music New Zealand chart, “Missing You,” was hugely popular as it ranked as high as number two and earned a platinum certification. In the USA, the song peaked as high as number ten on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and at number twenty-five on the US Billboard Hot 100.
#3 – Stranger in My House
Tamia’s second studio album, A Nu Day, produced the 2001 hit single, “Stranger in My House,” which featured a beautiful sound experience of Latino flavor, mixed with Tamia’s soulful, lyrical form. Stranger in My House was the result of its inspired songwriter, Shep Crawford, who just watched the 1999 film, The Sixth Sense. When he offered the written ballad to the recording studio that handled Toni Braxton’s music, it was rejected. It then went to Tamia, whose R&B twist to the eerie lyrics contributed to its chart success on the US Billboards. On its Dance Club Songs chart and Adult R&B Songs chart, it peaked at number one. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it ranked as high as number three and charted at number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100.
#2 – Into You (featuring Fabolous)
Globally, the sensually-charged hip-hop single “Into You” charted as high as number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, and on Australia’s official music chart. Among both nations, the single also became certified bold by their respective music industries. Into You appears as a track on Fabolous’s second studio album, Street Dreams, which was released in 2003, as well as on Tamia’s third studio album, More, which was released in 2004. There is also a version of this song featuring Ashanti instead of Tamia, but the production team felt her performance wasn’t worthy enough to become a visual success as a music video, a more commercialized recording was performed with Tamia’s vocal talent instead since it was her 1998 single, So Into You, was the leading influence for Into You to begin with.
#1 – Spend My Life with You (featuring Eric Benet)
In 2000, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) recognized Eric Benet and Tamia for the duet’s romantic performance, “Spend My Life with You,” as its official choice as an Outstanding Song. It was also nominated by the Grammy Awards for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals but lost to TLC’s No Scrubs. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, Spend My Life with You peaked at number one.
The RIAA certified-gold single also charted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number twenty-one. The album this song belongs to, A Day in the Life, was Eric Benet’s second studio recording and became certified platinum by the RIAA.
Top 10 Taima Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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