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Radio Facts’ 10 Most Underrated Black Female Singers

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9. Ann G

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Another artist from the late `80s/early `90s on Atlantic Records – though FAR less prolific – was Georgia girl Ann G. She bowed in 1989 with the techno pop single “If She Knew” from the album On a Mission on which she co-produced, co-composed and co-arranged all eight songs with her then-new husband Eddie Irons (original drummer for Funk band Brick). However, it wasn’t her hits that made her memorable.

It was album-oriented material that reflected a maturity beyond her years such as “Love at Dawn” and, even more so, on her follow-up album, From the Heart, with the songs “Love Me for Me” and “Heroes.” Best of all was the single from that second album, “Hassle Free,” which stands as one of the finest, most underrated singles of the `90s. Though musically it sounded like Karyn White’s Babyface-penned “Superwoman,” its message was much deeper concerning the importance of maintaining self in the face of becoming a lifelong soulmate to the one you love. It was the kind of song that made you wish she was still writing and singing. Well, after 28 years, Ann G (Angie Irons) is FINALLY releasing a new 8-song album that is revolutionary in that all of the sounds (including ones that sound like musical instruments) were all created vocally. And in the spirit of that quest to maintain self that she sang so beautifully of on “Hassle Free,” Ann G has created all of this new music – top to bottom – on her own with no assistance from her husband (who is now a concert sound engineer). The first single is titled “Something’s Got to Give,” an urgent missive about the stresses of life in America today. Welcome back, Ann G. Thrilled upon your return.

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