On Valentine's Day '06, in the middle of an eight-year stretch on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Aubrey Drake Graham made his music presence known with a DJ Smallz–hosted mixtape featuring Boi-1da beats and at least a few Jay Z–indebted flows. Followed by Comeback Season, and later the official debut LP Thank Me Later, Room for Improvement was the first of only two releases that wouldn't be widely listened to by the whole world right away. The opening is priceless:
"Yo, what's going on, this is Drake
And I'mma let you know what you about to witness
This right here is a Drake and DJ Smallz collaboration
So I'm from Canada, my man's from down South
Ya understand, the number one DJ in the South to be exact
You heard that at the VMAs, you heard that wherever he goes
My man Smalls is out there, down south
Same time, reppin' for Toronto, Canada
Ya know what I mean?
So this right here, what you listening to right now, is the official Southern Smoke Special Edition
I call it the Room For Improvement mixtape, 'cause I'm not perfect
And I bet neither are you if you listening"
The British singer-songwriter's first go-round gave us wonderful tunes like "Put Your Records On" and "Like a Star." She was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2007 GRAMMYS alongside Chris Brown, Carrie Underwood, Imogen Heap and James Blunt (Underwood won). Since the self-titled, Bailey Rae has released just one album, 2010's The Sea.
The British multi-hyphenate built her base on MySpace before dropping her Mark Ronson– and Greg Kurstin–assisted Alright, Still in the summer of '06.
Pharrell dropped his first song as just Pharrell in the summer of 2003, with Jay Z. "Frontin'" appeared on Clones, a Neptunes-presented compilation LP. Three years later, Skateboard P came out with In My Mind and a 21-song mixtape prequel hosted by DJ Drama. He would wait eight years before his next solo LP, Girl, featuring the smash hit "Happy."
Along with Dexter, The Hills and Friday Night Lights, Hannah Montana made its debut a whole decade ago. With it came what can be considered the Miley Cyrus album, simply titled Hannah Montana. It's a compilation of songs from the show, most performed by an in-character Cyrus, although four of its 13 tracks belong to other artists. Eight months later, the double album Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus would be classified as Miley's first official release under her own name.
For some reason, BMTH's monster debut, with metalcore masterpieces like "Pray for Plagues" and "Black & Blue," didn't hit the U.S. till the summer of '07. But the U.K. release was the start of a super-successful career; That's the Spirit, the band's excellent fifth record, dropped in September 2015.
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