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Giving Roses: Honoring Miguel at the Top of His Game

WBLS Staff
11/08/2021 12:00 AM EST

Miguel helped shape the current state of R&B, let's give him his roses!

In just four studio albums Miguel has grown into a household name and can be recognized as one of the biggest names in R&B. Nowadays Miguel is known as the epitome of cool and is widely regarded as a sex symbol, but it’s been a long and winding road for the artist to rise to the top of the mountain.

Early Career

Miguel has been active in the music industry since 2007, but was unable to release music in the early years due to conflicts with record labels and disagreements on his overall sound. In fact - in 2006 the Miguel track Getcha Hands Up aired on BET, it was his only single until 2010 when he released All I Want Is You featuring J. Cole. Getcha Hand Up was not included on any Miguel album and it sounds nothing like what we associate his music with today, whereas All I Want Is You went Platinum and set the tone for Miguel’s career. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtT3g5qxIhUFour years of patience led to a huge splash when Miguel’s debut album All I Want Is You was released. The lead track Sure Thing continues to be one of Miguel’s most popular songs and went Triple Platinum. Sure Thing was released in 2007 to resounding success, then in 2011 Lil Wayne brought attention to the song by freestyling over it on his mixtape Sorry 4 The Wait, then in 2020 Sure Thing was used in a viral TikTok trend. Miguel’s strongest tracks have longevity that can resonate with multiple generations.In 2012 - Miguel’s second album Kaleidoscope Dream was released under new management, yet the same thing happened. The lead track on Kaleidoscope Dream titled Adorn went Triple Platinum and is Miguel’s most commercially successful song - reaching #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. Surprisingly Miguel has never had a #1 hit or even broached the top 5 on the Billboard Charts for overall music. He has however had the #1 R&B album and song in America. It’s extremely rare for an R&B song to become the #1 song in America.

Influence

Adorn won Miguel the Grammy for Best R&B Song - it is his only Grammy in over a dozen nominations. However, Miguel’s success and influence cannot be wholly defined by awards or charts - for all intents and purposes, is a leader for a new school of R&B singers. Miguel along with artists like Frank Ocean, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, and Janelle Monae have advanced the genre by adding new flavors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dM5QYdTo08Miguel has clear funk and soul influences, but he takes it to a futuristic place. Miguel utilizes technology but not in any overwhelming or saturating way. The 36 year old Los Angeles-based artist has established himself as a tastemaker in the music world and has many more years to keep trailblazing.

Features & What’s Next

Like many other R&B singers with beautiful voices, Miguel has been known to collaborate with rappers and other artists from time to time. Some of his most popular songs have been Power Trip and Come Through and Chill which are both collaborations with J. Cole and Lotus Flower Bomb with Wale. All three of those songs were Grammy nominated. In recent years, Miguel has collaborated with Travis Scott, Calvin Harris, Kygo, and Tame Impala - his efforts to expand his sound have been both noticeable and successful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7w0-KgZMdYMiguel's last two albums Wildheart and War & Leisure were less commercially successful than his first two albums - but still featured hits like Skywalker and Come Thru and Chill. No one on Earth thinks that Miguel has lost a step. He's got one of the most distinct voices and styles in music today.Beyond music, Miguel has acted in a number of films as well as focused on social justice work. He headlined the Schools Not Prisons tour to spread awareness of mass incarceration throughout California and made a song in conjunction with the ACLU to advocate for immigrants seeking asylum.Miguel is one of the most talented vocalists singing in 2021, and we'd like to take the time to give him his roses for overcoming adversity and making phenomenal music.