Erykah Badu - Baduizm
Baduizm is the debut album by American singer and songwriter Erykah Badu, released on February 11, 1997 by Kedar Records.After leaving university in order to concentrate on music full-time, Badu then began touring with her cousin, Robert "Free" Bradford, and recorded a 19-song demo, Country Cousins, which attracted the attention of Kedar Massenburg. He set Badu up to record a duet with D'Angelo, "Your Precious Love," and eventually signed her to a record deal with Universal Records. Recording sessions for the album took place from January to October 1996 in New York City, Philadelphia, and Dallas.
Baduizm was met with positive reviews from music critics who praised the album's musical style and Badu's artistic vision; other critics noted similarities between Badu and Billie Holiday. Baduizm was a commercial success debuting at number two on the US Billboard charts and number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The album was certified three times platinum by Recording Industry Association of America, Gold by British Phonographic Industry and Gold by the Canadian Recording Industry Association.
Baduizm was promoted with the release of four singles: "On & On", "Next Lifetime", "Otherside of the Game", and "Apple Tree". The album received many accolades including winning awards for "On & On" and a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album at the 40th Grammy Awards. Along with fellow contemporary albums such as D'Angelo's Brown Sugar (1995) and Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (1996), Baduizm's success helped establish Badu as one of the leading artists in the neo-soul genre and is one of the albums credited with contributing to the genre's commercial visibility at the time.