In the last eight years, Jazmine Sullivan has been nominated for eleven GRAMMY Awards for her three albums and has yet to win a coveted golden statue.
Fans of the 28-year-old singer embraced her return after a five-year hiatus. Even with the critical acclaim for her latest album, “Reality Show,” it’s hard not to notice that race may play a factor in the difference between her success and Adele’s.
Jazmine’s three singles from the album, “Dumb,” “Forever Don’t Last,” and “Let It Burn,” didn’t make much of an impact on the charts. While her latest album may have debuted at number 2 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, the CD only sold 30,000 copies in the first week.
Meanwhile, three months after Adele released her latest single, “Hello,” it’s still #1 on Billboard for the 10th straight week and her third album, “25,” has sold over 15 million copies worldwide…within a month of its release.
While it may seem like a comparison of apples to oranges, Jazmine is used to having people question why white artists who sing “blue eye soul” have no problems crossing over and transcending musical genres, meanwhile equally as talented Black artists are seemingly marginalized.
“I guess I’m glad that people are recognizing me in some way, and kind of see there’s a little injustice in how Black soul artists are received,” said Jazmine in an interview with the Associated Press. “But, at the same time, I try not to focus so much on the negativity.”
She also adds that while the people who listen to her, “…may not be as many people (who) listen to Adele, there are people who are listening. There are people who appreciate me. There are people who love my music.”
Jazmine acknowledges that there’s more work that she needs to do to build her self-confidence especially as a survivor of domestic abuse. “I think it’s just a matter of making myself known to more people. I think it’s about spreading Jazmine Sullivan’s brand, I guess, to more people,” she said.
“It was definitely hard to open up, and then to open up about something like physical abuse and mental abuse…that was even harder,” she says on explaining her personal life in interviews. “That was a lot of the fear, and kind of just being ashamed, and having to relive it, talking about it even.”
While Jazmine slayed her most recent performance at the Soul Train Music Awards in a tribute to Babyface, she said getting back on stage after five years was an adjustment. “I guess you kind of lose your confidence. Kind of lose your mojo, and you have to gain that back,” she said.
Now that she’s back in the spotlight, the singer said she cares more about connecting with her fans than monitoring her album sales.
“The tours were sold out and I just felt so much love,” she said “I don’t get too much into album sales and anything like that. What I do tend to do is, if I go to a show, and it’s sold out, and if people are singing the lyrics to the songs, that’s the kind of stuff that makes what I do so great.”
We admire Jazmine’s humility and graciousness. We hope she finally takes home the Grammy’s she deserves and that 2016 can be a break out year for her as well as our beloved soul singers Ledisi, Goapele and Andra Day to name a few.