Blu Cantrell burst onto the music scene in 2001 with the release of her debut album, So Blu, and hit song “Hit ‘Em Style (Oops!).” It was a good start to a career and it earned her Grammy recognition. Despite the instant fame, it only made her a one-hit wonder. In the coming years, this 40-year-old R&B star would release a second album, Bittersweet, but it failed to garner much attention. After falling out of the spotlight, virtually nothing was ever heard from this Rhode Island native again. From a failed reality show attempt on NBC, to nude photos from her past being uncovered and even a minor mental breakdown, here are the reasons why this R&B songstress, who had great vocal skills, has long fallen off the charts and out of sight.
Cantrell has proven she can’t compete with today’s crop of R&B stars. Radios, music streaming services and the like all cater to bubblegum-R&B stars who use the help of electronic systems to sing on key. It’s a technique and style of music Cantrell refuses to use. As she implies, she’s simply too good for the junk on airwaves these days. “Everything is a little more filtered today,” Cantrell told Australia’s The Music. “I try to be nice when I say it’s more filtered.”
Things in recent years haven’t gone smoothly for Cantrell. As per a September 2014 TMZ report, she may have gone off the rails for a bit. The site reports the challenged singer was picked up by police in Santa Monica, California after she screamed through the streets someone was trying to kill her.
As the story goes, Cantrell was taken into custody around 2 a.m. after witnesses claim the star was shouting someone was giving her “poisonous gas.” When authorities arrived, she seemed to pull herself together enough to ask officers a loaded question: “Do you know who I am?” Although it’s unlikely the men and women in blue had a clue who Cantrell was or her claim to fame, she quickly noted she’s a “one-hit wonder.” After the fiasco, Cantrell was taken to a local hospital where she underwent an evaluation.
Unfortunately, no further details about the incident were released, nor did she make any statements. With episodes like this, it’s clear why she’s stayed out of the spotlight for so long. Perhaps she’s working on herself or fighting her own demons.
Perhaps the most obvious reason why fans haven’t heard from Cantrell in years is because she’s a one-hit wonder — literally. Cantrell has not released anymore singles or albums since 2003, but when asked how her music has held over the years she simply said, “Oh they’re still timeless. I’ve been eating off of those records and have been doing shows nonstop.”
As fans began to learn more about Cantrell, they discovered she’s no angel. At age 18 she posed nude for a magazine called Black Tail. Those set of racy images may have put a damper on her career going forward in the early 2000s. “I’m not a porn star,” Cantrell told The Telegraph. “I’m not ashamed of what I’ve done, ‘cos it was a tough time and it paid some bills, but it’s not like I made a career out of it. I think my talent definitely overrides one nude shoot.”