Why wasn't KELIS more successful in the US?

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Milkshake and Bossy are her only hits here which charted at #3 and #16 respectively. Bossy was also her last Hot 100 entry.
Trick Me is one of her most well-known songs yet it barely charted on Billboard although that was to do with label problems and them not releasing the song here.
there was also quite a big album sales decline between Tasty and Kelis Was Here.

however she has been more successful in the UK. Good Stuff, Milkshake, Bossy, Trick Me, Millionaire, In Public, Caught Out Here, Lil Star, Acapella and 4th of July all did well there and were Top 40 hits.
 
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Part of me thinks her appeal did not present in a very commercial way that's popular here in the states.

When I lived in Germany from 1999-2003, you couldn't go into a club without a bunch of her songs on rotation throughout the night and into the morning.
 
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She had more appeal in Europe. But my friends and I loved Kelis. She was more our lane than the other girls. She’s genuinely dope. Also, she was killing hooks in rap music. Hey Dirty, baby I got your money , don’t you worry. Busta , what it is right now. We wore Kaleidoscope and Wanderlust out.
 
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Her lack of more success in the States definitely doesn't match her talent. Not saying anyone said it did. It could be a combination of things.

But on the surface I think they couldn't pigeon-hole her into one of them or popular genres over here. And maybe they didn't dump a bunch of marketing money into her because of that as well in more "mainstream/money" spaces. I loved her look. But race and ethnicity may have also played a roll. People may not like it being mentioned but it's a real thing in how you are marketed. But even when she was in the Enrique Iglesias video for that duet, they/she straightened her natural hair to give her a certain look.
 
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Her image...

Her sound was different and unique and more R&B popish. The Neptunes put her out there but a lot of rap artists didn’t take her seriously until she was with Nas.
 
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The US is very backwards especially when it comes to women in music. The US unfortunately wants to fit every female artist into a box, but male artists are allowed to do whatever they want. The UK is more accepting of individuality in female artists.
 
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Her lack of more success in the States definitely doesn't match her talent. Not saying anyone said it did. It could be a combination of things.

But on the surface I think they couldn't pigeon-hole her into one of them or popular genres over here. And maybe they didn't dump a bunch of marketing money into her because of that as well in more "mainstream/money" spaces. I loved her look. But race and ethnicity may have also played a roll. People may not like it being mentioned but it's a real thing in how you are marketed. But even when she was in the Enrique Iglesias video for that duet, they/she straightened her natural hair to give her a certain look.
It's because Kelis went out of her way to look as ugly as possible and she was difficult to work with

1609262182626.jpg
 
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I know this phrase is used often but I feel like Kelis was one of the few who too ahead of the time. Pharrell and whoever else was putting that sound out with her before people were ready.

everything about Kelis is lowkey too forward for some to catch
 
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I know this phrase is used often but I feel like Kelis was one of the few who too ahead of the time. Pharrell and whoever else was putting that sound out with her before people were ready.

everything about Kelis is lowkey too forward for some to catch
Defo ahead of her time, true artist
 
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She was a pop girl that was far ahead of her time. America didn't appreciate what she had to offer until lessers served a quarter-water version of her sound and look.

Which reminds me, this year marks the anniversary of one of the few genuinely good albums to come out of an otherwise dismal decade for music:
Kelis_-_Wanderland.png
 

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