2004 in music was an eventful year. From January to December the masses were gifted a new catch phrase: Nipplegate (Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake). George Michael's returned to music, releasing his first studio album in eight years; Patience. Kelly Clarkson released her best-selling album to date, Breakaway. Usher released Confessions, which sold 1.1 million copies in one week. Madonna's The Re-Invention Tour became the year's highest grosser. Ashlee Simpson lip-synched her way into everybody's home via SNL.
And without missing a beat, many of today's superstars and record breakers debuted. Here is a list of fourteen debut albums released in 2004:
Scissor Sisters by Scissor Sisters
The Scissor Sisters released their debut album in 2004. The album barely dented the Billboard 200, but that did not mean that the queer band had no impact. The album became the best-selling album of the year in the UK (2.1 million). Their camp first radio hit "Take Your Mama", alongside their Pink Floyd cover of "Comfortably Numb" and other releases ("Laura", "Filthy Gorgeous", and "Mary") made the album a top 10 hit in Ireland and Australia.
More on the Sisters:
One Love, Kimberly Locke
American Idol's second season in 2003 became more about the odd couple, winner Ruben Studdard and selling-machine Clay Aiken. Kimberly Locke, however, became a queer icon. Not bad for a top 3 contestant.
One Love was released on the heels of #1 dance and adult contemporary hit "Eighth World Wonder". The song is one of the longest-running AI alumni singles on the Hot 100, spending twenty-weeks on the chart. It also charted at #1 on the sales chart (when CD singles were still sold prior to digital downloads).
The album debuted at #16 on the album chart.
Hot Fuss, by The killers
Hot Fuss, the debut by The Killers, became their first #1 in the UK. They currently share a record with Keane and Coldplay; all of their studio albums have reached #1 on the album charts. The album went on to sell over 3 million copies in the US, 2.1 million in the UK, and over 7 million copies sold worldwide. It was the 26th best-selling album of the decade in the United Kingdom. It spent 173 weeks on the UK Albums Chart.
The set spawned "Mr. Brightside", "Somebody Told Me", "Smile Like You Mean It" and "All of The Things I've Done".
Hopes and Fears, by Keane
Hopes and Fears by Keane did not crack the top 40 of the Billboard 200, but it went on to sell over a million copies in the US. The album, their first #1 in the UK, has sold over 2.7 million copies. Internationally, it has sold over 5.8 million copies.
The album's singles "Somewhere Only We Know" and "Everybody's Changing" have become iconic. In July 2011, it was ranked the 9th biggest-selling album of the 21st century in the UK.
In 2013, Lily Allen released a cover of "Somewhere Only We Know". The single hit #1 in Ireland, England and Hong Kong, unlike the original in 2004 (it hit #30, #3 and didn't chart, respectively).
Back to Bedlam, by James Blunt
James Blunt debuted with a bang. The British singer-songwriter may have become gossip fodder, but Back to Bedlam stands on its own. In the UK, the number-one album was the best-selling album in the region with over 2.4 million copies sold in 2005. It also was the best-selling album of the 2000's.
In 2011, the album was bumped to #2 by Amy Winehouse's Back To Black, and then to #3 by Adele's 21, which is now the best-selling album of the 21st century in the UK, with over 4.6 million copies sold in the territory alone.
Back to Bedlam has sold over 11 million copies worldwide.
Rebelde, by RBD
Rebelde (or RBD) was a huge international money-maker in the 2000's. The Mexican band, which was put together for a television teenage tele-novela, released six studio albums. The set sold over 1.5 million copies and spent 50 weeks inside the Latin Album charts.
In 2007, member Christian Chavez was outed by a gossip magazine, and he made a statement about being a gay man, which was praised by then closeted Ricky Martin.
Get Lifted, by John Legend
Get Lifted, John Legend's debut album, was released in December 2004. The album peaked inside the top 5 (#4) in the US, and has sold over 2.1 copies. Worldwide, the album has sold over 3 million copies.
The set was promoted by singles like "Ordinary People", which hit #4 in the UK and #24 in the US.
You're Speaking My Language, by Juliette & The Licks
Juliette & The Licks, fronted by actress Juliette Lewis, released this official album in 2005. But the EP, ...Like a Bolt of Lighting, was released in 2004 with three of the tracks which made it to the debut studio album. You're Speaking My Language prompted the band to appear in many punk-rock venues, and music festivals worldwide.
Eye To The Telescope, by KT Tunstall
KT Tunstall debuted in 2004 with Eye To The Telescope. Worldwide, the album has sold over 5 million copies. Singles from the set included "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree", "Suddenly I See" "Other Side of the World", and "Another Place To Fall".
Elephunk by Black Eyed Peas
The set was led by first single and ode to peace "Where is The Love?", which features Justin Timberlake as background vocals. The album debuted in the top 20 on the Billboard 200. It peaked at #3 in the UK. The album sold over 3 million copies in the US, over 1.5 million in the UK, and 8 million worldwide.
Since then, they have accumulated three number-one hits, including the now iconic "I Gotta Feeling". The song is currently the best-selling digital single in the US, with over 8,402,000 downloads.
Love. Angel. Music. Baby., by Gwen Stefani
L.A.M.B. was Gwen Stefani's debut (solo) album in 2004. The album debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200 selling 309,000 copies. It went on to sell over 4 million in the US, and 8 million worldwide. It spawned the first million-selling single "Hollaback Girl", which reached #1 in 2005. The set was nominated for a Grammy six times between 2005 and 2006.
Nina Sky, by Nina Sky
Nina Sky released their eponymous debut album in 2004. The twin sisters were promoted and assisted by Fat Joe, Jennifer Lopez and Major Lazer from the beginning of their career onto their recent releases.
The first single "Move Ya Body" became a modest radio and club hit in the summer of 2004.
The Puerto Rican sisters have released two albums after Nina Sky. In 2010, sister Nicole announced her marriage to long-time girlfriend, fashion designer Erin Magee.
Schizophrenic, by JC Chasez
'NSYNC frontman, JC Chasez may have missed the opportunity to turn his solo career into a Justin-Timberlake sized one. His debut, Schizophrenic, was released in 2004 after the release of singles "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)" and "Some Girls (Dance With Women)".
The thematic matter turned off many listeners and despite moderate success, the project was not promoted past third buzz single "All Day Long I Dream About Sex". The album peaked at #17.