From her start in the late '90s, when she quickly scored her first hit in 1997 with "You Might Need Somebody" at just 17 years old, through the 2000s, Shola Ama's career went through a number of stages. There was the initial solo material, heavily inspired by the big R&B ballads of the '80s, then there was her second album, In Return, a more modern sounding album with the likes of Angie Stone, Babyface, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and hit-making team Stargate all credited; and then, later in her career, she teamed up with her sister Sadie, Wiley, Roll Deep, Mz. Bratt, J2K, Margs, Wrigz, Young Kye and Kivanc to form A-List.

Nowadays, Shola's doing as much TV work as she is music, but back in the day she was responsible for some of the most memorable R&B and pop crossovers. It wasn't just that she could do a good pop banger, her crossover appeal meant that you were just as likely to hear her on a pirate station as you were BBC Radio 1. Notes of UK garage and an undeniably UK sound mixed into her passion for commercial R&B bridged the gap between the mainstream and the underground in a very successful way.

Take in our pick of Shola Ama's finest, if not best known, moments after the jump. From her earliest recordings as a teenager to more recent works like "Alive" with Toddla T, we've done our best to highlight the best of her considerable output. This is Shola Ama's Deep Cuts.

Posted on July 10, 2018