The best debut albums of all time

Lady Gaga - ‘The Fame’ (2008) - Gaga’s debut was a game changer. A mix of dance-pop and Eurodisco, she made maximalist pop the dominant sound again on the global charts.

Lorde - 'Pure Heroine' (2013) -
Coming straight out of New Zealand, 16-year-old Lorde got a major breakthrough with her coming-of-age mumble-pop album. 

Taylor Swift - ‘Taylor Swift’ (2006) - Taylor was only 16, but she got the whole world listening to her and her guitar. The teen country star was a master in her art.

Billie Eilish - ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ (2019) - At just 17, Billie Eilish dropped her debut album. 

Alicia Keys - ‘Songs in A Minor’ (2001) - Including hits like 'Fallin,'' 'How Come You Don’t Call Me,' and 'A Woman’s Worth,' Keys' debut album lives on as a classic.

Patti Smith - ‘Horses’ (1975) -
Smith’s debut album made her the Queen of Punk. However, she cared more about the poetry in rock, and searched for passion and vision in her lyrics.

Drake - ‘Thank Me Later’ (2010) -
A former child actor turned rapper might not have sounded so promising, but Drake proved everyone wrong with his down-tempo ambient beats. 

Cardi B - ‘Invasion of Privacy’ (2018) - 'Invasion of Privacy’ was one of the biggest hip-pop explosions of 2018. 

Madonna - ‘Madonna’ (1983) -
Loaded with hits like 'Borderline,' 'Holiday,' and 'Like a Virgin,' the album introduced one of the most important voices in the history of modern music. 

Lil' Kim - ‘Hard Core’ (1996) -
A highly explicit album, it also introduced the rapper's playfulness that made her a larger-than-life icon. Lil' Kim went on to inspire many of the rappers of today.

M.I.A. - ‘Arular’ (2005) -
The British rapper gave the world a political album that incorporates hip hop, dancehall, baile funk, and punk. Hits included 'Pull Up the People' and 'Bucky Done Gun.'

Olivia Rodrigo - ‘Sour’ (2021) -
With 'Sour,' the teen queen dropped a debut album loaded with hits for generation Z and millennials alike. On top of that, 'Good 4 U' brought pop-punk back!

SZA - ‘Ctrl’ (2017) -
SZA's first album was a masterpiece that featured intimate, spacey, and low-key songs that crawled into our ears. She kept the lyrics honest, drawing from her own experiences.

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