Swedish singer Robyn was just 18 when she burst onto the U.S. pop scene in 1995 on the strength of her album Robyn Was Here, which featured such hits as “Do You Know (What It Takes)“ and “Show Me Love”.
Given the success of her debut, Robyn would have been poised for even bigger success in America had her label, RCA, released her second album in the U.S. — a decision that resulted in slamming the brakes on her burgeoning music career in America.
While this may seem baffling, Robyn — now 39 — tells the New York Times the decision came about because some of the songs on her sophomore release referenced the abortion she had when she was a teenager.
“You can’t really talk about stuff like that in America, or you couldn’t at the time,” she said. “Not if you were an 18-year-old pop star.”
As a result, her second album — 1999’s “My Truth” — was released everywhere in the world except the U.S.
Admitting the early stage of career was “totally unpleasant,” Robyn now looks back and sees the silver lining, as the experience prompted her to strike out on her own by founding her own label, Konichiwa Records, in 2005.
Since then, she’s enjoyed hits such as 2010’s “Dancing on My Own,” which never would have happened had she not taken control of her own destiny.
“A lot of people told me that they thought I was crazy, and that I would lose a lot of money,” she said. “If I would have followed their advice, none of this would have happened.”
According to Vanity Fair, RCA has yet to respond to a request for comment.