09/03/2014 02:17 EDT | Updated 09/03/2014 03:59 EDT

Best Solo Careers In Music: Singers Who Got Bigger And Better Without Their Old Bands


Solo projects are a dime a dozen in music. When an artist spends a lot of time writing and touring with their popular band, they often feel like they need another outlet to express themselves. What's less common, however, is when their solo careers end up being bigger and better.

But it does happen.

While many solo efforts are embarrassing at best -- take Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell's dance-pop attempt "Scream," or better yet, don't -- some cases of an artist leaving their successful group to blow up even bigger as a solo act have been seen across rock, pop, hip-hop and R&B.

From Phil Collins and Michael Jackson to City and Colour and Beyonce, here's a look at 20 artists who's solo work turned out better and often more popular than the bands they started out in.