Between 1999 and 2001, there were moments in British history that can never be forgotten. Be it the Millennium Dome, Harry Potter becoming a mainstay in pop culture, or Robbie Williams offering to fight Liam Gallagher at the 2000 Brit Awards. However, another key moment was Craig David's ascendence from relative obscurity as a teen from a housing estate in Southampton to worldwide stardom.

For many, Craig David's success helped put the garage scene on the global map. No doubt the genre was already popular within the UK, but there were few hits that garnered appeal such as 'Rewind'. Besides being an outstanding song that still sounds unique sixteen years later, 'Rewind' helped bridged the gap between the underground garage scene and the mainstream. Born to Do It was a stark change from David's earlier music with Artful Dodger. After appearing on 1999's 'Rewind' and being a prominent figure in Southampton's (his hometown) garage scene, Craig David began to embark on a solo career that proved to be rewarding yet tumultuous.

Born to Do It was an unearthed gem that didn't need to be polished, it had everything - garage, romance, heartbreak and trying to sneak a girl out of her parents' house on a Friday night. Whilst being only eleven years old at the time of its release, I could understand just how important it was for the British music scene. From hits such as 'Fill Me In' and '7 Days to the sultry 'Rendezvous', Craig David's debut is everything a British R&B album should be. Born to Do It was mature yet it didn't stray too far into Bump N' Grind territory, which for R&B was a success in itself. Aside from spawning four Top Ten singles and going platinum, MTV viewers voted Born to Do It as second in their 'Greatest Album of All Time' poll in 2009, behind Michael Jackson's Thriller, proving its worth to British music.

Many people attribute David's demise to Leigh Francis' (now Keith Lemon) caricatured portrayal of the artist. In 2007, he famously told The Sunday Times "The whole Bo' Selecta! thing was killing me for a while because this idiot had a cult following and I was the main caricature." Much of the negative attention was in part, down to the fact that a garage star had 'turned' R&B. On the title song from his second album Slicker Than Your Average, Craig David addressed that by lamenting, "While they're tellin' me that I'm too R&B/How I turned right back up the whole UK garage scene." The second album appeared to be an attempt at convincing the world that he hadn't in fact turned his back on garage, as Slicker Than Your Average definitely possessed much more of a garage sound to it.

Nevertheless, there aren't many British R&B artists bar Sade that have had a lengthy career behind the microphone. Many often appear to sound very 'Americanised' and considering the wealth of US talents that already exist, it's no surprise that they have no longevity here in the UK. Craig David had previously been nominated for twelve Brit awards, two Grammys, and grabbed a MOBO for Best UK Act in 2001. His talent was well recognised overseas. Unfortunately, David was never able to capture the same charm, which led to the aforementioned accolades, on both Trust Me and Signed Sealed Delivered. Not necessarily a slight on his part but it suggests that as garage left the mainstream, perhaps Craig David's window of opportunity did too.

Craig David has influenced some unlikely musicians too. Besides name dropping David on his second mixtape Comeback Season, Drake to an extent shares with him some vocal similarities. That may sound absurd at first, however when you listen to how they both dwell on their notes when they croon, it becomes much clearer. It's popular knowledge that the Canadian rapper adores British street culture, so it's not hard to imagine that Drake had Born to Do It on CD back in the day. A Drake cover of '7 Days' would be well received by many no doubt. Justin Bieber is but another artist that may have been inspired by the British crooner. Bieber's song 'Recovery', taken from his album Journals, contains melodies and a rhythm which in its essence is garage. When you hear this inspiration, it's warming to know just how distinguished Craig David's career was.

Whilst Born to Do It may not be the second greatest album of all time, there is no denying just how monumental he was. Like Oasis and The Smiths, Craig David propelled himself from industrial Britain to international stardom, even if it was short lived. Perhaps the Achilles' heel wasn't Leigh Francis or the public ridicule but rather the industry's attitude of going after an overseas market before catering to their own.