1995’s I Refuse to Be Lonely is the album Phyllis Hyman was working on when she committed suicide with a barbiturate overdose in her New York City apartment. Though the album was released almost 20 years after Hyman first became a star, its outstanding pedigree is testament to the singer’s unwavering commitment to high-caliber musicianship. Produced by the legendary duo of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, the songs are lush and evocative without resorting to vintage production gimmicks. Though the singer’s friends insisted that the album wasn't intended as a farewell message—they said that Hyman was focused on themes of empowerment at the time of her death—it’s impossible to ignore the dimension of poignancy in “I Refuse to Be Lonely,” “Waiting for the Last Tear to Fall,” and “This Too Shall Pass.” Hyman was never shy about expressing her struggles with depression, and the great achievement of her final album is that she refused to wallow in uncertainty. She addressed fear and regret head-on and owned her inner sadness without sacrificing her pride.