Been Waiting is the debut studio album by Australian recording artist Jessica Mauboy, released on 22 November 2008 by Sony Music Australia. While Mauboy was still a member of the girl group Young Divas, she began to work on what became Been Waiting. She co-wrote several of the album's songs and worked with many songwriters and producers, including Israel Cruz, Cutfather, Audius Mtawarira, Michael "Fingaz" Mugisha, Kwame Holland, Jonas Jeberg and Adam Reily, among others.
Been Waiting contains mid-tempo R&B ballads and pop songs. Upon its release, the album received a positive reception from critics, with one mentioning it "sounds like an international R&B record" and another saying it was "an impressive debut". The album reached number 11 on the ARIA Albums Chart and spent a year in the ARIA top fifty. It was certified double platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for shipments of 140,000 copies.
The album produced five hit singles, including the lead single "Running Back" featuring American rapper Flo Rida, and the second single "Burn". The former peaked at number three on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified double platinum, while the latter became Mauboy's first number-one hit. The title track was released as the third single, which was certified gold along with the fourth single "Because" and the fifth "Up/Down". Been Waiting earned Mauboy three nominations at the 2009 ARIA Music Awards for Best Pop Release, Breakthrough Artist Album and Highest Selling Album. The album was promoted with live performances across Australia and received further promotion when Mauboy supported Beyoncé on the Australian leg of her I Am... World Tour.
In September 2007, it was announced that Mauboy had joined the girl group Young Divas, replacing one of the group's original members Ricki-Lee Coulter. A solo career was still very much on the cards for Mauboy, but her management saw the Young Divas as a perfect learning curve about all that was positive and negative in the music industry. Following on from the success of their single "Turn Me Loose", Mauboy began to work on her debut solo album. She began to write songs with Adam Reily, Israel Cruz, Brooke McClymont and Audius Mtawarira, as well as sourcing songs from international publishers. Following her departure from Young Divas in August 2008, it was then announced in the media on 17 September 2008 that Mauboy would be releasing her debut solo single "Running Back" in October 2008.
An audio sample of songs from Been Waiting was uploaded to YouTube on 6 November 2008. The album was then released through Sony Music Australia on 22 November 2008. Its iTunes release included the bonus track "Chinese Whispers".Been Waiting was released in Japan on 22 April 2009 and included four bonus tracks, two of which were remixes to "Burn" and "Running Back" as well as a new song titled "Breathe" and the iTunes bonus track "Chinese Whispers". Mauboy re-released the album as a double-disc deluxe edition on 21 August 2009. Disc one featured the standard edition's eleven tracks including seven bonus ones, whereas disc two contained a bonus DVD package of Mauboy's music videos and live performances.
"Running Back" featuring Flo Rida was released as the album's lead single on 11 October 2008. Upon its release, the song received a positive reception from critics. It reached number three on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified double platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for sales of more than 140,000 copies. The song received two nominations at the 2009 ARIA Music Awards, winning the award for 'Highest Selling Single'. It also won the award for 'Urban Work of the Year' at the 2009 APRA Awards. "Burn" was released as the second single on 17 November 2008. The song became Mauboy's first number one on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified platinum for selling over 70,000 copies. It also received a nomination for 'Highest Selling Single' at the 2009 ARIA Music Awards.
The album's title track was released as the third single in March 2009. It peaked at number 12 on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified gold for sales of more than 35,000 copies. The song received a nomination for 'Most Played Australian Work' at the 2010 APRA Awards. "Because", a popballad of which Mauboy says is a break-up song about an ex-boyfriend of hers, was released as the fourth single. It peaked at number nine on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified gold. "Up/Down" was released as the fifth single on 28 August 2009. It peaked at number 11 and was certified gold. The album's sixth and final single "Let Me Be Me" was released on 27 November 2009, and peaked at number 26.
Been Waiting received positive reviews from critics. Mawunyo Gbogbo of GrooveOn described most of the album's songs as "soul-searching monologues of love gone awry" and said "Jessica Mauboy sure gives heartbreak a sweet melody". Jarrad Bevan of The Mercury said the album "sounds like an international R&B record" and that "her potential to break overseas is obvious". Davey Boy of Sputnikmusic awarded the album three out of five stars and said it was an "impressive debut which suggests that there could indeed be quality music to look forward to in the future as she matures and gains experience". Nick Bond of MTV Australia said "the whole album does stick very closely to the Timbaland blueprint of skittering beats and airy synths". Marcie of Planet Urban said "Been Waiting is the first real evidence that the girl can not only sing, but might also be able to hold her own, especially after her unsuccessful blink-and-you-missed-it stint with the Young Divas."