2010s in music
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Musical trends of the decadeEdit
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The melismatic vocals mainstream during the 1990s and 2000s in pop and contemporary R&B lost favor by mid-late 2009, as vocally lower key artists, including Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Rihanna, started to outsell new releases by perennial melismatic favorites, Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. By the mid-2010s, the style of vocals popular in indie pop have become immensely widespread among pop instrumentalists as they are commonly used by younger artists, like Lorde and Birdy.
Traditional instruments, such as the mandolin, dulcimer, ukulele, bongos, banjo, and accordion, have been used more often, especially in indie rock musicians and singer-songwriters, including Mumford and Sons, Vance Joy, Phillip Phillips, and The Lumineers, along with country players, such as Chris Stapleton and Zac Brown Band.
Throughout the 2010s, hip hop music grew as a genre. In 2017, with the increase in streaming services influence over the Billboard Hot 100 rap music became the most popular genre in the US in its 4th decade of growth, surpassing Rock and Pop music. Artists like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Future, Chance the Rapper, Travis Scott, Playboi Carti, J. Cole, Gucci Mane, Migos, Young Thug, Lil B, Tyler, The Creator, ASAP Rocky, Chief Keef and XXXTentacion all rose to prominence in this decade. In the decade movements like Trap music, Cloud rap, Drill music, and Emo hip hop became mainstream. The 2010s are also notable for the increasing prominence of rap producers; examples being Young Chop, Sonny Digital, DJ Mustard, Metro Boomin and DJ Khaled.
Progressive and experimental rock have started to become widespread, mainly in the second half of the decade. Artists, such as Nothing More, Highly Suspect, Twelve Foot Ninja, Dead Letter Circus, and Marmozets, and DIY ethic bands, including Bad Omens, Sylar, Æges, and Silver Snakes, have enjoyed success through concerts and streaming services.
EDM has become more mainstream due to the releases of Britney Spears' Blackout and Kanye West's "Stronger"; some 2010s successes include David Guetta, Skrillex, Steve Aoki, Swedish House Mafia, Headhunterz, Wildstylez, Da Tweekaz, Clean Bandit, Major Lazer, DVBBS, Avicii, Alesso, Owl City, The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, DJ Snake, Diplo, ShockOne, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Blasterjaxx, Martin Garrix, Marshmello, Alan Walker and Zedd.
The genres of Europop and Eurodance have also achieved notable commercial success, evidenced by Swedish producer Max Martin's ubiquity in the decade's most successful pop albums. Katy Perry's Teenage Dream (2010) drew heavily from this style and became the first album by a female artist in history to release five number one U.S. singles. Europop and electronica were used more extensively in the early 2010s as a result of the success of disk jockeys, like David Guetta and Calvin Harris, also influencing the work of female solo acts like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Kesha. Some of the best-selling songs of the decade, including "Only Girl (In the World)" and "S&M" by Rihanna, were strongly influenced by Eurodance. In 2012, a large number of songs by American instrumentalists featured quintessential Eurodance elements, especially synthesizer and strong beats during the chorus mixed with rapping or vocals for verses. Flo Rida and Pitbull were popular hip house artists from the early to mid-2010s.
Teen pop has made a significant comeback throughout the decade, with the likes of Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Nick Jonas. Like their predecessors, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake, who rose to fame in the late 90s and early 2000s, most of these stars were exclusively associated or with Disney Channel and Nickelodeon at the genesis of careers. An exception is Canadian artist Justin Bieber who rose fame through YouTube and social media. Throughout the 2010s, they have expanded control over their careers and come of age with their music to varying degrees of success, and many teen pop musicians outside the former companies have continued to launch promising careers throughout the 2010s.
Since 2011, boy bands and girl groups have returned to mainstream popularity for the first time after the early 2000s, with the most popular examples being British-Irish boy band One Direction and American boy band Big Time Rush. A new generation of successful girl groups was ushered in by acts such as Little Mix and Fifth Harmony. In addition to this, K-Pop groups, benefitting from high visibility on Social Media and Video sharing sites like YouTube, began to capitalise on their viral power and monetise netizen fanbases overseas conducting sell out tours in western markets during the mid-2010s. Korean acts such as BIGBANG, EXO, and BTS sold out US tours with little to no promotion or support from mainstream media sources like TV & Radio Airplay.
Soundtracks from films have topped the charts this decade as well, with number 1 singles from Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams, along with top 10 entries by The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding, and others.
Dubstep and drumstep became widespread subgenres in the early 2010s on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, especially in its native United Kingdom. There, other electronic subgenres, like grime and trap, have also been growing in popularity. Drumstep has continued its success while hardstyle has become mainstream in Australia and United States due to the success of music festivals, such as The Sound of Q-dance and Defqon 1.
In Asia, popular music has continued to be influenced by Western pop music. As with the past several decades, J-pop and K-pop has continued to be successful in the Far East. In J-pop, image songs and the influence of anime on widespread music have grown since the late 2000s. K-pop's popularity continued to increase around the world throughout the decade and found wider recognition in western markets. Media entertainment brand, Billboard, responsible for tabulating the Billboard Hot 100 and 200, inaugurated its own K-Pop chart and column presented weekly, on its Billboard.com site.[circular reference] The Billboard K-Town column, launched in 2013, continues to report on K-pop music; artists, concerts, chart information and news events. In 2015, the US iTunes store added a K-Pop genre category. Major streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify both added K-pop categories to their repertoire to cater demand. In India, Indian pop, rock, and filmi have continued to be mainstream.
Pop music has remained significantly popular due to dance-pop, electropop and synthpop in this decade. Artists like Taylor Swift, Adele, Katy Perry are very popular and Chart-topping pop performers this decade include Britney Spears's "Hold It Against Me", Bruno Mars's "Just the Way You Are", Katy Perry's "Firework", Lady Gaga's "Born This Way", Adele's "Rolling in the Deep", Rihanna's "Diamonds", Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off", Justin Bieber's "Sorry", Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" and Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next". English-Irish pop boyband One Direction and Canadian singer Shawn Mendes are some of the other acts that dominated the pop charts in the US this decade. Also from this decade are critically acclaimed works from Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West among others. New pop artists that emerged in that decade were Halsey, Alessia Cara, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor, and Camilla Cabello.
Rihanna has earned the most #1 singles so far in this decade (nine), spending 41 weeks at the top of the chart, followed by Katy Perry with 9 #1 singles at a 26-week reign and Bruno Mars with 7 #1 singles leading 32 weeks. Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift both have five #1 singles this decade so far, Bieber spending 23 weeks at #1 and Swift with 18 weeks. Adele followed with four #1 singles at her name spending 24 weeks at the top. Kesha earned three #1 singles this decade so far, spending 13 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Among all those songs who reached #1 singles this decade "Tik Tok", "Rolling in the Deep", "Just the Way You Are", "Shake It Off", and "Dark Horse" are some of the best-selling singles in the digital era.
Adele and Taylor Swift had some of the biggest-selling albums of the 2010's, being the only two artists to have sold more than a million copies of an album within the span of a week multiple times. In this decade Taylor Swift became the first artist ever to exceed 1 million album sales four times with her four consecutive albums Speak Now!, Red, 1989 and reputation.
Rock has remained popular, although it has declined in chart presence since the late 2000s alongside changes in radio format. These changes were driven by the decline in compact discs and rise of downloads in the music industry, which prompted a focus on top 40 music. Rock has also moved from hard rock and heavy metal, which have dominated since the mid-1980s. Mainstream rock since the early 2010s has become softer and more refined because of indie rock. Rock was reportedly still the most widely consumed genre in the United States during 2014 and 2015. The decade has also seen the return of successful rock artists from the past, including AC/DC, David Bowie, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Blink-182, Radiohead, Green Day, and Alice in Chains. All of these acts have had albums debut within the top 5. In particular, English rock instrumentalist David Bowie experienced his most commercially successful period since the 1980s with two U.S. top 5 albums, The Next Day (2013) and Blackstar (2016), the latter being released shortly before his death.
Although its subgenre, indie rock, is in the spotlight, successful alternative rock bands in this decade are Imagine Dragons, Linkin Park, Muse, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Weezer, Kasabian, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Kongos, Cage The Elephant, Evanescence, Metric, Nickelback, Arctic Monkeys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Three Days Grace, The War On Drugs, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Queens Of The Stone Age, Panic! at the Disco, Kaleo, Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, Twenty One Pilots, Radiohead, Jack Johnson, Death from Above 1979, Paramore, Biffy Clyro, and Nothing But Thieves. All of these bands have had albums debut in the top 5. With Fall Out Boy scoring 3 number 1 albums in a row on the Billboard 200 album chart in 2013, 2015, and 2018.
The decade has seen the revival of psychedelic rock as a popular subgenre for the first time since the 1970s. Bands of the decade have introduced synths and electronic sounds into the genre for the first time. Popular acts of the genre in the decade have been Animal Collective, Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ariel Pink, Connan Mockasin, Homeshake, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Pond, Temples, MGMT, Mac Demarco, Allah-Las, Ty Segall, Samsara Blues Experiment and The Black Angels.
Progressive and experimental rockEdit
In the later part of the decade, genres crossing over with an indie-and-metal approach have become popular. These genres are considered progressive and experimental rock. Many of these bands are diverse in sound, and are influenced by genres like post-hardcore, math rock, and post-rock music. Artists making successful albums have been part of this genre, like Nothing More, Being as an Ocean, Circa Survive, Highly Suspect, Dredg, The Color Morale, Twelve Foot Ninja, The Mars Volta, Haken, Hands Like Houses, Code Orange, Sleepwave, Dayshell, Sworn in, Dead Letter Circus, Thank You Scientist, Turbowolf, Letlive, Marmozets, Black Map, Biffy Clyro, Night Verses, Thrice, The Word Alive, Dance Gavin Dance, Shining, Mutoid Man, and Arcane Roots.
Pop punk and Punk rockEdit
With a few exceptions (including Green Day, The Offspring, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Blink-182 and Panic! at the Disco), pop punk has heavily decreased in mainstream popularity during the 2010s and has not been enjoying popular success as it once did in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Emo, which had gained heavy widespread success between 2004 and 2008, had heavily declined in popularity by the early 2010s. Early 1990s punk rock bands, like Bad Religion, NOFX, and Pennywise, have not had mainstream success since the 1990s or 2000s but have enjoyed heavy touring. Second wave pop punk acts, such as Good Charlotte, Sum 41, Simple Plan, and New Found Glory have heavily declined in popularity. However, DIY ethic punk rock has seen somewhat of a cult resurgence with bands, including Martha, The Spook School, Neck Deep, The Story So Far, and Joanna Gruesome, growing in popularity and being played on radio stations, like BBC Radio 6 Music. Garage punk bands such as Wavves, FIDLAR, Best Coast, The Growlers, Bass Drum of Death, The Garden, Ty Segall, Cherry Glazerr, and Thee Oh Sees have gained popularity, especially in Southern California. Many of these garage punk bands are signed to Burger Records, who are known for their DIY style ethos and releasing albums on cassette tape.
Hard rock and heavy metalEdit
During the 2010s, popular hard rock and heavy metal bands, such as Five Finger Death Punch, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, Asking Alexandria, Breaking Benjamin, Slipknot, Shinedown, Bring Me the Horizon, A Day to Remember, Royal Blood, Ghost, Halestorm, Volbeat, Papa Roach, Chevelle, Black Veil Brides, Nothing More, Parkway Drive,Periphery, and Seether, have been releasing successful albums. With many newer hard rock and heavy metal acts from this decade getting more success (especially with the streaming service success of progressive and experimental rock and metal music), the decade has also seen the return of older hard rock and heavy metal acts; some of which include bands that were previously on hiatus, or had not achieved mainstream popularity in years, like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Deftones, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Rush, Iron Maiden, Faith No More, Dream Theater and Metal Church.
Thrash metal has not been as popular in the 2010s as it was during the 1980s and early-to-mid-1990s, when the genre declined in popularity, due to the rising success of grunge and alternative music. However, the decade has seen several veteran thrash metal bands continue to maintain considerable popularity in the United States, particularly on the Billboard 200 chart. Each of "the big four" of the genre (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax) have had albums debut on the top five or top ten on the Billboard 200, while other veteran thrash acts – including Testament, Overkill, Exodus, Metal Church and Death Angel – have achieved more greater success on the same chart. Newer bands associated with the "thrash metal revival movement" have also gained popularity throughout the 2010s, including Bonded by Blood, Evile, Gama Bomb, Havok, Municipal Waste, Suicidal Angels, Vektor and Warbringer.
The decade has also seen the revival of alternative metal, with two veteran Seattle acts Soundgarden and Alice in Chains cracking the top five on the Billboard 200 with their respective albums King Animal (2012) and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013); the latter's follow-up album Rainier Fog (2018) was also successful, debuting at number twelve on the Billboard 200, and at number one on Billboard's Top Rock Albums, Alternative Albums and Hard Rock Albums charts. In addition, some of the most successful alternative metal bands that were broken up in the 1990s or 2000s, such as Primus, Jane's Addiction, Faith No More, Helmet and Biohazard, released comeback albums in the 2010s. Other popular new "classic rock" themed hard rock bands have gained popularity later in the mid to late 2010s such as Greta Van Fleet, The Struts, and The Record Company.
Although the fusion genre is not as popular as it was during the 1990s and early-to-mid-2000s, the top widespread pop rock instrumentalists in this decade have been The Script, Train, OneRepublic, Maroon 5, Pink, Adam Lambert, Kelly Clarkson, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Avril Lavigne, while acts like The Fray and Daughtry have continued to have minor success.
Contemporary R&B and soulEdit
Contemporary R&B has not been as prominent in the early 2010s as it was from the late 1980s to the mid-2000s when new jack swing was a fixture in popular music. Slow jams have largely been replaced by dance numbers and pop ballads. Contemporary R&B has begun to influence hipster musicians, creating a new genre called alternative R&B. New players have emerged from this subgenre, like The Weeknd, Solange, Blood Orange, SZA, The Internet, Steve Lacy, Kali Uchis, Syd, How to Dress Well, Kilo Kish, Sampha, Lion Babe, Jhene Aiko, Normani, Frank Ocean, Ravyn Lenae, Kehlani, Tinashe, Sabrina Claudio, H.E.R., Tory Lanez, Gallant, Daniel Caesar, King, Moses Sumney, Kelela, dvsn, Jorja Smith, PartyNextDoor, Jeremih, Khalid, Bryson Tiller, and Ella Mai.
A few top mainstream contemporary R&B artists of the 2010s have been Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Usher, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd, Trey Songz, Miguel, Bryson Tiller, Alicia Keys, and John Legend. There was also a slight revival of soul during the early 2010s, with instrumentalists, such as Cee Lo Green, Janelle Monáe, and Adele.
Due to the domination of electro and dance-pop, contemporary R&B has partially become more influenced by dance and electropop, and many musicians that were typically contemporary R&B artists have started to release pop. This is notable in players, including Ne-Yo, Usher, Chris Brown, and Rihanna with songs, like "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)" and "Forever Now," "Scream" and "OMG," "Don't Wake Me Up" and "Turn Up The Music," and "We Found Love" and "Where Have You Been." A form of R&B, dancehall, also became popular on the charts in the mid to late 2010's with songs such as "Lean On" by Major Lazer, "One Dance" by Drake, and Work by Rihanna.
There has also been a resurgence of contemporary R&B acts from the 1990s and 2000s to achieve commercial success during the 2010s, such as Monica, Kelly Rowland, Brandy, Maxwell, D'Angelo, and Janet Jackson.
While some contemporary R&B artists transitioned to a more dance and electropop sound, many artists still achieved success while still remaining true to contemporary R&B. Songs, including "Everything to Me" by Monica, "Refill" by Elle Varner, "Thinking Bout You" by Frank Ocean, "Motivation" by Kelly Rowland, "Put It Down" by Brandy, and "No Sleeep" by Janet Jackson, are notable for being contemporary R&B and popular hits while still obtaining an authentic contemporary R&B sound.
Beyoncé became the first artist in Billboard chart history to have her first six albums debut at number-one on the Billboard 200 chart in 2016. Additionally, Beyoncé also became the first artist to place 12 tracks from one album within the Hot 100 simultaneously. Continuing her success from the 90s and 2000s, Beyoncé received the Billboard Millennium Award at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, the Fashion Icon Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2016, and a Peabody Award for her universally acclaimed sixth studio album Lemonade in 2017. In 2016, Beyoncé surpassed Madonna as the most-awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards (24 wins). In 2018, her performance made history as the most watched live-streamed performance of all time, and was also called "historic" and dubbed the single best performance of all time by many newspapers.
The late 2010s have seen a resurgence of mainstream popularity in R&B, with albums such as 24K Magic by Bruno Mars, Heartbreak on a Full Moon by Chris Brown and songs such as "Redbone" by Childish Gambino and "Boo’d Up" by Ella Mai.
On 17 July 2017, Forbes reported that hip-hop/R&B (which Nielsen SoundScan classifies as the same genre) had recently usurped rock as the most consumed musical genre, becoming the most popular genre in music for the first time in U.S. history.
A number of hip hop labels have also grown influential during this decade, among which have been Grand Hustle Records, GOOD Music, Cash Money Records, Roc Nation, Maybach Music Group, Top Dawg Entertainment, and Def Jam Recordings. Hip hop acts that were introduced to mainstream in the beginning of the decade included Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Kid Cudi, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill, Young Thug, ASAP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Tyler, The Creator, Azealia Banks, Future, Schoolboy Q, Wale, YG, 2 Chainz, Waka Flocka Flame, French Montana, Macklemore, Chief Keef, and A$AP Ferg. Hip hop acts that were introduced to mainstream during mid-late part of the decade included Migos, Travis Scott, Post Malone, G-Eazy, Logic, Lil Pump, Playboi Carti, Youngboy Never Broke Again, Yo Gotti, Cardi B, 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert, Rae Sremmurd, Brockhampton, Kodak Black, XXXTentacion, Ugly God, Childish Gambino, Rich the Kid, Gunna, Iggy Azalea, Trippie Redd and more. Hip hop acts that started in previous decades, but continue to have commercial success in this decade include Kanye West, Eminem, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, and Jeezy. Hip hop acts that have never charted on the Billboard Hot 100 but still retain a strong fan base within the hip hop community at large have been Earl Sweatshirt, Princess Nokia, Joey Bada$$, Denzel Curry, Maxo Kream, Vince Staples, Divine Council, Isaiah Rashad, Action Bronson, and SpaceGhostPurrp. Hip hop acts that have gained fame via the social medium Vine have been T-Wayne, iLoveMakonnen, Silento, Bobby Shmurda, Desiigner and iLoveMemphis.
Experimental hip hop artists such as Death Grips, JPEGMAFIA, and Clipping. have incorporated elements of experimental rock and industrial music into their sound, gaining notoriety in underground music circles and online. Kanye West's album Yeezus has been compared to this sound.
SoundCloud rap is a rap subgenre that originated on the online audio distribution platform SoundCloud. Most successful "SoundCloud rappers" might not release all their music on the platform opting instead for streaming services Apple Music and Spotify but are still categorized as "SoundCloud rappers" or "Internet"/"Underground rappers" due to their aesthetics, sonics, come up on the platform and collaborations with other rappers and producers in the scene. It is characterized as simplistic, bass heavy beats, often with hazy, lo-fi or shimmering sounding melodies or samples, paired with lyrics that ping-pong between braggadocio and nihilism, with lots of sex and odes to heavy narcotics. The subgenre began to start seeing mainstream popularity in the mid 2010’s and takes sonic and aesthetic inspiration from the trap, drill, Cloud Rap, and internet rap scenes that began in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s on websites such as DatPiff and rap blogs with artists such as Gucci Mane, Lil B, Odd Future, Young Thug, Max B, A$AP Mob, SpaceGhostPurrp and Chief Keef. The subgenre has been met with some criticism for having less emphasis on lyricism, and the problematic nature of the artists to arise from it, such as Lil Peep's drug abuse that led to his death, the multiple assault charges to XXXTentacion, and the murder charges on Tay-K. Influential SoundCloud rappers include Kodak Black, Yung Bans, Lil Peep, Lil Pump, Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, Uno The Activist, Lil Yachty, Smokepurpp, Tay-K, Ski Mask the Slump God, ThouxanBanFauni, XXXTentacion, 21 Savage, 6ix9ine, Trippie Redd, Denzel Curry, Lucki, Warhol.ss, Maxo Kream, Young Nudy, Ugly God, Playboi Carti, Rico Nasty, Lil Tracy, and Juice WRLD.
Trap music is a style of Southern hip hop and gangsta rap that was developed in the late 1990s to early 2000s in the Southern United States. It is typified by double or triple-time sub-divided hi-hats, heavy, sub-bass layered kick drums from the Roland TR-808 drum machine, layered synthesizers and an overall dark, ominous or bleak atmosphere and lyrical content. The term "trap" referred to places where drug deals take place. In the 2010s, artists crossbred trap with dubstep to create trap EDM. It also influenced Latin trap music.
Prominent rappers of the trap music subgenre during the 2010s include Future, 2 Chainz, Migos, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Kodak Black, Cardi B and Lil Baby, among several others. Trap music during the 2010s also helped record producers rise to prominence such as Mike Will Made It, Lex Luger, Southside, Metro Boomin, London on da Track, Joey Trap and more.
While dance music has periodically conquered the American pop charts, its current incursion has most likely been its deepest since the disco heyday of the 1970s. Throughout the 2010s, various electronic dance subgenres have conquered the music scene, such as house, dubstep, drumstep, hardstyle, electro house, techno, trance, synthpop, electropop, and trap. These genres have many musical influences from 1970s' disco, 1980s' hi-NRG, spacesynth, Italo disco, and new wave, and 1990s' and 2000s' Eurodance, techno, house, trip hop, Europop, garage rock, and trance. The rise of electronic dance has brought massive success to large festivals, raves, technoparades, algoraves, doofs, and teknivals that mostly take place in the United States and Europe though every year thousands of electronic focused music festivals are held throughout the world. These events are also well known for their long association with the use of recreational drugs, including MDMA, LSD, 2C-B, Ketamine, and Benzylpiperazine. The top mainstream disk jockeys in the 2010s have been Tiesto, David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki, Nicky Romero, Afrojack, Deadmau5, Diplo, Skrillex, Armin Van Buuren, Avicii, Zedd, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, Major Lazer, DJ Snake, Slushii, and Disclosure.
Country has continued to maintain its popularity both as a radio format and in retail; this is attributed both to the faithfulness of country fans and to a rise in popularity of the genre. The most popular country acts during this decade have been Zac Brown Band, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line, Brantley Gilbert, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell, Rascal Flatts, Kacey Musgraves, Jake Owen, Dustin Lynch, Kip Moore, Little Big Town, Chris Young, Hunter Hayes, Cam, Sam Hunt, Lee Brice, Eli Young Band, Darius Rucker, Randy Houser, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Billy Currington, Tyler Farr, Brett Eldredge, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, and Kane Brown.
A large number of duos and vocal groups have begun to emerge on the charts during the 2010s, many of which feature close harmony in the lead vocals, a style that roots as far back as the 1940s and 1950s with acts, like The Shelton Brothers, Delmore Brothers, and Everly Brothers. It saw a resurgence in the 1980s with The Judds and The Bellamy Brothers although the more recent acts tend to not be related. Examples of successful duos have been Florida Georgia Line, Love and Theft, Dan + Shay, The Howboy Catts, and Thompson Square. In addition to Lady Antebellum, bands, such as The Band Perry, Gloriana, Eli Young Band, and Zac Brown Band have come to occupy a large portion of the new, popular country players. Meanwhile, artists who began their careers as far back as the 1960s and 1970s have continued to be active, including Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, George Strait, and Reba McEntire.
Several popular country songs have taken influence from 21st-century hip hop, rock, and pop and have had themes of partying, attractive young women, blue jeans, Southern rock, and pickup trucks. These characteristics are typical in an unofficial subgenre known as bro-country. Instrumentalists embracing this trend have been Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Brantley Gilbert, and several others, with songs, like "Cruise," "That's My Kind of Night," and Blake Shelton's "Boys 'Round Here" having been the most widespread songs in terms of sales and downloads. While many of the themes of bro-country songs -– in particular, women and alcohol –- have always been a part of country, the new genre came under fire by listeners, music reviewers, and classic country musicians, such as Alan Jackson and Gary Allan, and was satirized in the song "Girl in a Country Song" by the duo Maddie & Tae. The shifting styles also played a role in a brief feud between Shelton and country legend Ray Price in 2013, just months before Price's death, after Shelton remarked that "Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music" and that younger consumers weren't buying or downloading classic country music because the styles and sounds of songs from the past didn't appeal to them. Price –- who, unlike several of his peers, usually kept quiet in the debate on classic country vs. more modern music –- expressed his disapproval via his Facebook page, stating that it was their styles and success that helped make newer stars' careers possible and paved the way to modern country music. Shelton later retracted his statement, and Price accepted his apology, but once again -– as it has been since the mid-1970s -– the on again, off again debate about what constitutes classic, real country music was on.
In September 2016, "Forever Country," a medley of three classic country songs – "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "On the Road Again" and "I Will Always Love You"—was recorded to honor the 50th Annual Country Music Association Awards. A celebration of traditional country music and the genre's ongoing popularity, the song blended together 30 stars, ranging from newcomers to veteran to classic stars and acts of the genre. A similar medley, featuring many of the same stars that performed on "Forever Country" but with different songs, was performed at the CMA Awards. Both performances received widespread critical acclaim.
The decade has also seen death and tragedy in country. Mindy McCready, a rising star of the late 1990s whose personal problems soon overshadowed her music, committed suicide during early 2013. Glen Campbell, a vastly influential country guitarist and vocalist from the 1960s onward, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in late 2010 and consequently retired from show business in 2013; he died in 2017. Randy Travis, a neo-traditionalist star who helped revive the genre in the mid-to-late 1980s, had several run-ins with the law in 2012 and in 2013 suffered a massive stroke. Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry, one of the genre's most popular duos, was killed in a helicopter crash in 2017. Also in 2017, 58 concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest festival event in Las Vegas, Nevada – where Jason Aldean was performing at the time gunfire broke out – were killed in a mass shooting; Aldean escaped the incident uninjured and a week later paid tribute to the victims on Saturday Night Live.
Prominent classic country players who have died during the decade have been Carl Smith, Kitty Wells, Patti Page, Jack Greene, Slim Whitman, George Jones, Ray Price, Little Jimmy Dickens, Lynn Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, Sonny James, Merle Haggard, Jean Shepard, Glen Campbell, Don Williams and Mel Tillis. Glenn Frey, a member of Eagles, a rock band whose style has been vastly influential in country from the 1970s onward, also died during the decade.
Christian music saw a rise in success during the early 2010s, with several artists debuting within the top 5 on the Billboard 200. In 2011, the Christian instrumentalists Casting Crowns and Red both debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200, with their respective albums Come to the Well and Until We Have Faces. David Crowder Band also reached number 2 with Give Us Rest during 2012. Today's Christian Music reported that Passion: White Flag, a live album of the performances of various musicians at the 2012 Passion Conference, debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200. On 28 August 2012, the TobyMac album Eye on It debuted at number 1 on that chart, the first Christian album since 1997 and third overall to do so. The very next week, Christian hip hop artist Lecrae debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 with Gravity. Additionally, both the number 1 and 2 spots on the iTunes hip hop charts were taken by the deluxe and standard versions of the album. The commercial reception of Gravity was called "easily the biggest sales week ever for a Christian rap album." In January 2013, Chris Tomlin became the fourth Christian player to top the Billboard 200 with his seventh studio album Burning Lights. 73,000 units were sold in its debut week. Lecrae then topped the Billboard 200 during September 2014 with his album Anomaly, selling 88,000 units in its debut week. This not only established Lecrae as the fifth artist to top the chart, but it also marked the first time that an artist reached number 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Top Gospel charts. Following – and partially due to – Lecrae's peak on the Gospel chart, Billboard revised its standards for the chart, rendering most hip hop releases ineligible.
The success of TobyMac and Lecrae prompted an article in Time that examined the recent upsurge in crossover success of Christian instrumentalists. The magazine referred to Rod Riley of Word Entertainment as an indication that all of these successes could "be the tip of the iceberg." Riley has cited the increasing talent of Christian musicians and the ownership of all major Christian record labels by widespread parents as a reason for the success of Christian. According to Time, TobyMac and the rock band Skillet have been featured in NFL telecasts, TobyMac's music has played on The Simpsons and Transporter 2, and Lecrae performed at the 2012 South by Southwest festival and the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher. The accessibility of iTunes has also been listed by Time as a factor in the rise of Christian. Producer Mark Joseph claimed in an article by Fox News that TobyMac reaching number 1 was just one more example of the mainstreaming of "'so-called Christian music that his [sic] happening all around us'". He further stated that "'the pop and rock charts are filled with artists who used to be in that industry-like Katy Perry, Switchfoot and Joy Williams of The Civil Wars, but also by young devout performers who in the past might have gone into that industry, like Justin Bieber, Mumford & Sons, The Fray, Cold War Kids and Twenty One Pilots.'" Following Lecrae's performance on BET and appearance on Statik Selektah's Population Control, in Chad Horton, co-owner of the website Rapzilla, stated that "Christian hip hop" had-in the past two years-"pushed into the mainstream more than ever before," and citing part of its cause as better music quality presentation than "any other time before" in January 2012.
Alternative rock has experienced a modest presence in the United Kingdom singles chart during the 2010s, mostly from artists originating in the previous decade, including Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz, Coldplay, The Wombats, Muse, Mumford & Sons, and Snow Patrol. Bands like Two Door Cinema Club, Foals, and Bombay Bicycle Club, which emerged in the late 2000s, have succeeded in the album chart. The genre has had a stronger presence album-wise, with acts such as The 1975, Bastille, alt-J, and The Vaccines enjoying success. Bastille have scored two number 2 singles on the UK chart, with their sound bordering on mainstream pop music in the charts. Royal Blood was the first band formed during the decade to win a Brit Award for the best British group in 2014, only one year after forming. Royal Blood's sound is similar to 2000s garage rock, and they received positive reviews upon the release of their debut album.
European rock has also seen the return of successful instrumentalists from the past. David Bowie-in particular had two UK number 1 albums—The Next Day and Blackstar. Upon its release, The Next Day (2013) became Bowie's most successful album in 30 years, followed by Blackstar (2016).
Heavy metal and hard rock have been seeing a relatively increased presence in the UK albums chart, thanks to releases by Bullet For My Valentine and Enter Shikari. Many new British heavy metal bands are seeing worldwide success after years of American dominance, primarily Bring Me the Horizon and Asking Alexandria, although the latter entirely moved to the U.S. in 2009. There has also been a resurgence of the German metal scene from the 1980s to achieve commercial success during the 2010s, with bands like Accept and Kreator achieving their first number one albums on the German charts.
Folk witnessed a large growth during the early 2010s in the UK. The most widespread British folk musician has been Mumford & Sons, who won a 2011 Brit Award for "Best Album" and have enjoyed commercial success in both Europe and North America. Another notable player and winner of "Best British Female" at the 2011 BRIT Awards is Laura Marling. Other successful acts have been Ed Sheeran, George Ezra, Jake Bugg, Johnny Flynn, Noah and the Whale, Bon Iver, Ben Howard, and Alessi's Ark.
Contemporary R&B, as well as classic soul, have defined much of the UK's mainstream music in the early to mid-2010s. Notable artists who encompass this sound include Jessie J and Adele. As with previous decades, pop has enjoyed chart domination, with popular instrumentalists, such as Cher Lloyd, Birdy, Jessie Ware, James Blunt, Sam Smith, Rag'n'Bone Man, Lily Allen, Clean Bandit, Rixton, Disclosure, La Roux, Shura, AlunaGeorge, James Blake, Róisín Murphy, Olly Murs, M.I.A., London Grammar, FKA Twigs, Jamie xx, The xx, Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Zayn Malik, Chvrches, Years & Years, Charli XCX, Dua Lipa, Jay Sean, Paloma Faith, Emeli Sandé, Florence and the Machine, Cheryl Cole, The Saturdays, Ellie Goulding, Marina and the Diamonds, and Katy B. Teen pop boy bands-despite being unpopular for much of the 2000s-have returned to widespread popularity, with acts, including One Direction and The Wanted, having seen major commercial success worldwide. French singer Zaz is one of very few singers to have become internationally mainstream since Vanessa Paradis. The girlbands also have success, one of them being the winners of the eighth season of The X Factor, Little Mix.
Dubstep and drumstep started to become popular by 2010. This was particularly true in Britain, where it evolved from grime, a subgenre that became widespread during 2009. DJ Snake is known for having introduced trap into the mainstream in Europe during 2013. Eurodance-which has been consistently popular in Europe since the early 1990s-has become popular outside Europe, in a more modern style than the first wave into North America in the 1980s and early 1990s. The emergence and commercial success of Dutch house and the associated 'big room' house style have also brought electronic musicians from the continent to the global forefront. In the mid-2010s, further development of house subgenres  have been seen in the creations of future house and tropical house, with European players being influential figures within both. Prominent European disk jockeys during this decade have been Avicii, Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero, Tiesto, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Afrojack, Kygo, Calvin Harris, and David Guetta.
Australia and New ZealandEdit
Mainstream music by Australian artists has tended to be influenced by radio broadcasting more than any other country. Australian radio station Triple J has played a large role in promoting new Australian music, especially through the Triple J Hottest 100, a worldwide public poll on each individual's favourite music from each given year. During 2010, Australian pop instrumentalists to feature substantially in the countdown were Birds of Tokyo, Pendulum, Washington, and Triple J Unearthed group Gypsy & The Cat. Australian acts that were placed high on the countdown were Angus & Julia Stone, Little Red-Unearthed-Art vs. Science-Unearthed-Sia, and The Jezabels-Unearthed. The correlation between the Triple J Hottest 100, the ARIA singles chart, and iTunes singles chart has been distinctly evident. The number one song of 2010, "Big Jet Plane," reached number 6 on the iTunes singles chart and number 32 on the ARIA singles chart, the week following the announcement of the Hottest 100 on 26 January. In 2014, Iggy Azalea started to make hits on music charts worldwide, sparking a trend for female rappers. Sia has become one of the most famous Australian artists, since the release of Titanium, later become successful with her solo work, with the viral Chandelier music video.
During 2011, Australian musicians to feature substantially in the Hottest 100 countdown were Boy & Bear (unearthed,) Gotye, 360, Architecture in Helsinki, and Ball Park Music-Unearthed. Again, the correlation between the Hottest 100 and the growth of singles on the ARIA and iTunes singles charts in the week following was strong. Rapper 360 and his song, "Boys Like You," entered the Hottest 100 at number 8, and the following week, it rose to number 2 on the iTunes singles chart and number 3 on the ARIA singles chart. A similar movement included Matt Corby's "Brother"-number 3 in the 2011 Hottest 100 countdown-also rising to number three on the ARIA charts. The most prominent Australian song during 2011 and early 2012 was Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" which reached number 1 in 11 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. The song also reached number 1 on the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2011 countdown and featured New Zealander pop singer, Kimbra, who also placed three times on the Triple J Hottest 100 as a solo artist.
Electropop in Australia has been dominated by the use of synthesizers and Auto-Tune, which became popular because of newcomers, like Havana Brown, Elen Levon, Timomatic, and Justice Crew, as well as 2000s players, such as Brian McFadden, Zoe Badwi, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Sneaky Sound System, and The Potbelleez. The most successful songs of this subgenre have been Brown's "We Run the Night," Timomatic's "Set It Off," Justice Crew's "Friday to Sunday," McFadden's "Just Say So," and Badwi's "Freefallin'."
Contemporary R&B in Australia was not as widespread in the early 2010s as it was in the 2000s; however, artists, including Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, and Stan Walker, continued to produce music that is commercially successful. During 2010, Sebastian's single, "Who's That Girl," featuring American rapper Eve, reached number 1 on the ARIA Singles Chart and became his fifth number 1 single in Australia. This made him the only Australian male instrumentalist in Australian music history to achieve five number 1 singles. Mauboy has released many commercially successful top 20 singles, like "Saturday Night" featuring American rapper Ludacris, "What Happened to Us" featuring English musician Jay Sean, and "Galaxy" with Walker, all of which have been certified platinum. In August 2010, Walker's second album entitled From the Inside Out was released; it debuted at number 2 on the ARIA Albums chart.
Hardstyle has become more mainstream in Australia, with events, such as "Defqon 1," HSU, Powerhouse Events & "IQON," by Q-dance. Australian hardstyle players have been Code Black, Toneshifterz, Audiofreq, Kamikaze, NitrouZ, and HSB.
Future garage/Australian soundEdit
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2011)
In Latin America, pop, pop rock, El Pasito Duranguense, and tropical were still mainstream through the early 2010s. A new electro subgenre emerged from reggaeton, and it became popular during late 2010. This is because of electronic and dance being widespread in the prominent markets of the world. Pitbull has been the principal representative of this subgenre. Bachata-which became mainstream in the past decade-has garnered more popularity thanks to remakes of classic songs, including "Stand by Me" by Prince Royce and "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" by Leslie Grace. In addition, acts, like Royce, as well as former Aventura lead singer Romeo Santos, have crossed over different markets with bachata, such as with Enrique Iglesias' song Loco, which features Santos. Royce and Santos had the best selling Latin albums of 2011 and 2012, respectively, in the United States with their debut albums-Prince Royce and Formula, Vol. 1. Salsa However, it declined later in the early 2010s although Marc Anthony made an international hit with his salsa song "Vivir Mi Vida." In 2017 the Luis Fonsi song featuring Daddy Yankee, "Despacito" was a hit, topping the charts of 47 countries and tying for the longest-reigning number-one single Billboard's history.
The Trinidadian-born American hip hop recording artist Nicki Minaj became extremely popular during the early 2010s. Minaj's debut studio album, Pink Friday (2010) peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200 a month after its release, selling 375,000 copies in its first week. This marked the second highest sales week for a female hip hop recording artist, behind Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998, which sold 422,624 copies in its first week. She became the first female solo artist to have seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. Her seventh single, "Super Bass," has been certified 4x platinum by the RIAA, becoming one of the best selling singles in the United States. Minaj's second studio album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012,) topped charts internationally, also spawning the top 10 singles "Starships" and "Pound the Alarm." The album became one of the best selling albums of 2012, according to Nielsen SoundScan, selling 1 million copies worldwide, as well as "Starships" becoming one of the best selling singles of that year. She was the first female artist included on MTV's Annual Hottest MC List, with The New York Times suggesting that some consider her "the most influential female rapper of all time."
During the early 2010s, the K-pop genre began to noticeably increase its popularity outside Asia, spreading into Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the West at an exponential rate compared to the previous decade. The Internet served a dominant role in K-pop's rise in popularity, establishing diverse fan communities online, likening it to a netizen sub-culture.
In south-east Asia, K-pop continued to increase its presence in the lexicon of Asia's popular culture, being known as part of a wider brand of exported Korean Entertainment named Hallyu. Outside Asia, social media and video sharing sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit and Twitter had a significant influence in promulgating awareness of Korean pop to new western audiences. Shareable, high-production value music videos, eye-catching fashion and slick choreographies paired with music influenced by western pop trends helped establish K-pop as an intriguing online spectacle. The genre proved it could convert viral success into commercial success in 2012, when Psy's "Gangnam Style" became a breakout viral hit topping the music charts of more than 30 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom as well as No.2 in the United States.
Globalisation has afforded K-pop groups continued expansion into the Western markets, most notably the United States, through tours, online downloads and streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, who added more K-pop to their libraries in response to increased demand from K-fans. Korean Female group 2NE1 and male groups Exo and BTS all charted on the Billboard 200 albums chart with Korean language albums in the 2010s. These albums, although recorded in Korean, incorporated English-language phrases and slang terms into their lyrics and used popular western music trends of the time such as Hip-Hop, R&B, EDM, Tropical House, Deep House and Trap Music to their benefit. Similar to the bubblegum pop groups of the 1990s, K-pop occupies a predominantly youth demographic despite the language barrier. Leading K-pop acts have been Girls' Generation, 2NE1, Big Bang, Super Junior, Psy, Exo, BTS, 2PM, Blackpink, Twice and Loona . Despite advancements in the visibility of the genre, K-pop is yet to fully establish and solidify a Korean "East-to-West" crossover act within the global music industry, this being the dream goal of many Korean entertainment companies.
Domestically, young Korean Indie acts K-Indie as well as Korean Urban contemporary acts rose to higher prominence than ever before. The influence of North American pop and hip-hop culture remained visible through young Korean artists as K-Hip-hop and K-R&B emerged from the underground and discovered newfound commercial viability on Korea TV and Radio as well as domestic music streaming services.
China, Taiwan, Malaysia, SingaporeEdit
Indie pop and rock music continued to have a dominant effect on radio stations in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Jay Chou was still the dominant force in Asian popular music, with his new album The Era nominated for six Golden Melody Awards (of which it won three) and its lead single "Superman can't fly" hitting #2 on the Hit FM charts that year.
In 2013, the three-member boy band TFBoys was established. They were known for their bubblegum-style music and choreography, such as that seen in the music video of their signature song, "Manual of Youth".
While in Hong Kong and Taiwan pop music and pop-rock music were dominant, straight-ahead jazz, jazz fusion, and classical music continued to be the most popular genres among young Singaporean musicians, especially bands.
The youthful Orchestra of the Music Makers, which took its name from a line from the poem by Arthur O'Shaughnessy, was the most popular youth orchestra in the region in the first half of the decade, and released their first solo album of works by Gustav Mahler in 2013.
Even though the Rickrolling meme had a significant impact in Singapore for a time, where radio stations kept playing Rick Astley's signature song and Astley himself was one of the three special guest performers at Class 95FM's Retrolicious Reunion in 2013, most older Western artists, especially those from the 1970's, 1980's, and early 1990's, were no longer popular in most of Asia by this time.
By the late 2000s and early 2010s, South Africa began a great phase of high music experimentation of genres previously not very prominent in the country while maintaining its rooted music. The chart success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup song Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), which featured South African band Freshlyground-resulted in one of the country's first major chart topping hits by their own artist, launching a great amount of inspiration to other local instrumentalists. Following the success, Die Antwoord became one of the first acts of the country to obtain three albums that charted in the top 150 of the Billboard 200, marking new highs for the country's music industry. One of the band's singles, "Enter The Ninja," also obtained top 50 positions in the United Kingdom and Australia. Rapper AKA also received a high amount of recognition by 2013, becoming famous for local chart topping hits, including "Congratulate" and "All Eyes On Me." The country introduced its first official, internationally recognized music chart Mediaguide, later renamed Entertainment Monitoring Africa. The chart currently relies on airplay for its charting positions, as opposed to others that also count physical purchases, downloads, and streams.
South African rapper eMTee kept working on his music throughout his late teen years. He released his hit single "Roll Up" which has gained critical success. In 2010, emTee collaborated with South African rapper Maraza on a song titled "In It To Win It". They appeared on Channel O's show HeadRush. In 2016, he won best rap album at the 22nd South African Music Awards. eMTee has collaborated with AKA, Wizkid, Nasty C, Fifi, Cooper, A-Reece, and B3nchMArQ.
Nigeria and GhanaEdit
As the decade continued the rise of Afrobeat, it had its roots in Ghana and Nigeria and the genre became more recognizable outside Africa. Such acts like Wizkid and Davido have gained major success. Wizkid has won artist of the year at the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2016 and has been involved with the writing production of Drake's "One Dance." As of June 2016, he has received a total of 34 awards from 106 nominations. He is the recipient of a BET Award, two MOBO Award, five The Headies Awards, two Channel O Music Video Awards, six Nigeria Entertainment Awards, two Ghana Music Awards, two Dynamix All Youth Awards, two City People Entertainment Awards, and a Future Award. In addition, he has been nominated three times at the MTV Europe Music Awards as well as four times at the World Music Awards. Davido is the recipient of a BET Award, a Kora Award, a Channel O Music Video Award, a Ghana Music Award, a Nigeria Music Video Award, 2 MTV Africa Music Awards, 2 African Muzik Magazine Awards, 5 The Headies Awards, 7 Nigeria Entertainment Awards and 2 Dynamix All Youth Awards. Together, they are some of the best selling artists in Nigeria.
In recent years, the music industry has progress in Ghana. Ghana had many contemporary styles of music due to the geographical scale in Africa but these evolved into a much more contemporary style. Competition amongst the number of artists in Ghanaian music has emerged. One of these styles is known as the 'azonto.' Rapper Guru has produced a number of hits, including "lapaz Toyota."
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