There’s no doubt popular music has changed over the last decade. It started with bubblegum pop like Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” and distinct, early 2000s hip-hop like Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite.” As we roll into 2020, music has become less divided with artists blending genres and experimenting with new sounds.
For example, Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” used hip-hop on top of the classic “My Favorite Things” melody from the 1965 film, “The Sound of Music.” We also saw Lil Nas X turn the music industry on its head with his hit “Old Town Road” which broke multiple barriers on what it means to have a country song. The Red & Black compiled a list of hits throughout the decade to show shift in music and give you a taste of nostalgia.
2010 - ‘Tik Tok’ by Ke$ha
At the start of the decade, pop music dominated the Billboard Hot 100 with one of Ke$ha’s most iconic songs topping the charts. Her party girl anthem captured the essence of the music produced at the time: party hard and don’t let anyone stop you.
2011 - ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele
While the partying hadn’t stopped in 2011, with hits like “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO proving that, the public grew interested in sad songs with Adele’s and The Band Perry’s hit tracks.Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You”hit No. 1 in 2011 and No. 24, respectively; and The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young,” hit No. 35.
2012 - ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ by Gotye
This was the year of songs from a few one hit wonders. The top three songs were “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye, “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen and “We Are Young” by fun. Although all three of the artists put out a single or another album after 2012, none of them reached the fame they did that year.
2013 - ‘Thrift Shop’ by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The meme with Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” hit No. 1 and “Harlem Shake” by Baauer wasn’t far behind. Others may remember this year for “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke and “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus which lead to a very cringe-worthy performance in early 2014 at the MTV VMA’s.
2014 - ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams
This revamped version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” topped the charts in 2014. This year also marked the rise of Meghan Trainor with her hit “All About That Bass” and a new era for Taylor Swift with her single “Shake It Off” from her “1989” album.
2015 - ‘Uptown Funk’ by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
Although “Uptown Funk” took over the radio during this year, many were focused on Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again”: a song in memory of Paul William Walker IV of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. Others may remember Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” and the national quest for Chipotle orders to equal $17.38.
2016 - ‘Love Yourself’ by Justin Bieber
After the release of his “Purpose” album, Justin Bieber snagged the top two spots on the Billboard Top 100 with “Love Yourself” and “Sorry.” This same year ZAYN emerged as a solo artist with his first single “Pillowtalk” after his split from One Direction. “Panda” by Desiigner was also constantly played on the radio.
2017 - ‘Shape of You’ by Ed Sheeran
Although Ed Sheeran topped the chart for the year, he wasn’t the most influential person or song to come from 2017. The remix of “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber became one of the most played songs on the radio. Kendrick Lamar’s album “DAMN.” led him to become the first rapper ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for music and prompted a discussion on whether hip-hop should even be a contender for the prize.
2018 - ‘God’s Plan’ by Drake
This was a big year for hip-hop in the Billboard Top 100 with artists like Migos, Cardi B and Drake putting multiple songs on the charts. It marked a major shift from traditional pop music to rap and hip-hop music on the radio. Post Malone also had a huge breakout album entitled “beerbongs & bentleys.”
2019 - Old Town Road by Lil Nas X
The decade comes to a close with “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X. What started out as a meme on Tik Tok has become one of the top hits of the year. After Billboard wouldn’t put the song on its country charts because it wasn’t country enough, Billy Ray Cyrus helped Lil Nas X with a remix. Billboard’s refusal to put “Old Town Road” on the country charts prompted a discussion about black musicians moving through genres with much more difficulty than white artists, according to an article on Slate.