A Decade of Musical Evolution


Leyla Baghirova, Journalist

The music industry has progressed so much from the start. In the last decade, mainstream songs, genres, artists, etc have been changing very rapidly. “The timeless appeal of so much of this music, combined with rapidly evolving opportunities in the live music and partnership marketing arenas, opens up a wealth of possibilities for both established and emerging artists across a vast creative spectrum.” (Kevin Gore, President of Global Catalog Division in Warner Music Group)


In 2011, the start of the decade, pop took up 41% of the Hot 100 chart, a list of the 100 most popular songs in the U.S. according to streams and physical sales, all the way up to early 2016. With songs and artists like Adele with Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You, both released in 2011. Other artists included Lady Gaga with The Edge of Glory, Chris Brown with multiple songs on the Hot 100, some being Look at Me Now, She Ain’t You.  

2016 was considered the year of rap, filling up 30% of the Hot 100 charts. Popular artists like Drake, Future, and Usher were taking the charts by storm. One Dance written by Drake was number one on the Hot 100 going down to number three. “The Toronto MC has 24 Hot 100 songs to his name in 2016 alone, not even counting an array of guest features that have landed on the charts too.” (Jack Beckwith, The DataFace) Pop was still filling the charts with Love Yourself and Sorry both written by Justin Bieber being number one for quite some time in 2016. It was a constant battle between Rap/hip-hop and pop, and which artists from that genre would be on top.


In Mid-2010, Indie pop became one of the most popular mainstream genres to listen to with artists like Lana Del Rey and Lorde. Lorde broke the internet with Royals in 2013, with 77 million views on youtube today.


 Streaming music has also changed immensely throughout time. According to the 2019 Recording Industry of America, streaming music makes up to 80% of the music industry’s income as of now. There have been 611 billion song streams in 2018. Happy by Pharrell was number one on Most played track of the decade, thought of the most successful song in 2014, with 14 million sales worldwide. We have widened the whole industry with new streaming devices, genres, mixes, and so on. Overall, between the span of 2010 to now, everything has greatly evolved when it comes to music. 

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