Pop music is again in an enormous manner, with artists like Dua Lipa, Little Mix and Ariana Grande topping the charts the world over. Then once more, did pop ever go away?
While rock music, R&B, dance, rap and hip-hop have all had their moments over the final 30 years, popstars have nonetheless delivered the enjoyable, pleasure and spectacle, whether or not that was the 90s heyday of boybands, or the newer class of popstars sweeping the Grammys.
Since 1991, we have now had lady bands changing into phenomena, legends reinventing themselves, and other people changing into superstars off the again of 1 viral hit. While there’s too many iconic pop moments to depend, we have taken a take a look at 30 of the moments from the previous 30 years that outlined pop music.
- Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time”
- “American Idol”
- Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road”
- Spice Girls at BRIT Awards
- The boyband increase
- Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”
- Elton John’s “Candle In The Wind 1997”
- Los Del Rio’s “Macarena”
- Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
- Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love”
- Britney Spears at MTV Video Music Awards
- “Lady Marmalade”
- Madonna’s noughties reinvention
- Taylor Swift’s crossover into pop
- Moby’s “Play”
- The introduction of Justin Bieber
- Madonna, Britney and Christina Aguilera at the MTV VMAs
- Adele’s “21”
- Beyonce at the Super Bowl
- Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”
- Miley Cyrus at the MTV VMAs
- Psy’s “Gangnam Style”
- Kylie Minogue’s “Spinning Around”
- Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”
- One Direction are born
- The dying of Amy Winehouse
- The success of “Despacito”
- BTS go world
- Ed Sheeran adjustments the charts
- Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License”
Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time”
Pop music modified ceaselessly when 16-year-old Britney Spears dropped her debut single, “… Baby One More Time” in 1998.
From the opening “oh baby baby” to the iconic video, that includes Spears in a schoolgirl outfit and pigtails, the track has gone down in historical past as in all probability the finest debut single ever and an all time pop nice, and catapulted Spears into pop princess territory.
Her legacy can nonetheless be seen throughout the complete pop panorama, and the track has by no means bought outdated.
In 2002, American Idol debuted and adjusted pop music ceaselessly by giving aspiring singers a brand new path to stardom through auditioning for judges and interesting to the nation for votes.
Whatever you consider the idea and its impact on music, with out Idol, we’d not have Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert or Jennifer Hudson.
Country rap wasn’t actually heard on the mainstream airwaves previous to 2019, however the launch of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” modified that.
Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road”
After changing into a hit on TikTookay, “Old Town Road” made it onto the Billboard nation music charts, however was disqualified on the grounds it did not match the style.
Enter Billy Ray Cyrus, who added a verse in the remix, and “Old Town Road” sat at primary on the Hot 100 for a record-breaking nineteen consecutive weeks.
“Old Town Road” sparked a dialog about the definition of nation music, and the exclusion of non-white artists in genres like nation and rock.
Spice Girls at BRIT Awards
In 1996, pop music modified ceaselessly with the introduction of Baby Spice, Scary Spice, Ginger Spice, Sporty Spice and Posh Spice, as the Spice Girls burst onto the scene with Wannabe.
While the band delivered tune after tune and a lady energy manifesto in only a few quick years, maybe their most memorable second got here in 1997 after they carried out “Wannabe” and “Who Do You Think You Are?” at the BRIT Awards, with Geri Halliwell famously carrying a Union Jack costume which was truly a tea towel pinned to a Gucci mini-dress.
The efficiency has gone down in historical past and paved the manner for British lady bands like Girls Aloud and Little Mix.
The boyband increase
There wasn’t a greater time to be in a boyband than in the Nineties. The United Kingdom had Take That and 5ive, Ireland had Boyzone and Westlife, and the States had Boyz II Men and *NSYNC.
Perhaps the largest of all of them, although, was Backstreet Boys, who achieved stratospheric success with songs like “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” and “As Long As You Love Me.” They have offered over 100 million data and are the largest promoting boyband of all time, and proved that boyband hysteria might be manoeuvred right into a long-term music profession.
Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”
There are few cowl variations that surpass the unique, however Whitney made Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” her personal when she coated it for The Bodyguard soundtrack in 1992.
The track spent a then-record breaking 14 weeks at primary, and is one among the best-selling singles of all time.
It additionally turned Whitney’s signature track, and gained the Grammy for Record of the Year.
Elton John’s “Candle In The Wind 1997”
Few songs sum up a second in time like the remodeling of Elton John’s 1973 track “Candle In The Wind,” which was launched to mark the dying of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Bernie Taupin’s unique lyrics had been written about Marilyn Monroe (“Goodbye Norma Jean”) however the lyrics had been tweaked following the tragic dying of Diana, an in depth pal of John’s. He carried out the track at Diana’s funeral, and it was introduced the proceeds of the single would go to charities supported by Diana.
“Candle In The Wind 1997” turned the highest promoting single since the charts started in the Nineteen Fifties, and is the second largest promoting single ever, after Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” with greater than 33 million copies offered.
Los Del Rio’s “Macarena”
Los Del Rio launched “Macarena” in 1993, nevertheless it wasn’t till 1996, when the Bayside Boys produced a remix with English lyrics, that it turned a sensation.
As effectively as spending 14 weeks at primary, “Macarena” gained its place in the celebration corridor of fame due to its corresponding dance, which just about all people has achieved at one level of their life.
The dance craze’s legacy might be felt in songs like “The Ketchup Song,” “Cha Cha Slide” and “Harlem Shake.”
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
Mariah not solely broke data with this 1994 monitor, however up to date the Christmas requirements listing.
Her festive track lastly reached primary in 2019, 25 years after its launch, marking the longest journey to primary in the U.S., and is one among the biggest-selling singles of all time.
Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love”
Not solely thought of one among the best songs of the previous three a long time, “Crazy In Love” modified the panorama of pop for good by heralding the introduction of a solo celebrity.
It wasn’t Beyonce‘s debut solo single—that was “Work It Out” from the Austin Powers in Goldmember soundtrack—however the second the Destiny’s Child star strutted down that avenue in denim shorts, a white vest in heels, all of us knew that we had been in for one thing particular.
Britney Spears at MTV Video Music Awards
There are few MTV VMAs performances extra iconic than Britney’s 2001 efficiency of “I’m A Slave 4 U”. This present marked Britney’s transformation from squeaky clear teen into full-blown intercourse image, by the use of a stomach prime and a burmese python known as Banana.
The picture of Britney carrying a snake throughout the stage is ingrained into the minds of any pop obsessive value their salt.
It should not have actually labored: a Labelle cowl model, by 4 very completely different solo artists, for the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack. But in 2001, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mya and Lil Kim—with a bit assist from Missy Elliot—produced a Grammy award winner that also units off a dancefloor.
The second Christina actually units her pipes free? A second. Pop followers nonetheless marvel which 4 popstars might do the identical these days, however no person might come near this melting pot of expertise.
Madonna’s noughties reinvention
Madonna has reinvented herself extra instances than we are able to depend, from bombshell to goth to cowgirl, and in the noughties, her mainstream recognition had floundered after the launch of American Life in 2003.
But then got here Confessions on a Dance Floor in 2005, and its lead single “Hung Up” re-cemented Madonna as the queen.
ABBA allowed Madge to make use of a uncommon pattern of “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”, leading to a disco basic for the noughties.
Taylor Swift’s crossover into pop
It’s exhausting to think about pop music these days with out Taylor Swift, however previous to 2012, she was the darling of nation music, selecting up the highest accolades for songwriting in the style.
It was the launch of Red, that includes the singles “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble,” in 2012 which marked Taylor’s crossover into pop. The relaxation, as they are saying, is historical past.
Moby’s fifth album Play was launched in 1999 and have become a industrial phenomenon, changing into the largest promoting electronica album of all time.
What made it so history-making was that Play was the first album ever to have all of its tracks licensed to be used in movies, tv exhibits or commercials.
The introduction of Justin Bieber
In 2008, music mogul Scooter Braun was scrolling by way of YouTube when he by accident clicked on a video of a younger pre-teen known as Justin Bieber singing. He was so impressed that he tracked younger Bieber down and shortly afterwards, he was signed by Braun and Usher.
Cue the launch of “Baby” and the world got here down with a significant dose of “Bieber Fever.”
While Bieber went by way of private points over the years, he’s nonetheless one among the world’s largest popstars and has matured over the launch of six albums.
Madonna, Britney and Christina Aguilera at the MTV VMAs
Another VMAs efficiency to rock popular culture was Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliot taking to the stage in 2003 for a medley that made headlines.
It’s truly the most bold crossover in historical past (sorry, Marvel) – Britney and Christina, dressed as brides, sing “Like A Virgin,” earlier than being joined by their groom, Madonna, singing “Hollywood,” and eventually Missy joins the trio to carry out “Work It.”
Of course, it can all the time be remembered for one particular second – Madonna kissing Britney, and the digital camera panning to Britney’s very current ex Justin Timberlake trying very unimpressed. Madonna additionally kissed Christina, however the JT response meant this was missed.
What on earth would we do throughout a break-up with out Adele’s 21?
Adele first got here to public consideration in 2008 together with her debut album 19, which was an enormous success, however she reached stratospheric heights together with her sophomore effort in 2011.
Containing the singles “Rolling In The Deep,” “Someone Like You” and “Set Fire To The Rain,” 21 was a industrial and cultural juggernaut, changing into the world’s best-selling album of the yr for 2011 and 2012.
As effectively as making Adele a world celebrity, 21 heralded a change in music, with solo artists transferring into extra autobiographical, deeply emotional songs in an try to seize a chunk of the pie.
Beyonce at the Super Bowl
Or ought to we are saying Beyonce Bowl? Beyonce raised the bar for all future Super Bowl halftime exhibits when she headlined Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.
The star carried out high-octane renditions of songs like “Run The World (Girls),” “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” and “Baby Boy,” whereas her Destiny’s Child bandmates reunited together with her on stage.
At the time, the present turned the most tweeted-about second in Twitter historical past with 268,000 tweets per minute.
Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”
Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” that includes T.I. and Pharrell Williams was an enormous hit worldwide, reaching primary in a number of international locations and being nominated for 2 Grammys.
However, its lyrics precipitated main controversy, with girls’s teams accusing the lyrics of misogyny and perpetuating date rape tradition.
“Blurred Lines” ended up being banned from many college occasions in the United Kingdom, and the track sparked a dialog on misogyny in music.
Miley Cyrus at the MTV VMAs
“Blurred Lines” additionally contributed to Miley Cyrus jettisoning her household pleasant Hannah Montana persona and changing into the wild youngster of pop.
Dressed in a teddy bear playsuit, Miley got here on stage to carry out her single “We Can’t Stop”, earlier than stripping all the way down to nude latex underwear and becoming a member of Robin Thicke to sing his hit track.
The picture of Miley twerking on Robin whereas carrying an outsized foam finger went viral, and Miley later stated that that efficiency modified her life.
She advised Wonderland: “Not only was culture changed, but my life and career were changed forever. It inspired me to use my platform for something much bigger. If the world is going to focus on me and what I am doing, then what I am doing should be impactful and it should be great.”
Psy’s “Gangnam Style”
In 2012, South Korean star Psy turned a world phenomenon with the launch of “Gangnam Style”, a commentary on the lives of those that stay in the Gangnam area of Seoul.
Originally seen as a novelty track due to its accompanying dance, “Gangnam Style” turned a viral sensation and the first YouTube video to succeed in 1 billion views, in addition to reaching quantity two in the US and primary throughout Europe.
Although Psy is taken into account a one-hit marvel outdoors of Asia, the success of “Gangnam Style” led to the unfold of the Korean wave, as Westerners began warming to songs not in the English language—a pre-cursor to the K-Pop explosion.
Kylie Minogue’s “Spinning Around”
The energy a pair of gold hotpants can have. In 2000, Kylie Minogue made her eagerly awaited comeback after three years away, and “Spinning Around” ensured that an entire new era would see her as a reigning pop princess.
The accompanying video has gone down in pop historical past too due to the little hotpants Kylie wears, that are deemed iconic by followers, and resulted in Kylie’s bum changing into the object of a number of media consideration.
Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”
Proving that pop music may also be artwork, Lady Gaga’s movies and album ideas have grow to be as vital as the singles she releases.
Gaga already had all eyes on her by the time “Bad Romance” was launched in 2009, however she introduced her artwork to an entire new stage with the surreal video, which was named finest music video of the twenty first century by Billboard.
One Direction are born
The boyband phenomenon had died down by the 2010s, however then got here the formation of a gaggle known as One Direction on the 2010 collection of The X Factor.
The group—made up of Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson—did not truly win the competitors, coming third after Matt Cardle and Rebecca Ferguson, however that did not matter. The following yr they launched their debut single “What Makes You Beautiful” and sparked hysteria akin to Beatlemania.
One Direction are one among the best-selling boybands of all time, and though they’ve all gone on to pursue solo careers, Directioners are hoping for that hiatus to finish any day now.
The dying of Amy Winehouse
One of the most gifted singers ever to come back out of the U.Okay., the music trade was left devastated in 2011 when Amy Winehouse died at the age of 27, from unintentional alcohol poisoning.
Amy had already modified the face of music in her tragically quick profession, together with her album Back to Black thought of one among the best of the twenty first century. Her legacy continues to be felt to today.
The success of “Despacito”
The finish of the final decade was suffering from acts making an attempt to weave Latin music into their tracks, and you’ll thank “Despacito” for that.
Luis Fonsi’s 2017 single that includes Daddy Yankee achieved much more recognition when a remix with Justin Bieber was launched, and it hit primary the world over, changing into the first Spanish language monitor to hit primary in the US since “Macarena” in 1996.
“Despacito” is credited by many critics for popularising Spanish-language pop music in the mainstream market.
BTS go world
RM, Jimin, J-Hope, Suga, Jin, V and Jungkook debuted as BTS in Korea in 2013, and eight years on, they’ve grow to be the world’s largest boyband.
In 2018, BTS turned the first Korean act to prime the US album charts, since debuting at primary in the States with two songs, promoting out Wembley Arena and getting a Grammy nomination.
With Okay-pop now changing into mainstream in the Western world, BTS has been credited with spreading Korean tradition and language, and are estimated to be accountable for 0.3% of South Korea’s GDP.
Ed Sheeran adjustments the charts
It’s exhausting to think about the charts of the final 10 years with out Ed Sheeran.
Ed has managed to mesh important and industrial success together with his albums +, x and ÷ , and has smashed streaming and touring data, but additionally resulted in a change in how the charts are fashioned.
After all the tracks on the album ÷ reached the prime 20 of the UK Singles Chart, the Official Charts Company launched new guidelines limiting tracks eligible for entry in the prime 100 to a few per the principal artist, in addition to adjusting the streams-to-sales ratio for older songs, to keep away from album dominance on the charts.
Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License”
In 2021, there’s an entire new method to grow to be a celebrity, and Olivia Rodrigo soundtracked each break-up early in the yr when her debut solo single “Drivers License” turned a smash on TikTookay.
The track went on to interrupt Spotify data, leaving streaming analysts shocked, and topped the charts in the US and the UK, changing into one among the most dominant number-one hits in Billboard Hot 100 historical past.