2010s in music
In North America, Europe and Oceania the second wave synthpop, electronic music, alternative music, indie music, teen pop, dance music, dance-pop, glitchpop and electropop genres have been popular. Whilst, the melismatic vocals popular in the 1990s and 2000s in pop and R&B music lost favor by 2010, with vocally lower-key artists such as Kesha, Cheryl Cole, and Katy Perry starting to outsell new releases by perennial melismatic favourites like Mariah Carey.
- 1 Musical trends in mainstream pop
- 2 North America
- 3 Europe
- 4 Australia and New Zealand
- 5 Latin America
- 6 Asia
- 7 See also
- 8 References
Musical trends in mainstream pop
The melismatic vocals popular in the 1990s and 2000s in pop and R&B music lost favor by 2010, with vocally lower-key artists such as Kesha, Cheryl Cole, and Katy Perry starting to outsell new releases by perennial melismatic favourites Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera.
The saxophone has been used in multiple top 40 songs early in the decade. Saxophone solos were common, almost cliche, in pop from the 1950s to the early 1990s, but declined later in the 1990s. Whistling has also become more common in hit songs, especially around 2011.
Traditional instruments, such as the mandolin, dulcimer, ukulele, banjo, and accordion, are being utilized more often, especially in indie rock such as Mumford and Sons, and The Lumineers, along with country artists such as Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band.
After several years of stagnation due to the decline of nu metal and post-grunge, rock has made a comeback in North America with the rise of the indie music that was for the most part underground in the 25 years predating 2010. However, the opposite has been witnessed in Europe, including the UK, where guitar music sales have generally been in a declining state.
Electronic music is becoming more popular; some 2010s successes include Skrillex, Headhunterz, Wildstylez, Knife Party, Avicii, Alesso, Owl City, Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Eric Prydz, ShockOne, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, David Guetta and Lights.
The genres of Europop and Eurodance music have also achieved a notable commercial success, as a result of the success of DJs such as David Guetta and Calvin Harris. The songs "S&M" and "Only Girl (In the World)" by Barbadian singer Rihanna are strongly influenced by Eurodance music. Both songs peaked atop the Billboard Hot 100 in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, a large number of songs by American artists featured quintessential Eurodance elements (especially synthesizer and strong beats during the chorus, mixed with rapping or vocals for verses). Examples are Chris Brown, Usher, Jennifer Lopez at others that traditionally attributed to more established American genres such as R&B, soul and pop.
Teen pop has made a significant comeback with the likes of One Direction, The Wanted, Big Time Rush, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Cher Lloyd, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. While throughout the 2000s, teen pop has been almost exclusively associated with Disney and Nickelodeon executives, many teen pop artists outside of Disney and other companies have been created in the 2010s. Social networking and video sharing sites such as YouTube is the place of discovery for numerous emerging teen pop singers, such as One Direction and Justin Bieber.
Since 2011, boy bands and girl groups have returned to mainstream popularity for the first time since the early 2000s, the most popular being British group One Direction. Older boy groups such as New Kids on The Block, Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees have also returned in an effort to re-establish preceding successes along with girl groups such as SWV. The Backstreet Boys maintained their success into their third decade.
Europop and Eurodance music have also seen commercial success early in the decade. Dubstep and Drumstep has become a popular genre on both sides of the Atlantic, especially in its native United Kingdom; in the UK, other electronic genres such as grime have also been growing in popularity. The Hardstyle scene has become popular in Australia with the success of music festivals such as IQON and Defqon 1.
In Asia, popular music continues to be influenced by Western pop music. As with the past several decades, J-Pop and K-Pop continue to be successful in the Far East; in J-Pop, image songs and the influence of anime on popular music have grown since the end of the last decade. K-pop's popularity continues to increase around the world, with acts such as Wonder Girls and Girls' Generation being the most successful artists of the genre. In India, Indian pop, rock and filmi music continues to be popular.
Electropop, dance-pop, synthpop and electrohop, along with other forms of dance/electronica/pop music that started in the 1980s, have become the dominant form of music in the US in the early 2010s, due to prominent acts such as Kesha, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson, Pitbull, Lady Gaga, Usher, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, P!nk, Owl City, Flo-Rida, One Direction, and to a lesser extent artists like David Guetta and Psy.
Pure pop music, as opposed to a hip-hop, R&B, or rock influence, comes back after about a ten-year hiatus in late 2009, especially after the death of Michael Jackson, and this trend continues well into 2013. In 2010 MJJ Inc (one of the 2 records company of The Michael Jackson Company LLC, the other is MJJ Production Inc, but that´s is a mass media company) signed the largest contract in the history of the recording industry worth between $ 250 million to $ 300 million in advances, with expectations of billions of dollars. Throughout the decade of the 2010s MJJ Inc and Sony Music will release new albums by Michael Jackson with new songs, remixes, etc., besides video games and movies. The first release of Michael Jackson under this contract was the Michael album which debuted at number one in 17 countries and was certified platinum in over 20 countries and has sold between 6 to 10 million copies.
While most of the 2000s decade was dominated by hip-hop and rock music, pop music sales rose 5% in 2009, which did not happen since 2004 and was not prominent since 2000; This includes artists such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Katy Perry. Katy Perry became the second artist and first woman in history to have an album that produced five number ones on the Billboard Hot 100 and became the first artist in history to spend 69 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Other than these, Katy Perry also achieved other awards, acknowledgments and recognitions which made her one of the most influential and popular acts in this decade's music. Kelly Clarkson releases her fifth studio album Stronger which is met with positive reviews from critics. By late 2010 and continuing into today, the re-emergence of ballads into the mainstream became a trend, starting with country music and then emerging into other genres, especially pop. Some popular ballads of the early 2010s are "Payphone" by Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa, "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry, "Someone Like You" by Adele, and "Diamonds" by Rihanna. Overall, dance-pop, electro-hop, glitch-hop, auto tune and talk box are currently the most popular mainstream trend. Disco has made an influence on many popular songs in 2010s music, especially starting in 2013, as 1970s-influenced sounds and rhythms get introduced again. Examples would include Daft Punk's "Get Lucky", Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", Bruno Mars' "Treasure" and Justin Timberlake's "Suit and Tie" and "Take Back the Night".
Since approximately 2005-2006 popular music has been dominated by the use of synthesizers and Auto-Tune which was popularized by artists such as Rihanna, Katy Perry, Kesha and T-Pain. A prelude to this trend took place in 2000 via Goldfrapp and Fischerspooner, before the domination of R&B and hip-hop on the charts for most of the early and middle part of the 2000s decade. Synthpop went underground during the 2000s, played by "dark" artists such as VNV Nation, Apoptygma Berzerk and Colony 5. Almost all popular music through the first two years of the 2010s have been dominated by this genre of music which consists of electro-pop, synthpop, house, techno, and 1980s inspired New Wave music. The most successful songs of this genre have been Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", "Born This Way", and "The Edge of Glory"; Nicki Minaj's "Starships", "Check It Out" and "Pound the Alarm"; Rihanna's "We Found Love", "Only Girl (In The World)", and "S&M"; Britney Spears' "Till The World Ends"; Katy Perry's "California Gurls" featuring Snoop Dogg, "Firework", and "E.T." featuring Kanye West; and Kesha's "Tik Tok", "Blah Blah Blah", "Your Love Is My Drug", "Take It Off", "We R Who We R", and "Blow". Male artists such as Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and Usher follow these trends as well.
The 2010s have also been dominated by electropop music, alongside the resurgent European style club music. The genre first gained prominence in the mainstream in the late 2000s when artists such as Rihanna, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga making their extremely successful songs "Don't Stop the Music", "Gimme More" and "Applause". The genre experiments with many different types of synthesizers and auto-tuning devices.
Pink appeared more frequently among artists pop rock, her album The Truth About Love sold over 5 million copies and her single Just Give Me a Reason became the biggest hit of 2013 women. Moreover, broke records with her world tour The Truth About Love Tour has sold out every show, especially to Australia, where he broke the record for most number of sold out show in the country in the same tour. Pink also had the most greatest female hits of the decade, Greatest Hits... So Far!!! sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide. Avril Lavigne also appeared flipping Goodbye Lullaby in 2011, which sold about 1.5 million copies and Avril Lavigne in 2013.
Rock music has remained popular, though it declined in charts presence beginning in the late 2000s, alongside changes in radio format. These changes were driven by the decline in CD sales and rise of digital singles in the music industry, which prompted a focus to Top 40 music Rock music has also moved from the hard rock and heavy metal genres that have dominated the genre since the Mid-1980s. Popular Rock music since the early 2010s has become softer and more refined, such as Indie Rock.
Alternative rock and Indie rock
Indie rock has crossed over into the mainstream. This is due to acts such as fun., Gotye, Of Monsters and Men, Lana Del Rey, The Black Keys, Ellie Goulding, and Foster the People and to the hipster culture that came to popularity in the early part of the decade. Bands popular in the mid-2000s such as The Killers have made a comeback and revamped their sound to an early to mid-1980s style. Popular Indie Rock songs of the 2010s so far include "We Are Young" and "Some Nights" by fun., "Born to Die" and "Ride" by Lana Del Rey, "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People, "Lights" and "Burn" by Ellie Goulding, "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons, and "Tongue Tied" by Grouplove, "Sweater Weather" by The Neighbourhood, "The Pit" by Silversun Pickups, "Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities. Albums released in the early 2010s such as Imagine Dragons' Night Visions and Awolnation's Megalithic Symphony have boosted popularity in electronic and indie rock, especially with the hit singles "Radioactive", and "Sail".
In the early 2010s, several alternative rock and indie rock bands such as Vampire Weekend, MGMT, and Arcade Fire released albums that topped the Billboard 200. Blues-rock band The Black Keys has achieved mainstream success with the release of their seventh album El Camino, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and has been certified gold in the US. Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto debuted at number one, spawning the Top 40 hits "Paradise" and "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall". Other successful alternative rock and indie rock acts include Foo Fighters, Panic! At the Disco, Linkin Park, Foster the People, fun., Gotye, Lana Del Rey, Imagine Dragons, Bon Iver, Sleigh Bells, Cage the Elephant, Passion Pit, and Young the Giant. Muse, a Rock band popular in the 2000s has continued its popularity into the 2010s with "Madness", an Electronic rock song and "Survival", a Progressive Rock and Symphonic Rock song which was the official song of the London 2012 Olympic Games and was performed by the band at the closing ceremony. Their latest single, "Panic Station", is a rock song that features heavy inspiration from acts such as Stevie Wonder. In late 2013, the indie duo A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera released an indie ballad called "Say Something" which, as of February 2014, reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went double platinum in the United States so far.
Indie rock was the most successful genre at the 2013 Grammy Awards with "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye winning Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Babel by Mumford & Sons winning Album of the Year, "We Are Young" by fun. winning Song of the Year. Fun. also won the award for Best New Artist at the Grammys. The Black Keys won the most awards in the Rock category with "Lonely Boy" winning Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song and El Camino winning Best Rock Album. Gotye's album Making Mirrors won Best Alternative Music Album as well. Most of these songs were also nominated for many awards, showing the growing prominence of the Indie genre in the mainstream.
Hard rock and heavy metal
In the early 2010s, popular hard rock and heavy metal bands (mostly originating in previous decades) have been releasing successful albums. These bands include Five Finger Death Punch, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, A Day to Remember, Trivium, All That Remains, As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, Bullet For My Valentine, Art of Dying, Halestorm, Device, Egypt Central, Sick Puppies, Volbeat, Dream Theater, Cavo, The Veer Union, Digital Summer, Sevendust, Rev Theory, Airbourne, Alter Bridge, Havok, Lamb of God, Unearth, Stone Sour and Alice in Chains. The Deftones and the returning Soundgarden both released new albums on the same day in 2012. One of the most successful hard rock/heavy metal albums to be released in the 2010s in the US thus far is Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns, which topped the Billboard 200 for one week. Progressive rock and Progressive metal has seen an upsurge of popularity since the last few years of the 2000s; the most since the early-mid-1970s. Bands such as Dream Theater, Opeth, Steven Wilson and Rush have hit Top 40 positions on album charts in many countries. Dream Theater hit #8 in the U.S. and #1 in many other countries with their 2011 album A Dramatic Turn of Events. Dream Theater's 2011 single "On the Backs of Angels" was nominated for a Grammy Award in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category, the first Dream Theater song ever to do so; and a rarity in the progressive music world. Metalcore has also seen a surge in popularity, along with post-hardcore. Many thrash metal bands that had ended or declined in popularity since the 1980s or 1990s have been making comebacks in the 2010s. Bands like Anthrax, Megadeth and Testament have managed to crack the Top 20 positions on album charts in the United States. Megadeth received their third highest chart position on the Billboard 200 (after 1992's Countdown to Extinction and 1994's Youthanasia, which peaked at number two and number four respectively) with their 2013 album Super Collider, which hit number six. Anthrax 2011 album Worship Music peaked at number twelve on the Billboard 200, which was the second highest position of their career (after 1993's Sound of White Noise, which debuted at number seven). Testament also earned their highest U.S. chart position to date with their 2012 album Dark Roots of Earth, which peaked at number twelve on the Billboard 200 and was their highest since 1992's The Ritual, which peaked at #55.
2011 saw the return of System of a Down, who has been embarking on their first tour since their 4-year hiatus from 2006 to 2010 but do not have plans to record new material. The Foo Fighters continued to be a popular group in the early 2010s. Their album Wasting Light won the group a Grammy Award for best rock album at the 2012 Grammy Awards. The Foo Fighters won five Grammys 2012.
Pop punk and punk rock
Pop punk music has decreased in mainstream popularity in the early 2010s, and has not been enjoying mainstream success as it did in the 1990s and 2000s. Acts such as Social Distortion, Bad Religion, NOFX, The Offspring, Pennywise, Green Day, Rancid, Sum 41, Blink-182, AFI and Rise Against have continued to enjoy some success through worldwide tours and sold-out arenas but some other acts like Good Charlotte, Jimmy Eat World, Yellowcard, The Used, MxPx and New Found Glory have declined in popularity. Emo, popular between about 2002 and 2010, has declined in popularity and relevance compared to its mid to late 2000s peak. Acts which formed during the pop-punk peak like Paramore, Panic! At The Disco, All Time Low and Simple Plan have taken a change of course in their music and this has resulted in some mainstream success but nowhere as near to the mainstream success bands like Blink-182, Green Day, Fall Out Boy, The Offspring and Sum 41 enjoyed.
Many bands that ended around the 1990s or 2000s have been making comebacks in the 2010s, including Refused and At the Drive-In, who both played at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2012. Other bands have continued to put out material such as Social Distortion's Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes (2011), Rise Against's Endgame (2011), The Misfits' The Devil's Rain (2011), Sum 41's Screaming Bloody Murder (2011), Flogging Molly's Speed of Darkness (2011), Blink-182's Neighborhoods (2011), Anti-Flag's The General Strike (2012), MxPx's Plans Within Plans (2012), Pennywise's All or Nothing (2012), The Offspring's Days Go By (2012), NOFX's Self Entitled (2012), Green Day's ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré! (all released in 2012), Bad Religion's True North (2013), Dropkick Murphys' Signed and Sealed in Blood (2013), Paramore's Paramore (2013), The Adolescents' Presumed Insolent (2013), Fall Out Boy's Save Rock and Roll and PAX AM Days (both released in 2013), and AFI's Burials (2013).
R&B is not as prominent in the early 2010s as it was from the late 1980s to mid-2000s, when New Jack Swing and neo-R&B were fixtures in pop music. Slow jams have largely been replaced by dance numbers and pop ballads performed by artists such as Bruno Mars.
Due to the domination of Electro and Dance-pop. R&B begins to get more dance and electro pop sounds and many artists that were traditionally R&B artists start to change to pop sounds. This is notable in artists such as Ne-Yo, Usher, Chris Brown and Rihanna with songs such as "Scream" and "OMG" by Usher, David Guetta/Usher's "Without You","We Found Love" and "Where Have You Been" by Rihanna, "Turn Up The Music" and "Don't Wake Me Up" by Chris Brown, and "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)" and "Forever Now" by Ne-Yo. Usher started this trend with OMG and the huge success inspired other R&B artists like Chris Brown, Rihanna, and Ne-Yo to change to Dance/Electro pop sounds.
New singers Miguel, Frank Ocean who is the first R&B artist to come out and say that he had fell in love with the same sex, Elle Varner,and Future also has hits on the billboard in the early 2010s. Kelly Rowland, former member of the famous girl group Destiny's Child makes #1 on the R&B charts with her hit single "Motivation". It was her best song since her 2002 single "Dilemma" with Nelly. 11 years after her tragic death, the sing Aaliyah comes out with a new song Enough Said. The song made #48 on the US Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs. It did pretty well except the controversy was all about Drake's role in the song. R&B singer Brandy, who was popular in the 1990s R&B movement, makes #3 on the R&B charts with her hit song "Put It Down". It was her biggest hit since 2002's "What About Us?", and her album Two Eleven was her 1st #1 R&B album in 10 years.
Nicki Minaj, although more known for her pop/dance songs, along with Lil Wayne are some of the most successful hip-hop artists of the 2010s. Both have released successful mainstream tracks but also have released hip-hop songs that have gotten success amongst many people, mainstream and not. Hip-Hop has declined in sales as music sales overall have declined (Hip-Hop sales peaked in 2002), and falls behind country and rock in America's musical purchases by the start of the 2010s. Electropop, sometimes combined with hip hop, and other forms of dance music see the most mainstream success throughout the early 2010s. Several artists such as Kid Cudi and Drake have managed to attain chart-topping hit songs, "Day 'n' Night" and "Best I Ever Had" respectively, by releasing their music on free online mixtapes without the help of a major record label. New artists such as Wale, J. Cole, Lupe Fiasco, Drake The Cool Kids, Jay Electronica, and B.o.B, openly acknowledge being directly influenced by their nineties alt-rap predecessors in addition to alt-rock groups while their music has been noted by critics as expressing eclectic sounds, life experiences, and emotions rarely seen in mainstream hip hop. Also, music industry experts say that more conservative young people are fed up with the violence, constant references to drug use, sex, and degrading imagery used in the genre. However, hip hop was the only genre to have a sales increase in 2010.
In 2010, Eminem, who was named the best-selling music act of the previous decade by Billboard, set an early record on the U.S. Billboard charts, with two number one singles and the second-fastest selling album of the decade so far, Recovery.
Alternative hip hop has been the most popular form of hip hop in the mainstream during the early 2010s with acts such as Gorillaz and B.o.B, who managed a number one album and number one single, plus two other top ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100.
Hip Hop artists outside the United States, have also been a popular trend in the early 2010s - the most successful being Canadian rapper, Drake, whose debut album Thank Me Later, debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 447,000 copies. It attained the third-highest first-week sales of 2010 in the United States. British rapper Tinie Tempah released his debut album Disc-Overy, which has sold over 600,000 copies in the UK alone since its release. It spent forty-two consecutive weeks in the UK Top 40 Albums Chart to date. In the US, the album debuted at number twenty-one on the Billboard 200 with 16,400 copies sold in the first week due to his hit singles "Pass Out" and "Frisky", but most notably "Written in the Stars" featuring American singer-songwriter Eric Turner, which sold over 115,000 copies in its first week alone, which at the first quarter of 2010 was a first week figure surpassed only by "California Gurls" by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg (124,000) and the charity single "Everybody Hurts" by Helping Haiti (over 450,000). In the second week 6,300 copies were sold, selling a total of 22,700 domestic units in two weeks. Also fellow British rapper, Tinchy Stryder, who has worked with and released the song "Game Over" featuring Tinie Tempah, has seen moderate commercial success, in the UK and internationally, due to his third studio album, Third Strike, released in November 2010.
Billboard has mentioned: "While dance music has periodically conquered the American pop charts, its current incursion may be its deepest since the disco heyday of the '70s." The start of the 2010s has many musical influences from the 1970s Disco, and the 1980s Hi-NRG, Spacesynth, Italo disco and New Wave music, and influences from the 1990s and 2000s Eurodance, Techno, House, Trip Hop, Europop, Garage and Trance music. Trance has often been incorporated into electropop songs, creating the new Electrance music genre. Examples of trance melodies are Rihanna's song "Only Girl", Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull new single "On the Floor", Pitbull's "Give Me Everything" and LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem". House music can be incorporated with electro songs (Electro House) which started to prominence by late 2000s. In 2010, through immense prominence of electro house movement, some Hi-NRG compositions knew a considerable revival, and many of their electronic elements were incorporated into the modern dance sound. A notable example is Lady Gaga's "Bad Kids" with similar beats to that of New Order's big hit "Blue Monday" and "Fashion Of His Love", and Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera song "Moves Like Jagger", these two last with complements of disco.
Industrial or formally Electro-Industrial music experienced a decline in the 2010s, but appears to be experiencing a mild revival in the form of some Darkwave revival or EBM revival acts, including Cold Cave (a darkwave revival act) and Light Asylum (who incorporate elements of Darkwave and Post-punk). More notable is in the convergence of Dance and Electropop music on early 2011. It came out because of the reflex that has with the early 2010 popularity of Dubstep. Some examples are Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me", which debuted on #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., and "Till The World Ends", and Ke$ha's song "Blow". Lady Gaga's album Born This Way has Electro beats on tracks and particular songs, such as "Judas", "Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)", "Heavy Metal Lover", and "Government Hooker". Katy Perry's single, "E.T." has a beat similar to Dubstep. Rihanna's "G4L", "Red Lipstick", "Jump" and "Where Have You Been" are some of her more dubstep and electronica influenced songs.
Dubstep started to break into the American mainstream in 2010, in a hardcore-influenced form called brostep. The most popular Dubstep producers are Skrillex and Knife Party. Skrillex's second EP, named Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites won him three Grammy Awards in 2012 including Best Dance Recording, and Best Dance/Electronica album.
Another genre of significance during the 2010s was Trap, a stripped-down, typically instrumental musical style inspired by Electronic Hip-hop. In many ways this genre was a return to the simplicity of early Electro and electropop music, the sound of which had gone on to become part of the signature style of 1980s hip hop artists.
Another notable trend in electronic music during the 2010s was the emergence of Synthwave, a soundtrack-styled subgenre of electronic music inspired in part by synthpop, Italo Disco and spacesynth. Examples of artists in this genre have included Kavinsky and Power Glove as well as several others. This genre became popular thanks to the appearance of music in the genre in films such as Drive and Hobo With a Shotgun, and video games such as Hotline Miami. The appearance of artists from the genre on these soundtracks sparked a significant amount of popular interest in the genre. In general, this genre's style can be tracked back to 1980s and sometimes 1970s film soundtracks, such as those of John Carpenter, Giorgio Moroder, Wendy Carlos, and Tangerine Dream.
Additionally, Witch house, a genre of dark ambient alternative electronic music influenced by darkwave and ethereal wave, with occasional trap beats, became popular as an underground music genre, in large part thanks to the success of Salem's debut album King Night, as well as the appearance of witch house tracks in films such as The Place Beyond the Pines. The witch house genre was often appropriated by the Goth and hipster subcultures, and witch house artists often played live shows in underground alternative music venues associated with these subcultures.
Country music continued to maintain its popularity, both as a radio format and in retail sales. This has been attributed both to the faithfulness of country fans and to a rise in popularity of the genre. Some of the most popular acts during the first half of the decade included the Zac Brown Band, Billy Currington, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, The Band Perry, Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum. The 2011 American Idol winner and runner-up, Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina, respectively, were from the country music field.
In 2010, the group Lady Antebellum won five Grammys, including the coveted Song of the Year and Record of the Year for "Need You Now". Also in 2010, Taylor Swift's third multi-platinum album Speak Now sold 1.041 million copies in its first week.
A large number of duos and vocal groups have begun to emerge on the charts in the 2010s, many of which feature close harmony in the lead vocals, a style that was rooted as far back as the 1940s and 1950s with acts such as The Shelton Brothers, the Delmore Brothers and the Everly Brothers, and saw a resurgence in the 1980s with The Judds and the Bellamy Brothers, although the more recent acts tended to not be related. In addition to Lady Antebellum, groups such as The Band Perry, Gloriana, Thompson Square, Eli Young Band and the Zac Brown Band have emerged to occupy a large portion of the new country artists in the popular scene. Meanwhile, artists who began their careers dating as far back as the 1960s and 1970s continued to be active, including Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, George Strait and Reba McEntire.
In late 2012, Billboard revised its chart tabulation process by incorporating downloads and online streaming into its data, and this resulted in much longer runs on the magazine's Hot Country Songs chart and longer runs at No. 1. In January 2013, Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" spent the last of 10 weeks at No. 1, the longest run by a female artist in the history of the country chart (surpassing the 48-year-old record held by Connie Smith) and also becoming the longest running No. 1 song on the chart in 46 years; the song was also the first to go to No. 1 on both the country and Hot 100 charts since 2000. Florida Georgia Line's song "Cruise" topped the country chart for a record 24 weeks in late 2012 and 2013, with 19 of those weeks coming between mid-April and late August; that overtopped the previous record of 21 weeks by three songs from the 1940s and 1950s, the last of them being "In the Jailhouse Now" by Webb Pierce in 1955. Many more songs were charting on both the country and Hot 100, the most prolific crossover period since the early 1980s. Another early No. 1 song topping the 10-week mark at No. 1 following the change in charting methodology was "That's My Kind of Night" by Luke Bryan (12 weeks).
The decade also has seen death and tragedy in the country music community. Mindy McCready, a rising star of the late 1990s whose personal problems soon overshadowed her music, committed suicide in early 2013. Glen Campbell, a vastly influential country guitarist and vocalist from the 1960s onward, announced in 2011 that he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and, upon the completion of a farewell tour, retired from show business. Prominent classic country artists who passed away during the decade included Carl Smith, Kitty Wells, Patti Page, Jack Greene, George Jones and Ray Price.
Christian music saw a rising success in the early 2010s, with several artists debuting within the Top 5 on the Billboard 200. In 2011 the Christian artists Casting Crowns and Red both debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with their respective albums Come to the Well and Until We Have Faces, and David Crowder Band reached No. 2 with Give Us Rest in 2012. Today's Christian Music reported that Passion: White Flag, a live album of the performances of various artists at the 2012 Passion Conference, debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. On August 28, 2012, the TobyMac album Eye on It debuted at No. 1 on the chart, the first Christian album since 1997 and third overall to do so. The very next week, September 4, Christian hip hop artist Lecrae debuted at No. 3 on Billboard with Gravity. Additionally, both the No. 1 and 2 spots on the iTunes hip hop charts were taken by the deluxe and regular versions of the album, and the EP version of Church Clothes, which had been released earlier that year, jumped up to No. 4 upon the release of Gravity. The commercial reception of Gravity was called "easily the biggest sales week ever for a Christian rap album".
The success of TobyMac and Lecrae prompted a write up in Time which examined the recent upsurge in crossover success of Christian artists. The magazine referred to Rod Riley of Word Entertainment as indicating that all of these successes could "be the tip of the iceberg." Riley has cited the increasing talent of Christian artists and the ownership of all major Christian labels by mainstream parents as a reason for the success of Christian music. 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 music. Producer Mark Joseph claimed in an article by Fox News that TobyMac reaching number one 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, The Cold War Kids and Flyleaf.'" Following Lecrae's performance on BET and appearance on Statik Selektah's Population Control album, in January 2012 Chad Horton, co-owner of the website Rapzilla, stated in 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 2013, Chris Tomlin became the fourth Christian musician to top the Billboard 200 with his seventh studio album Burning Lights, with 73,000 units sold.
Contemporary R&B, as well as traditional soul music, define much of the UK popular music scene in the early 2010s. Notable artists who encompass this sound include Jessie J and Adele. As with previous decades, pop music has enjoyed chart domination, with popular artists including Rita Ora, Jay Sean, Cheryl Cole, The Saturdays, Ellie Goulding, Marina and the Diamonds and Katy B. Teen pop boybands, despite being unpopular for much of the 2000s, have returned to mainstream popularity, with acts such as One Direction and The Wanted seeing major commercial success worldwide. French singer Zaz is one of very few singers to become internationally popular since Vanessa Paradis.
Dubstep and Drumstep started to break into the mainstream by 2010. Especially in Britain, where it evolved from Grime, a genre that moved into the mainstream in 2009. Eurodance music, which has been consistently popular in Europe for 20 years (since the early 1990s), has broken into the mainstream outside of Europe, in a more modern style than the first wave into North America in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Alternative rock has experienced a modest presence in the UK singles chart so far in the 2010s, mostly from artists originating in the previous decade such as Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Beady Eye, The Wombats, Muse, Mumford & Sons and Snow Patrol. Acts such as Tribes, Feeder, White Lies, The Maccabees, Miles Kane, Hard-Fi and The Vaccines have also witnessed success, mostly exclusive to the albums chart.
Heavy metal and hard rock is seeing a relatively increased presence in the UK albums chart, thanks to releases by Bullet For My Valentine and Enter Shikari. Many new British metal bands are seeing worldwide success after years of American dominance, primarily Bring Me the Horizon and Asking Alexandria.
Folk music has witnessed a large growth at the start of the 2010s in the UK. The most popular British folk artist so far 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 artist and winner of "Best British Female" at the 2011 BRIT Awards is Laura Marling. Other successful acts include singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Jake Bugg, Johnny Flynn, Noah and the Whale, Bon Iver and Alessi's Ark.
Australia and New Zealand
Popular music by Australian artists tends to be influenced by radio broadcasting more than any other country. Australian radio station Triple J plays 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. In 2010, Australian pop artists to feature substantially in the countdown included Birds of Tokyo, Pendulum, Washington and Triple J Unearthed group Gypsy & The Cat. Australian acts that were placed high on the countdown included Angus & Julia Stone, Little Red (Unearthed), Art vs. Science (Unearthed), Sia and The Jezabels (Unearthed). The correlation between the Triple J Hottest 100 and the ARIA and iTunes singles charts is distinctly evident. The number-one song in 2010, "Big Jet Plane", reached number six 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 2011, Australian artists to feature substantially in the Hottest 100 countdown included 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 iTunes and the ARIA charts in the week following was strong. Rapper 360 and his song, "Boys Like You", entered the Hottest 100 at number eight, and the following week it rose to number two on the iTunes singles charts and number three on the ARIA singles chart. Similar movements included Matt Corby's "Brother" (number three 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 one in eleven countries including Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Belgium and the United Kingdom. The song also reached number one in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2011 countdown and features New Zealand 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 was popularized by newcomers such as Havana Brown, Elen Levon, Timomatic and Justice Crew, as well as artists from the 2000s including Brian McFadden, Zoe Badwi, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Sneaky Sound System and The Potbelleez. The most successful songs of this genre include 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'".
R&B in Australia is not as popular in the early 2010s as it was in the 2000s, however, artists including Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy and Stan Walker still continue to produce music that is commercially successful. In 2010, Sebastian's single, "Who's That Girl" featuring American rapper Eve, topped the ARIA Singles Chart and became his fifth number-one single in Australia. This made him the only Australian male artist in Australian music history to achieve five number one singles. Mauboy has released many commercially successful top-twenty singles, including "Saturday Night" featuring American rapper Ludacris, "What Happened to Us" featuring English recording artist Jay Sean, and "Galaxy" with Walker, all of which have been certified platinum. In August 2010, Stan Walker's second album entitled From the Inside Out was released, it debuted at number two on the ARIA Albums Chart.
Hardstyle is growing popularity in Australia with events such as "Defqon 1" and the brand new unique outdoor event, "IQON" by Q-dance. Australian Hardstyle artists include Code Black, Toneshifterz, Audiofreq, NitrouZ and HSB.
|This section requires expansion. (March 2011)|
In Latin America, pop music, pop rock, El Pasito Duranguense, and tropical music are still popular through the early parts of the decade. A new type of music emerged from the reggaeton, the new electro music, and it is breaking mainstream in late 2010 in Latin America, a new dance from reggaeton hooks with electronic sounds, because of the popularity of electronic/dance music in the prominent markets of the world. Pitbull is the principal representative of this genre. Bachata music, which gained popularity in the past decade has garnered more attention in the mainstream thanks to remakes of classic songs such as "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 Enrique Iglesias's 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 music however, went in decline early on the decade, though Marc Anthony made an international hit with his salsa song "Vivir Mi Vida".
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 one 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 quadruple-platinum by the RIAA, and has sold more than four million copies, 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 one million copies worldwide, as well as "Starships" becoming one of the best-selling singles of that year. She is 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." 
K-pop is a music genre that is becoming increasingly popular in the West at an exponential rate, the Internet serving a dominant role in K-pop's rise in popularity. Websites such a YouTube and Twitter are significant in the rise of K-pop, as big-budget music videos with eclectic fashion styles, attractive idols and colourful sets, catchy tunes and hooking choreographies attract a mainly youth demographic despite the language barrier. Leading K-pop acts include Girls' Generation, SHINee, 2NE1, Big Bang, Super Junior, PSY, Kara and 2PM amongst others. Korean pop acts are submitted to significant levels of training in a variation of apprenticeship to become polished "idols."  PSY's song "Gangnam Style" in 2012 broke the record for the most number of YouTube views.
- 2000s in music
- Dance music
- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of the 2010s (U.S.)
- List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the 2010s
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- AKB48 is officially the world’s biggest group
- Oricon 2010 Rankings (Albums): Arashi, Ikimono Gakari | Tokyograph