In our second week of December, as we rehash the great moments of 2016, we decided to take a look at the major highlights in the music world. From big names like Adele to our own childhood favorites, 2016 really did offer us a lot to look forward to from artists we love. Did we hit on an artist that impacted your year? Let us know who you would include as an artist highlight on Twitter!
Frank Ocean: “When will Frank Ocean release new music?” was a common question we’ve heard from music junkies this year. After his successful debut in 2012, Channel Orange, fans waited not-so-patiently for a followup. Finally, after four years, Ocean delivered with his sophomore album, Blonde. Early next year, Ocean will also embark on his first live performances since 2014.
Alex Marshall: Formerly a core member of The Cab, Alex Marshall came out strong in the early summer with a new single and video for “Hurricane,” and an album listening party we were beyond excited to attend. His next single, “My Girl,” followed in the fall. Marshall worked with today’s legends like JT and Timbaland, and we can’t wait for what 2017 continues to bring for him.
Cast of Hamilton: The hip-hop musical centered around the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton has been the talk of 2016. Even if you haven’t seen the play (which you probably haven’t since it’s been sold out for months), you’ve been enamored with the soundtrack – and the newest The Hamilton Mixtape. The musical has won several Tony Awards, a Grammy, and several other accolades.
Adele: The British star that stole our hearts with 19 and 21, came back with her latest album, 25, and hits like “Hello” and “Send My Love (To Your New Lover).” It was like she never left, and set a new precedent by embarking on her first world tour. She had six sold out shows in New York City alone, and we never want this Brit to need a comeback again.
Beyonce: Yet again, Beyonce proved why she’s The Queen. Her sixth studio album, Lemonade, was an anthem for women of color, and she made a clear and powerful stance on the Black Lives Matter movement at Super Bowl 50. On top of all that excitement, Beyonce also sold out stadiums on her worldwide Formation Tour (still upset I missed it, but the YouTube videos will suffice).
Zayn: The former One Direction heartthrob made his debut as a solo artist with single, “Pillow Talk,” and album, Mind of Mine. ZAYN crushed the scene with his sensual lyrics and equally explicit videos with girlfriend, Gigi Hadid. For 2016, the “hiatus” of One Direction was clearly not the beginning of the end.
The Chainsmokers: Safe to say the EDM duo’s single, “Closer,” was the song of 2016. Just this year, Drew Taggart and Alex Pall performed at the MTV Video Music Awards, released their second EP, Collage, were nominated for three Grammy Awards, and will be playing at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Friday, Dec. 30 (the biggest show of their career)!
Maggie Rogers: The young singer/songwriter was discovered by none other than Pharrell Williams during his masterclass at The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The video of the class went viral on YouTube and Maggie Rogers’ “Alaska” was an instant hit. Both “Alaska” and her latest single “Dog Years” will be released on her debut EP via Capitol Records in February 2017.
Dolly Parton: In 2016, Dolly Parton sprung back into the spotlight for all the right reasons. After visiting 60 cities on her Pure & Simple Tour, the Smoky Mountain Tennessean proves her singing and songwriting talents still shine bright. She was awarded the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 CMA Awards and her recent collaboration with Pentatonix on her 1973 hit “Jolene” landed her a Grammy nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance on deck for 2017.
Bruce Springsteen: Awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in November, among other greats including Tom Hanks, Diana Ross, and Ellen DeGeneres. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee continues to wow crowds while on tour, and recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the iconic “The River” album.