Only two decades have passed in the twenty-first century but so many things have happened in the modern music industry. Evergreen rock bands of the ‘90s moved back, pop and EDM took its place. So many new singers emerged and made the world fall in love with their music. It’s time we make some assessments about the greatest pop singers of the 21st century.
Halsey is a well-known name in the music industry with her songs often coming in Top charts. From the time, when she was releasing music on social media, her unique vocal made her stand out. Since then Halsey has received wide celebrity recognition along with awards like Billboard Music Awards and MTV Video Music award. She has so far released three albums with the last one Manic in January 2020.
19. Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Williams is a singer and record producer who has delivered some real big hits. He co-founded the American production duo- The Neptunes. They produced Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave 4 U” and came top on Billboard 200. That was the beginning since then Williams has produced and recorded various albums. He’s a recipient of 13 Grammy awards.
18. Britney Spears
Briteny Spears holds a record six albums on Billboard 200 and she was the highest-paid female musician for 10 consecutive years (2002-2012), I guess these two facts say who she is. A leading musician of our generation with hits like “I’m a slave 4 U” and “Womanizer” deserves a place in every list.
17. Ariana Grande
Grande has a grand existence in today’s music. She holds the record of tipping three singles at the Top 10 of Billboard Hot 100 concurrently. Though highly popular, she stopped giving interviews once to avoid getting called diva, an Insider story covers. Grande’s influence has made her the most-streamed female artist on Spotify and Apple Music.
16. Sam Smith
This talented British musician has worked on many significant projects and earned his fame. Their first album was released in 2014 named In the lonely hours. Sam worked on “Spectre’s” theme and won an Oscar. Till then they have won four Grammy Awards and three Brit Awards. [Sam is genderqueer and uses the pronounce ‘They’ over ‘He/She’ ]
15. Chris Brown
A face people love so much that each of his albums has touched the Billboard chart in some categories. Even his debut album was certified Double Platinum, such a rare achievement. Brown’s later albums Exclusive, F.A.M.E and Fortune paved the path for a young star to transform into one of the most significant R&B artists.
Shakira is a familiar name in every corner of the world. Coming from a Latin background, she possessed the talent to shake both the South and North America with Spanish and English songs. She is so famous that too named as the Queen of Latin Music. The journey wasn’t easy for her as she had almost lost her voice, she spoke about the painful situation with The Guardian.
13. Justin Timberlake
A pop icon and a renowned actor, Timberlake’s life has been full of magnificent achievements. From the days of NSYNC, a boy band that became one of the biggest of its kind, to a solo career he has maintained an upward graph of his career. Timberlake has been honored with 10 Grammy awards and four Emmy awards.
12. Selena Gomez
Selena started as a child artist and rose to prominence with time in the pop genre. Most of her singles have found their way to a Billboard chart and it’s not a surprise that she is one of the most followed celebrities on the social platforms. Besides music, she has also done quite a lot of films.
11. Enrique Iglesias
Enrique is a singer who loves to play with souls. Singing in both Spanish and English and signing multi-million dollar deals, the King of Latin Music left nothing untouched. His single “Bailando” even equaled Shakira’s record on the Latin music chart. His popularity and craze grew so massive that even Billboards declared him as “The Crowd Pleaser”.
Rihanna, known for her R&B, dance-pop genre with a Caribbean influence, is one of the best selling artists living today. She became the sex symbol of the music industry with the release of her album Good Girl Gone Bad in 2007. She has worked with artists like Eminem and Drake and made some records yet to be broken.
9. Bruno Mars
Unlike many other celebrities, Bruno prefers to be quiet and let “[his] music does [do] the talking”. The musician who has won 11 Grammy awards and still hungry for more outcome, seems to be a perfect inspiration for the coming generations. Till date, he has released only three albums but seems like Bruno was a born a star, that’s why all these name and fame doesn’t affect him.
8. Justin Biber
Some people steal the show right from the entry, Bieber is one of them. He started as a teen icon and topped the Billboard 200 as the youngest artist in the last 47 years. Currently, his music and name are so famous throughout the Globe that Bieber was the first artist to get 10 billion YouTube views on Vevo. In 2020 his album Changes was released and topped the US Billboard 200, it’s his seventh US-topping album.
7. Lady Gaga
The artist, who won Academy, Grammy, BAFTA, and Golden Globe in the same year isn’t someone to take lightly. Lady Gaga is no doubt an unrivaled Goddess of Pop and Electronic genre. Her fans are so widespread that she is the first person to hit 1 Billion views on YouTube, 10 Million fans on Facebook, and 10 Million followers on Twitter. In a recent collaboration with Ariana Grande, Gaga’s single “Rain on Me” topped the country’s chart making her the third artist to top the chart in the 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s.
24 Grammy and 24 MTV Video Music Awards, and if you are still curious- even these leave a significant spot vacant in Beyonce’s career. This famous singer of our generation has captured a significant place, she once told Vogue “I’ve learnt how to fall”, that’s what make her more effective. Her success is often compared to the legends of Pop and R&B.
5. Adam Levine
Adam Levine, the face of the world’s one of the leading bands, has captured a place for him in the music industry. The man who has been on the stage of Grammy thrice is equally popular in any other stage. Levine’s music has a contemporary pop and R&B flavor that syncs with his fans. He is so open-minded that he once said, “I don’t know what the f*** Maroon 5 are anymore… we occupy a weird space.”
Adele is like the Goddess of Music to many people, her lyrics, melody, voice, and overall appearance somewhere exceeds all the extravagance and lavishness of life and focus on the soul. Her three studio albums have given her all the glory as an artist that she deserved, yet it seems like fifteen Grammy isn’t enough. Sarcastically she told Vanity Fair that her success is fu—n’ ridiculous.
3. Ed Sheeran
A musician of the 21st century who never abandoned the subtle beauty of music. To me, Ed’s music is more of a spiritual tour with self leaving the material world. Ed’s career flourished with his album Plus since then the sequence continued. The English singer-songwriter has made his marks quite successfully with songs like “Thinking out Loud” and “Shape of You” Sometimes too much fame diverted him from real life, as he spoke to Rolling Stone Ed told many unknown incidents.
Songs like “Cheap Thrills” has a place in our heart and it’s not going away anytime soon. The artist Sia has been making music from the ‘90s but it took her some time to be on the Billboard and once she came, Sia left her marks. With 8 albums and 9 Grammy Award, no doubt she is one of the greatest artists of the 21st century.
1. Michael Jackson
Although Michael Jackson had greater influence in the previous century, he did release Invincible in 2001. Later, after his death, a documentary was released by the name “This Is It” and a posthumous album Xscape in 2014. All these releases make him a part of the 21st century as well. And there’s no doubt that he is significantly important in this era as well.