2000s in music

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For music from a year in the 2000s, go to 00 | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09

This article is an overview of the major events and trends in popular music in the 2000s.

In American culture, various styles of the late 20th century remained popular, such as in rock, pop, metal, hip hop, R&B, EDM, country and indie. As the technology of computers and internet sharing developed, a variety of those genres started to fuse in order to see new styles emerging. Terms like "contemporary", "nu", "revival", "alternative", and "post" are added to various genres titles in order to differentiate them from past styles, nu-disco and post-punk revival as notable examples.

The popularity of teen pop carried over from the 1990s with acts such as *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera dominating the charts in the earlier years of the decade. Previously established Pop Music artists such as Michael Jackson and Madonna made a comeback in the early 2000s with successful releases such as Invincible[1] and Music. Contemporary R&B was one of the most popular genres of the decade (especially in the early and mid-2000s), with artists like Usher, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, and Rihanna. In 2004, the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 had 15 of its top 25 singles as contemporary R&B.[2]

The decade was dominated by the garage rock revival and the birth of a new indie rock style.[3] In this decade, grime was a genre invented in the UK, while chillwave became popular in the United States in the latter part of the decade.[4]

In Britain, Britpop, post punk revival and alternative rock were at the height of their popularity with acts such as Coldplay, The Libertines, Oasis, Lynda Thomas, Travis, Dido, Blur, The Hives, Björk, and Radiohead, which still continued at the top of the major charts in the rest of the world since the 1990s.[5]

Hip hop music achieved major mainstream status after the 1990s following the deaths of many prominent artists such as 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G.[6] Artists outside of New York and Los Angeles in cities like Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Toronto, and the Bay Area all achieved mainstream success. Popular rap movements of the 2000s include Crunk, Snap, Hyphy, and Alternative Hip Hop.

Despite the hip hop dominance, such as Southern hip hop which lasted for most of the decade (particularly the middle years),[7] rock music was still popular, notably alternative rock, and especially genres such as post-grunge, post-Britpop, nu metal, pop punk, emo, post-hardcore, metalcore, and in some cases indie rock; the early and mid-2000s saw a resurgence in the mainstream popularity of pop rock and power pop.[8]

Even though the popularity amidst the mainstream audience dipped slightly, Country music continued to rise in sales, having a strong niche in the music industry. The genre saw the rise of new front-runners like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and Miley Cyrus, who were able to score top hits on all-genre Billboard charts, apart from the country charts, by appealing to a wider audience outside the genre.[9]

Electronic music was also popular throughout the decade; at the beginning of the 2000s, genres such as trance, chillout, house, indietronica,[10] and Eurodance (in Europe) were popular. By the end of the decade, late 1980s/early 1990s inspired dance-oriented forms of electronic music such as synthpop, electropop, and electro house had become popular.

By the end of the decade, a fusion between hip hop and electronic dance similar to the Freestyle music of the late 1980s and early 1990s, known as Hip House and Electrohop also grew successful.[11]

In many Asian musical markets, with the increase of globalization and the spread of capitalism, music became more Westernised, with influences of pop, hip hop, and contemporary R&B becoming ever-present in Eastern markets. American and European popular music also became more popular in Asia.

Genres such as J-pop and K-pop remained popular throughout the decade, proliferating their cultural influence throughout the East and Southeast of Asia. In other parts of Asia, including India, Indian pop music, closely linked to Bollywood films and filmi music, was popular alongside Western pop music.[12]

In Latin America, whilst R&B, hip hop, and pop rock did have influence and success, Latin-based pop music remained highly popular.

Reggaeton became a definitive genre in 2000s Latin music, as well as salsa and merengue.[13] Subgenres fusing Latin music such as merengue and reggaeton with hip hop and rap music became popular from the middle of the decade onwards.

The continued development of studio recording software and electronic elements was observed throughout this decade. One such example is the usage of pitch correction software, such as auto-tune that appeared in the late 1990s.[14] Another great impact to this decade was the ongoing development of the internet and user-friendly media players, such as iTunes, and music and video sharing websites such as Napster and YouTube, respectively.[15] The internet in general allowed for unprecedented access to music and made it possible for artists to distribute their music freely without label backing.[16] Innumerable online outlets and sheer volume of music also offers musicians more musical influences to draw from.[17][16]

North America[]

Hip hop[]

American rapper Eminem is the most commercially successful artist of the decade

Hip hop dominated popular music in the early 2000s.[18][19] Artists such as Eminem, OutKast, The Black Eyed Peas, T.I., 50 Cent, Kanye West, Nelly, Nas, Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliott, M.I.A., Lil' Kim, Gorillaz, Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, The Game, and Ludacris were among the dominant mainstream hip hop artists to have represented the hip hop genre for the decade.[20] Distinct regional differences also developed outside the hip hop/rap strongholds of the 1990s, New York City and Los Angeles.[21] Though the Los Angeles style of the 1990s waned, Gangsta rap continued to be popular through the 2000s, and more commercially oriented party rap dominated the charts.[22] The emergence of hip-hop from the south and the midwest was starting to take place, and by the end of the decade, hip-hop was starting to spread internationally.

During the 2000s, Eminem, who is perhaps best known for being one of the few successful white rappers in the music industry, enjoyed a massive commercial success and maintained commercial relevance by attempting to be controversial and subversive. According to Billboard, two of Eminem's albums are among the top five highest-selling albums of the 2000s. After the release of his album Relapse, Eminem became the best-selling rapper of all time and the top selling artist of the decade across all genres.[23] "Ringtone rap", which is rap music that was made popular for ringtones, which includes more "laid back" and "silly" elements along with repetitive hooks, became very popular in the later part of the 2000s.

Nicki Minaj gained public recognition following the release of her mixtapes in late 2000s.

In late 2005, the Southern hip hop subgenre reached the peak of its popularity, especially its sub-subgenres of crunk and snap music (which started the dance craze movement in hip hop from 2005 to 2009). The number one selling crunk artist as well as paving the way to its popularity was Lil Jon who shot to fame in 2003, with his group The Eastside Boyz. Then snap music became a staple for the remainder of the decade in hip hop with artists such as, Dem Franchize Boys, D4L, Yung Joc, Soulja Boy, Unk, Jibbs, Da Backwudz, Purple Ribbon All-Stars, V.I.C., GS Boyz, the Fast Life Yungstaz, New Boyz, and Cali Swag District, to name a few. These artists have all contributed to starting some dance craze accompanied to one of their songs, with the most popular being Soulja's "Crank Dat" move, which gained popularity throughout 2007 and 2008. By the end of the decade this sound began to decline in popularity as well as the dance-crazes that came along with them, as pioneer hip hop artists and hip hop purists such as Ice-T and Nas denouncing the crunk and snap craze, with Nas's 2006 song "Hip Hop Is Dead" brought dislike to the new path hip hop was directing.

By early 2000, the Hyphy movement became popular in Northern California, specifically the Bay Area. Bay Area artists like Mac Dre, Keak Da Sneak, E-40, The Pack, and Too Short were prominent Hyphy rappers. Hyphy culture included the use of party drugs like ecstasy, slang terms like "Go dumb" and "yadadamean", Ghost Riding, and Sideshows.

Black Eyed Peas

By mid-2008 the sound began to fade as indie rap and alternative began to come in with artists such as Kid Cudi and The Cool Kids, who fused hip hop with electro and hipster influences. This trend continued on into the early 2010s. Alternative hip hop, almost unknown in the mainstream, except for a few crossover acts, evolved throughout the decade with the help of artists such as Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, The Roots, MF Doom, Aesop Rock, and Common, who achieved unheard-of success for their field. Throughout the 2000s, Alternative Hip hop continued its philosophical, positive, and complex lyrical subject matter, while denouncing materialism, fashion, and money. This subgenre also includes spoken word and a branch of slam poetry. The subgenre could be said to be related to both the old school hip-hop culture of the 1980s and 1990s, and the indie rock and hipster subcultures.

By 1999, more 2000s styled glam started coming in, along with dirty south and crunk, with artists such as Mannie Fresh, Cam'ron, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Trina, Three 6 Mafia, Ying Yang Twins, Bubba Sparxxx, Neptunes, Timbaland, and Jay-Z.[24]

Auto-Tune became popular by mid-2007, with R&B artist T-Pain starting the craze. Auto-Tune was popular in the earlier part of the decade as well (primarily in 2000 and 2001), but then only called "synthesizer" and it was used casually as just an effect. Artists such as Daft Punk, Eiffel 65, *NSYNC, 98 Degrees, Willa Ford, and even Faith Hill have used Auto-Tune in their songs. It was first known as the "Cher effect" since it was used in the song "Believe" by Cher in 1998. The Black Eyed Peas began utilizing Auto-Tune and electropopdance in their most successful album to date, The E.N.D., which spawned five top ten hit singles: "Boom Boom Pow", "I Gotta Feeling", "Meet Me Halfway", "Imma Be", and "Rock That Body". Due to hip-hop's increased moulding with pop music, some, such as rapper Nas have declared the death of the genre.[25]


Pop rock[]

Blink 182
American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson is the most successful winner of American Idol and a key artist in the power pop and pop rock movement of the 2000s.

In the early 2000s, there was an astounding resurgence of interest[citation needed] in pop rock and power pop. This was kickstarted in the year 2000 with the success of Blink-182's song "All the Small Things" and Nine Days' song "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)", both of which peaked at #6[citation needed] on the Billboard Hot 100. The trend kicked off the brief musical careers of Ryan Cabrera, Ashley Parker Angel, Teddy Geiger, Evan and Jaron, The Click Five, Jet, and Snow Patrol throughout the early and mid-2000s. This also paved the way for a second wave of pop punk bands such as Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, and Sum 41, who made use of humor in their videos and had a radio-friendly tone to their music.[26] Later pop-punk bands such as Simple Plan, The All-American Rejects, and Fall Out Boy had a sound that had been described as closer to late 1970s and early 1980s hardcore,[citation needed] with similarities to the band Cheap Trick, while still achieving considerable commercial success. In addition, some of the most successful pop-punk bands of the 1990s, such as Green Day, Blink-182, Weezer, and The Offspring continued their success during the early 2000s.[citation needed]

In the early 2000s, the power pop and pop rock trend also spread to female musicians.[citation needed] Michelle Branch became successful in 2001 with her song "Everywhere". Her success continued with her second album singles "Are You Happy Now?" and "Breathe". Kelly Clarkson was also another prominent female artist of this movement, rivaling the success of Avril Lavigne.[citation needed] The first winner on the hit reality TV show " American Idol", Clarkson started off her musical career with Contemporary R&B hit songs such as "A Moment Like This" and "Miss Independent" and catapulted to cultural icon status[citation needed] in the mid 2000s with aggressive songs such as "Since U Been Gone" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes". Clarkson strayed away from this sound in the late 2000s but continued to make pop rock hits. Other female pop rock and power pop artists who experienced Top 40 success in the 2000s included Alanis Morissette, Liz Phair, Ashlee Simpson, and Stacie Orrico.[citation needed]

Pop punk[]

Canadian Avril Lavigne was the biggest breakthrough of the 2000s worldwide with 40 million albums sold.
Good Charlotte

After the breakthrough of punk rock in the 1990s, by the 2000s the genre had evolved more into pop punk due to major label records taking interest and signing on bands such as Blink-182. Green Day kick-started the 2000s with the release of their sixth studio album Warning in 2000 to lukewarm[citation needed] success. The following year, Blink-182 released their fourth studio album Take Off Your Pants And Jacket in 2001 which went on to sell 14 million copies worldwide. It was a commercial and critical success, debuting at number one[citation needed] on the Billboard 200 within its first week of release and securing the status of the pop punk trio as one of biggest bands of the genre. Also in that year, Canadian band Sum 41 released their debut album All Killer No Filler, which went platinum in the United States. The second-wave bands dominated the pop punk genre in the early years with bands like Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, Simple Plan, and Sum 41 receiving platinum status and gaining large fan bases worldwide.[citation needed] In 2002, Avril Lavigne became popular in the pop punk scene thanks to her pop punk-based sound, and was arguably the most prominent artist to take this new direction in pop music, with hits such as "Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi". In 2003, Blink-182 released their untitled album blink-182, which demonstrated a darker and more mature tone[citation needed] than previous albums. This was mainly due to the side-project Box Car Racer. Even so, the album was yet another commercial and critical success. It was to be their last album released before taking an indefinite hiatus in 2005. The band would reunite four years later. After their 1994 breakthrough, Green Day's fame was fading,[citation needed] mainly due to rising popularity of other bands like Good Charlotte and Sum 41. Realizing this, they retreated to the studio and produced their seventh studio album American Idiot released in 2004. It saw a significant sales boost, selling 14 million copies worldwide and awarding the band 3 Grammy awards.[citation needed] Fall Out Boy's From Under The Cork Tree gained commercial success in 2005 and put the band on the pop punk map. Fall Out Boy’s follow up album Infinity On High went number 1 on the billboard 200 in 2007.[citation needed] The last successful pop punk album of the decade[citation needed] was Green Day's eighth studio album 21st Century Breakdown released in 2009 which achieved their best chart performance to date by reaching number one on the album charts of various countries as well as winning a Grammy,[citation needed] including the United States Billboard 200, the European Top 100 Albums, and the UK Albums Chart.


Nickelback has sold over 50 million albums and was one of the biggest post-grunge bands of the decade.

Post-grunge continued to be popular in the 2000s, with the genre reaching its peak in the early years of the decade. Artists include Foo Fighters, Creed, Alter Bridge, Nickelback, Lifehouse, Incubus, Hoobastank, 3 Doors Down, Puddle of Mudd, Our Lady Peace, Switchfoot, Shinedown, Three Days Grace, Staind, Seether, and Daughtry.[27][28][29] These bands took post-grunge into the 21st century with considerable commercial success, at times abandoning the angst and anger of the original movement for more conventional anthems, narratives, ballads and romantic songs.[citation needed]

Nu metal[]


During the early 2000s, a new wave of metal began[citation needed] with interest in the newly emerging genre nu metal and genres of a similar style such as rap metal and the later mainstream success rap rock. The popularity of nu metal music carried over from the late 1990s, where it was introduced by early work from bands such as Korn, Deftones, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, Incubus, Coal Chamber, and Rage Against the Machine into the early 2000s with the similar genre, rap rock, bringing in a wave of monster-hit artists[citation needed] such as System of a Down, Evanescence, P.O.D, Staind, Papa Roach, and Disturbed. The success of Korn's third studio album, Follow The Leader and Limp Bizkit's Significant Other and Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, brought nu metal to the mainstream.[citation needed] Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water would sell over 1,050,000 in its first week - making it the highest selling rock record with first week sales ever. Linkin Park's debut album Hybrid Theory, released in 2000, sold over 24 million copies worldwide. Beginning in 2002, nu metal rapidly began to lose mainstream appeal, and by 2004 had fallen completely out of vogue.[citation needed] Since then, many bands have changed to other genres of music,[citation needed] such as post-grunge (Staind), heavy metal (Slipknot, Disturbed, Drowning Pool), and alternative rock (Linkin Park, Papa Roach).


By 2004, the up-and-coming genre metalcore was dominated by bands such as Killswitch Engage, Underoath, Bullet for My Valentine, Trivium, and most successfully Avenged Sevenfold,[citation needed] all of whom releasing successful albums. The rise of metalcore led to increased popularity and exposure of nearly every other subgenre of heavy metal[citation needed] including death metal, black metal, and thrash. In 2002, heavy metal saw a new subgenre called deathcore,[citation needed] which would gain moderate success from 2005 to present day.

Hard rock/Heavy metal[]

Bon Jovi

AC/DC released Stiff Upper Lip in 2000 and Black Ice in 2008.[citation needed] Guns N' Roses released the long-awaited Chinese Democracy in 2008 after over a decade of work by Axl Rose. Metallica released two albums in the 2000s, St. Anger in 2003 and Death Magnetic in 2008.[citation needed] Aerosmith released the platinum-selling Just Push Play in 2001 followed by the blues-infused Honkin' on Bobo in 2004; the band also toured every year of the decade except 2008.[citation needed] Bon Jovi released five albums during the decade: Crush (2000), Bounce (2002), Have a Nice Day (2005), Lost Highway (2007), and The Circle (2009).[citation needed] Crush fared best,[citation needed] going double platinum, and spawning the hit "It's My Life", while Have a Nice Day and Lost Highway also launched Top 40 singles,[citation needed] went platinum, and saw the band mix hard rock with country. Bon Jovi's Lost Highway Tour was the highest-grossing tour of 2008.[citation needed]


Emo broke into mainstream culture in the early 2000s with the platinum-selling success of Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American. The new emo had a far greater appeal amongst adolescents than its earlier incarnations.[30] In the following years, use of the term "emo" expanded beyond the music world, becoming associated with fashion, hairstyle, and other aesthetic attributes of culture.[31] Later in the decade, the term 'emo' was applied by critics and journalists to a variety of artists, including multi-platinum acts such as Fall Out Boy[32] and My Chemical Romance[33] and disparate groups such as Paramore[32] and Panic! at the Disco,[34] although some artists branded as such rejected the label. Despite its success, the emo genre never quite surpassed post-grunge in popularity during the 2000s.[35]

Garage rock, post-punk and new wave revival[]

The White Stripes were one of the most successful emerging American rock acts of the decade.
The Bravery

In the early 2000s, a new group of bands emerged into the mainstream which drew primary inspiration from post-punk and new wave and were variously characterised as part of a garage rock, post-punk, or new wave revival.[36][37][38][39] Because the bands came from across the globe, cited diverse influences (from traditional blues, through new wave to grunge), and adopted differing styles of dress, their unity as a genre has been disputed.[40] There had been attempts to revive garage rock and elements of punk in the 1980s and 1990s and by 2000 scenes had grown up in several countries.[41] The Detroit rock scene included The Von Bondies, Electric Six, The Dirtbombs, and The Detroit Cobras[42] and that of New York which included Radio 4, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Rapture.[43] Social networking sites such as MySpace and Purevolume enabled amateur artists to promote their music, and thanks to the internet, many underground unsigned artists become discovered and well known amongst alternative subcultures. The revival hit a peak in 2003–04.[44] Franz Ferdinand from Scotland, also became popular with their debut album in 2004. Though drawing on an indie sound, none of the groups were derivative in a way that could be described as retro.[45] In 2004, Las Vegas-based alternative rock band The Killers released their successful debut album Hot Fuss, spawning hits like "Mr. Brightside" and "All These Things That I've Done". New York-based act The Bravery became popular the following year.[38]

Three of the most successful bands from these scenes were The Strokes, who emerged from the New York club scene with their début album Is This It (2001); The White Stripes, from Detroit, with their third album White Blood Cells (2001); and Interpol from New York, with their debut album Turn On the Bright Lights (2002).[46] They were christened by the media as the "The" bands, and dubbed "The saviours of rock 'n' roll", because of their connections with the indie rock underground, leading to accusations of hype. Other popular "The" bands were The Hives, The Vines, and The Darkness; as well as Jet, whose 2003 smash-hit "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" catapulted to the top of the charts and was frequently used in commercials primarily for music products such as the Apple iPod. Canadian punk band, Sum 41 poked fun at the start of the "The" band craze in their music video for "Still Waiting" in 2003 off the album Does This Look Infected? (2002). Will Sasso makes a cameo in the video, coining the band as "The Sums".[47][48]

Indie rock[]

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

During the mid-2000s, bands such as Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire released indie rock albums that broke into the mainstream[citation needed] and gave indie rock recognition. The late 2000s also saw more indie rock bands such as MGMT, Spoon, Interpol, Tegan and Sara, Wilco, The Decemberists, The White Stripes, The Strokes, Animal Collective, Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, She & Him, The New Pornographers, Feist, Cat Power, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, The Shins, The Killers, and Vampire Weekend gain popularity around the world, including in the United States, thanks to the rise of independent internet music blogs.[49] The rising popularity of Internet radio also contributed to high album sales for Indie rock bands, despite little to no mainstream radio play.[50] By the end of the decade several of these bands released albums that topped the Billboard 200.[citation needed] This trend has been viewed as heralding a new era for rock in the wake of an era of pop dominance by the likes of Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry.[51]


Image of a blond female performer. She has a headset around her hand and is wearing sparkly silver and black lingerie, fishnet stockings and knee-high black boots. She stands in front of a black and golden couch.
Britney Spears, the best-selling female artist of the decade.[52]
Justin Timberlake, one of the best-selling male artists of the decade.[53]

Teen pop continued to be an extremely popular genre in the early 2000s with success of teenage pop singers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Spears' "Oops!...I Did It Again" and Aguilera's "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" became huge hits in the year 2000. By 2001 and 2002, however, the teen-pop trend faded due to modern R&B and hip-hop influenced music that later dominated throughout the middle of the decade. Spears' 2001 album Britney and Aguilera's 2002 album Stripped are examples of teen pop artists transitioning from teen pop to more grown-up, modern R&B influenced records.[54][55]

Boy bands maintained their popularity during the beginning of the decade, but their popularity also faded, with the exception of Backstreet Boys, who continued their popularity post-2005, (after a short hiatus between 2002 and 2004).[56] As the typical "boy band" sound was no longer mainstream, they began to transition to more of an adult contemporary, soft-rock and ballad styles of music for the remainder of the decade. By 2003, records by boy bands were very sparse on the Billboard Hot 100, and some members of boy bands left to pursue other projects and solo endeavors, such as Jesse McCartney from Dream Street, Nick Lachey from 98 Degrees, and most successfully Justin Timberlake from 'N Sync, whose foray into Blue-eyed soul R&B/Pop spawned a successful solo career.[57] A new strain of boy bands, such as V Factory, Varsity Fanclub, Click Five, NLT, and the Jonas Brothers, emerged at the end of the decade, but this new generation of boy bands did not reach the glamor and success of those of the 1990s and early 2000s. Girl groups maintained a steady popularity through the 2000s, with groups such as Destiny's Child (which disbanded in 2005) setting the fuel for the most successful girl group of the decade, the Pussycat Dolls (2003–10).[58] Other girl groups included Danity Kane (2005–09), Dream (2000-03), and Sugababes, along with shorter-term girl groups such as No Secrets, A Girl Called Jane, Girlicious, and Paradiso Girls.[59]

Pussy Cat Dolls

Pop rock artist Pink, who would go on to be one of the biggest pop singers of the 2000s, released her debut album Can't Take Me Home in 2000, her second studio album Missundaztood, and later, her I'm Not Dead album in which features "Stupid Girls" and "Who Knew". Her following album, Funhouse, released in 2008 also included "So What" and "Sober".[60] Pink's song, "You Make Me Sick", which debuted January 6, 2001, reached 33 on the Hot 100 list. "Family Portrait" got up to number 20, debuting on November 16, 2002.[61]

Christina Aguilera

Singer Anastacia sold over 25 million albums during the 2000s[62] and achieved worldwide commercial success with singles such as "Not That Kind", "I'm Outta Love", "Paid My Dues", "One Day in Your Life", and "Left Outside Alone". She was highly successful in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, South Africa, and South America, but had only minor success in her native United States. She is one of the fastest and biggest-selling artists of the new millennium.

In 2001, triple-threat entertainer Jennifer Lopez debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with her J.Lo album and in addition her film, The Wedding Planner, opened at number one at the box office at the same time making her the first actress and singer in history to have both a film and an album at number one in the same week.[63]

In 2006, Shakira with Hips Don't Lie became the first South American woman, also one of the few women ever to have a number-one single on the official charts of the United States, Australia, The United Kingdom, and Latin charts. The song is regarded as the best-selling single of the decade, and one of the best-selling singles of all time. Her massive crossover success in 2001 generated many global smash hits throughout the decade like Whenever, Wherever, La Tortura, Hips Don't Lie, Beautiful Liar, and She Wolf. Shakira also broke the record for the highest-selling Spanish-language album in the United States with Fijacion Oral Vol. 1.

Jennifer Lopez
Shakira was the best selling Latin female artist, also one of the best selling women of the decade.

Artists such as Madonna, Janet Jackson, Anastacia, Kylie Minogue, Mariah Carey, and Nelly Furtado experienced revived success. Justin Timberlake shot to stardom with his debut solo album, Justified (2002). In 2005, Cher ended her 3-year-long "Farewell Tour" which became the highest grossing female and solo tour at that time. Madonna enjoyed success throughout the decade. Her albums Music (2000) and Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005) are among the best-selling of the decade. Both were universally acclaimed by critics. The first was also nominated for five Grammy Awards while the second won one. Madonna also had four highly successful tours in the 2000s. The Re-Invention Tour which grossed $125 million in just 56 shows making it the highest grossing of 2004, The Confessions Tour went on to gross over $190 million in 60 shows becoming the highest-grossing tour by a female ever. Her final tour in 2008/09 was Sticky and Sweet Tour which become the highest grossing female tour and the highest grossing solo tour of all-time making $408 million in 85 shows.

Justin Timberlake released his sophomore studio album FutureSex/LoveSounds in 2006, producing the chart-topping singles "SexyBack", "My Love", and "What Goes Around... Comes Around", and winning four Grammy Awards for the record.

Fergie released her first solo album in 2006 called The Dutchess. The album produced five top five singles in the United States, including three number-one hits on the US Billboard Hot 100, London Bridge, Big Girls Don't Cry, and Glamorous, as well as the number two single Fergalicious and the number five single Clumsy. All five of the aforementioned singles have sold over two million digital downloads each in the United States, thus setting a new record in the digital era for the most multi-platinum singles from one album.The Dutchess sold over six million copies worldwide becoming one of the most successful albums of the era.

While predominantly focusing on R&B music during this time, Beyoncé also ventured into a pop sound with her third studio album I Am... Sasha Fierce in 2008, producing the top-ten singles "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) (#1), "If I Were a Boy (#3), "Halo" (#5), and "Sweet Dreams" (#10). The album and its accompanying songs went on to win five Grammy Awards, helping Beyoncé set a record for the most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga took the latter part of the decade by storm and revived the electronic influence of pop music that had not been prominent since 2000. Her debut album, The Fame (2008), reached number-one in Canada, Austria, Germany, United Kingdom and Ireland and topped the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart. Its first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", became international number-one hits, topping the Hot 100 in the United States as well as other countries. The album later earned a total of six Grammy Award nominations and won awards for Best Electronic/Dance Album and Best Dance Recording. By the fourth quarter of 2009 she had released her second studio album The Fame Monster, with the global chart-topping lead single "Bad Romance".

In 2001 Michael Jackson, one of popular music's most successful artists of all-times, released his final studio album Invincible, though it did not receive a lot of exposure compared to previous releases. In 2009, the album was voted by readers of Billboard as the Best Album of the Decade.[64] Michael Jackson died in June 2009, creating the largest public mourning since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.[65][66][67]

Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel are members of the High School Musical, Disney's musical and soundtracks most successful of the 2000s.

Children's music rose significantly in sales, especially with Disney (The Cheetah Girls, High School Musical, Hannah Montana: The Movie, and The Jonas Brothers among others). All The Cheetah Girls, High School Musical and Hannah Montana albums were among the best-sellers of 2006 and 2007 and reached the number 1 position, left many artists produced by Disney in the 2000s, The Cheetah Girls, Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Jonas Brothers, Raven-Symoné, the best-selling artists of the decade.

The musical style of the 1980s influenced pop music to some extent in the later stages of the decade, especially around late 2009, as seen in Rihanna's hit "SOS" (a sampling of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love"), Lumidee's "She's Like The Wind" and Flo Rida's "Right Round", a reworking of the Dead or Alive hit "You Spin Me Right Round". Other hits include Aaron Carter's cover of Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy", and Britney Spears' covers of "My Prerogative" and "I Love Rock 'n' Roll". Pop rock groups such as Metro Station, The Veronicas, and Owl City also displayed 1980s influences. Beyoncé's hit "Sweet Dreams" was not a direct sampling of a 1980s pop hit but Anne Hagerty of Billboard magazine was quoted as saying, "this track will fit right on a Michael Jackson or Madonna instrumental." Alien Ant Farm successfully covered Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal", and Fall Out Boy came out with their own cover of "Beat It", later on. Bowling for Soup also had a hit with "1985", a nostalgic ode to the 1980s.

1980s pop star Cyndi Lauper released several albums, experimenting with different styles, like adult contemporary, pop, pop rock, electronic music and blues. These were critically acclaimed and received several nominations for Grammy Award, and Lauper saw significant sales throughout the decade.

Adult contemporary[]

Norah Jones, May 29, 2007

The radio format called Adult contemporary music (primarily "soft rock" or "lite-rock"), began to somewhat decrease in popularity starting in the late 1990s (due to the increasing popularity of Top 40 music) into January 2000 until September 11, 2001. After 9/11, popularity for Adult Contemporary Music (as well as Contemporary Christian Music crossovers) increased trifold during the grieving process, when the 25–44 Conservative Female Demographic favoured listening to songs with appropriate, positive and uplifting lyrics containing love and hope. Upon the eventual return to normalcy after 9/11, the popularity of Adult Contemporary music held steady until about 2003, when Billboard began to change their chart formats. This led to Adult Contemporary stations to program their music "not-as-soft" or "cheesy" as they used to and ended up substituting the words "soft-rock" with "lite-rock", which has a more modern-edged connotation. Yet, AC stations remained careful to not cross the Adult Top 40 format line. Because of all these changes, AC Stations slowly increased in popularity.[citation needed]

Alicia Keys was the best selling female R&B performer of the 2000s.

In the late 2000s, artists like Coldplay, Daughtry, The Fray, and Gavin Rossdale were finding more success crossing over onto the Adult Contemporary charts.

On the female side, artists like Sara Bareilles, Colbie Caillat, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, and Leona Lewis continued to find crossover success on the Adult Contemporary charts as well. AC veterans such as Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Phil Collins, The Eagles, Cyndi Lauper, Alanis Morissette and Sheryl Crow continued to release music only on the Adult Contemporary formats. There are three songs which experienced longevity atop the chart, "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles, "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat, and "Breakaway" from Kelly Clarkson spent a longevity 20 weeks atop the chart.

Alicia Keys is considered the most successful R&B singer of the decade with 30 million records sold worldwide. Keys scored hits in the US charts with seven songs on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and four songs on the Billboard 100. She shares a record with Britney Spears, being the only two female singers to have their first four albums debuting in first place in the chart Billboard Hot 200. Beyoncé would become the third female singer to accomplish this feat in 2011.[68]

Norah Jones is considered[who?] the greatest Jazz singer of the decade with 37 million records worldwide. She broke worldwide in 2003, a year after releasing her debut album Come Away With Me with 10 million copies sold in US and 20 million sold worldwide. Jones continued her success with her second album becoming the biggest selling album in one week with 1,900,000 million copies sold, going on to release two more bestselling albums in the 2000s, and having 3 albums debut in the Billboard 200 and winning eight Grammys with her debut album and 12 Grammys in total during the decade.

Contemporary R&B[]

Beyoncé was one of the best selling female performers of the 2000s.

The continued popularity of contemporary R&B was seen during this decade in the global success of established artists such as Beyoncé, both as a solo artist, and with the help of Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Craig David and Usher, whose careers began in the 1990s and continued in the dawn of the new millennium. The year 2001, in particular its summer, has been described as a golden age for contemporary R&B and urban soul music, with artists such as Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Mariah Carey and Destiny's Child, who paved the way for Alicia Keys, Blu Cantrell, and the revival of Aaliyah.[69][70]

Janet Jackson was awarded the American Music Awards' Award of Merit in March 2001 for "her finely crafted, critically acclaimed and socially conscious, multi-platinum albums."[71] She became the inaugural honoree of the "mtvICON" award, "an annual recognition of artists who have made significant contributions to music, music video and pop culture while tremendously impacting the MTV generation."[72] Jackson's seventh album, All for You, was released in April 2001, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200.[73] Selling 605,000 copies, All for You had the highest first-week sales total of her career.[74] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic stated "[Jackson's] created a record that's luxurious and sensual, spreading leisurely over its 70 minutes, luring you in even when you know better", and Jon Pareles of The New York Times commented, "[a]s other rhythm and blues strips down to match the angularity of hip-hop, Ms. Jackson luxuriates in textures as dizzying as a new infatuation."[75][76]

Nelly Furtado performing in 2009
Mary J. Blige released five platinum albums during the decade.

The album's title-track, "All for You", debuted on the Hot 100 at number fourteen, the highest debut ever for a single that was not commercially available.[77] Teri VanHorn of MTV dubbed Jackson "Queen of Radio" as the single made radio airplay history, "[being] added to every pop, rhythmic and urban radio station that reports to the national trade magazine Radio & Records" in its first week.[77] The single peaked at number one, where it topped the Hot 100 for seven weeks.[78] It received the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.[79] The second single, "Someone to Call My Lover", which contained a heavy guitar loop of America's "Ventura Highway", peaked at number three on the Hot 100.[80] All for You was certified double platinum by the RIAA and sold more than nine million copies worldwide.[81]

Beyoncé was ranked the 4th Artist of the 2000s decade by Billboard,[82] and was listed the most successful female artist of the 2000s, as well as the top radio artist of the 2000s.[83] The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), also recognized Knowles as the top certified artist of the 2000s.[84][85]

Beyoncé, Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland, better known as Destiny's Child is the most successful female R&B group of all time, selling over 50 million records worldwide during the 2000s. The group has many chart topping singles worldwide, such as "Survivor", "Say My Name", "Bootylicious", "Independent Women Part 1" and "Jumpin' Jumpin'".

Usher was named the number-one Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade and the 2nd most successful artist of the 2000s decade.[86] He released the album Confessions which went on to become the best-selling album of 2004[87] and the second best-selling album of the 2000s. He also had the overall total most number #1 singles of the decade with seven going top. Confessions is now certified Diamond by the RIAA.[88] Other emerging acts from the early 2000s include Ashanti, Rihanna, Trey Songz, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Bobby V, Keyshia Cole, Pretty Ricky, B2K, Jaheim, Musiq Soulchild, Fantasia, and Ciara.[89] Singer Mary J. Blige topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 2001 with her smash single, "Family Affair", taken from hit album No More Drama. She scored a big hit with, "Be Without You", which peaked at #3 on the Hot 100. During the 2000s decade, Mary released five platinum albums. Billboard Magazine ranked Blige as the most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years. The magazine also lists "Be Without You" as the top R&B song of the 2000s, as it spent an unparalleled 15 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

After experiencing a dominant run of success throughout the 1990s, Mariah Carey experienced a commercial lull with Glitter and Charmbracelet, the first two albums she released in the 2000s. However, she made an astounding comeback in 2005 with the release of The Emancipation of Mimi, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The album included the #1 singles "We Belong Together", which shattered airplay records and was named the Song of the Decade by Billboard, and "Don't Forget About Us," as well as "Shake It Off," which peaked at #2 (it was blocked from the #1 spot by "We Belong Together", making Carey the first female artist in Billboard history to occupy the top two spots on the Hot 100 as a lead artist). Additionally, Carey's 2008 album E=MC² spawned her 18th chart-topper, "Touch My Body," with which she surpassed Elvis Presley to become the solo artist with the most Hot 100 #1 songs in history.

R&B artist Robin Thicke topped the R&B Charts with his hit single "Lost Without U". He was the first white artist to top these charts since George Michael. His album The Evolution of Robin Thicke went on to be certified platinum by the RIAA.


The Oak Ridge Boys

Country music sales continued to rise, as the Billboard 200 all-genre album chart frequently had albums recorded by country music artists listed; several of those titles were certified double platinum or better, indicating the genre continued to have a strong niche in the music industry.

In 2002 The Statler Brothers effectively retired from music, truly bringing an end to an era of Country Music. Jimmy Fortune struck out on his own as a solo artist with the help of The Oak Ridge Boys and continues to record music and tour today.

American Idol winner Carrie Underwood registered successful songs on country music charts.

One of the most successful new artists of the decade was Carrie Underwood. In 2005, the Checotah, Oklahoma native became the first American Idol winner to record primarily country music, instead of pop, rap or rhythm and blues. By the end of the decade, Underwood had amassed eight No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, along with numerous awards from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music and others.

Country pop, a subgenre which has its roots in the Nashville Sound of the late 1950s-early 1960s, continued to flourish in popularity. The most prominent act was Shania Twain, with her album Up!, released in 2002, Other top performers in the genre included Dixie Chicks, Lonestar, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts. In the middle of the decade, an informal group of singers and songwriters called the MuzikMafia formed to promote their mesh of honky-tonk and outlaw brand of country music; the most prominent members were "Big" Kenny Alphin and John Rich (of the duo Big & Rich) and Gretchen Wilson, who enjoyed success in the middle part of the decade.

Toby Keith in April 2010

Many non-country artists enjoyed success in the country music during the 2000s. The most successful of these artists has been former Hootie & the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker, who had three No. 1 hits in 2008–09: "Don't Think I Don't Think About It", "It Won't Be Like This for Long" and "Alright." The Eagles, a California-based country-rock group, had their first major success on the Hot Country Songs chart in more than 30 years in 2007–08 with the songs "How Long" and "Busy Being Fabulous." Pop-rock singers Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp forced The Wreckers and had two top 10 hits, including the No. 1 hit "Leave the Pieces." Other non-country artists who had success in the genre were Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Robert Plant, Jewel, Jessica Simpson, Bon Jovi and Miley Cyrus.

Taylor Swift rose to fame in the late 2000s, with her unique country-pop style, spawning global hits like "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me".

In the late 2000s, teenager Taylor Swift became the first country act to enjoy widespread mainstream popularity since the 1980s. Her self-titled debut studio album produced several top-ten hits on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, while her second album Fearless spawned two of Swift's biggest international hits—"Love Story" and "You Belong With Me"—both reached the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 (and atop several of the Hot 100 component charts) after topping the Hot Country Songs chart. At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Swift became the first country artist in history to win a VMA award, with "You Belong With Me". The self-titled album became the longest charting album of the 2000s decade on the Billboard 200 chart, across all music genres. Fearless topped the same chart for 11 weeks, a feat that has not been matched by another country album since then. In 2016, Billboard wrote that "the country landscape is much different today, thanks in part to Swift and her insistence on following a game plan that many considered unorthodox", noting the favorable views toward country music since her debut,[90] and reported that following her rise to fame, labels have become more interested in signing young country singers and artists who write their own music.[91]

Miranda Lambert

Not everyone celebrated the success of artists such as Underwood and Swift, reflecting the continued discontent and debate over what constituted "real" country music, a debate that had been on and off since the 1970s. Despite the fact that country music songs had long been crossing over to pop radio (and charting since the start of the Billboard charts in 1940), some critics continued to state opinions that the pop-oriented sound was little more than repackaged pop music. In 2009, legendary country music artist George Jones proclaimed that "they've (the new artists) stolen our identity. ... They had to use something that was established already, and that's traditional country music. So what they need to do really, I think, is find their own title, because they're definitely not traditional country music."[92] In addition, several forums, including the classic country-oriented Pure Country Music Web site, regularly included posts that were openly critical of artists such as Swift and Rascal Flatts.[93] Songs such as "Murder on Music Row" (by George Strait and Alan Jackson) and "Too Country" (by Brad Paisley) gained widespread acceptance and radio airplay, despite criticism in the lyrics over the eschewing of traditional sounds by radio programmers.

However, traditional country music retained a large following during the decade, thanks to the ongoing successes of veteran artists such as Strait, Jackson, Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney, and newer artists such as Paisley, Blake Shelton and Billy Currington. Rogers, Parton and Willie Nelson, all artists who had No. 1 country hits as far back as the early 1970s, all had No. 1 songs during the 2000s decade – either as soloists (Rogers), as part of one-time duo pairings (Nelson) or as featured background vocalists (Parton). McEntire's success came with two albums hitting No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart (Reba Duets and Keep On Loving You ), and at the end of the decade had her biggest hit of her career ("Consider Me Gone"). In addition, veteran songwriters such as Bill Anderson and Bobby Braddock also enjoyed continued success with newly written songs. Late in the decade, newcomers such as Jamey Johnson and Miranda Lambert were widely hailed for their songwriting and performance talents.

The legendary group Alabama retired from touring in 2004 after nearly a quarter century of mainstream success, primarily during the 1980s and 1990s. Its band members – cousins Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook; and drummer Mark Herndon – remained active performers and recorded a successful series of albums containing gospel and traditional old-time songs.

Many legendary country music figures died during the decade. Some of the more prominent names included Pee Wee King, Chet Atkins, Waylon Jennings, June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Skeeter Davis, Buck Owens, Hank Thompson, Porter Wagoner, Eddy Arnold, Jerry Reed, Vern Gosdin and Hank Locklin.

Electronic music[]


In Europe, Trance music was popular in the early 2000s, but this style diminished as the decade wore on. Hard House became the next big craze after trance in 2001, with a certain amount of cross-over between the two genres (in some cases creating Hard Trance tracks). As a kind of backlash, ambient, Chillout music achieved mainstream popularity in the early 2000s, with a successful market of chillout compilations and the genre even making it into television commercials and soundtracks.

Disco house and funky house, popular in the late 1990s, continued to be successful through to the mid-2000s before the sound of electro house developed in late 2006. The electro sound began to merge with other genres such as Hip Hop as the decade drew to a close.

From 2007, dance music started gaining popularity in North America with dance-pop hits by artists such as the pop singer Rihanna's song "Don't Stop the Music" and "Disturbia". Hilary Duff in her album Dignity has changed her style from pop rock to the more contemporary electropop, to go with the current trends. In 2008 and 2009, electropop and Nu-disco increased in popularity in North America, replacing hip-hop and R&B as the dominant genres of music. Artists like Britney Spears, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga brought this style to great popularity towards the end of 2008 with their hits such as Britney's "Womanizer", Beyonce's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) and Gaga's Poker Face. Furthermore, Madonna's singles such as "Hung Up" (#1 in 45 countries) and "4 Minutes" (#1 in 32 countries) become huge dance hits. (See hip hop, urban pop and R&B above for more information.)

Pop duo Aly & A.J. explored electropop and 1980s new wave influences in their second album "Insomniatic". In addition, some of the most successful Electronica American artists and DJs in the 1990s, such as Moby and The Crystal Method, also continued their success during the 2000s.


Diana Krall, 2007

In the 2000s, straight-ahead jazz continued to appeal to a core group of listeners. Well-established jazz musicians, such as Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter and Jessica Williams, continue to perform and record. In the 2000s, a number of young musicians emerged, including the pianist Jason Moran, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and bassist Christian McBride.

In addition, a number of new vocalists have achieved popularity with a mix of traditional jazz and pop/rock forms, such as Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson, Kurt Elling, and Jamie Cullum. Norah Jones and Diana Krall, due to their massive international success during the 2000s are considered the first and second most successful female jazz singers of the decade, respectively. Diana Krall has topped the Music Billboards multiple times in the year 2000. The week of April 15, 2000, Krall's album "When I Look in Your Eyes" reached number one, followed by Al Jarreau's "Tomorrow Today" and Kenny G's "Classics in the Key of G."[94] Norah Jones was named the top jazz artist of the 2000–2009 decade by Billboard.[95][circular reference] Jones had many albums come out in the 2000s decade, including Jazz and Adult Contemporary. These include, "Come Away with Me" in 2002, "New York City" in 2003, and "Feels Like Home" in 2004.[96]



Sean Paul

The early 2000s saw the success of newer charting acts such as Elephant Man, Akon, and Sean Paul, who has achieved mainstream success in the US and has produced several top 10 Billboard hits, including "Gimme the Light", "We Be Burnin'", "Give It Up To Me", and "Break It Off" (a duet with Rihanna). He has also had several No. 1 singles, "Get Busy", "Temperature" and "Baby Boy" (a duet with Beyoncé).


Reggaeton gained mainstream exposure and massive popularity in North America during the mid-2000s. Reggaeton blends West-Indian music influences of reggae and dancehall with those of Latin America, such as bomba, plena, salsa, merengue, latin pop, cumbia and bachata as well as that of hip hop, contemporary R&B, and electronica. The influence of this genre has spread to the wider Latino communities in the United States, as well as the Latin American audience. Shakira has sold more than 100 million copies in the 21st century.

Christian music[]

Christian music continued to gain popularity after the success in the 1990s with acts such as Jars of Clay and Audio Adrenaline. Relient K's work in the pop punk/pop rock scene earned them three albums certified gold—The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek, Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do, and MMHMM—and a Grammy nomination. Skillet recorded two Grammy-nominated albums—Collide and Comatose—and achieved Platinum-selling status with Awake, and Gold with Comatose.

Billboard Artist of the Decade[]

On December 11, 2009, Billboard Magazine named Rapper Eminem as the best Artist of the Decade for the 2000s. He joins the list with Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Elton John, and Michael Jackson who have also been awarded this honor in their respective decades.



Coldplay is considered to be the most successful British rock act of the decade.
Franz Ferdinand in concert in 2006

Following after the success of Radiohead and The Verve in the 1990s, Post-Britpop act Coldplay saw major success in European album charts during the decade. British Indie rock and indie pop returned to popularity in the mid-late 2000s with artists such as Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Belle and Sebastian, Amy Winehouse, Kaiser Chiefs, Keane, The Libertines, Editors, Lily Allen, Kate Nash, Florence And The Machine, and The Ting Tings achieving substantial chart success. Post punk bands such as Bloc Party, Foals and Editors also saw some popularity. Britpop act Oasis also remained popular in the 2000s (decade), spawning four number one albums in the UK until the disbandment of the group in autumn 2009.

U2 continued their popularity into the 2000s, releasing three critically acclaimed albums, and were credited with influencing many prominent acts of the decade such as Coldplay and Muse.

Alejandro Sanz a Spanish musician collaboration with Shakira on the 2005 single "La Tortura" reached number one on several charts worldwide.

In the early and mid-2000s, British Indie rock groups such as The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party and Kaiser Chiefs witnessed commercial and chart success not seen by guitar music since Britpop in the 1990s.[97] Regional indie rock scenes such as New Yorkshire also appeared at this point in the decade. Indie music itself increased in popularity due to the increased commercialization of alternative, and major labels begin marketing indie bands with mainstream appeal. American indie/rock band The Killers also became very popular in Britain with their singles "Mr. Brightside", "When You Were Young" and "Smile Like You Mean It".

Radiohead enjoyed further success in the 2000s, moving away from their experimental sound of the Kid A/Amnesiac era to a more "typical" Alternative rock sound. Coldplay also enjoyed success with four number one albums and a US No. 1 single with "Viva la Vida", the first English band to do so since The Beatles. Muse saw a similar level of commercial acclaim, with the rock trio releasing three chart-topping albums.

The late 2000s (entering into the early 2010s) saw the revival and influence of synthpop music, also known as 'new urban' pop. Notable acts include Hot Chip, Junior Boys, Little Boots and La Roux. The late 2000s also saw acts such as Irish rock band The Script have international success.

The era also saw solo success for singer-songwriters, including David Gray, Dido,[98] James Blunt, James Morrison,[99] KT Tunstall and Amy Macdonald.[100]

Alternative Rock[]

Live concert of the Gorillaz, April 2010

The eponymous debut album of Gorillaz, created by Damon Albarn in 2001, sold over seven million copies and earned them an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Most Successful Virtual Band.[101]


t.A.T.u., October 2008

Girl groups Sugababes, Girls Aloud and t.A.T.u. spanned successful careers throughout most of the decade, while 1990s act Spice Girls announced their breakup in 2001 and later reformed in 2007. S Club 7 broke up in 2003, after five years of considerable chart success. Blue also knew success in the 2000s.

Irish singer Enya continued to enjoy steady success during the 2000s; her 2000 album A Day Without Rain sold 15 million copies[102] and she was named the world's best selling female artist of 2001.[103]

Edurne performing with Spanish DJ Brian Cross in Granada

Audience-voted reality talent shows became very popular with UK TV audiences in the 2000s. Such programmes included Popstars, Pop Idol, Fame Academy and The X Factor, and many contestants progressed onto mainstream chart success. The Eurovision Song Contest also retained its important status within European music.

1980s female pop stars Madonna and Kylie Minogue enjoyed a large presence on the European music scene, both having numerous hits in the 2000s including "Music", "Hollywood", "Hung Up" and "Celebration" for Madonna and "Spinning Around", "Can't Get You Out of My Head", "Slow" and "In My Arms" for Kylie. Britney Spears retained a huge impact throughout the continent and was one of the most successful artists of the decade in that region.

In 2004, Moldovan pop music trio O-Zone's hit single "Dragostea din tei" witnessed major European and international success. Later in the decade, Romanian pop/dance singer Inna spawned a European hit single with "Hot" and became the first Romanian internationally known female star in modern history.[citation needed]

When American boyband Backstreet Boys returned to the music scene in 2005 with a more adult rock sound, some of their 1990s contemporaries from Europe followed. Take That reunited in 2006 without Robbie Williams and managed to recreate their earlier success. Bands such as Boyzone also experienced second-time success, whilst others of the same era such as 5ive and East 17 did not and subsequently disbanded. The Irish boy band Westlife were very successful and emerged as the top selling Irish group of the decade with 44 million records sold and a number of record-breaking hit singles and albums.


Amy Winehouse became one of the biggest British soul artists of the decade.

British soul in the 2000s was dominated by female singers. Joss Stone, Natasha Bedingfield, Corinne Bailey Rae, Estelle, Amy Winehouse,[104] Adele and Duffy enjoyed success in the American charts, leading to talk of a "Third British Invasion", "Female Invasion" or "British soul invasion".[105]

Marija Naumova sings a broad range of music ranging from pop to musical theatre and jazz.

Also, in America Christina Aguilera released her third studio album with soul and jazz influences, Back To Basics in 2006.

Electronic music[]

The French electronic music duo Daft Punk became one of the biggest European Electronic music acts of the decade.

The popularity of the Eurodance genre in the 1990s led to the considerable popularity of the trance genre in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Popular artists of the decade included ATB, Ian Van Dahl, Alice Deejay, BT, Fragma, Lasgo, iiO, Sylver, Groove Coverage, Robert Miles, Tiësto, Armin Van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, John Digweed and Safri Duo.

Popular electronic artists of the decade in other electronic genres included Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, Groove Armada, Basement Jaxx, Daft Punk, Massive Attack, Röyksopp, Pendulum, Justice, Portishead, Björk, Goldfrapp, M83, Orbital, Boards of Canada, Autechre, Above & Beyond, Eric Prydz, DJ Shadow, Scooter, Underworld, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, The Crystal Method, deadmau5, The Knife, Fever Ray, Ladytron, Lamb, Zero 7 and David Guetta.

Media commentators did however observe during the 2000s that electronic dance music had returned somewhat to the 'underground', with mainstream commercial interest in the genre waning following its peak in the 1990s. This was symbolised in the Brit Awards' decision in 2004 to remove its 'Best Dance Act' category.[106]

Electro, as well as House, became mainstream in the dance music scene in the middle of the decade, replacing the mainstream of more jazzy and Latin influenced sounds from the beginning of the decade. Electro house artists such as Benny Benassi, Bob Sinclar and MSTRKRFT gained popularity in clubs around the world. Dubstep and Bassline House achieve more mainstream success within the dance music scene, with artists like Skream and T2 becoming well known. Dance and eurodance singers and groups such as Kate Ryan, September, Alcazar, Basshunter, and Cascada become popular around the world during the 2000s.

Grime music emerged in the early 2000s and achieved commercial success, particularly in the UK, through artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Wiley.[107][108]

Australia and New Zealand[]


Kylie Minogue is considered the biggest Australian pop act of the decade.

The most successful Australian female artist, Kylie Minogue still had a huge presence on the Australian music scene with all four albums she released during the decade, with X being the last one, and charting at number one along with its lead single "2 Hearts" becoming her 10th Australian number 1 single.

Ex-Neighbours star, Delta Goodrem released her debut album Innocent Eyes in 2003 which became a monster smash hit – it went to No. 1 and stayed for 29 non-consecutive weeks, being certified 14x Platinum for selling over one million copies, the second most of all time in Australia.

In New Zealand, pop singer Brooke Fraser has seen large success throughout her music career with number one songs and countless New Zealand Music Awards wins. Other popular artists include, Aaradhna, Vince Harder, Anika Moa, Gin Wigmore, whose debut album Holy Smoke peaked at number one in New Zealand in 2009 and Ladyhawke, who achieved substantial international success following the release of her self-titled debut album in 2008, which peaked at number one in New Zealand and charted in the top twenty in Australia and the United Kingdom. In 2009 she received several New Zealand Music Awards and ARIA music awards and was nominated for a BRIT award in 2010.


Many new rock and alternative groups/bands form during the early years of this decade. Groups/bands such as The Vines and Jet become very popular amongst others around 2002–03, paving the way for a mass of new groups midway through the decade such as Wolfmother. Other popular artists include Powderfinger, The Vines, You Am I, Silverchair, AC/DC, Pendulum, The Living End, Spiderbait, Grinspoon, Kisschasy and Eskimo Joe.

Many rock artists in New Zealand were popular throughout the 2000s decade including, Evermore, The Feelers, Neil Finn, Tim Finn, and Liam Finn.



From 2003 up until 2007 a popular American television show, The O.C., popularized many New Zealand alternative rock bands by playing their music during the years of the series run. These bands included, Evermore and Youth Group.

Australian electronic group The Avalanches released their debut album Since I Left You in 2000, composed completely by samples and gained critical acclaim.

R&B and soul[]

Throughout the 2000s decade, R&B and soul music had become more popular in Australia and New Zealand. Most Australian R&B artists from the early 2000s, such as Guy Sebastian, Paulini and Ricki-Lee Coulter, were known as contestants on Australian Idol and have established themselves in the Australian music market and continued to enjoy success after the show. Sebastian's debut album Just as I Am debuted at number one on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified six times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), becoming the highest selling album ever released by an Australian Idol contestant.[109][110][111] He also has received 14 ARIA Music Awards nominations and is the only Australian male artist in Australian music history to achieve five number one singles. Other Australian R&B/soul artists from the early 2000s include Jade MacRae, Israel Cruz, female duo Shakaya and boy band Random, who were best known for winning The X Factor (Australia) in 2005. The late 2000s saw the rise of 2009 Australian Idol winner Stan Walker and 2006 Idol runner-up Jessica Mauboy.

In New Zealand, R&B/soul groups Adeaze and Nesian Mystik have enjoyed success throughout their careers. Singer Aaradhna has released three top-ten singles "Down Time", "I Love You Too", and "They Don't Know" with rapper Savage.[112] Other R&B singers include Pieter T and Vince Harder. The late 2000s saw the rise of J.Williams and Erakah.

Hip hop[]

Early into this decade, Australian Hip Hop have proved ultimate success through an Adelaide Hip-Hop trio, Hilltop Hoods. They became the first successful Australian Hip Hop outfit, followed by a Sydney Hip-Hop trio, Bliss n Eso. Each has achieved ARIA awards.

The New Zealand hip hop scene have seen the success of artists such as, Scribe, Savage, Smashproof, David Dallas, Young Sid, Nesian Mystik and P Money. In 2009 Smashproof and Gin Wigmore collaborated on the successful single Brother, which stayed at number one on the New Zealand charts for eleven weeks, breaking the 23-year-old record for longest consecutive run at number one on the charts by a local artist. The single also charted in Germany.

Latin America[]


Paulina Rubio on the red carpet at the 2009 Latin Billboard Awards

The Colombian Latin pop singer Shakira breakthrough at the early 2000s led to her major international success in many non-Spanish-speaking countries, especially the United States in addition to the music scene of Latin America. In 2001, and aided by heavy rotation of the music video, "Whenever, Wherever", she broke through into the English-speaking world with the release of Laundry Service, which sold over 13 million copies worldwide.[113][114] Four years later, Shakira released two album projects called Fijación Oral Vol. 1 and Oral Fixation Vol. 2. Both reinforced her success, particularly with one of the most successful song in the 21st century to date, "Hips Don't Lie" which sold over 10 million copies and downloads worldwide and hit number 1 in many countries.[115] From October–November 2009 Shakira released her latest album She Wolf worldwide.[116] Due to her massive international success during the 2000s she is considered the second most successful female Latin singer.[117] In addition, in the early 2000s, Mexican pop star Paulina Rubio became the best-selling artist thanks to the success of her eponymous album Paulina (2000). It remained on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart for 99 weeks, and became the first Latin pop album by a Mexican artist to receive a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of 500,000 units in the United States.[118] Her follow-up album, Border Girl (2002), also achieved gold certification. Rubio is the best-selling Mexican pop singer in the United States.[119]

Pop rock begins to take shape in Latin music with acts such as Camila, Kany García, Jesse & Joy, Belinda Peregrin and Ha*Ash. Also, more established pop acts such as Pepe Aguilar, Alejandro Fernández, Luis Fonsi, and ex-OV7 member Kalimba would use pop rock in their repertoires. Pop-rock music hits new highs in the 2000s with acts such as Maná, Juanes, Julieta Venegas and the highly anticipated comeback of 90's Mexican Pop Queen, Gloria Trevi in the second half of the decade. Gloria Trevi released her first studio album, Como Nace el Universo, in ten years in late 2004. In 1992 Vikki Carr an American from El Paso, Texas, born to parents of Mexican ancestry won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album for Cosas del Amor an album with the lead single being a duet with Ana Gabriel of the same name. The track earned awards such as a Lo Nuestro Awards for Best Pop Song and the Single of the Year mention by the Radio y Música journal. Selena became the first non-crossover act to have an album (Amor Prohibido; released March 1994) to enter the Billboard 200 since Luis Miguel's Aries (1993).[120] The album was credited with popularizing Tejano music and catapulting the genre into an "unprecedented level of mainstream success";[121] eventually becoming the best-selling Tejano record of all-time.[122][123] It holds the record for most weeks in the top ten of the Top Latin Albums chart—at 110 weeks—while the record holds the record for most weeks at number one on the Regional Mexican Albums chart at 96 weeks.[124]


During the early 2000s, Lynda Thomas had notable success as an alternative rock act around the world, including the US Latin market, a success carried over since the 1990s, first as a eurodance act; she scored successful rock singles in 2000 and 2001 including "A Mil por Hora", Lo Mejor de Mi and Estoy Viva.[citation needed]


Daddy Yankee during an interview.

In 2002, New York-based group Aventura would reinvent bachata, thus making it a dominant Latin genre. By 2004, reggaeton would become a staple in music with acts such as Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, Ivy Queen and Wisin & Yandel. By mid-2000s Reggaetón had replaced salsa, merengue and cumbia as the main dance genre in nightclubs for young people all over Latin America, reaching popularity in parts of Spain and Italy as well. But by the end of 2007, this craze soon declined in popularity.[125]

Salsa and merengue[]

Although salsa and merengue began to decline in popularity, merengue would have new life injected thanks to the subgenre known as, "merengue de calle" (or street merengue). Beginning in 2004, this subgenre combining elements of merengue, rap, and reggaeton would be popularized by Dominican acts such as Omega, Silvio Mora, El Sujeto, and Tito Swing.


Psy's song "Gangnam Style" broke the record for the most number of YouTube views during 2012 until 2017.

With the rapid development of Asian economies during the 1990s and 2000s, the independent music industries of Asia have seen considerable growth. Asian countries like Japan and India have some of the largest music markets in the world. Supported by their own large markets, the music charts in Asia are largely dominated by local Asian artists, with very few artists from the Western world managing to break those markets.

J-pop and K-pop have become increasingly influenced by contemporary R&B, hip hop music and Eurobeat, and they have become popular all over the Far East region. Meanwhile, in the Southern Asia region, the rising independent Indian pop scene, often characterized by its fusion of Indian and non-Indian sounds, has begun to increasingly compete with the popularity of Bollywood filmi music in the region. In Southeast Asia, especially Singapore and Indonesia, straight-ahead jazz saw a revival in the second half of the decade.



J-pop continues to be in the mainstream and stays as the most popular style of music in Japan. Japanese Pop's popularity continues to expand through Asia and the rest of the world, with various Japanese artists debuting in the US. J-pop starts to enjoy a relatively big global online fan base. It continues to influence worldwide styles of music, as Japanese culture has continuously become more popular around the world. Japan also remains as the second most powerful music industry in the world, and the second largest music market, after the US. R&B is popular at the beginning of the era, with Hip hop also becoming more popular as time passes. At the end of the decade, Dance music and Techno become the most popular genres. Bubblegum pop remains popular during the entire decade.

Ayumi Hamasaki becomes one of the most popular Japanese star of the 2000s, experiencing her biggest peak at this time, becoming known as "The Empress of Japanese Pop", and greatly influencing music, fashion and pop culture. Ken Hirai becomes the most popular male solo artist. 1990s divas like Namie Amuro, Misia, and Hikaru Utada also remain extremely popular during this era, with the former having a second popularity boom in 2008. Starlet Kumi Koda also becomes insanely popular in this era, thanks to her fresh dance style and provocative dance moves. Boy bands are the most popular musical format at the moment, with girl bands like Morning Musume (very popular in the past) experiencing a decline in popularity. While Johnny's boy bands, notably Arashi, become very popular, other vocal groups like Exile and Tohoshinki also gained popularity and pop/rock bands like Mr. Children, Tokio and Glay remained popular. Duets also become popular, such as M-Flo. Like all countries, English pop music popularity expands at a very high rate with popular US artist receiving success such as Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears who become the most popular and two of the most successful non-Japanese artists.

Indian pop[]

Neha Kakkar smiling wearing a black top
Neha Kakkar at the audio release event of Fever, 2016

The Indian music industry was previously dominated by the Filmi music of Bollywood for much of the late 20th century. The 2000s saw an increasing popularity of independent Indian pop music that could compete with Bollywood film music. Indian pop music began distinguishing itself from mainstream Bollywood music with its fusion of Indian and non-Indian sounds, which later had on influence on Bollywood music itself. Indian pop has itself been partly influenced by the Asian Underground scene emerging in the United Kingdom among British Asian artists such as Bally Sagoo, Apache Indian, Panjabi MC, Raghav and the Rishi Rich Project (featuring Rishi Rich, Jay Sean and Juggy D). India has one of the largest music markets in the world, though like other developing nations, suffers from high levels of piracy.

Indian music has also had an increasing influence on popular music in the Western world. The music of South Asia has influenced Europe's pop mainstream as acts like Björk, Bananarama, Erasure, and Siouxsie and the Banshees all released singles or remixes featuring South Asian instrumentation. Indian music has also influenced mainstream American hip hop, R&B and urban music in the 2000s, including artists/producers such as Timbaland, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Truth Hurts, The Black Eyed Peas, Missy Elliott and Britney Spears. According to DJ Green Lantern, "Indian beats have now become a fixture on the R&B scene".[126] Several Hollywood musical films such as Moulin Rouge! have incorporated Bollywood songs, while several Indian music composers have gained international fame, particularly A. R. Rahman who, having sold over 300 million records worldwide, is one of the best-selling music artists of all time.[127][128] M.I.A., a British-born Sri Lankan electronic artist incorporates Bollywood songs in her music.

Asian pop[]

Red Velvet attending the Idol Star Athletics Championships in 2017

Most of the big Asian pop singers who had been popular in the 1990s, such as Jacky Cheung, Panda Hsiung, Dick Cowboy, and Andy Lau, were relatively quiet in the 2000s.

The appearance of Hong Kong national William Hung on American Idol in 2004, proved to be very popular with many locals of East Asia and Southeast Asia. This resulted in a new generation of young local artistes, both solo singers as well as bands, having hit records during this period. Later in 2004, Hung would hold his first solo concert at the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore.[129]

One of the first of these was Taiwanese boyband F4, who with their first big hit "Meteor Rain",[130] from the album of the same name, established them as the dominant boyband of the first half of the decade. The four members of F4 also had solo hits, such as Jerry Yen's "One Metre",[131] Vanness Wu's "My Friend"[132] (an adaptation of the Robert Burns poem "Auld Lang Syne"), Ken Chu's "Never Stopping",[133] and Vic Chou's "Make a wish".[134]

Though back in 1999 he had already written a song, "Snail",[135] that had been famously performed by Valen Hsu, Chyi Chin, Panda Hsiung, and Power Station, singer-songwriter Jay Chou proved to be a singer in his own right. Beginning with his first solo album Jay in 2000, his style showcased a unique fusion of Asian music with American R&B. Chou would go on to become the dominant force in Asian music of almost all of the 2000s and the first half of the next decade.

Among solo female artists of the 2000s, Stefanie Sun of Singapore was the most outstanding. Her 2000 eponymous debut album featured a remake of an old Hokkien pop song, Cloudy Day; and it earned her a Golden Melody Award for Best New Artist.


Sun's compatriot, singer-songwriter-guitarist Tanya Chua, also enjoyed growing success during this period as a leading Mandopop artist. Her 2000 album I Do Believe[136] garnered a nomination for the Best New Artist at the Golden Melody Awards. Chua also wrote songs or produced albums for several other established singers during this period, for instance "Wrong Number" for Faye Wong.[137]

The most popular girl group of this period was S.H.E, comprising Selina Jen, Hebe Tien, and Ella Chen. Their first big hit, from their fourth album Super Star, was their cover of the Bee Gees' "I.O.I.O.".[138] In Taiwan alone, 250,000 copies of Super Star were sold.

In the second half of the decade, straight-ahead jazz saw a surge of popularity in Asia, in particular after the release in 2006 of the debut album, Let Me Sing!, from 15-year-old Indonesian jazz virtuoso Nathan Hartono. Singapore-based wind orchestra The Philharmonic Winds, formed at the beginning of the decade, also played a major part in the revival of jazz in Asia. In 2009, Singapore's Esplanade Theatre would found its own jazz festival especially meant for young bands and artistes; it was originally called Bright Young Things, but it would later be renamed Mosaic Jazz Fellows.[139]

Contemporary Christian music artistes also found their way into Asian secular music charts for the first time ever during the 2000s. Mi Lu Bing was a three-piece band which had originally started out playing for worship in their church, but later would release secular-themed albums and songs, including their opening and ending theme songs to 2007 local television serial, The Golden Path. Sun Ho had been the worship pastor at megachurch City Harvest Church before she released her first album of secular material, Sun With Love, in 2002. She would go on to release another four more albums between 2003 and 2007, although her secular music career eventually came to an abrupt ending with the City Harvest Trial.

Taiwanese supergroup SuperBand, comprising Wakin Chau, Jonathan Lee, Chang Chen-yue, and Lo Ta-Yu, emerged in 2008 and went on to hold several concerts and release two studio EP's of new material, Northbound (2009) and Go South (2010), before finally resuming their individual solo careers in 2010.

2003 saw the deaths of Hong Kong popular singers Leslie Cheung, 46, who committed suicide;[140] and Anita Mui, 40, who died of cervical cancer.[141] Both singers were highly respected in Cantopop music.

In early until middle of 2000s, most popular music genre in Indonesia is pop and pop rock music. Some group bands like Dewa 19, Sheila On 7, Padi (band), Radja, ST 12 are becoming top group bands and their songs are the most played songs by teens and young adults. Some of those 2000s bands' most popular songs were like Sheila on 7 – , Dewa 19 - , Padi - , etc.[142]

Middle East and Africa[]

Music charts in the Middle East are largely dominated by local Arabic-language artists, with an equivalent population of Western world artists as well. The music industry within the Middle East and Africa is international and diverse. In Arabic country, Amr Diab dominates by his music and variation of genres (R&B, House, Trance, Latin and Rock). Such artist like Angelique Kidjo from Benin and Nigerian descent Sade gained major success.

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