Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Akini's Top 100 Artists of the 2010s: [#1]

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Akini's Top 100 Artists of the 2010s: [#1]

    Just ahead of the traditional year-end countdown season, I'm presenting the third and final installment of my decade-end series, my top artists of the 2010s.

    Typically, I employ some degree of mystery with my poll options, but I've elected to do away with that here and feature as poll options my favourite five artists of the decade. I doubt any of the nominees will be a surprise, but which queen will reign supreme? Find out anywhere between a month and 45 days from now!









    5
    Beyoncé
    20.00%
    1
    Lady Gaga
    0%
    0
    Nicki Minaj
    0%
    0
    Rihanna
    40.00%
    2
    Taylor Swift
    40.00%
    2
    Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
    Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
    Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

  • #2
    100. Bastille



    Bastille’s big breakthrough came in 2013, when the fresh pop-rock stylings of the deliciously addictive "Pompeii" became one of the year’s biggest crossover smashes. I enjoyed their debut album, though I must admit to not having kept up with their releases since then.
    Code:
    Significance rating: 1/20
    Biggest year: 2013
    Songs featured in decade-end series: Pompeii [#262]
    Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
    099. Niall Horan



    I’d overlooked Niall during most of his 1D run, but in 2017 he proved he could be a viable solo artist, delivering one of the best post-boyband albums I’ve come across. I’m still impressed he was able to pull off the sensuality of "Slow Hands".
    Code:
    Significance rating: 1/20
    Biggest year: 2017
    Songs featured in decade-end series: Slow Hands [#353]
    Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
    098. SZA



    Arguably R&B’s darling child of the latter half of the 2010s, SZA impressed critics and the GP with her mature songwriting, which resonated with so many in her age group. I’m still understanding the immense love for her work, but she’s certainly growing on me these days.
    Code:
    Significance rating: 1/20
    Biggest year: 2018
    Songs featured in decade-end series: Pretty Little Birds [#284]
    Albums featured in decade-end series: Ctrl [#83]
    097. Lil Nas X



    I’m sure a tonne of people view Lil Nas X as a novelty act, but "Old Town Road"'s reign in the US will go down as one of my favourite chart eras. It was tremendous watching the song’s run and the fact that his EP had a banger on par with it was pretty impressive to me. His career’s young, but there’s potential that I really hope he realises.
    Code:
    Significance rating: 1/20
    Biggest year: 2019
    Songs featured in decade-end series: Old Town Road [#376]; Rodeo [#386]
    Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
    096. Lauren Alaina



    From one Georgia peach to another – and Lauren actually has a whole song about it! Lauren Alaina’s season marked the last time I watched a full season of American Idol. I was unimpressed by her loss, but loved her would-be coronation anthem "Like My Mother Does" so much that it reigned for an obscene number of days on my daily chart. Her debut album was okay and I’ve admittedly not followed her career since then, but she’s certainly been one of country music’s breakout names for me.
    Code:
    Significance rating: 1/20
    Biggest year: 2011
    Songs featured in decade-end series: Like My Mother Does [#255]
    Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
    Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
    Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
    Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

    Comment


    • #3
      095. Troye Sivan



      The tumblr gays were quick to jump onto the Troye Sivan Express, but I was a lot more reluctant to. I still think his debut album and era were just okay. It was his sophomore effort where he really "bloomed" and I took him seriously as an artist. I get that the mellow pop sound is his flair, but I do hope he incorporates more hard-hitting, punchy melodies in his music going forward.
      Code:
      Significance rating: 1/20
      Biggest year: 2018
      Songs featured in decade-end series: Dance to This [#287]
      Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
      094. Conchita Wurst



      With a voice seemingly tailor-made for melodrama and soaring ballads, Conchita Wurst captured my heart, and Europe's, in winning Eurovision 2014. Admittedly, as is the case with several other acts in the lower part of this countdown, I haven't kept close tabs on Conchita's work, checking out a single here and there since she broke through in 2014, but I vividly remember her win that night and how it made me feel that maybe the world was trending towards inclusivity and acceptance.
      Code:
      Significance rating: 1/20
      Biggest year: 2014
      Songs featured in decade-end series: Rise Like a Phoenix [#163]
      Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
      093. Lily Allen



      I could pretend that Lily Allen isn't here primarily because of "Hard Out Here", but that would be disingenuous of me. I didn't enjoy either of her albums in the 2010s, but she's propelled to her place here by that aforementioned stunner and her gorgeous "Somewhere Only We Know" cover.
      Code:
      Significance rating: 1/20
      Biggest year: 2014
      Songs featured in decade-end series: Hard Out Here [#156]
      Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
      092. Camila Cabello



      The most prolific act on my decade-end series up to this point of the countdown, Camila Cabello is certainly the Fifth Harmony star that's released the strongest songs. "Havana" is easily one of the catchiest songs ever and she had two additional killer jams that I suspect will stick with me for many years to come. I do wonder if she'll ever be able to put together a quality album, though.
      Code:
      Significance rating: 1/20
      Biggest year: 2017
      Songs featured in decade-end series: Havana [#19]; Crying in the Club [#148]; Señorita [#367]
      Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
      091. Iggy Azalea



      Iggy Azalea actually outranks Camila Cabello despite not featuring in any of my decade-end lists, largely because she had such a strong era in 2014 that a number of those bangers were 'bubbling under' gems for me. And I give her brownie points for collabing with Britney, even if "Pretty Girls" was borderline trash.
      Code:
      Significance rating: 1/20
      Biggest year: 2014
      Songs featured in decade-end series: N/A
      Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
      Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
      Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
      Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

      Comment


      • #4
        090. Lady A



        The recently rebranded Lady A had arguably the biggest country crossover success in music history when they released "Need You Now", but beyond that juggernaut, they had a handful of pop-leaning country bops that I really enjoyed. I haven't been super consistent in keeping up with their releases, but their music is usually pretty decent, including Hillary's side ventures.
        Code:
        Significance rating: 1/20
        Biggest year: 2010
        Songs featured in decade-end series: Need You Now [#84]
        Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
        089. The Band Perry



        From one country trio to another, the Band Perry struck gold with "If I Die Young", but it was their 2013 'Pioneer' LP that really made me a convert. They've had record label woes since then, but I'm definitely looking forward to another full-length release from the siblings.
        Code:
        Significance rating: 1/20
        Biggest year: 2013
        Songs featured in decade-end series: If I Die Young [#120]; Better Dig Two [#298]
        Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
        088. Brandon Flowers



        I never paid that much attention to the Killers, so naturally I didn't care much when their lead singer went solo in 2010. It was half a decade later, in 2015, when I fell in love with "Can't Deny My Love" (my year-end #1 that year) that I had any interest in his work. 'The Desired Effect' was certainly a solid LP, so I'm definitely here for future releases from this particular frontman.
        Code:
        Significance rating: 1/20
        Biggest year: 2015
        Songs featured in decade-end series: Can't Deny My Love [#96]
        Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
        087. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis



        Another act whose top track is a "Can't" song, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had a huge 2013. I did find their LP suspiciously message-y, but the instrumentation and personality on their big singles were irresistible. Their follow-up to 'The Heist' was completely unremarkable to me, but I choose to remember them at the peak of their powers. Maybe they'll surprise me with a random killer release one of these days.
        Code:
        Significance rating: 1/20
        Biggest year: 2013
        Songs featured in decade-end series: Can't Hold Us [#20]
        Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
        086. Childish Gambino



        The multi-talented Danny Glover, under his stage name Childish Gambino, released some of the decade's most impactful songs and videos. While the GP thought it necessary to send his politically-fuelled "This Is America" all the way to #1, his best work for me will likely always be "Redbone", one of the most incredible songs I've ever heard. I've heard some of his rap songs and he's fairly competent in that department, too, surprisingly.
        Code:
        Significance rating: 1/20
        Biggest year: 2017
        Songs featured in decade-end series: Redbone [#17]
        Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
        Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
        Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
        Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

        Comment


        • #5
          085. OneRepublic



          A fairly reliable singles act, 1R's late 2000s success continued into the first half of the 2010s, which saw the pop-rock band release some of their career-best and biggest singles. I actually never bothered checking out their 'Oh My My' album, but their 'Native' LP was strong enough that the band featured pretty prominently in my year-end lists that year.
          Code:
          Significance rating: 1/20
          Biggest year: 2013
          Songs featured in decade-end series: Counting Stars [#333]
          Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
          084. Miguel



          'Kaleidoscope Dream' was such a revelation for me. It's definitely one of the decade's finest R&B albums and put Miguel on the map for me. Fun fact: "Adorn" is in fact my most-played Miguel song, but it didn't connect with me, and top my chart, until 2015.
          Code:
          Significance rating: 1/20
          Biggest year: 2012
          Songs featured in decade-end series: N/A
          Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
          083. The Wanted



          If memory serves me right, "Glad You Came" actually outranked "What Makes You Beautiful" on my 2011 year-end chart, so the Wanted did at least win that year's battle. They faded into obscurity not too long after that, but I'll definitely remember them for their catchy pop songs and strong music videos.
          Code:
          Significance rating: 1/20
          Biggest year: 2012
          Songs featured in decade-end series: N/A
          Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
          082. Azealia Banks



          One of rap's brilliant talents, Azealia Banks became more known for her corrosive comments on social media than her remarkable songwriting skills and unique sonic gems. Interestingly enough, a lot of her music takes time to grow on me, but when her work hits, it hits hard.
          Code:
          Significance rating: 1/20
          Biggest year: 2014
          Songs featured in decade-end series: N/A
          Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
          081. Sam Smith



          I'd callously dubbed Sam Smith the whiny, less talented, male Adele, and, in my defence, that's sorta what they were prior to 2017. "Him" shifted the tide for me and the theme of 'The Thrill of It All' was a lot more digestible to me than its predecessor. Sam's been dabbling in dance music and giving us non-piano ballads lately and I've definitely enjoyed the lighter vibes; still, it's those heartfelt ballads where Sam's talent really shines brightest.
          Code:
          Significance rating: 1/20
          Biggest year: 2017
          Songs featured in decade-end series: Him [#144]
          Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
          Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
          Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
          Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

          Comment


          • #6
            080. Billie Eilish



            Music critics' young pop darling, Billie Eilish's brand of glossy/emo-pop took the world by storm in 2019 and has given her career a rocket launch of a start. I'm definitely looking forward to how she evolves during this new decade. I think she's a bit overrated, but I definitely do like her music.
            Code:
            Significance rating: 1/20
            Biggest year: 2019
            Songs featured in decade-end series: N/A
            Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
            079. MNEK



            A songwriter and producer to a slew of big stars, MNEK's solo album finally came in 2018. Because I tend to be late to parades sometimes, I didn't really get into the album until the following year, and I definitely loved his spunk and cleverness. There's room for growth, yes, but I think the best is yet to come for him.
            Code:
            Significance rating: 2/20
            Biggest year: 2019
            Songs featured in decade-end series: Correct [#390]
            Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
            078. 3OH!3



            If Kesha was the trashy pop queen of 2010, these guys were the kings in a pre-LMFAO world. I should probably be embarrassed by how much I like some of their hits, but I'm really not.
            Code:
            Significance rating: 2/20
            Biggest year: 2010
            Songs featured in decade-end series: N/A
            Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
            077. Ed Sheeran



            Ed Sheeran's a strange case for me because he has some undeniably solid songs under his belt. His songwriting is saccharine, yes, but that's a flavour that I usually love. So imagine my confusion at me just not quite connecting with his music and feeling it's soulless. '÷' is his best album for me, but it's so by-the-numbers and formulaic that despite its high overall rating, I opted to not include it in my decade-end albums list.
            Code:
            Significance rating: 2/20
            Biggest year: 2018
            Songs featured in decade-end series: Everything Has Changed [#155]; Shape of You [#363]
            Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
            076. Olly Murs



            Olly Murs's quirky pop music felt like a shot glass of Jason Mraz mixed with Michael Bublé, and I'll be the first to admit that a lot of his songs are decent and catchy, and don't go beyond that. Still, I'm always drawn to feel-good music, and that's exactly what he's so good at.
            Code:
            Significance rating: 2/20
            Biggest year: 2012
            Songs featured in decade-end series:N/A
            Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
            Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
            Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
            Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

            Comment


            • #7
              075. Avril Lavigne



              One of the millennium's premiere pop punk princesses, Avril's high tide uptempo bops and deep, cutting balladry kept her relevant in my charts throughout the decade. As is oftentimes the case with artists who have that uptempo/balladry duality, it's a soaring ballad from the Canadian superstar that resonated most with me.
              Code:
              Significance rating: 2/20
              Biggest year: 2011
              Songs featured in decade-end series: Head Above Water [#290]
              Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
              074. Harry Styles



              1D's unofficial frontman, I had such high expectations for Harry Styles's solo career and he's managed to largely live up to them. He's not quite shaping up to be the album artist I'd hoped he would be, but he's good for a killer single.
              Code:
              Significance rating: 2/20
              Biggest year: 2017
              Songs featured in decade-end series: Sign of the Times [#185]; Watermelon Sugar [#356]
              Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
              073. Paramore



              One of my fave pop-rock bands, Paramore's decade got off to a roaring start with their impeccable "The Only Exception". I remember seeing the video regularly on VH1 back in 2010 and it really did feel like their biggest hit. Because the charts took a turn for the random in the midpoint of the decade, "Ain't It Fun" actually became the band's biggest hit.
              Code:
              Significance rating: 2/20
              Biggest year: 2013
              Songs featured in decade-end series: The Only Exception [#259]; Still into You [#337]
              Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
              072. B.o.B.



              One of the early decade's biggest hip/hop names, with one of my preferred flows, B.o.B. blended old-school hip/hop vibes with pop and R&B elements to make some truly memorable, classic bangers. He had a colossal year in music, had a decent sophomore follow-up, and nothing much else seemed to click thereafter, unfortunately.
              Code:
              Significance rating: 2/20
              Biggest year: 2010
              Songs featured in decade-end series: Airplanes [#187]; The Other Side [#370]
              Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
              071. Years & Years



              UKMix introduced me to Y&Y, telling me that "King" was one of the finest pop songs of that year. I disagreed, kept it pushing, and didn't reconnect with the synthpop band 'til 2016's "Meteorite". That changed the tide for them and set the stage wonderfully for me to fully embrace their 2018 'Palo Santo' era, an era with incredible visuals, intriguing melodies, and memorable lyrics and themes.
              Code:
              Significance rating: 2/20
              Biggest year: 2018
              Songs featured in decade-end series: Sanctify [#197]
              Albums featured in decade-end series: Palo Santo [#96]
              Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
              Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
              Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

              Comment


              • #8
                070. Dua Lipa



                One of the most warmly embraced new pop stars of the last five years, it's taken some time for me to take to Dua Lipa, but she definitely had a solid string of singles in the late 2010s and what she's done thus far in the genesis of this new decade is astonishingly impressive. The future for Dua looks to be a lot sunnier than I'd initially forecasted.
                Code:
                Significance rating: 2/20
                Biggest year: 2017
                Songs featured in decade-end series: New Rules [#344]
                Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                069. Kesha



                A few batches back, I made reference to Kesha as "the trashy pop queen of 2010" and though we would later learn details of that era that certainly taint it in the eyes (and ears) of many a pop fan, I would have to admit that 'Animal' is still home to my top Kesha tracks. I did love how 'Rainbow' showcased that she had an actual voice, outside of the digitally amended one we'd been exposed to early on.
                Code:
                Significance rating: 2/20
                Biggest year: 2010
                Songs featured in decade-end series: N/A
                Albums featured in decade-end series: Animal [#73]
                068. Ciara



                I'd been familiar with Ciara most of my life, but it wasn't 'til the mid-2010s (2015 to be exact) that she released a true stunner for me. She's great for a quality club bop, though I do wish she were more of an albums act.
                Code:
                Significance rating: 2/20
                Biggest year: 2015
                Songs featured in decade-end series: Dance Like We're Making Love [#61]
                Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                067. Meghan Trainor



                A blast of much-needed effervescence during a dry early 2015, Meghan Trainor had a huge 2015, followed that up with a brilliant lead single for LP no. 2, dropped said LP which turned out to be a total disappointment, and the excitement pretty much fizzled out for me then.
                Code:
                Significance rating: 2/20
                Biggest year: 2015
                Songs featured in decade-end series: No [#92]
                Albums featured in decade-end series: Title [#74]
                066. Big Sean



                Sigh, what a beautiful man. I tend to prefer Big Sean as a featured act, rather than a lead one. He's delivered some of the most classic one-liners in hip/hop the past decade for me.
                Code:
                Significance rating: 2/20
                Biggest year: 2017
                Songs featured in decade-end series: As Long as You Love Me [#30]; Best Mistake [#200]; Dance (A$$) [#294]
                Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                Comment


                • #9
                  065. Maroon 5



                  Another consistent singles act, M5 released regularly throughout the decade and save for their last album, I liked most of the singles they've put out in that timeframe.
                  Code:
                  Significance rating: 2/20
                  Biggest year: 2014
                  Songs featured in decade-end series: One More Night [#231]; It Was Always You [#307]
                  Albums featured in decade-end series: Overexposed [#93]
                  064. Lizzo



                  My favourite discovery of 2019, Lizzo's nutritious blend of pop, soul, and R&B was just infectious enough to keep me coming back for more. I'm excited to continue following her career.
                  Code:
                  Significance rating: 2/20
                  Biggest year: 2019
                  Songs featured in decade-end series: Juice [#106]
                  Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                  063. Jennifer Lopez



                  We're still at the point of the countdown where I'll be engaging in liberal use of the phrase "singles act" and here we have another one. Although J.Lo's top track of the decade came from her 2014 release, it's actually 2011 where she shone brightest, with three strong singles back to back to back. The 'Love?' era was probably the most attention I've ever paid to her.
                  Code:
                  Significance rating: 2/20
                  Biggest year: 2011
                  Songs featured in decade-end series: First Love [#335]
                  Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                  062. Drake



                  Billboard's artist of the decade, Drake has certainly been one of the most ever-present figures in music of the 2010s. Whether I'd made the election to or not, I've heard most of his work over his career and while he certainly has some quality songs, I do seem to prefer him in small doses as a featured act on female artists' songs, artists whose music I like a great deal more.
                  Code:
                  Significance rating: 2/20
                  Biggest year: 2018
                  Songs featured in decade-end series: What's My Name? [#100]; Moment 4 Life [#257]
                  Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                  061. Jason Derulo



                  Jason Derulo's even more a singles act to the GP than he is for me. I definitely prefer his work during the first half of the decade; I hardly play anything he's released in the second half. Kudos to him on staying relevant through turning tides.
                  Code:
                  Significance rating: 2/20
                  Biggest year: 2010
                  Songs featured in decade-end series: N/A
                  Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                  Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                  Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                  Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    060. Jennifer Hudson



                    The 2000s 'Dreamgirl' had a fairly quiet decade in the 2010s. She released two albums, a contemporary R&B/soul LP 'I Remember Me' and a more diverse 'JHUD' three years later. Funnily enough, I preferred the more R&B-leaning record, though I did love her dance collaboration with David Guetta ("Night of Your Life") and the beautiful dance-pop bop "I Still Love You" in 2014. J-Hud's voice is her greatest asset as well as her gravest liability and when paired with the right song, she hits harder than most. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more material from her in this new decade.
                    Code:
                    Significance rating: 2/20
                    Biggest year: 2011
                    Songs featured in decade-end series: Where You At [#81]
                    Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                    059. Cardi B



                    The biggest personality in hip/hop today, Belcalis is able to channel her multi-spade charisma and fervent passion into fiery verses better than most other new emcees that emerged in the 2010s. I love her high-budget videos, her high-energy live performances, and her shameless wildness in her music. She's definitely been a breath of fresh air since her breakthrough in 2017.
                    Code:
                    Significance rating: 2/20
                    Biggest year: 2018
                    Songs featured in decade-end series: Bodak Yellow [#315]; Rodeo [#386]
                    Albums featured in decade-end series: Invasion of Privacy [#77]
                    058. Emeli Sandé



                    Proving that there was room in the music industry for more than one Adele, Emeli had an obscenely successful 2012, particularly in the UK. Her contemporary take on traditional piano soul and R&B balladry resonated with millions. I do hope she records more mid- and uptempo numbers moving forward, as she's particularly lethal on moderate-to-high-pep melodies.
                    Code:
                    Significance rating: 2/20
                    Biggest year: 2012
                    Songs featured in decade-end series: Hurts [#235]; My Kind of Love [#268]
                    Albums featured in decade-end series: Our Version of Events [#92]
                    057. Anastacia



                    Pop's lioness vocalist continued her high-powered, roaring belts into the 2010s. Admittedly, I didn't explore all of her work, but she fully captured my attention in 2014 during her impressive 'Resurrection' era, which featured one of her career-finest jewels.
                    Code:
                    Significance rating: 2/20
                    Biggest year: 2014
                    Songs featured in decade-end series: Staring at the Sun [#55]
                    Albums featured in decade-end series: Resurrection [#95]
                    056. Delta Goodrem



                    One of my favourite Aussie superstars, Delta Goodrem had a thin release schedule in the 2010s, but both of her albums were among my 2012/2016 highlights, both featuring timely messages that resonated with me, uplifting piano-led melodies, and her gorgeous vocals.
                    Code:
                    Significance rating: 2/20
                    Biggest year: 2012
                    Songs featured in decade-end series: Wings [#135]; Dancing with a Broken Heart [#245]; I'm Not Giving Up [#282]
                    Albums featured in decade-end series: Wings of the Wild [#86]
                    Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                    Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                    Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      055. Idina Menzel



                      The voice behind one of my favourite movie characters of all-time, Idina Menzel is the major force behind the decade's top soundtrack album for me. Her soaring vocals were such a perfect fit for the big anthems from Frozen. "Let It Go" was essentially the 2010s answer to "My Heart Will Go On", but even better.
                      Code:
                      Significance rating: 2/20
                      Biggest year: 2014
                      Songs featured in decade-end series: Let It Go [#47]; For the First Time in Forever [#57]
                      Albums featured in decade-end series: Frozen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [#54]
                      054. Imagine Dragons



                      Imagine Dragons had their big breakthrough in 2012 and I remember Tripolis and other members really championing "Radioactive" and some of their other songs. I wasn't an early buyer, but then "Demons" clicked with me and I've been following them ever since. It was 2017 when they dropped their 'Evolve' LP that my love for them peaked. I also have fond memories of visiting Vegas and seeing a lights show in Fremont that featured their music.
                      Code:
                      Significance rating: 3/20
                      Biggest year: 2017
                      Songs featured in decade-end series: Demons [#45]; Whatever It Takes [#117]
                      Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                      053. Selena Gomez (& the Scene)



                      Though I grew to appreciate Selena's solo music later on in the decade (particularly when she released "Kill Em with Kindness") my favourite Selena songs still are, and likely always will be, her work with the Scene. The bubblegum, tween/teen pop goodness was irresistible then and has aged much better than many might've expected.
                      Code:
                      Significance rating: 3/20
                      Biggest year: 2011
                      Songs featured in decade-end series: My Dilemma [#58]; Love You Like a Love Song [#112]
                      Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                      052. Miranda Lambert



                      One of country music's premiere stars of the decade, Miranda Lambert had always been a name on my radar. I'd enjoyed most of her singles, but when 2016 rolled 'round and I heard "Vice" for the first time, I was obsessed. If memory serves me right, I played "Vice" more in that first 24-hour window than I played any other song in 2016 in a single day. She has a great talent for storytelling, whether it's a story of grief and loss, incensed frustration and anger, or despair and brokenness.
                      Code:
                      Significance rating: 3/20
                      Biggest year: 2016
                      Songs featured in decade-end series: Vice [#53]; Mama's Broken Heart [#114]; Over You [#297]
                      Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                      051. Lindsey Stirling



                      Introduced to me through Tansike, Lindsey Stirling's "Crystallize" achieved a unique feat when it ended both 2015 and 2016 as my most-played song of those respective years. It would end the decade as my no. 2 most-played song, but beyond that instrumental slice of heaven, Lindsey's catalogue has been a consistent source of greatness. I really appreciated her 'Brave Enough' LP, which featured vocals to accompany her incredible melodies. She's certainly a name I'll continue to keep an eye out moving forward.
                      Code:
                      Significance rating: 4/20
                      Biggest year: 2016
                      Songs featured in decade-end series: Crystallize [#46]
                      Albums featured in decade-end series: Brave Enough [#81]
                      Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                      Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                      Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        050. Little Mix



                        The 2010s definitely didn't have the girl group strength of the 2000s, but Little Mix, one of my fave UK singles acts, easily separated themselves from the thin crowd as my top new girl group of the decade (though not my top girl group overall - those pop legends will be in the next batch). Vocally, they were definitely in another league from most other girl groups of the era, and despite me never absolutely loving any of their LPs (their first one was their best), each era they were able to put out at least one solid/killer single.
                        Code:
                        Significance rating: 4/20
                        Biggest year: 2012
                        Songs featured in decade-end series: Wings [#59]; Little Me [#136]; DNA [#204]
                        Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                        049. Céline Dion



                        The French-Canadian vocal titan added another decade of solid adult contemporary pop music to her legacy during the 2010s. Though there were so many good songs and singles, none of them hit hard enough to make my decade-end songs list, but she is the first act on the countdown thus far with as many as two LPs to feature in my decade-end albums list. She is also one of only three acts on the countdown that I had the absolute pleasure of seeing live and the ticket was most certainly worth every dollar. I left with enhanced respect for the great legend. It's always a heartening experience seeing someone you've looked up to for so many years be everything that you thought they were (best singer alive), and even more (thoroughly hilarious with killer stories), in a live entertainment setting.
                        Code:
                        Significance rating: 4/20
                        Biggest year: 2019
                        Songs featured in decade-end series: N/A
                        Albums featured in decade-end series: Loved Me Back to Life [#82]; Encore un soir [#99]
                        048. Adam Lambert



                        Idol's most flamboyant and theatrical graduate, Adam Lambert's career has been one that I've followed since its inception and though it's been a rocky ride, when he gets it right, he gets it very right. I do remember thinking that he was the son Freddie Mercury never had so it was fitting to see him step into that role during the 2010s through the limited touring he did with the original Queen bandmates.
                        Code:
                        Significance rating: 4/20
                        Biggest year: 2015
                        Songs featured in decade-end series: If I Had You [#101]; Ghost Town [#359]
                        Albums featured in decade-end series: Trespassing [#78]
                        047. Alicia Keys



                        One of R&B's biggest names of the new millennium, Alicia Keys actually achieved a career peak for me with her 2016 release of 'Here'. It would seem that I'm in the gross minority of folks who believe that that LP is her finest to date, but I'm most comfortable in small groups anyway. Both of the albums Alicia released during the decade featured in my albums countdown.
                        Code:
                        Significance rating: 4/20
                        Biggest year: 2016
                        Songs featured in decade-end series: In Common [#35]; Hallelujah [#340]
                        Albums featured in decade-end series: Here [#61]; Girl on Fire [#84]
                        046. Clean Bandit



                        The first act on the countdown with as many as four features in my decade-end songs series, my introduction to Clean Bandit was rather lukewarm. I was a part of the reviews team on the site and selected at random "Rather Be" from the list of new releases to listen to and pen a review. I ended up giving "Rather Be" 3/5 stars. I used terms like "flat" and "passable" so it certainly wasn't a great first impression. As is reflected in their tracks that actually made my songs countdown, I really got into them during their 'What Is Love?' era, where it seemed that they were relentlessly pumping out one banger after the other (after the other). Rather irresponsibly, I've actually not checked out a full LP from the synthpop group, but I'll definitely aim to keep closer tabs on them moving forward.
                        Code:
                        Significance rating: 4/20
                        Biggest year: 2018
                        Songs featured in decade-end series: Rockabye [#27]; Baby [#74]; Symphony [#283]; Solo [#355]
                        Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                        Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                        Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                        Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          045. Glee Cast



                          Glee is one of my top shows from my adolescent years so it's definitely been sad watching a number of them prematurely pass away over the last few years, most recently, my Glee Cast favourite, Naya Rivera, who so brilliantly captured the essence of Lima Heights Adjacent legend Santana Lopez. I was a high school student when the series started so a lot of the storylines felt especially tangible to me during that time. As for the music, well, the Glee Cast brilliantly reimagined and mashed up a litany of great songs. There are a good number of songs I like largely because the Glee Cast interpretation sold me on it (Bruno Mars's "Locked Out of Heaven" is the first song that comes to mind). The cast is damn talented and even though they didn't get to shine equally, I feel like every character had at least a singular standout solo moment.
                          Code:
                          Significance rating: 5/20
                          Biggest year: 2011
                          Songs featured in decade-end series: Rumour Has It/Someone Like You [#122]; Survivor/I Will Survive [#343]
                          Albums featured in decade-end series: Glee: The Music, Volume 5 [#100]
                          044. Fantasia



                          Her passionate and soulful voice won over a nation the previous decade and Fantasia kept out churning quality R&B stunners in the 2010s. For me, she delivered her career-finest masterpiece in 2013's "Lose to Win".
                          Code:
                          Significance rating: 5/20
                          Biggest year: 2013
                          Songs featured in decade-end series: Lose to Win [#52]
                          Albums featured in decade-end series: Side Effects of You [#76]
                          043. Kelly Rowland



                          Kelly R only gave us two studio albums in the 2010s, but they were among the best sensual R&B had to offer that decade. Because I'm a die-hard dance-pop lover, her top track for me was the Guetta-produced "Commander". I'll also forever appreciate her for that "Motivation" video.
                          Code:
                          Significance rating: 5/20
                          Biggest year: 2013
                          Songs featured in decade-end series: Commander [#72]
                          Albums featured in decade-end series: Talk a Good Game [#80]
                          042. Girls Aloud



                          Girls Aloud didn't even release a studio album last decade and still end the 2010s as my top girl group. The new songs on their 'Ten' greatest hits album were just that good for me.
                          Code:
                          Significance rating: 5/20
                          Biggest year: 2012
                          Songs featured in decade-end series: Something New [#23]; On the Metro [#346]
                          Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                          041. Trey Songz



                          One of the boudoir kings of the 2010s, Trey Songz sang an awful lot about sex...and I wasn't always mad about it.
                          Code:
                          Significance rating: 5/20
                          Biggest year: 2012
                          Songs featured in decade-end series: Bottoms Up [#80]
                          Albums featured in decade-end series: Passion, Pain & Pleasure [#97]
                          Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                          Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                          Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            040. Mika



                            Mika released three albums last decade, the latter two of which I enjoyed to a decent extent. 'No Place in Heaven' is the clear standout of the three, as it features classic Mika storytelling.
                            Code:
                            Significance rating: 5/20
                            Biggest year: 2015
                            Songs featured in decade-end series: Promiseland [#217]
                            Albums featured in decade-end series: No Place in Heaven [#56]
                            039. Zayn



                            I never expected Zayn to have the strongest solo career of all the 1D boys, but he took full advantage of his headstart and came storming out of the gates in 2016. "Pillowtalk" is easily one of the top ex-boy-band-member solo singles and he didn't stop there. He kept cranking out quality singles and delivering way-too-lengthy albums. He's definitely an artist I'll continue to follow this new decade.
                            Code:
                            Significance rating: 5/20
                            Biggest year: 2016
                            Songs featured in decade-end series: Back to Sleep [#109]; Pillowtalk [#179]; I Don't Wanna Live Forever [#186]
                            Albums featured in decade-end series: Mind of Mine [#87]
                            038. David Guetta



                            The DJ behind my top song of the 2010s, David Guetta collaborated with so many of my favourites during the decade: Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Sia, Usher, J-Hud. I still think he does the best dance-pop music among all his contemporaries.
                            Code:
                            Significance rating: 5/20
                            Biggest year: 2011
                            Songs featured in decade-end series: Titanium [#1]; Commander [#72]; Turn Me On [#246]
                            Albums featured in decade-end series: Nothing but the Beat [#65]
                            037. Tinashe



                            One of the most talented artists under 30 in the music industry right now, the buzz surrounding Tinashe has always been significant and although that's never translated to huge commercial success, she continues to put out great music. Her 2019 'Songs for You' release was a revelation for me, as it's truly one of the best R&B/pop albums I've ever heard. She has such a lovely voice, has co-produced some truly brilliant tracks, can dance and perform the house down, seems like a sweet personality. She literally checks every box for superstardom and the GP frustratingly remains unbothered.
                            Code:
                            Significance rating: 5/20
                            Biggest year: 2019
                            Songs featured in decade-end series: Slumber Party [#223]; Know Better [#227]; All Hands on Deck [#252]; Die a Little Bit [#342]; So Much Better [#377]
                            Albums featured in decade-end series: Songs for You [#35]
                            036. RuPaul



                            Mother Ru shamelessly promotes her music through her shows so with RuPaul's Drag Race having such an insane impact on me since I discovered it early 2019, RuPaul's mixed discography has been a part of the drag package. And, rather shockingly, she has some bops!
                            Code:
                            Significance rating: 6/20
                            Biggest year: 2019
                            Songs featured in decade-end series: Kitty Girl [#347]; Main Event [#366]; Jealous of My Boogie [#368]; Category Is [#380]; Read U Wrote U [#385]
                            Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                            Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                            Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                            Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              035. Justin Bieber



                              I was a Belieber years before it was cool to be and I definitely still prefer the earlier half of his career to the latter half. Haters will hate, but "Baby" remains a supreme bop.
                              Code:
                              Significance rating: 7/20
                              Biggest year: 2012
                              Songs featured in decade-end series: As Long as You Love Me [#30]; Despacito [#137]; Sorry [#230]
                              Albums featured in decade-end series: Purpose [#89]
                              034. The Weeknd



                              One of the decade's biggest finds, the Weeknd really paved his own lane within alternative R&B, giving us some of the most impressive production highlights of the 2010s.
                              Code:
                              Significance rating: 8/20
                              Biggest year: 2015
                              Songs featured in decade-end series: Pray for Me [#95]; Starboy [#278]; Often [#352]
                              Albums featured in decade-end series: Beauty Behind the Madness [#64]; Starboy [#79]
                              033. Jordin Sparks



                              Ah, my (user)namesake. Jordin Sparks had a rocky 2010s decade after such a stellar final three years between 2007 and 2009, which saw her score a series of consecutive US top 20 hits. Still, she displayed some resilience, cranking out a few failed attempts at lead singles ("Skipping a Beat" being my fave of the bunch), a random but thoroughly fantastic holiday anthem ("Christmas Time to Me"), a mixtape, and then, finally, at the midpoint of the decade, an album...that I didn't even like that much. She also starred in Sparkle and recorded, alongside the incomparable Whitney Houston, some pretty decent songs there. She ended the decade on Broadway, delivering her own impassioned take on Sara Bareilles's brilliant Broadway ballad "She Used to Be Mine". I feel like her growth's been stagnant and the music I'm hearing from her in 2020 is unfortunately not dissimilar to what I heard from her 13 years prior, in 2007, but I've got lifetime membership to Team Jo-Speezy so I'm down for the ride wherever it may go.
                              Code:
                              Significance rating: 8/20
                              Biggest year: 2015
                              Songs featured in decade-end series: Skipping a Beat [#128]; Silhouette [#271]
                              Albums featured in decade-end series: Right Here, Right Now [#50]
                              032. Frank Ocean



                              Frank Ocean's music took a few years to grow on me, but his more abstract take on R&B eventually connected with me.
                              Code:
                              Significance rating: 8/20
                              Biggest year: 2016
                              Songs featured in decade-end series: Bad Religion [#146]; Thinkin Bout You [#236]; Ivy [#293]; We All Try [#300]; Swim Good [#389]; Nights [#394]
                              Albums featured in decade-end series: channel ORANGE [#57]; Blonde [#358]
                              031. Janelle Monáe



                              I slept on Janelle Monáe for 80% of the decade, but when her 'Dirty Computer' era arrived, I was roused very much awake. She's such a brilliant songwriter and producer, and I love how so much of her music has baked into it meaty messages that make such significant statements. I'll certainly be keeping a keen eye on her during the 2020s.
                              Code:
                              Significance rating: 8/20
                              Biggest year: 2018
                              Songs featured in decade-end series: Americans [#180]; Cold War [#207]; I Like That [#303]; We Are Young [#369]
                              Albums featured in decade-end series: Dirty Computer [#6]
                              Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                              Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                              Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                030. Eminem



                                Among my top three emcees of all-time, Eminem finishes the decade as my third-highest-ranking rapper. The front end of the decade was definitely where he shone for me releasing what I still consider to be his top album, 'Recovery', and cranking out some pretty massive singles during those first four years of the 2010s.
                                Code:
                                Significance rating: 9/20
                                Biggest year: 2010
                                Songs featured in decade-end series: Not Afraid [#127]; I Need a Doctor [#132]; Bad Guy [#165]; Love the Way You Lie (Part II) [#345]
                                Albums featured in decade-end series: Recovery [#52]
                                029. Kylie Minogue



                                I was not at all familiar with Kylie Minogue at the decade's start, but she ended the decade one of my top artists ever. Her brand of pop music featuring her feather-light vocals juxtaposed against massive production backdrops was a winning combo that held my attention right through the tail end of the decade.
                                Code:
                                Significance rating: 10/20
                                Biggest year: 2018
                                Songs featured in decade-end series: Raining Glitter [#31]; Timebomb [#199]; All the Lovers [#226]; Aphrodite [#269]
                                Albums featured in decade-end series: Golden [#94]
                                028. One Direction



                                My favourite boy-band of all-time, One Direction bucked the trend for one-era shelf-life boy-band careers during the decade and churned out some of the best pop singles and albums of the 2010s. Their music videos took full advantage of the boys' collective charm and their sound certainly evolved throughout the years. Unfortunately, their tenure didn't see them through the end of the decade, at least not as a collective, but they certainly left their mark regardless.
                                Code:
                                Significance rating: 10/20
                                Biggest year: 2012
                                Songs featured in decade-end series: Drag Me Down [#94]; Best Song Ever [#242]; What a Feeling [#296]; Kiss You [#328]
                                Albums featured in decade-end series: Take Me Home [#33]; Made in the A.M. [#90]
                                027. Madonna



                                The pop queen had a strong decade, in my eyes. She released three studio albums, two of which I had solid appreciation for, and one that was just 'okay' for me. I don't think she took as many risks in the 2010s as she'd done in the past, but her Super Bowl Halftime show was a brilliant reminder to the general public that she's still arguably pop's most prestigious showgirl.
                                Code:
                                Significance rating: 10/20
                                Biggest year: 2015
                                Songs featured in decade-end series: Give Me All Your Luvin' [#63]; Ghosttown [#67]
                                Albums featured in decade-end series: Rebel Heart [#68]; MDNA [#72]
                                026. Kacey Musgraves



                                Progressive country-pop singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves really came to the fore at the decade's midpoint and it seemed that she just kept getting better and better with each new release. I'm intrigued to see how much more she develops in this new decade.
                                Code:
                                Significance rating: 11/20
                                Biggest year: 2018
                                Songs featured in decade-end series: Oh, What a World [#170]; This Town [#173]; Happy & Sad [#182]; High Horse [#299]; Follow Your Arrow [#309]; It Is What It Is [#393]
                                Albums featured in decade-end series: Golden Hour [#46]; Pageant Material [#48]
                                Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                                Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                                Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  025. Miley Cyrus



                                  One of my favourite-ever Disney graduates, Miley Cyrus is an act whose career I followed for the entirety of the decade. The only release of hers I couldn't bring myself to listen to was her 'Dead Petz' album. Everything else was good, particularly her first two releases of the decade.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance rating: 11/20
                                  Biggest year: 2013
                                  Songs featured in decade-end series: Wrecking Ball [#66]; Malibu [#224]; Two More Lonely People [#256]; Can't Be Tamed [#264]; We Can't Stop [#275]; Nothing Breaks Like a Heart [#378]
                                  Albums featured in decade-end series: Can't Be Tamed [#44]; Bangerz [#71]
                                  024. Carly Rae Jepsen



                                  I can honestly say that when I heard "Call Me Maybe", despite enjoying it quite a bit, I didn't see it for Carly Rae. I figured she'd fizzle out quickly enough...then she sucker-punched me and her other detractors three years later with 'E•MO•TION'. That album has some of the most exhilarating highs of any pop record I've explored and it's follow-up was decent, too. I'll definitely be following Carly Rae into the new decade.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance rating: 11/20
                                  Biggest year: 2015
                                  Songs featured in decade-end series: Run Away with Me [#13]; Love Again [#91]; Making the Most of the Night [#188]; Call Me Maybe [#216]; Right Words, Wrong Time [#384]
                                  Albums featured in decade-end series: E•MO•TION [#45]
                                  023. Demi Lovato



                                  The highest artist on my list to not have had an album featured in my decade-end series, Demi Lovato was a stalwart singles act for me throughout the 2010s, finishing ahead of all her Disney peers, thanks to a late-in-decade, Drag-Race-inspired surge of love and spins for "Sorry Not Sorry". Her versatility is underrated, though. I'll always love a female star that can serve sultry and sexy alongside big, bombastic ballads.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance rating: 12/20
                                  Biggest year: 2013
                                  Songs featured in decade-end series: Heart Attack [#14]; Sorry Not Sorry [#24]; Fall in Line [#50]; Cool for the Summer [#139]; Body Say [#203]; Give Your Heart a Break [#233]; Solo [#355]
                                  Albums featured in decade-end series: N/A
                                  022. Usher



                                  One of R&B's great names and biggest successes of the 2000s, Usher got the decade off to a roaring start and kept the momentum going for the first half of the decade, before having it peter out by the time of his 2016 'Hard II Love' release. Still, his gorgeous voice highlighted so many of my favourite bedroom anthems of the decade.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance rating: 12/20
                                  Biggest year: 2010
                                  Songs featured in decade-end series: Back to Sleep [#109]; OMG [#111]; Crush [#181]; Dive [#221]; Good Kisser [#308]; Climax [#331]; Hot Tottie [#339]
                                  Albums featured in decade-end series: Raymond v. Raymond [#51]; Looking 4 Myself [#85]
                                  021. Florence + the Machine



                                  Florence Welch was the 2010s queen of all melodies celestial. Florence + the Machine's first two albums of the decade are laden with heavenly production, soaring vocals, and rousing emotion. Their final release lacked that lustrous energy of its predecessors, so, to some extent, the band ended on a bit of a bum note, but the highlights are truly timeless.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance rating: 12/20
                                  Biggest year: 2012
                                  Songs featured in decade-end series: No Light, No Light [#48]; Delilah [#73]; How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful [#176]; Only If for a Night [#190]; Spectrum [#311]; Seven Devils [#392]
                                  Albums featured in decade-end series: Ceremonials [#20]
                                  Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                                  Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                                  Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    020. Lorde



                                    Lorde's transformation between her 'Pure Heroine' and 'Melodrama' eras was one of the decade's most pleasant surprises for me. She'd shown promise on that debut album, but I felt the LP to be a bit inconsistent. I had no idea she would return four years later fully fleshed out as a bona fide pop star. I'm 100% dialed in to see what she does next.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance rating: 12/20
                                    Biggest year: 2017
                                    Songs featured in decade-end series: Sober [#62]; Tennis Court [#131]; Green Light [#141]; Royals [#241]; Team [#249]
                                    Albums featured in decade-end series: Melodrama [#9]
                                    019. Kanye West



                                    The decade's top male rapper, Kanye West's first half of the 2010s was incredible; his second half saw him decline in more ways than one, but there were still flashes of the musical genius underneath it all.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance rating: 13/20
                                    Biggest year: 2010
                                    Songs featured in decade-end series: Drunk in Love [#3]; E.T. [#36]; Monster [#41]; Power [#85]; FourFiveSeconds [#194]; All of the Lights [#198]; Selah [#371]
                                    Albums featured in decade-end series: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy [#69]
                                    018. Chris Brown



                                    Chris Brown released approximately six million singles from roughly 324,978 albums and mixtapes during the decade. The quantity was overwhelming, excessive, and wholly unnecessary; thankfully, though, sometimes there was also quality baked into the mix. Interestingly enough, much like Kanye West before him, CB's best output for me was also in the first half of the 2010s. I wasn't really a fan at all of his last two releases.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance rating: 13/20
                                    Biggest year: 2014
                                    Songs featured in decade-end series: Don't Think They Know [#89]; Back to Sleep [#109]; Right by My Side [#154]; Do Better [#159]; Drunk Texting [#211]
                                    Albums featured in decade-end series: X [#55]
                                    017. Kelly Clarkson



                                    The second-highest-ranking Idol alum, Kelly Clarkson had two big highlights for me during the decade: 2011's 'Stronger' and 2017's 'Meaning of Life'. The former saw KC very much in sterling pop/rock icon form, whereas the latter was a more soulful take on her brand of pop, a sound many fans had been waiting to hear from her since her Idol coronation in 2002.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance rating: 13/20
                                    Biggest year: 2017
                                    Songs featured in decade-end series: You Can't Win [#115]; Slow Dance [#145]; Love So Soft [#195]; Don't You Wanna Stay [#218]; People Like Us [#329]
                                    Albums featured in decade-end series: Stronger [#24]; Meaning of Life [#29]
                                    016. Mariah Carey



                                    My favourite artist of all-time blessed fans' ears with two LPs during the decade, both of which featured among my top 20 albums of the 2010s and both of which I consider to be among her career-finest releases. Her single choices were abysmal, yes, but I'm just so happy MC's still batting home-runs this deep into the game. I wonder what excellence awaits us in the new decade.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance rating: 14/20
                                    Biggest year: 2018
                                    Songs featured in decade-end series: Caution [#88]; Triumphant (Get 'Em) [#134]; Faded [#178]; With You [#189]; Meteorite [#248]; The Art of Letting Go [#270]; Giving Me Life [#302]; Oh Santa! [#373]
                                    Albums featured in decade-end series: Caution [#10]; Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse [#19]
                                    Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                                    Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                                    Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      015. Bruno Mars



                                      My top male artist of the decade, Bruno Mars's 2010s (and career) discography is just around 30 tracks long, spread across three albums, but he's certainly aced the class covering the concept of quality over quantity. His unique fusion of retro R&B sounds with contemporary pop kept him at the top of the US Hot 100 charts for most of the decade and there's every reason to believe his success will continue well into the 2020s.
                                      Code:
                                      Significance rating: 14/20
                                      Biggest year: 2012
                                      Songs featured in decade-end series: Gorilla [#38]; Finesse [#201]; Runaway Baby [#214]; Treasure [#243]; That's What I Like [#304]; The Lazy Song [#361]; The Other Side [#370]; Our First Time [#400]
                                      Albums featured in decade-end series: Unorthodox Jukebox [#28]; 24K Magic [#30]
                                      014. Sia



                                      The enormity of Sia's mainstream breakthrough was incredible to behold. I'd say she shaped the pop landscape more than any other female songwriter last decade. The songs she penned for other prominent female superstars each had that signature Sia style, but she was wise to keep some epic bangers for herself and armed with her full-throttle, Céline-esque belts, she expertly delivered some of the decade's most piercing ballads. She was even the voice behind my top track of the entire decade.
                                      Code:
                                      Significance rating: 14/20
                                      Biggest year: 2014
                                      Songs featured in decade-end series: Titanium [#1]; The Greatest [#15]; Chandelier [#18]; Move Your Body [#169]; Bird Set Free [#272]
                                      Albums featured in decade-end series: 1000 Forms of Fear [#70]; This Is Acting [#98]
                                      013. P!nk



                                      Pop music careers are oftentimes viewed as a war of attrition and if that's the case, it can be argued that from her generation P!nk may have been the last (or, at the very least, top) warrior queen standing. The early part of the decade saw Australia's preferred pop princess continue to deliver her gritty pop/rock anthems and ballads. For me, her latter half of the decade was unimpressive, but I am hoping she has enough creativity to right the ship and evolve a bit with her sound and messages.
                                      Code:
                                      Significance rating: 14/20
                                      Biggest year: 2012
                                      Songs featured in decade-end series: Raise Your Glass [#76]; Try [#143]; Timebomb [#192]; Courage [#208]; Blow Me (One Last Kiss) [#213]; F**kin' Perfect [#260]; Are We All We Are [#322]
                                      Albums featured in decade-end series: The Truth About Love [#22]
                                      012. Britney Spears



                                      Britney Spears didn't have the most prolific decade and one of her three albums, despite me ranking it among my top albums of the decade, was well below her usual standard, but the crowned pop princess kept chugging along. For me, 2011 was her clear top year. She took home all year-end honours for me that year and following the video releases, her progression on the charts and her rekindled affair with radio, and her epic music - it was just a really memorable, competitive year, with so many of the top female stars with new records out that year, and Britney managed to get more than her fair share of attention. There's a good bit of uncertainty surrounding a good bit of her personal and professional life right now, but I wish for my beloved pop princess peace of mind and freedom. She deserves the world.
                                      Code:
                                      Significance rating: 14/20
                                      Biggest year: 2011
                                      Songs featured in decade-end series: Hold It Against Me [#33]; Man on the Moon [#191]; Slumber Party [#223]; Work Bitch [#239]; Just Luv Me [#279]; I Wanna Go [#372]; Perfume [#396]
                                      Albums featured in decade-end series: Femme Fatale [#12]; Glory [#43]; Britney Jean [#59]
                                      011. Lana Del Rey



                                      To some extent, I suppose Lana Del Rey can be viewed as pop's great ingénue of the decade, but she appeared to me in late 2011 as a seemingly fully formed, mature, intelligent procurer of melancholy hymns and wistful ballads. When lightning struck for her in 2012, I had doubts that it would again; in 2019, when she became the first and thus far only act to earn two year-end #1 albums on my year-end countdowns, I realised that the brilliance was still there and will likely always be there. I look forward with keen interest to what she accomplishes next.
                                      Code:
                                      Significance rating: 14/20
                                      Biggest year: 2012
                                      Songs featured in decade-end series: Born to Die [#22]; Summertime Sadness [#25]; Young and Beautiful [#174]; F**k It, I Love You [#205]; High by the Beach [#210]; Off to the Races [#349]
                                      Albums featured in decade-end series: Born to Die [#2]; Norman F**king Rockwell [#16]
                                      Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                                      Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                                      Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Céline <3

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          Originally posted by Wayne View Post
                                          Céline <3
                                          Class personified!
                                          Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                                          Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                                          Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            010. Adele



                                            The British soul-pop songstress was arguably the biggest music phenomenon of the 2010s. Her '21' era ushered in a physical sales tally not seen since the 90s and the album's chart run was unprecedented in music history. The all-conquering sword she yielded to shatter all pre-existing records? Heartbreak - pure, agonising and authentic, and deep beyond conceivable measure.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance rating: 15/20
                                            Biggest year: 2011
                                            Songs featured in decade-end series: Rolling in the Deep [#7]; River Lea [#102]; Hello [#104]; Million Years Ago [#125]; Set Fire to the Rain [#149]
                                            Albums featured in decade-end series: 21 [#26]; 25 [#34]
                                            009. Katy Perry



                                            Did anyone do frothy pop music better than Katy Perry in the 2010s? I say no. Her colourful visuals, snappy melodies, and instantly memorable hooks made her one of the most-successful pop acts of the first half of the decade. The bottom felt out in the latter half, but that didn't stop her from delivering career-finest, criminally-overlooked-for-single-selection "Roulette".
                                            Code:
                                            Significance rating: 15/20
                                            Biggest year: 2010
                                            Songs featured in decade-end series: Roulette [#21]; E.T. [#36]; Walking on Air [#65]; Dark Horse [#71]; Teenage Dream [#103]; Wide Awake [#116]; Firework [#121]; Rise [#133]
                                            Albums featured in decade-end series: Teenage Dream [#15]; PRISM [#41]
                                            008. Christina Aguilera



                                            The top balladeer of my generation, Christina Aguilera released three strong pop albums throughout the decade. In each, she retained a strong sense of her dual-nature self: sultry pop vixen and earnest, emotional and expressive balladeer. It was a rich decade for X-Tina; so many of her finest songs came during the era, and she never stopped evolving throughout, with her most recent release 'Liberation' reminding everyone of her incredible versatility.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance rating: 15/20
                                            Biggest year: 2010
                                            Songs featured in decade-end series: Army of Me [#39]; Fall in Line [#50]; Not Myself Tonight [#77]; Woohoo [#79]; Lift Me Up [#93]; Twice [#110]; You Lost Me [#150]; Maria [#324]; Prima Donna [#338]; Just a Fool [#360]
                                            Albums featured in decade-end series: Liberation [#25]; Bionic [#32]; Lotus [#49]
                                            Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                                            Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                                            Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              007. Carrie Underwood



                                              The greatest voice in country music history, Carrie Underwood took some time in the 2010s to start a family, which meant she ended up releasing as many albums in a 10-year span as she'd released in the previous five-year span. The plus side were the themes. She took on more elaborate, less cookie-cutter stories throughout the decade and continued her streak of solid LPs, as evidenced by her weakest record still featuring among my top 40 albums of the decade. Last October, I had the absolute pleasure of seeing the country superstar in a live setting and she was absolutely spectacular. Hopefully, when COVID-19 subsides, I'll have the opportunity to see her on a future tour as she is thoroughly exquisite in concert.
                                              Code:
                                              Significance rating: 16/20
                                              Biggest year: 2012
                                              Songs featured in decade-end series: Blown Away [#6]; Church Bells [#29]; Chaser [#90]; Remind Me [#124]; End Up with You [#171]; Two Black Cadillacs [#232]; The Champion [#398]
                                              Albums featured in decade-end series: Storyteller [#23]; Blown Away [#36]; Cry Pretty [#40]
                                              006. Ariana Grande



                                              At the start of the decade, Ariana Grande was a supporting character on a Nickelodeon show that I didn't even like. By its end, she was already one of my favourite pop stars of all-time. What inspired the dramatic shift? Her release schedule. Ari hustled in the 2010s, cranking out five albums within seven years. It was Rihanna-esque frequency and she benefitted from the fact that her music was, well, fantastic. She's got such an elastic voice, it seems that she can go from zero to 60 in 3.5, and when paired with tracks like "Into You" and "God Is a Woman", she soared above her peers. I'm still not sold on her as a live performer - I saw her in concert last November and was deeply unimpressed - but she absolutely ruled the last two years of the 2010s, finishing as my top act in both 2018 and 2019, a feat only ever managed by my West Indian empress RiRi. She seems poised for continued success in the 2020s, but I do hope she continues to give us those big, ballsy, throbbing, controversial and essential power pop anthems. She's got all the artillery to pull those lung-testers off.
                                              Code:
                                              Significance rating: 17/20
                                              Biggest year: 2019
                                              Songs featured in decade-end series: Breathin [#2]; God Is a Woman [#10]; Into You [#12]; Bang Bang [#78]; Let Me Love You [#86]; Side to Side [#113]; Best Mistake [#200]; No Tears Left to Cry [#258]; Honeymoon Avenue [#273]; Thank U, Next [#286]; Dance to This [#287]; Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored [#350]; 7 Rings [#382]; Moonlight [#387]
                                              Albums featured in decade-end series: Dangerous Woman [#11]; Thank U, Next [#31]; My Everything [#62]; Yours Truly [#63]; Sweetener [#67]
                                              Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                                              Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                                              Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                                              Comment


                                              • #24
                                                005. Taylor Swift



                                                What a storied history Taylor Swift has had on my charts over the past decade. She finished within the top 5 of my year-end artists list on six occasions (2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2019) - a feat only matched by this countdown's yet-to-be-revealed winner - and was my top artist of 2017. In fact, she was the most regular face in my year-end artists list, featuring nine out of 10 years, only missing 2016. Among my decade-end songs countdown, she featured more than any other artist, and she was the top albums act of the decade as reflected in her sterling performance in that particular decade-end series. Taylor Swift essentially bookended the decade with brilliance and had a super meaty middle, too. For me, she is the queen of the love song of the 2010s. Her ability to capture the many shades of love and tell so expertly and vividly tales of courtship, romance, turbulence, heartbreak, and recovery shows just how adept she is at covering the full gamut of the love life cycle. Her 'Folklore' release in 2020 shows that the country-pop phenom is continuing to mature and evolve, and there is every indication that she'll be just as powerful a force in the 2020s as she was for me last decade.
                                                Code:
                                                Significance rating: 18/20
                                                Biggest year: 2014
                                                Songs featured in decade-end series: Mine [#16]; I Knew You Were Trouble [#28]; Enchanted [#54]; Red [#70]; Style [#108]; The Man [#151]; The Moment I Knew [#153]; Everything Has Changed [#155]; Clean [#164]; New Romantics [#184]; I Don't Wanna Live Forever [#186]; All You Had to Do Was Stay [#196]; Getaway Car [#228]; Sparks Fly [#237]; Speak Now [#267]; Starlight [#292]; Out of the Woods [#314]; ...Ready for It? [#317]; All Too Well [#323]; I Almost Do [#364]; Back to December [#374]; Ours [#379]; Miss Americana &amp; the Heartbreak Prince [#381]; Call It What You Want [#383]; We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together [#399]
                                                Albums featured in decade-end series: 1989 [#5]; Red [#13]; Speak Now [#17]; Lover [#42]; Reputation [#47]
                                                Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                                                Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                                                Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  004. Lady Gaga



                                                  The 2010s queen of avant-garde pop, Lady Gaga's journey through the decade was an incredible one, where she traversed jazz and acting (big and small screen) routes that even the most astute prognosticator would have failed to forecast at 2009's end. From a pure stats perspective, Gaga's music impacted and did so in big waves. She's the lead act behind 40% of my decade-end top five songs and 37.5% of my decade-end top eight tracks, and was outclassed in the decade-end songs department by only the winner of this countdown. From a visuals standpoint, her music videos for singles like "Telephone" were enormous pop culture events and her "G.U.Y." music video is one of my all-time favourite visuals. Her "Do What U Want" live performance with Christina Aguilera at the Voice finale in 2013 is one of the decade's top live moments in music for me. Her fervent advocacy and versatility made her stand out in a big way from many of her peers. Her 2020 'Chromatica' release proved that the creativity has not yet petered out and I'm thoroughly excited to see what the future holds for this, one of the most exciting figures ever in music.
                                                  Code:
                                                  Significance rating: 19/20
                                                  Biggest year: 2013
                                                  Songs featured in decade-end series: Bad Romance [#4]; Do What U Want [#5]; Telephone [#8]; Million Reasons [#42]; G.U.Y. [#51]; Shallow [#83]; ARTPOP [#87]; I'll Never Love Again [#97]; Born This Way [#105]; Alejandro [#142]; Marry the Night [#219]; The Cure [#326]; Applause [#336]; The Edge of Glory [#397]
                                                  Albums featured in decade-end series: Born This Way [#27]; ARTPOP [#37]; Joanne [#38]; A Star Is Born [#75]
                                                  Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
                                                  Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
                                                  Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

                                                  Comment

                                                  Working...
                                                  X