The Year Pop Music Forgot

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


It’s been a while since we’ve had a good pop music moment. Sure, there have been a few hits here and there, but nothing that has truly captured the zeitgeist like we used to see in the ’90s and early 2000s. Some say that pop music has taken a backseat to other genres in recent years, but we believe that it’s just been biding its time. The Year Pop Music Forgot is a blog dedicated to celebrating the best pop music

The state of pop music in 2016

It’s hard to deny that pop music has seen better days. Once a dominant force in the music industry, pop music has been on a steady decline in recent years. A number of factors have contributed to this, including the rise of streaming services, the popularity of EDM and hip hop, and the general decline in sales of physical music formats.

In 2016, pop music was further diminished by a number of high-profile artist deaths, including Prince, David Bowie, and George Michael. These losses, combined with a lack of breakout stars and breakout hits, made for a year that was largely forgettable for pop music.

That’s not to say that there weren’t any good pop songs released in 2016; there were plenty. But compared to past years, 2016 was a definite low point for the genre. Here’s hoping that 2017 will be a better year for pop music.

The artists who defined pop music in 2016

In 2016, the artists who defined pop music were largely ones who either stepped away from the mainstream or who stayed on the fringes of it. That’s not to say that there weren’t pop hits this year – indeed, there were plenty. But for the most part, the artists behind them weren’t necessarily the same ones who had been dominating the charts in recent years.

Of course, there were still some familiar faces in 2016. Justin Bieber, for instance, had one of the year’s biggest hits with “Sorry.” But even Bieber spent much of the year out of the spotlight, taking a break from releasing new music and making headlines mostly for his personal life.

The biggest story in pop music this year was undoubtedly the rise of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. These services have changed the way people listen to music, and as a result, they’ve also changed the way that hits are made. In previous years, radio airplay was essential for a song to become a hit; now, a song can become popular simply by being added to a popular playlist on Spotify or Apple Music. This has led to a decline in sales of recorded music, but it has also made it easier for independent and up-and-coming artists to gain exposure.

2016 was also a big year for international artists in the United States. In particular, Latin American artists like Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Ozuna had huge hits with their songs “Despacito” and “Chantaje.” These songs became crossover successes thanks to their catchy melodies and unique blend of genres; they also proved that there is an appetite for international pop music in the United States.

So what does all this mean for pop music in 2017? It’s hard to say for sure. But one thing is certain: with streaming services continuing to change the way we listen to music, we can expect more surprises – and more hits – from unlikely sources in the year ahead.

The sound of pop music in 2016

In 2016, there was a strange disconnect between the sound of popular music and the cultural zeitgeist. It was a year when edgy, left-field artists like Chance the Rapper and Kanye West released some of the most acclaimed albums, but the biggest hits were bland, safe pop songs like “Closer” by The Chainsmokers and “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake.

This disconnect was reflective of a larger trend in the music industry: as streaming services have taken over, listener habits have changed, and hits are no longer dominated by traditional radio airplay. In 2016, only four of the year’s top 10 songs were played on radio more than 1,000 times, compared to eight in 2015 and nine in 2014. Instead, listeners are finding new music on sites like Spotify and Apple Music, and sharing it on social media.

This shift has had a major impact on the sound of pop music. In the past, hits were often dictated by what radio stations would play; now, they’re dictated by what gets people talking online. This has led to a surge in popularity for ” SoundCloud rap,” a subgenre of hip-hop that’s defined by its DIY aesthetic and unique production values. SoundCloud rappers like Lil Yachty and Desiigner had two of the year’s biggest hits with “Broccoli” and “Panda,” respectively.

It’s also led to a renewed interest in ’90s-style R&B; after years of being overshadowed by hip-hop, R&B is finally having its moment again thanks to artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Frank Ocean. And it’s made room for more experimental sounds to break through; 2016 was a big year for avant-garde pop artists like Bjork and Solange Knowles, who both released fascinating albums that pushed boundaries both sonically and thematically.

In many ways, 2016 was a strange year for pop music. But it was also an exciting one; after years of stagnation, it finally felt like anything was possible again.

The future of pop music

In 2015, a new wave of artists emerged who are redefining what pop music can be. No longer content to stay within the confines of traditional pop, these artists are experimenting with new sounds and styles, and incorporating elements of other genres into their music. As a result, pop music is evolving faster than ever before.

What does the future of pop music hold? It’s hard to say for sure, but one thing is certain: it’s going to be exciting. We can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store for us.

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