There is so much for us to be thankful for in music this year, and though it was hard for us to narrow down 15 music-related happenings, we managed.
Here are the 15 events in music we’re most grateful for in 2015:
15. Madonna’s Rebel Heart
The Queen of pop had a rocky start to her year after an Israeli hacker stole and leaked her entire catalogue months ahead of its premiere, but she prevailed. Madonna showed us despite getting knocked on your ass, literally and figuratively, to always continue the good fight. Her recent speech after the Paris attacks was evident of that wisdom and strength, and we’re grateful our leading lady paved the way for our other favorite starlets to blaze on. She truly is living for love.
14. Demi Lovato’s “Cool For The Summer”
What’s wrong with being confident? Absolutely nothing, and thanks to Demi Lovato that message resonated with us loud and clear this year. Her lead single “Cool For The Summer” off Confident, was a striking pop cut doused in electric guitar riffs and aahs. The track was a pivotal release to help Lovato cross over from Disney songstress to pop superstar. It’s nearly winter, but we’re still cool for the summer.
13. One Direction’s farewell
It’s hard to believe the biggest boyband on the planet is calling it quits. Err, taking a break. When the guys of One Direction announced a few months ago come spring 2016 they’re throwing in the towel until further notice, we caught some feelings. Their recent release for Made In The A.M. houses anthems everyone’s inner 13-year-old fangirl screams to. Unless you’re actually a 13-year-old girl, then by all means carry on. We’ll miss you 1D. You’re perfect.
12. Christina Aguilera’s new album
When Da Internz described the sound on Christina Aguilera’s upcoming album as “caviar ratchet,” we couldn’t help but shriek in all the right ways. Except for several releases to promote her Nashville appearances, Christina remained quiet on the music front in 2015. She only recently admitted collaborating with Linda Perry again (“Beautiful”) and says she’s nurturing the creative process. We’re expecting a Stripped 2.0.
11. Katy Perry performing at the Super Bowl
It seems likes ages ago, but Katy Perry was this year’s Super Bowl halftime show performer. Her colorful setlist of hits throughout her expansive career, including “Roar,” “Dark Horse,” “California Gurls” and “Firework,” produced countless Internet memes and helped jumpstart the Missy Elliott’s return. She also holds the title for the most watched halftime show ever, and she didn’t mention Taylor Swift or her likeness once to get there.
10. Carly Rae Jepsen’s E•MO•TION
Jepsen produced pop perfection this year when she dropped her vibey albumallowe E•MO•TION. The songs put forth, including “Warm Blood” and “Your Type,” showcase a synthy and gritty ’80s vibe that allowed us to drift away from the mundane into a world of imagination and LA hallucinations. Easily one of our favorite records in 2015.
9. Nick Jonas
8. Janet Jackson’s comeback
There were rumblings she’d return, but no one saw it coming when Jackson dropped a cryptic video announcing a new album and world tour was near. Jackson’s lead single “No Sleeep” off her Unbreakable record landed at No. 1 for five weeks on the Adult R&B Songs, marking the first time she’s accomplished this feat since her song “I Get Lonely” led the chart for five consecutive weeks in 1998. Janet’s presence in music was sorely missed.
7. Selena Gomez’s Revival
After a roller coaster relationship with Justin Bieber going up in flames (until recently) and a barrage of body shaming from Internet trolls, Selena Gomez holed herself up and recorded a pop record that reflects her enduring personality. Revival features delicious pop cuts like “Hands To Myself” and “Good For You” that not only helped rocket her to No. 1, but offered Gomez a creative outlet to show people she’s not just a pretty face for tabloid fodder, but an artist.
6. Taylor Swift’s impact
We know what you’re thinking, ‘does Taylor Swift need another accolade?’ Our answer is yes. 1989 remains one of the best-selling records and landed in the Top 10 nearly an year after its release. Her music videos give the songs wings, and she’s not done flying – Swift filmed a sixth music video this week (possibly for “Out Of The Woods”) while on a short break from touring, and we imagine it’s nothing short of wondrous.
5. Justin Bieber’s Purpose
When Bieber began his apology tour earlier this year, we didn’t believe him, but his persistence paid off. The antics moved away from blatant disregard of the law to on-stage tantrums, so we’ll take it. Drama aside, Bieber saw unimaginable success with his recent No. 1 album Purpose not just because of his humungous fanbase, but because the music was legitimately great. His collaboration with Diplo & Skrillex on “Where Are Ü Now” paved the way for Bieber to explore his new sound, and his follow-up singles “What do you mean” and “Sorry” blasted his music stature to new heights. Welcome back, Biebs.
4. Jennifer Lopez’s All I Have Las Vegas residency
JLo performed a 90-minute show in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve nearly a year ago, but an official announcement wouldn’t be made for many months to come. The worst-kept secret in recent music history proved true when JLo declared she’d perform a string of shows at Planet Hollywood beginning in January 2016, and if her American Music Awards intro performance was any indication of what fans can look forward to, buckle up.
3. Hurricane Adele
Like everyone else, we were eager for Adele’s return to music, however nothing could prepare us for the immense influence “Hello” and the 25 album would have on the music industry. She’s poised to surpass the 3 million mark opening week, and it’s due to the connection people feel when listening to the emotions poured into every song. Now that Adele has snatched nearly every music record, we look forward to seeing what she accomplishes when her arena tour kicks off in February.
2. Britney Spears’ “B9”
It’s a big deal when Britney announces she’s crafting up a new studio album. She’s pulling out the big guns for this next record, including collaborations with DJ Mustard, Julia Michaels (Justin Bieber’s “Sorry”), Justin Tranter (Gwen Stefani’s “Used To Love You”) and not Will.I.Am. She’s kept fans in the loop on several occasions during the creation process, already making it more endearing than the her most personal album ever Britney Jean. Are you ready for what’s next?
1. The BreatheHeavy Team & Readers
First off, a huge thank you to the contributing writers on BreatheHeavy: Aaron, Emilie, James, Jess, Nick and Ross. Your hard work is very much appreciated and the blog saw major growth and success in 2015 because of you.
The Exhale moderators: Da Fr3ak, Loco., HybridFan3, Venom, NotAPassenger, Nina Dobrev. The Exhale community is an expanding music community thanks to your persistence, experience and delegation.
And finally… YOU! A big thank you to all of the readers who log on every day to read about your favorites in pop music. Shifting the website from solely Britney Spears-related content to pop music last year was a scary and unnerving initial experience, but a year-and-a-half later, we are reaching more people than ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sticking with us.
Looking forward to the new changes to come in 2016! Happy Thanksgiving.