2010's Music

Music 2010's.mp4

Music in the 2010's

This decade was in many ways the rediscovery of sound and music as artists from nearly every genre reinvented themselves in the 2010's.  The pop music industry introduces a number of new stars that each take a different piece of American culture to create a new sound  - stars like Billie Eilish entering the music scene at the end of the decade.  The 2010's however, were in many ways the decade of Hip Hop with songs from the genre ruling the Billboard charts and hip hop artists making their way into every aspect of American life from sports to television to movies.

Electronic Dance Music or EDM also regained popularity in the 2010's, with a unique sound and an America that wants to have fun and "be themselves" the EDM environment fits right in.  From songs about partying to personal empowerment to self reflection EDM takes you on a journey that many of America's youth genuinely connect with.  

However, the genre that saw the most change was probably country music in 2010's with a new rock/hip hop sound and messages that more closely align with the ideologies of the millennial generation.  

Music was continuing to evolve with the rest of America and the development of new technologies made creating music something anyone could do.  Much like the television industry was reshaped by streaming services in the 2010s, the 2020's may very well do the same thing to music.


Task 1: Watch the Introductory Video to this Unit (5 minutes)

Task 2: Review the provided images and attached links for Music during the 2010's (10 minutes)

Task 4: Exploring Music Through Dance (20 minutes)

Music is a great conduit of Pop Culture because of its mass appeal, its timeliness, and its diversity.  Another element of Pop Culture that directly connects to music is dance. Dance shows the spirit of the nation and the evolution of personal expression. You will research, identify and explain ONE (1) new dance styles or trends from the 2010's and explain how it represents the changes in America.  

(Examples include Disco as it represents a new era of free expression, the Macarena and the influence of television, or Gangnam Style and the influence of the internet and globalization)

Your response should include:

Task 5: Discuss Your Selection in Small Groups (4 - 6 students) (10 minutes)

Task 6: Submit Your Work on GOOGLE CLASSROOM


Pop music in the 2010's was really a genre without a singular identity, as was the case with much of music throughout the 2010's.  This decade came to be about collaboration and experimentation and so a lot of new sounds and artists emerge during this decade.  Some are discovered and cultivated in the traditional format, but more artists are now being discovered through social media platforms, reality television shows and by producing and releasing their own albums on these streaming platforms.  The decade began with breakout star Adele sharing her unique sound, artists like Ed Sheeran become songwriters for everyone while becoming a star in his own right and grassroots stars like Billie Eilish end the decade with a unique sound produced in her bedroom with her teenage brother that completely puts pop music on hits head once again.


Song: Rolling in the Deep

Release Year: 2011

Song Length: 3:54

Ed Sheeran

Song: Thinking Out Loud

Release Year: 2014

Song Length: 4:57

Billie Eilish 

Song: everything i wanted

Release Year: 2019

Song Length: 4:58

Hip Hop

Hip Hop was by far the most popular form of music throughout the 2010's with artists blending sounds and new artists emerging every day.  The development of music streaming services like sound cloud young and unheard of artists could get their sound out to more listeners and directly impact the sound of the genre.   The hip hop and rap industry also takes interest in the NBA and many artists become connected to NBA stars and franchises like Drake who became the official fan liaison for the Toronto Raptor for much of the 2010's.  Hip hop became so big that in 2015 the movie Straight Outta Compton was released recounting the story of the rap/hip hop group N.W.A., the film had tremendous box office success.  There are so many styles of hip hop within the genre and the idea of niche marketing has become even more exact, allowing for a number of new sounds to emerge.  

Kanye West

Song: Famous

Release Year: 2016

Song Length: 3:21

Travis Scott

Song: Coffee Bean

Release Year: 2018

Song Length: 3:30

Post Malone

Song: Better Now

Release Year: 2018

Song Length: 3:52

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) / House

Electronic Dance Music made a comeback in the 2010's with young people looking for an escape from reality.  The club feel and large dance party gatherings became increasingly popular throughout the 2010's and many of the EDM hits of the decade were actually a cross between pop music, hip hop and the EDM sound.  This produced a wide array of musical sounds in the decade from the party jams of the early 2010's by artists like LMFAO or personal anthems and celebrations with artists like the Chainsmokers.  


Song: Party Rock Anthem

Release Year: 2011

Song Length: 6:17

**Fun Fact: Lead singer Redfoo (Stephen Gordy) is the son of Berry Gordy - a music industry legend and the founder of Motown.

Steve Aioki

Song: Why Are We So Broken

Release Year: 2018

Song Length: 3:49

The Chainsmokers

Song: Something Just Like This

Release Year: 2017

Song Length: 4:08

Country Music

Country music was looking for ways to become more relevant and welcoming in the 2010's as many of the biggest stars of the genre like Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood cross over into a more Pop sound.  A new rock and hip hop cross over sound began to take the country scene by storm with young artists like Florida Georgia Line, artists like Eric Church bring the millennial sound to country and Lil Nas X completes the crossover with his smash hit Old Town Road.  The country music had made many changes, but a hip-hop crossover with a black artist was a little much for many in the country music industry to bear and had the song removed from the country charts so Billy Ray Cyrus re-released the album to refute any technicalities some used to exclude the song.  The public responded by welcoming the gay, black, hip hop artist into the industry as a country music star ushering in a new era of country music in America.

Florida Georgia Line

Song: This is How We Roll

Release Year: 2013

Song Length: 4:01

Eric Church

Song: Mr. Misunderstood

Release Year: 2015

Song Length: 5:25

Lil Nas X

Song: Old Town Road

Release Year: 2019

Song Length: 5:09

Streaming Services

One thing that definitely changed music in the 2010s music is the way fans consumed it. In 2010 you were probably still debating whether to throw your CDs out after ripping the music to iTunes. Spotify was quietly introduced as a streaming platform in 2011, and streaming revenue eventually overtook physical sales in 2017. At the moment, paid streaming services (including Spotify, Apple Music and others) account for a whopping 80 per cent of the music industry’s revenue.The implications of this are vast. If you’re an average listener, you’re probably hearing a greater variety of new music than ever before, and you’re not missing the days when your options were limited by radio playlists or your CD-buying budget.

Unlike the old digital realm, where iTunes was basically the only game in town, the streaming world has more than one major provider. Apple Music has joined Spotify as a global player, while the video-focused YouTube has also launched a subscription music service. The sheer variety of material on YouTube has made it one of the most populated internet sites: with radio and MTV long gone as promotional outlets, it has become a platform for discovering new talent, and the list of artists who’ve broken out via the site – The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen – is growing all the time.  (https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/2010s-music-history/ )


Spotify was established in 2006 by Ek and Martin Lorentzon, two Swedish entrepreneurs who have since become billionaires. It was centered around the idea of a legal platform to distribute music online at a time when illegal file sharing sites dominated this market segment. 

Spotify's popularity marked the music industry's shift from physical to digital, to embracing the internet rather than fighting it, with the platform has helped to spread the medium of streaming services in many parts of the world.

Spotify says it currently has 159 million monthly users, including 71 million paying subscribers. Its value is estimated to be as much as $23.4 billion.

Nonetheless, many competitors have since emerged, including Apple Music, Amazon and others. They all aim to win a slice of the music streaming market, which grew by 60.4 percent in 2016 according to the annual report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). That year, Spotify controlled 44 percent of the overall subscriber share.

But while Spotify is undoubtedly the driving force of a turnaround in the music industry, the service has not posted a profit since it launched. (https://www.dw.com/en/spotify-how-a-swedish-startup-transformed-the-music-industry/a-43230609 )