The last 10 years saw the evolution of several genres of music along with big changes in how we get our songs. Rap, indie rock, electronic, country, and all sorts of combinations of them have dominated the charts over the last 10 years. Big trends included the return of traditional instruments like mandolin and banjo in indie rock by the likes of Mumford and Sons and Vance Joy and the meteoric rise of K-pop and reggaeton on the world stage. Meanwhile, Rap music became the most listened to genre in the United States.
The ways we consume music have changed drastically over the years. Recordings have evolved through several different mediums including 78s and vinyl discs, four-track and cassette tapes, and CDs — with vinyl recently making a limited comeback. As things went digital in the early 2000s, sales of recorded music slipped thanks to the ease of pirating. Legitimate streaming services soon found a way to give listeners easy access to enormous libraries of music for decent monthly rates, and sites like SoundCloud made it even easier for unknown artists to get their music out there.
To determine which bands have had the most success over the past decade, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on chart performance, certified album and single sales, monthly Spotify listeners, and Wikipedia pageviews. (These are the most popular hit singles of the 21st century.)
Many of the musicians on our list got their start in previous decades but had big moments in the past 10 years. Some groups, like Blink-182 and Paramore, have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Others had a couple massive hit songs that were enough to land them on this list. Big names like One Direction and the Jonas Brothers had their moment in the sun, but the former is now on indefinite hiatus and the latter broke up in 2013 — before reuniting in 2019 and releasing a song that became their first No. 1 Billboard single. (These are the most popular rock bands of all time)
To determine the most popular bands of the last 10 years, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on chart performance, certified album and single sales, monthly Spotify listeners, and Wikipedia pageviews for the period between August 2011 and September 2021. An inverted ranking of a band’s performance on the Billboard Hot 100 — giving a song at position No. 100 for one week one point, a song at position No. 99 two points, and so on up to a song at position No. 1 worth 100 points — was computed and given full weight. A band’s total certified U.S. album and single sales came from the Recording Industry Association of America and were each given half weight. Average monthly Spotify listener count and daily Wikipedia pageview count came from music data platform Chartmetric and were given full weight. Only bands with at least three songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the last 10 years were included.
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