2000s in music

This article is an overview of the major events and trends in popular music in the 2000s.

For music from a year in the 2000s, go to 00 | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09

In American culture, various styles of the late 20th century remained popular, such as in rock, pop, metal, hip hop, R&B, EDM, country and indie. As the technology of computers and internet sharing developed, a variety of those genres started to fuse in order to see new styles emerging. Terms like "contemporary", "nu", "revival", "alternative", and "post" are added to various genres titles in order to differentiate them from past styles, nu-disco and post-punk revival as notable examples.

The popularity of teen pop carried over from the 1990s with acts such as *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera dominating the charts in the earlier years of the decade. Previously established Pop Music artists such as Michael Jackson and Madonna made a comeback in the early 2000s with successful releases such as Invincible[1] and Music. Contemporary R&B was one of the most popular genres of the decade (especially in the early and mid-2000s), with artists like Usher, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, and Rihanna. In 2004, the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 had 15 of its top 25 singles as contemporary R&B.[2]

The decade was dominated by the garage rock revival and the birth of a new indie rock style.[3] In this decade, grime was a genre invented in the UK, while chillwave became popular in the United States in the latter part of the decade.[4]

In Britain, Britpop, post punk revival and alternative rock were at the height of their popularity with acts such as Coldplay, The Libertines, Oasis, Lynda Thomas, Travis, Dido, Blur, The Hives, Björk, and Radiohead, which still continued at the top of the major charts in the rest of the world since the 1990s.[5]

Hip hop music achieved major mainstream status after the 1990s following the deaths of many prominent artists such as 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G.[6] Artists outside of New York and Los Angeles in cities like Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Toronto, and the Bay Area all achieved mainstream success. Popular rap movements of the 2000s include Crunk, Snap, Hyphy, and Alternative Hip Hop.

Despite the hip hop dominance, such as Southern hip hop which lasted for most of the decade (particularly the middle years),[7] rock music was still popular, notably alternative rock, and especially genres such as post-grunge, post-Britpop, nu metal, pop punk, emo, post-hardcore, metalcore, and in some cases indie rock; the early and mid-2000s saw a resurgence in the mainstream popularity of pop rock and power pop.[8]

Even though the popularity amidst the mainstream audience dipped slightly, Country music continued to rise in sales, having a strong niche in the music industry. The genre saw the rise of new front-runners like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and Miley Cyrus, who were able to score top hits on all-genre Billboard charts, apart from the country charts, by appealing to a wider audience outside the genre.[9]

Electronic music was also popular throughout the decade; at the beginning of the 2000s, genres such as trance, chillout, house, indietronica,[10] and Eurodance (in Europe) were popular. By the end of the decade, late 1980s/early 1990s inspired dance-oriented forms of electronic music such as synthpop, electropop, and electro house had become popular.

By the end of the decade, a fusion between hip hop and electronic dance similar to the Freestyle music of the late 1980s and early 1990s, known as Hip House and Electrohop also grew successful.[11]

In many Asian musical markets, with the increase of globalization and the spread of capitalism, music became more Westernised, with influences of pop, hip hop, and contemporary R&B becoming ever-present in Eastern markets. American and European popular music also became more popular in Asia.

Genres such as J-pop and K-pop remained popular throughout the decade, proliferating their cultural influence throughout the East and Southeast of Asia. In other parts of Asia, including India, Indian pop music, closely linked to Bollywood films and filmi music, was popular alongside Western pop music.[12]

In Latin America, whilst R&B, hip hop, and pop rock did have influence and success, Latin-based pop music remained highly popular.

Reggaeton became a definitive genre in 2000s Latin music, as well as salsa and merengue.[13] Subgenres fusing Latin music such as merengue and reggaeton with hip hop and rap music became popular from the middle of the decade onwards.

The continued development of studio recording software and electronic elements was observed throughout this decade. One such example is the usage of pitch correction software, such as auto-tune that appeared in the late 1990s.[14] Another great impact to this decade was the ongoing development of the internet and user-friendly media players, such as iTunes, and music and video sharing websites such as Napster and YouTube, respectively.[15] The internet in general allowed for unprecedented access to music and made it possible for artists to distribute their music freely without label backing.[16] Innumerable online outlets and sheer volume of music also offers musicians more musical influences to draw from.[17][16]


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