This year was an interesting one in music, as all of the artists you expected to do well did, and many new stars emerged. Between Justin Timberlake making his long awaited return to music, to Lorde becoming a household name, to Beyonce dropping a surprise album. 2013 was a really good year for a lot of different types of music.
Mean Jean’s top 10 artists of 2013:
It had been about three years since the release of his Recovery album, when Eminem announced that he was returning with a new album. The expectations went sky high when he announced that the title was the Marshall Mathers LP 2, after what many consider his best album. The album sold well, but failed to live up to the hype in many people’s eyes. Either way Em had a great year, that sees him end with the #1 song in the country.
Wow, when I first heard “Royals,” I thought the song was pretty cool and way different than anything else that was being played on the radio. Then I found out that the song was by a then 16 year old girl from New Zealand, and my mind was blown. Four Grammy nominations later; including Record and Song of the Year and Best New Artist, this young lady is a star in the making. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for young Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor.
8. Taylor Swift:
You can’t have a top artists list without including this young lady, despite her album being released last year it was still the second best selling album of 2013. She’s selling out shows all over the world and four Grammy nominations, one of which is for my favorite song by her:
7. Katy Perry:
This was a big year for Katy Perry, not as big as 2011, which saw her tie Michael Jackson as the artist with the most number one singles (5) from the same album. 2013 saw Perry outshine Lady Gaga when their singles were released on the same day, and “Roar,” went on to become the biggest single of her career. She also HAD the biggest first week sales for a female artist this year, but more on that in a bit.
6. Kanye West:
This was an interesting year for my favorite artist, Kanye West, he was CLEARLY the second most talked about musical artist of 2013. His album Yeezus was hated by everyone, except music critics and major publications, as many of them named it the Album of the Year, the album was nothing you expected and I loved that.
He did interviews for the first time in a long time and those led to many quotable lines, such as “YOU AIN’T GOT THE ANSWERS SWAY,” look it up you wont be disappointed. All that aside he added another number one album to his resume (which was controversial, critically acclaimed and different), a sold out North American tour, and projected his new single on videos on the sides of buildings all over the world. Oh yeah, and “the greatest rap verse of all time….. OF ALL TIME.”
I open the debate… The 2nd verse of New Slaves is the best rap verse of all time….meaning … OF ALL TIME IN THE HISTORY OF RAP MUSIC, PERIOD
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) July 20, 2013
5. Bruno Mars:
Bruno Mars is the definition of a pop STAR, he is another artist who’s 2012 album lead to success in 2013 including three top 25 singles; “When I Was Your Man,” “Treasure,” and “Gorilla.” Four Grammy nominations including Song and Record of the Year, and his Unorthodox Jukebox tour was a success. 2014 proves to be another success for Bruno as he will be kicking off the year as the halftime act at the Super Bowl.
It’s crazy to think that if I had done this list two weeks ago “King Bey,” wouldn’t even be on this list. She started out the year doing the halftime show at the Super Bowl, and most of the year was spent speculating about her new album, then BAM it was out. It went on to surpass Katy Perry for the best first week sales for a female artist and break the record for first week digital sales. The album is literally minutes away from going platinum (in less than three weeks).
3. Miley Cyrus:
Remember when I said that Kanye was the second most talked about musical artist of 2013? Did you think anyone else was number one? What a year for Miley Cyrus. It all started when she released the lead single to her Bangerz album, with many drug references and a very interesting (for lack of a better word) video for it. Miley was clearly trying to separate herself from her wholesome Hannah Montana image, mission accomplished. Where Miley won was that no matter how crazy her antics she still released good pop songs that people enjoyed, and bought, and shattered records on VEVO, so no matter what anyone says she took care of her business.
2. Justin Timberlake:
Justin Timberlake FINALLY made his return to music after seven looooooong years, and I like many others were a bit disappointed in the results. JT was clearly at as different point in his life and went for a more mellow vibe with his music as opposed to the big pop anthems. You can’t deny success though,two top five – double platinum singles, two number one albums, and the top selling album of the year makes for a damn good year.
1. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis:
Wow, talk about coming out of nowhere. One day on The Freakin’ Weekend Mix I heard “Thrift Shop,” for the first time, then it was everywhere. As with a lot of new artist you skeptical about whether they will last, then “Can’t Hold Us,” blew up and the two singles went seven times and four times platinum respectively. Their third single was the most ballsy song I’ve probably heard ever, in culture (hip hop), where homosexuality is a topic that is steered away from these guys took the subject head on.
If I would have told you six years or even a year ago that a rap song would start with the line “when I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay,” you’d probably look at me like I had six heads. These guys are winning and doing it on their own terms, which you have to appreciate. congrats to these two gentleman, they definitely earned it.
Follow Mean Jean on Twitter: @itsMeanJean
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