2020 was undoubtedly a year with many surprises, and the music industry was no different. With a global pandemic sending everyone inside, artists could take some breaks from their working schedules and tours, allowing for more intimate time to work on putting out new music. This focus on content creation made for a great year in music.
One notable artist of the year was Taylor Swift, who dropped not one, but two surprise albums in 2020. The first of the two, "folklore," dropped on July 24 and received five total Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year for its lead single, “Cardigan.” Swift dropped her second surprise album on Dec. 11. This album also received praise, specifically for the songs “willow” and “no body, no crime.”
Swift was one of many pop artists who dropped albums in 2020. Shawn Mendes released his fourth album, "Wonder," which featured hit songs including “Wonder" and the Justin Bieber collaboration “Monster.”
Dua Lipa was another artist with a successful year after releasing her album "Future Nostalgia" in March. Several songs on the album became very popular, including “Don’t Start Now,” “Levitating” and “Break My Heart,” earning it a nomination for a People’s Choice Award in the Album of 2020 category.
Miley Cyrus released her first true rock album on Nov. 27, titled "Plastic Hearts." On top of several hit songs, the album also featured collaborations with artists such as Dua Lipa, Joan Jett and Billy Idol. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Rock Albums Chart, making for a successful introduction in the world of rock music for Cyrus.
2020 also saw several successful rap albums, including "My Turn" by Lil Baby, "Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon" by Pop Smoke and "Eternal Atake" by Lil Uzi Vert.
With 2020 being a year of sitting inside, it made for the perfect opportunity to fill the room with music and discover the creativity and dedication to music that artists delivered.
Given the successful surprises in the music industry last year, it will be interesting to hear what's to come.