2016: The Year of Impactful, Iconic Music

By Jenna Yusuf , Staff Writer

The year of 2016 offered a unique era of iconic pop, R&B and hip hop, and an unsuspected ushering in of country music popularized by artists such as Beyoncé and The Chainsmokers.  Several underappreciated artists had their music recognized, some even elevating to the top most influential musicians today. Known for his eye-catching hair, The Weeknd released an album titled Starboy in November. Along with a common theme of recklessness, The Weeknd sings about his struggle with fame, hence the name Starboy. In “Reminder,” he stresses being in a strange world where he tries to find balance between his mysterious life lived behind closed doors and the idol he has become today. Another theme, struggles with relationships, is persistent throughout the album. The Canadian artist is the first in history to have had three songs, “Can’t Feel My Face,” “The Hills,” and “Earned It” simultaneously be the top three on the Billboard- Hot R&B Songs chart, resulting in the pieces winning other honorable awards. Commonly known for her role as Cat from the show Victorious, Ariana Grande is one of today’s greatest female influences of pop. “Dangerous Woman” hit the charts on a national level after a video of her singing the track went viral. Several of her other singles were awarded, foreshadowing a successful future of music. Commonly dubbed “Queen Bee” by American youth, widely-loved Beyoncé put out several jaw-dropping pieces like no other. Young fans took to Twitter and Snapchat to express  their deep admiration of her album Lemonade.  With individual music videos for each track, Lemonade won the Soul Train Music Award for Album of the Year along with several other honorable awards. When asked about artists of 2016, Ashley Benitez (9) listed a few of her favorites. “I listen to a lot of Little Mix, Troye Sivan, Sean Mendes, Kehlani, John Legend, Rihanna, and a bit of Drake. I decided to explore different genres of music during the year.” With the new year comes more iconic pieces like the ones listed above and hopefully, many more talented artists to be discovered.