Top 5 Music Artists of the 2010s

25 November 2019

By Jack McArdle

After reviewing the top five DJs of the 2010s, I’ve decided to tackle the past 10 years of music as a whole. Therefore I’m going to explain, in-depth, why I believe that the following five artists have had the most influence across the globe since 2010.

5. Bruno Mars


A close call for the fifth spot, however, Mr Mars edges in due to his live performance.

Releasing his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, back in 2010, this instantly topped charts in Europe, and sold over 6,000,000 copies worldwide. Singles from the album Just The Way You Are and Marry You have since been played at every single wedding in the world.

Mars has the ability to create a song for any type of mood. If you’re feeling down you’ve got When I Was Your Man and Talking To The Moon, and if you’re feeling high on life there’s Treasure and 24k Magic.

The energy that is brought to the stage when Bruno Mars is on is unquestionably unmatched by any other artist I have seen. This, paired with the eleven Grammys, six BMAs and three BRITs is a good enough reason to place him at number five on this list.

Best album: Doo-Wops & Hooligans, 2010

Best song: The Lazy Song, from Doo-Wops & Hooligans

4. Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran is the only British artist to make this list. The young 20-year-old released his debut album, +, in April 2011, and he instantly found fame through its headline single The A Team.

After receiving several BRITs, Sheeran released his most successful album to date, x. It sits at number 20 on the list of biggest-selling UK albums in chart history.

Sheeran’s concerts are a must-see. With just one guitar he can play every single song he’s ever written – and that’s all you really need. Like Bruno Mars, many of Ed Sheeran’s work is varied, however, most songs are slower and well written with meaningful lyrics, such as Thinking Out Loud and Perfect.

Best album: x, 2014

Best song: You Need Me, I Don’t Need You, from +

3. Taylor Swift


It would be rude to deny the American from the list. Swift originally started off by releasing country music, however, she soon found a place to stay in the pop industry.

Swift’s most popular songs are probably Blank Space and Shake It Off, both from the 1989 album, however her records for one particular song was with Look What You Made Me Do, where she claimed the world records for the most-streamed female track in one week, most-viewed music video online, most-streamed track on Spotify in 24hrs and the most-watched video on VEVO in 24hrs.

When not on stage, Swift has been all over the news, notably for dating Harry Styles, and the infamous MTV Awards moment when Kanye West came on stage and ruined her speech.

Best album: 1989, 2014

Best song: Delicate, from Reputation

2. Drake

Drake has revolutionised rap/hip-hop music in the past 10 years. Everything that this man releases becomes an instant hit, whether through a meme or a feud with Kanye West (who is nowhere near to making this list by the way).

Hotline Bling and One Dance are septuple platinum songs, with his biggest single, God’s Plan, making eight million sales – that’s octuple platinum!

Complex magazine rates Drake at number one on the ‘Biggest Rapper Alive Every Year Since 1979’ list. The Canadian also has the most weeks at number one on the hot 100 since 2010 too.

Drake has stated many times, particularly through the promotion of the Nothing Was The Same album, that he really had Started From The Bottom. And now, he’s very close to the top.

Best album: Views, 2016

Best song: Passionfruit, from More Life

1. Rihanna

Rihanna has to take it. Despite the fact that the Barbadian hasn’t released an album since Anti in 2016, her total domination of the charts from 2010 until then makes her the biggest artist of the decade.

Everybody can name at least five Rihanna number ones – in fact, since 2010 she’s had 10 Billboard Hot 100 number ones, six UK number ones and has sold more than 10 million albums in the US alone, with nearly 5 million sales in the UK.

Perhaps the singer’s most popular song was the collaboration with Calvin Harris for We Found Love, which was the late summer song of 2011.

Best album: Unapologetic, 2012

Best song: Umbrella, from Good Girl Gone Bad

Honorable mentions go to Adele, Lady Gaga and Beyonce. As we look ahead to a new decade of music, it will be interesting to see if there will be any more Harlem Shakes or Gangnam Styles to rock the globe. I’m sure there will be…

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