We have once again arrived at our end of the year lists. It sounds crazy to say we have reached the end of the year. I think we can all agree 2020 was a blur on it’s own with all the darkness and sadness we experienced at the peak of COVID-19. Now we’re at the end of 2021 and asking how we got here. While we have come out the other side of the pandemic, the shadow of COVID continues to hang over us with the new variants popping up all the time. One thing’s for sure, 2021 was a little bit better. With the vaccine coming out, it allowed us to begin to get some sense of normalcy back. One thing we got to experience again was live music.
We all love music. It speaks to us in various ways and it’s one of the things we can all unite over. That brings us to our list of the top artists of 2021.
Speaking of music that speaks to us in various ways, the beautiful talented Adele released her fourth album “30” in November and it’s an incredibly emotional one. We know Adele is known for keeping it real and telling it like it is with every album she does but this one is a completely different experience. We’re getting a raw glimpse into all the emotional highs and lows she went through as she was dealing with her divorce. She paints a portrait of what it’s like trying to find yourself when you feel completely lost. What’s most important is that this album is a way to show us its all okay to not be okay.
We also need to acknowledge that amazing “One Night Only” special performance event she had at Griffith Park which aired alongside her interview with Oprah. Adele knows how to put on a show which is why we know she’s going to be phenomenal at her Vegas residency next year.
Alicia Keys is another phenomenal artist that has been doing big things in 2021. She’s preparing to release a new album titled “Keys,” on December 10th. Her first album “Songs In A Minor” celebrated its 20th anniversary, and she released a docu-series on YouTube titled Noted: Alicia Keys: The Untold Stories. She even launched her own skin care line Keys Soulcare earlier this year. Alicia is also known for her positive interactions with her fans. If you sign up for her text list, from time to time she sends loving affirmations that are incredibly uplifting. I highly recommend it. She’s just an amazing artist with such a down to earth spirit and we can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in 2022.
Yup, you read that right. We said Ben Barnes. Sure, we all know him as The Darkling in Shadow and Bone, but if you have been following his career for years like we have, you know he’s also a talented musician. After 20 years, he finally made his and our dreams come true by releasing his own EP perfectly titled “Songs For You.” It was definitely worth the wait. The five song EP has an old soul vibe, and each song is unique. It’s one that lifted our spirits, and we couldn’t be happier to be blasting Ben’s music on our stereos.
You know we love us some Billie Eilish so you should never be surprised when she makes our lists. Billie is wise beyond her years. She’s very talented and this year she released her third album “Happier Than Ever.” It’s an album that showcases how much she’s matured, and it deals with some pretty heavy emotion. We saw Billie give more parts of herself to her fans than she has in the past, she graced the cover of the June issue of Vogue magazine, and as a co-chair of the Met Gala, she hosted alongside Timothée Chalamet, Amanda Gorman, and Naomi Osaka. This year she also released an emotional documentary “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry” which gave fans an even deeper glimpse into who she is. Most recently, she’s launched her first fragrance “Eilish” which sold out immediately. She’s also preparing to head back on the road for her “Happier Than Ever” tour.
I mean, did you think we weren’t going to put BTS on this list? Yes, we know that “Be” came out last year but, like we said, the pandemic kinda messed up our times so we can talk about it. This K-Pop group is one of our absolute favorites. Their songs are upbeat, and they put on one hell of a show. The BTS Army is incredibly loyal and BTS interacts with them all in a special way. They brought us a lot of joy and fun-filled performances that constantly made us smile. This group has something magical, and we hope they are around for a long time.
Okay, we know Fine Line released last year but, last year put a whole lot of things on hold so we’re talking about Harry now okay? We love Harry Styles. Since his 1D days all the way to now. He’s not just an amazingly talented musician, we’re learning he’s an even more talented actor. The Watermelon Sugar singer has spent part of the year working on films “Don’t Worry Darling” and “My Policeman” which are set to release next year. And *spoiler alert* he has a cameo at the end of Marvels “Eternals” as the character Eros which obviously means Harry’s now a member of the Marvelverse.
In addition to all of these things, Harry just completed an amazing 42 shows in the US for Love On Tour which was pushed back due to the pandemic. I was able to get my Harry fix this year thanks to him requiring all COVID-19 protocols be followed. Harry also just launched his own beauty line “Pleasing” which has been selling out since the first pre-orders began. There are currently rumors that his third album is not far off either but we’re all just going to have to stay tuned for that.
Halsey is having an amazing 2021 for sure. They had their first child an adorable baby named Ender. Their fourth album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power which was produced by Nine Inch Nails members Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross released in August and has been nominated for a Grammy. The artist even gave us a film in IMAX which was an immersive experience that was released prior to the album launch. Like the previous artists we mentioned above, Halsey also dropped their own beauty line About-face which is an all-inclusive line for all beauty types. Just take a look at the catalog to see the diversity and we don’t just mean skin color.
Justin Bieber has been having a good year. His sixth album Justice released earlier this year and like his previous ones, it’s amazing and another reminder of the talented individual he is. We know Justin has had his own struggles but who hasn’t? we think far too many people have misjudged him and he’s really grown. He’s living his best life with his gorgeous wife Hailey, and also preparing to hit the road next year for the Justice World tour. We love Justin and have no problem saying so. His positivity and the fact that he is not afraid to share his faith with his fans is something we really appreciate.
Justin’s music speaks to all ages and his latest music video for his song “Ghost” is one that we all need right now. It’s a song about loss and how to find your wait out of the grief. Say what you will about Justin but he’s an artist who knows how to grab you by your emotions. Recently, he also took part in his own virtual live concert via the metaverse with Wave which is a company designed to give you a virtual concert filled with avatars. I know it might sound weird to some but, it was actually very entertaining to watch, and it will make you smile and hey, it’s Justin Bieber.
Khalid just knows how to put us in our feels. His voice and lyrics hit us deep in our soul. His track “New Normal” which released in July was one that we felt deeply living in this post-pandemic world. It’s a track that could not be more relatable. Seriously, if you haven’t listened to it, we highly recommend you do so ASAP. He recently dropped an EP titled Scenic Drive (The Tape). It has a total of eight songs and every last one is a soulful dream featuring some other incredible artist as well. Like Khalid said back in September “R&B Khalid activated.”
Maroon 5 always puts us in a good mood and takes us on an emotional rollercoaster at the same time. Their seventh album Jordi is no different. The album is named after and dedicated to Jordan Feldstein, the band’s manager, and a friend of Adam LeVine’s since childhood, who passed away in 2017, just as they were releasing Red Pill Blues. We knew when “Beautiful Mistakes” featuring Megan Thee Stallion dropped, this was going to be a good album. Jordi is one of those albums you put on and take a long drive down the coast somewhere. It has all the vibes of spring/summer but we’re still listening to it in December. Adam Levine’s voice just takes us places and we never get tired of hearing him croon away on tracks like my personal favorites “Lost” and “Echo.”
This 18-year-old is a phenom. She’s accomplished so much already, from acting to releasing her debut album Sour which is an ode to heartbreak and everything in between. She’s been to the White house to urge young people to get vaccinated, and she just received Variety’s Songwriter of the Year award at this year’s Hitmakers event. We don’t know anyone out there who hasn’t been blasting “Driver’s license” or screaming out the lyrics to “Déjà vu.” Olivia is another wise beyond her years artist who writes form the heart and speaks her truth.
Only Taylor Swift can make everything feel brand new, and this year she made RED feel like something we hadn’t heard. Taylor is a genius, from her marketing to her music, but even better than that – she has a genuine love for her fans. She is a rare gem and a once in a lifetime talent. She’s also the only person who could get us to listen to a 10-minute song, over and over.
We don’t think The Weeknd ever stops working. Last year his song Blinding Lights was dominating the charts and families all over were TikToking away to it in order to get their minds off the pandemic. This year, he performed at the Super bowl halftime show and he officially put to bed the After Hours era by retiring that red suit and bandaged face. Now, he’s taking us on yet another musical journey as we head into a new era. We know his latest album is complete and we can’t wait to find out where this one is taking us. We got a little preview with his track Take My Breath which includes a music video that makes us want well, oxygen. We don’t know what the theme is for the new album but it’s The Weeknd so we know it’s going to be one that takes us on a wild and unique ride.
OUR END OF THE YEAR LISTS
- Fangirlish 2021 End Of Year Lists: Our Favorite Fandom Accounts Of 2021
- Fangirlish 2021 End Of Year Lists: Our Favorite Instagram Accounts
- Fangirlish 2021 End of Year Lists: 10 TV Deaths We Wish We Could Take Back
- Fangirlish 2021 End of Year Lists: 15 Books We LOVED This Year
- Fangirlish 2021 End Of Year Lists: Our Top Artists Of 2021
- Fangirlish 2021 End Of Year Lists: Scenes We Could Watch Over and Over
- Fangirlish 2021 End Of Year Lists: People Who Made Us Swoon In 2021