“Rolling Stone” has a list of the 50 most important “music moments” of the past decade . . . and it’s a mix of legitimately influential happenings, changes in the industry, and shameless viral sensations.
Here are 20 highlights from the list, in chronological order:
1. November of 2010: The Beatles finally put their music on iTunes.
2. March of 2011: 13-year-old Rebecca Black releases her viral hit “Friday“. “Fun, fun, fun, fun . . . kickin’ in the front seat, sittin’ in the back seat. Gotta make my mind up. Which seat can I take?” (huh?)
3. July of 2011: Spotify makes its U.S. debut. It now has 248 million global users.
4. April of 2012: A hologram of Tupac Shakur “performs” at Coachella.
5. Winter of 2012: Psy’s viral hit “Gangnam Style” explodes on the Internet.
6. Winter of 2013: The “Frozen” soundtrack smashes all expectations, and earns an Oscar for its title track “Let It Go”.
7. Summer of 2014: Canadian teenager Shawn Mendes gets half a billion views on Vine with six-second covers of Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran songs.
8. September of 2014: U2 suddenly gave half a billion people unsolicited downloads of “Songs of Innocence” on their iTunes accounts.
9. November of 2014: Taylor Swift abruptly pulled her entire catalog from Spotify, in a protest against their free tier. She returned in 2017.
10. March of 2015: A jury decides that Robin Thicke ripped off Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up”.
11. March of 2015: James Corden and Mariah Carey do the very first “Carpool Karaoke”.
12. July of 2015: Album releases move to Friday.
13. April of 2016: The death of Prince shocks his fans, and puts the future of his vaults of music in jeopardy.
14. June of 2016: The Grammys vote to include streaming-only albums.
15. January of 2017: “Despacito” sweeps the globe without a word of English.
16. March of 2017: Future unseats his own #1 album with another #1.
17. July of 2018: Cardi B is the first female rapper to score two #1 hits.
18. January of 2019: The app TikTok finished 2018 with 1 billion downloads.
19. March of 2019: Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” goes viral.
20. July 2019 to present: Taylor Swift’s public fight with Scooter Braun and her old label boss over her master recordings.
(RollingStone.com has the whole list.)