The year 2017 was one of record-breaking and genre-bending music. One of the biggest songs of the year, “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, soared through the charts. It has the most views of any video on YouTube, is the best-selling song that isn’t primarily English, and is tied for the longest reign at number one. If it wasn’t for the smash hit, “Look What You Made Me Do” by Taylor swift, then Despacito would have remained at the top of the chart for a much longer time.
Despite its release late in the year, Swift’s album, Reputation, was the number one selling album of 2017. In fact, it became the best-selling album after only four days, with 1.9 million units sold. Her friend and collaborator on the album , Ed Sheeran, had the second best-selling album of the year, Divide, and the best selling song of the year, “Shape of You”. He also had the third, fifth, and eigth best-selling songs: “Castle on the Hill,” “Perfect,” and “Galway Girl.” Another outstanding achievement of this year was Cardi B topping the charts with her song “Bodak Yellow.” She is the only solo female rapper to achieve that since Lauryn Hill in 1998.
The highest award a musician can ever get is a Grammy and, in February, many deserving artists were awarded. Adele won the most with five awards including Album and Record of the Year. Later in the year, Bruno Mars dominated at the American Music Awards, with eight awards for his album 24K Magic.
Music has always been a way for people to connect and heal, which has never been more true than in 2017. It began with the horrific attack on Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester, England, last May that left 23 dead. To combat this hatred, Grande threw a benefit concert called One Love Manchester with all of the profits going to the victims of the attack. Other musicians began to follow her lead, realizing that they could use their platform to help others. These musicians included Jennifer Lopez, Lin Manuel Miranda, Jay-Z, and Willie Nelson, all for different causes.
In 2017, music started to become more political. Two artists stand out for doing this, Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z, with albums heavily focused on issues that the American people are experiencing today such as racism and intolerance. In addition, several artists returned to the industry after going a while without a new release, including Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Katy Perry, Kesha, Eminem, and Lady Gaga.