In the world of music, the charts are primarily dominated by pop songs, but it seems that in the past few months, other genres have been creeping up the ladder of popularity. The Billboard Hot 100 for the past few weeks has seen as resurgence of alternative artists, such as Twenty One Pilots, who have two songs, Heathens and Ride, in the top ten. Many alternative or rock artists have not been featured since the mid-2000s and have become less of a staple to feature as seen on award shows such as the Grammys and VMAs.
Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has also overthrown the charts with the EDM duo The Chainsmokers taking over the top and fifth spots for the week of September 17th, on the Billboard Hot 100. EDM and genres like it are picking up in terms of popularity with more pop artists collaborating with DJs on many of their songs.
This year has also been a year of comebacks with Adele and Justin Timberlake reclaiming their dominance on the charts holding their spots within the top 20. Britney Spears, who has not released any music since 2013 has reemerged since the release of her album, Glory, which came out last month. Her first single, “Make Me…” featuring G-Eazy did not quite fall on the list where many would have thought, but America does love a good comeback and Spears jumped 41 spots to number 17 this week and only looks to be doing better and better as the weeks progress.
“I listen to popular songs on the radio sometimes because I like the beats and rhythm of them, like most people do that is how we are hardwired, but there a few songs that do not have the best messages especially for teens,” Junior Irene Jenkins said.
She has a great point because most songs that become popular are due in part to how they are composed and produced, not necessarily for the content of it. If you looked at the lyrics for any songs that have topped the charts recently it may cause you to rethink what plays through you and your peers headphones on a daily basis.
Music and radio has become more diverse within the past few years than it ever has been before. “I would like to think that radio plays a diverse selection of music, but not really because it seems like it is the same artists,” Jenkins said.
Of course there are those artists and songs you hear constantly on the radio, such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Drake, Taylor Swift, etc., but at the same time those artists are incorporating other genres into their music. It is typical of pop singers to include rappers on at least one of their tracks on an album, but it is because it is a formula that works and why would you mess with perfection? Justin Bieber has included more EDM into his songs and has collaborated with many EDM DJs within the past year.
Either way you slice it, people are going to have differing music tastes and the charts are just showing what people are craving wanting to hear. Like most fads these genres of music will come and go but there will always be an audience for it, much like rock has weaved in and out of the mainstream. This year in music has highlighted so many artists that deserve the credit they are due and the Grammys this coming February will definitely bring some surprises.
Stats credited to Billboard and Spotify