Music Trends Throughout The Decades

Music has existed for nearly as long as humans have

We hear it all the time, it inspires us, it makes us cry, and it will always be a part of our lives. Music trends change on a daily basis, so we wondered what musical genres defined each decade.
We had our own ideas and were surprised to learn what people were listening to after doing some research.

Take a look at the list below for a breakdown of music by decade and what was popular at the time.
1940’s: Swing, Jazz, Blues and Big Band. …Big artists of the time include: Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, Dorsey Brothers, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald.

1950’s: Rock ‘N Roll, B-bop, Big Band, Country. …Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Patti Page, Doris Day, Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Pat Boone, Gene Autry, Patsy Cline, Same Cooke, Hank Williams, Teresa Brewer, Ritchie Valens, Harry Belafonte, Ray Charles
1960’s: Motown, Rock ‘N Roll, and The British Invasion. …The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Monkees, The Rolling Stones, The Supremes, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Moody Blues, Janis Joplin, Neil Seddaka, Chubby Checker, The Mamas & The Papas, Cream, The Temptations, James Brown.

1970’s: Disco, Motown, and R&B. …The Doors, The Who, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Rod Stewart, Barry Manilow, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, Gloria Gaynor, The Bee Gees, The Ramones, Sex Pistols, Electric Light Orchestra, Patti Smith, The Cars, Kool & The Gang, Parliament-Funkadelic, Earth Wind & Fire, Kansas, ABBA, Donna Summer, Queen, Grand Funk Railroad, Blondie, The Carpenters, Elton John, Billy Joel
1980’s: Glam rock, Pop, Hip-Hop, Country. …Dolly Parton, Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Olivia Newton John, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Duran Duran, The Police, U2, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Poison, Twisted Sister, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Phil Collins, Cyndi Lauper, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Motley Crue, Prince, Paula Abdul, The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Go-Gos, The Bangles, Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Public Enemy, Run-DMC, MC Hammer, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Bobby Brown, New Kids on the Block, Janet Jackson, Tom Petty, Journey, Tina Turner.

1990’s: Indie, Dance, Grunge, Alternative, Rap, and Country. …Nirvana, Pearl Jam, MC Hammer, Oasis, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Salt ‘n Peppa, Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc, 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Gloria Estefan, Madonna, Whitney Houston, The Offspring, Green Day, No Doubt, Ricky Martin, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Boyz II Men, Janet Jackson, R.E.M., Weezer, Guns & Roses, Hootie & the Blowfish, Christina Aguilera, Alanis Morisette, Jewel, Oasis, Mariah Carey, Natalie Merchant, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Dave Matthews Band, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Cypress Hill, Foo Fighters, The Smashing Pumpkins.

2000’s: Adult Contemporary and R&B
Outkast, Linkin Park, Cold Play, Nsync, Backstreet Boys, U2, Incubus, Will Smith, Sum41, Kid Rock, The Killers, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Modest Mouse, Matchbox 20, System of a Down, The Black Eyed Peas, Smash Mouth, Flo Rida, AFI, Jason Mraz, Creed, Blink-182, Gorillaz, Beyoncé, Nelly, Beck, Eminem, Santana, Train, Missy Elliot, The All American Rejects, Usher, Papa Roach, Daft Punk, Kanye West, Nickelback, Everclear, Panic! at the Disco, POD, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimmy Eat World.

2010’s: EDM and Hip-Hop
This decade seems to be leaning a lot towards Electronic Dance Music and this new trendy genre is blowing up all over the world. We are only half way though this decade and already music has taken a turn to bass filled, fast paced dance music. We are excited to see how the next 5 years play out musically.

Music will continue to change and develop before our eyes. Remember to take a step back once in a while and appreciate how far we have come. We went from full orchestra’s to being able to record an entire song and its components on a computer. As technology grows it will continue to impact the types of music we are drawn toward and the sounds this decade produces are going to change the future!
Present…Pop, Electronic and hip-hop to punk and soul from Drake · Olivia Rodrigo · The Weeknd · Taylor Swift · Morgan Wallen · Ariana Grande · Doja Cat · Justin Bieber · Little Mix · Adele

Source: Wiki, Medium, Music history

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Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman is an established showbiz journalist and freelance copywriter whose work has been published in Business Insider, Daily Mail, Bloomberg, MTV, Buzzfeed and The New York Post amongst other press. Often spotted on the red carpet at celebrity events and film screenings, Mark is a regular guest on BBC Radio London and in-demand for his opinions for media outlets including Newsweek. His TV credits include This Morning, The One Show and T4. Email

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