The music world moves so fast and so much happens that it can be tough to remember the epic moments that occurred just a few months ago. Here, we rewind and take a look back at what went viral the past 12 months.
1. Adele says ‘Hello’
Fans had to wait a long four years for Adele’s new album, “25,” but it was worth the wait. The queen of the breakup ballad is breaking all sorts of records. Her single, “Hello,” sold over 1.1 million copies in the U.S. in one week — a new record for digital sales. The music video got 27 million Vevo views in one day, another record. And it was streamed over 2.3 million times in the U.S., knocking One Direction off the top streaming spot for their song, “Drag Me Down.” How’s that for revenge on an ex?
2. Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ dance moves are #AlwaysOnBeat
This was the year fans proved just how much they love Drake. Not even his dad dancing and turtleneck wearing can keep fans away. Hours after the “Hotline Bling” video premiered, a slew of memes were released, gently poking fun at the singer. The rapper is the one who ultimately had the last laugh though — the buzz was enough to generate his 13th number one on the Billboard R&B/hip-hip chart.
3. Katy Perry and Left Shark win the Superbowl
Missy Elliott and Lenny Kravitz both joined Katy Perry on stage during the Superbowl this year, but there was someone else on stage who stole the show: a dude in a shark costume who danced to the beat of his own drum. Left Shark gyrated and shimmied his way into hearts across America.
4. Miley hosted the MTV Video Music Awards in 11 different outfits
A lot when down when Miley Cyrus hosted the VMAs this year. First, she got into a fight on stage with Nicki Minaj. (The debate is still going about whether it was scripted or not.) Then, she released a surprise album that everyone could buy for free online. And she did it all wearing 11 really ridiculous, revealing outfits.
5. One Direction takes a break
This has been a tumultuous year for the world’s biggest boy band. First, Zayn Malik unexpectedly quit mid-tour. Then, a few months later, Louis Tomlinson knocks up their stylist. And most recently, the band announced they will be taking a “break” for the first time ever. Chin up, Directions, chin up.
6.Kanye West gets high, rambles for 11-minutes and might run for president
This year at the MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West was honored with the Video Vanguard Award. During his speech, West — who admitted to being high — (finally) publically apologized for interrupting Taylor Swift’s VMA speech in 2009, and then announced he will be running for president in 2020. Oh, and he also said he didn’t understand awards. Kind of a weird thing to say in an acceptance speech…
7. Justin Bieber makes a comeback
In 2014, Justin Bieber was Canada’s most hated export. But this year, a pop-culture miracle occurred and he is back on top thanks to excessively apologizing and releasing some actually very good new music. Joining forces with Skrillex and Diplo, Bieber’s song “What Do You Mean?” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts — that, in addition to two other songs dominating the charts.
Related: How Justin Bieber made a comeback
8. Taylor Swift brings everyone on tour
Taylor Swift spent the bulk of 2015 touring — and each show included at least one epic guest. Some highlights: The U.S. women’s soccer team, Ricky Martin, Miranda Lambert, Nelly, Steven Tyler, Justin Timberlake…How will she ever outdo herself?
9. Jay-Z launches Tidal, world is confused
Owning a basketball team was so two years ago. Now, Jay-Z is focused on his latest enterprise: Tidal, a music streaming service. When it launched in March, music fans widely ignored it, but it’s had a few successes, including a sold-out Tidal X concert featuring Beyonce (duh), Nicki Minaj, Usher and Lil Wayne. Tidal has gained half a million subscribers in the past six months, which is nothing to scoff at, but 2016 will be a turning point as to whether it can really compete against streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music.
10. Kendrick Lamar wins over everyone with ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’
The buzz for Kendrick Lamar’s new album kicked in months before it released, but when it came out a month early in March, it dominated music blogs for weeks with extensive, high praise from both fans and critics. The album landed the top spot on the Billboard Top 200 chart and sold over 323,000 units in one week. Lamar gave a moving speech at a New York concert to show his appreciation saying, “Making this album was therapy not only for you, but for me. Y’all allowed it to be top tier without a constant radio single. So that proves to you that right there, music is not something that you can market all of the time. This s—t belongs to you, and you only.”
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence