Music Artists Who Sold-Out

When artists started out in one genre and then sold-out so they could make it on the pop charts. Let's discuss these artist who did this crime.

The Top Ten

1 Metallica Metallica Metallica is an American Thrash Metal band formed in 1981 . The original lineup was James Hetfield (Vocalist and Rhythm guitarist), Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), Ron McGovney (Bassist). The group came into mainstream from their Self-Titled album and the hit single "Enter Sandman". ...read more.

In the eighties, they were the greatest metal band. Ever. They practically created thrash metal. There was nothing like it. What happened? For shame, Metallica, for shame...

1st 4 albums are amazing then they lost cliff and jason and they did it(stupid idea) - rockisgood132

it's a shame really because they were amazing - muckie

NO! I didn't MEAN TO VOTE THEM! STUPID ME! WHY! I LOVED their first 5 and reload, Load was ok, St anger was pretty good, and DM and HW were pretty awesome - awesomedp900

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2 X Japan X Japan X Japan is a Japanese heavy metal band from Chiba, formed in 1982 by drummer Yoshiki and lead vocalist Toshi.

I'm pretty sure most of the people who voted for them here have no idea what this list is about, but this time I won't complain about their ignorance. - saaarsdej

I really don't see how they sold out but X-Japan rule most and deserve to be top of most lists. Pure awesome.

X Japan will always be at the top of the hierarchy. The top predator in a food chain if you will.

X Japan have kept to true to themselves even after the 10 year hiatus.

Especially after the reunion the became a pop band...

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3 Kiss Kiss Kiss is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and the band's original manager, Lew Linet.

many people would say KISS is great, when they just know one or two songs from them... that's because they are the most commercial band, even their fans say this - rock2metal

Music changes every few years. I think KISS did anything just to stay relevant. The music industry is tough.

Kiss is phenomenal. They are true musicians who can play and sing anything they choose and sound amazing.

They went from... heavy metal-classic metal-disco

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4 Nickelback Nickelback Nickelback is a Canadian rock band formed in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta, Canada. The band is composed of guitarist and lead vocalist Chad Kroeger, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger, and drummer Daniel Adair.

Who remembers their album Curb? No one, since their fans love their new poppy music. Like with Metallica, they were heavy and processed by money to make themselves softer.

They sold out before anyone actually heard of them. Their first album, The Curb was heavy and their newer stuff is very poppy. I wish they could go back to not always singing about sex and partying and all that crap.

I hate Nickelback. But some of their earlier stuff is pretty good. - BeatlesFan1964

I heard that "Feed the Machine" is their hardest album yet. - thomwim

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5 Taylor Swift Taylor Swift Taylor Alison Swift is an American singer-songwriter. She was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania. She is best known for writing break up songs and for having more than 5 Grammys. She became interested in country music when she was around 9 years old and after watching a documentary about ...read more.

Of course she's a sell out, it's pretty obvious. I'm not saying this to hate on Taylor or anything, but she made great country music that she genuinely loved making, and all of a sudden she became a generic pop artist with the passion honestly stripped away. "Shake It Off" is so generic. - DCfnaf

Forget Metallica at least they stayed metal she is a real sell out she went from doing Mediocre Country songs to crappy Pop songs and the song Shake it Off is annoying and awful I hate her and I always will for how greedy she is and how she makes such crappy songs - christangrant

Have you heard Look What You Made Me Do? It's even worse than Shake It Off! - railfan99

OH GOD. She should be on top, and Metallica should be in last place. Metallica actually tries to make good music. Taylor Swift DOES NOT AT ALL. Just listen to her song "Look What You Made Me Do", it has NO TALENT! Metallica has talent, she doesn't. GET HER TO #1 NOW! - railfan99

Metallica sold out, but stayed consistent with their genre. Taylor is just slowly turning into a broken record player. - naFrovivuS

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6 The Black Eyed Peas The Black Eyed Peas The Black Eyed Peas is an American hip hop group, consisting of rappers will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and singer Fergie.

The first album was pretty good. When they showed up again I was sure it was not the same people. Huge sellouts for sure

After Elephunk, they seemed to lose their ability to singing (I Gotta Feeling and Meet Me Halfway were decent however). - Swellow

7 David Bowie David Bowie David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie, was an English singer born in London on January 8, 1947, and was the son of a fundraiser and a waitress. He died in New York on January 10, 2016 at the age of 69, a hero to millions. ...read more.

Ok, so his late 80s to 90s stuff was very much him selling out, he came back with The Next Day and Blackstar, which are two of his finest works - VaticanCameos

WHAT? - DCfnaf

What is Bowie doing in this list?
What is Rod Stewart doing in this list?
These two are British music legends.
They are top artist's world wide, respected by all that are music lovers and music fans.
Most artist's in the world look up to thes two, they would love to write and perform songs like Bowie or Rod Stewart made world famous.
INCREDIBLE! - phr

8 Rod Stewart Rod Stewart Roderick David "Rod" Stewart is a British rock singer-songwriter. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry.

Not to be mean, but he looks like a crackhead. - BlueTopazIceVanilla

9 Guns N' Roses Guns N' Roses

With every member that left Guns n Roses, they took a bit of talent with them. I hated Chinese Democracy and is nothing like Appetite For Destruction - Danielsun182

10 Fall Out Boy Fall Out Boy Fall Out Boy is an American pop rock band formed in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, in 2001. The band consists of vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman, and drummer Andy Hurley.

I know everyone calls them sell outs, but why? Because they became popular artists? So becoming popular = sellout/bad? Whoever is thinking in this mentality needs to reevaluate their mentality. Their music does change a lot, but that doesn't mean they are sellouts. - DCfnaf

Changing music genres is not "selling out". They've always been a pop rock band... - DCfnaf

The Contenders

11 Genesis Genesis Genesis are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey in 1967. The most commercially successful and long-lasting line-up includes keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins.

Sadly.
I think they had the biggest drop in Quality in music, if we take Metallica for exemple The Black Album, Load and Reload are good albums (even great in the case of The Black Album) just not Thrash Metal, St Anger and Lulu sucked but those where uncommercial experiments. And they did return to form with Hardwired & Death Magnetic.
However I do feel that people are being too hard on Phil collins, A Trick of the Tail & Wind and Wuthering are as great as the Peter Gabriel albums, And Then There Were Three & Duke are also good though Steve Hackett's exit did hurt them and Phil's side project Brand X is awesome.
I Blame the 80's.

Not worth listening to after wind and wuthering. Too much phil after gabriel left. They lost their soul. Such a shame...

still good

12 Snoop Dogg Snoop Dogg Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., (born, October 20, 1971) known professionally as Snoop Dogg, is an American rapper, actor, record producer, and television personality from Long Beach, California.

He promoted Wiz Khalifa (and apparently, Snoop likes anyone who smokes weed). And when you keep getting promoted by Snoop, you're gonna be mainstream forever. But I haven't heard from Wiz Khalifa since so I'm glad he's gone. No more. We don't need anymore whack rappers killing up the genre.

He promoted Wiz Khalifa. And since we live in a generation where Hip hop is dying, anybody would listen to Wiz Khalifa just because they're too ignorant to know that all he talks about is smoking weed and drugs. They'll listen to anything you give them. They're that stupid.

Snoop, you are one of the greatest rappers of all time. Why did you rap with Big Time Rush? Did your kids tell you to do it? We're they like "daddy that's one of our favorite bands. Can you go rap with them? " Just why?

Remember the 1990s?
Oh, sorry, I can't hear you over his fans. - Swellow

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13 Linkin Park Linkin Park Linkin Park is an American rock band formed in Agoura Hills, California, in 1996. The members currently include Mike Shinoda (vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar), Brad Delson (guitar), Dave "Phoenix" Farrell (bass), Joe Hahn (DJ) and Rob Bourdon (drums). Linkin Park are associated with a mixture of Nu-metal ...read more.

Selling out hasn't worked out for them. "In the End" on their first album went to #2 on the charts in 2000. Their 2014 album didn't have a single make the Hot 100. Basically, they're at their best when they make their music: metal mixed with rap.

What I don't get:
From Hybrid Theory to Minutes to Midnight they had their distinctive style, rock with a bit of hip hop mixed in. The latter album had more complex compositions but still was their genre. Then they made an experimental album like A Thousand Suns, which was neither their style nor very commercial. Then they basically made a house-pop album with Living Things, which was a flop and was heavily criticized. So they went back to rock and became heavier than ever before with The Hunting Party. Maybe it wasn't as successful but they went back to the roots. THEN they uploaded music from their upcoming album and it is... trap music? Really? I thought after having listened to THP that they went back to their original style but obviously they don't know what they want. - Martin_Canine

Heavy. The worst song ever made by a great band

It all began with Rick Rubin telling them they should do whatever they want. Enter... Minutes To Midnight. No longer did they care about making an album that was as a whole complete. They basically went off and just went yeah that sounds good let's put that on the album. They lost their fire when they hit the top so early. And with each successive album it's obvious that fire kept dying out. I will say though on each of the albums after Meteora there are still a few gems here and there so it's not a total loss.

P.S. Chester... god damn it dude... I hope you're resting peacefully somewhere. I hope your family and friends who were close to you find peace as well.

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14 Avril Lavigne Avril Lavigne Avril Ramona Lavigne is a Canadian–French singer-songwriter and actress. By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain; by 16, she had signed a two-album recording contract with Arista Records worth more than $2 million.

How dare you put Avril Lavigne here!

15 Santana Santana Santana is an American Latin rock band formed in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana.

This website is easy to troll

HOW?!?!

16 Coldplay Coldplay Coldplay are a British rock band formed in 1996. The band consists of Chris Martin (lead vocalist and pianist), Jonny Buckland (lead guitarist), Guy Berryman (bassist) and Will Champion (drummer and backing vocalist). Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed ...read more.

Compare Mylo Xyloto to Parachutes. They sang with Rihanna, for god's sake!
As a side note, I don't think some people on this list understand the point of it.

Their new album is too poppy. - Userguy44

17 Huey Lewis
18 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd Pink Floyd were an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters ...read more.

no - Nickelstickman

What! - Userguy44

19 Aerosmith Aerosmith Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band".

Great 70's band.

since their reunion in the 80's...its been all radio style crap.

20 Billy Idol Billy Idol William Michael Albert Broad, known professionally by his stage name Billy Idol, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor.
21 Kanye West Kanye West Kanye Omari West is an American rapper, songwriter, and fashion designer. He was born on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia. After West's parents divorced, him and his single mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. At the age of 10, West temporarily moved to Nanjing, China, because his mother was teaching ...read more.
22 Justin Bieber Justin Bieber Justin Drew Bieber (born March 1, 1994) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer. He currently resides in Ontario, Canada and is Christian. He is the son of author Pattie Mallette. ...read more.

He was never good at the beginning.

"he sold out 2 MSG concerts in 22 seconds" That's a huge record

Bieber is the best namja in Canada forever..!

Justin Bieber is the best Canada singer I love

23 Pitbull Pitbull

Surprised he wasn't here. He used to actually be really good. - RnBLover

24 Jefferson Starship
25 Heart Heart Heart is an American rock band that first found success in Canada and later in the United States and worldwide.
26 Chris Brown Chris Brown Christopher Maurice "Chris" Brown (born May 5, 1989) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actor. Born in Tappahannock, Virginia, he was involved in his church choir and several local talent shows from a young age. He is most well known for his physical assault towards the singer Rihanna in ...read more.
27 Madonna Madonna Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She influenced a lot of singers such as: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles and Britney Spears . She is known as Queen of Pop and at modern pop culture specifically in 2012 "Madge" or MDNA . She has ...read more.

This is the chick who collaborated with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.

Definitely, her latest songs are so average. She needs to go back to her old stuff.

28 Gwen Stefani Gwen Stefani

Okay, now this chick is actually a sell out, and not Tom DeLonge. She gave up her band No Doubt, which is Ska Punk, in order to be a pop artist and become more popular. She doesn't put passion in her pop music. Meaning she did sell out, when someone does not even put passion into something, just doing it for fame, that is big time selling out. - AnimeDrawer

29 One Direction One Direction One Direction (commonly abbreviated as 1D) were a British-Irish pop boy band based in London, composed of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and previously, Zayn Malik until his departure from the band on 25 March 2015. The group signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records ...read more.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Metallica is on here but One Direction isn't? - railfan99

30 Mariah Carey Mariah Carey Mariah Carey, born March 27, 1970, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is one of the biggest best-selling women in the music industry, with 18 number 1 records to her name. She is regarded as a sex symbol through her songs and music videos, and she is "well known" for her over-the-top ...read more.
31 Kid Rock Kid Rock Robert James Ritchie Sr., known professionally as Kid Rock, is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, musician, record producer, activist, minister and actor.
32 Fifth Harmony Fifth Harmony Fifth Harmony is an American girl group based in Miami, composed of Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane, Lauren Jauregui, and previously, Camila Cabello until her departure from the group on December 18, 2016. The group signed a joint record deal with Simon Cowell's label Syco Records and L.A.
33 Muse Muse Muse are an English alternative rock band from Teignmouth, Devon, formed in 1994. The members are Matt Bellamy (lead vocal, lead guitar, piano, keyboard), Dom Howard (drums, percussion) and Chris Wolstenholme (bass, backing vocals). They've won several awards including five MTV Awards, 8 NME Awards, ...read more.

Muse never sold out

34 Green Day Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk and alternative rock band formed in East Bay, California in 1987. The members include Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals and guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass), Tré Cool (drums) and Jason White (guitar) . Green Day are associated with punk rock, pop punk and alternative rock. Some ...read more.

They should be a lot higher. Warning sucked, then I gained back their respect once American Idiot came out, and after that they sucked and still do. - Gruunge

How are they sellouts? Changing your sound does not make you a sell out. - DCfnaf

After American idiot..it all went down hill

35 Beyonce Beyonce Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, is an American singer and actress, who started out in the popular pop/r&b girl group Destiny's Child. They had multiple top 5 hits such as "No, No, No", "Say My Name", "Bills, Bills, Bills", "Survivor", "Independent Women", "Bootylicious", and "Jumpin', Jumpin" from ...read more.
36 Jay-Z Jay-Z Shawn Corey Carter, known by his stage name JAY-Z, is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur and investor born on December 4, 1969 in Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for his albums Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, and The Black Album. He is considered to be one of the best rappers of ...read more.
37 Imagine Dragons Imagine Dragons Imagine Dragons is an American pop rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Imagine Dragons' lineup consists of lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman.
38 Desiigner Desiigner Sidney Royel Selby III (born May 3, 1997), better known by his stage name Desiigner, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, record executive and actor. He rose to prominence in 2016 after the release of his debut single "Panda", which reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot ...read more.
39 Maroon 5 Maroon 5 Maroon 5 is an American pop rock band that originated in Los Angeles, California. Before the current group was established, the original four members, Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael Mickey Madden and Ryan Dusick, formed a band known as Kara's Flowers in 1994, while they were still in high school.

I liked them when everything wasn't just the Adam Levine show. The other band members are covered with dubstep electronic rubbish now.

How does a band go from Funk Rock and Alternative to bubblegum wuss music?

I like their first album. - BeatlesFan1964

Top 10

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40 Nicki Minaj Nicki Minaj Nicki Minaj is a Trinidadian American rapper/pop music artist. Nicki is most known for songs like "Anaconda", "Only", "Truffle Butter", "Super Bass" and "Stupid Hoe" . Her real name is Onika Tanya Maraj. She was born on December 8, 1982 in Saint James Trinidad and Tobago. ...read more.
41 Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi is a hard rock band formed in 1983, which had a streak of successful albums in the late 1980s. The band originally consisted of lead vocalist Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Ritchie Sambora (left in 2013), bassist Alec John Such (left in 1994), keyboard David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres. The band's ...read more.

Best

42 Flo Rida Flo Rida Tramar Lacel Dillard, better known by his stage name Flo Rida is an American rapper and pop music artist from Carol City, Florida. He is known for songs such as "Low", "Right Round", "Sugar", "Club Can't Handel Me", "Good Feeling", "Whistle", "Wild Ones", "My House" and "GDFR."
43 R. Kelly R. Kelly Robert Sylvester Kelly, known professionally as R. Kelly, is an American recording artist, songwriter, record producer, and former professional basketball player.
44 Lady Gaga Lady Gaga Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She is the first female artist to ever since Cher to get nominated by the Grammys and Emmys . In 2013, during her era on Artpop, she was chosen to perform in a concert from iTunes . ...read more.

No she hasn't. Her latest album is her best yet. - Swellow

A perfect example of this - giving up really good voice just to appeal to masses more. - saaarsdej

Actually, the exact opposite happened. "The Fame" was purely typical pop music of the 2000s. Catchy pop, but still pop. Then on "The Fame Monster" she started experimenting with darker atmosphere and lyrics, followed by avantgarde elements. Songs like "Scheiße" and "Government Hooker" from "Born This Way" are hardly mainstream. She recorded an artpop album, and a jazz album, has written and performed a song about sexual assault and her latest album is a nostalgic look at when pop music was not entirely made electronically. Actually, Lady Gaga started off as mainstream and evolved into something like a multimedia performance artist, but one that still cares if her music is still listenable and enjoyable. - Martin_Canine

45 Megadeth Megadeth Megadeth is an American thrash metal band from Los Angeles, California. Megadeth was formed in 1983 by guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson, shortly after Mustaine was fired from Metallica. They have released 15 studio albums to date, and have gone through many lineup changes, with Dave ...read more.
46 Nas Nas Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known by his stage name Nas, is an American rapper and entrepreneur born on September 14, 1973 in New York City. His album, Illmatic, is considered to be one of the best rap albums of all time. He is also considered to be one of the best rappers of all time.

From it was written to nastradomous he was a sellout. Fortunatly he made a big time comeback with stillmatic and the rest is history.

He soldout which didn't work too well. Then tried to un-sellout but it's too late. Now I just him on Hennessey ads

Illmatic is amazing, everyone knows that ❤️. It was written was cool, Nostradamus sucked and now he's good again.

47 Black Veil Brides Black Veil Brides Black Veil Brides is an American rock band currently consisting of Andy Biersack (vocals), Jinxx (guitar), Jake Pitts (guitar), Christian Coma (drums) and Ashley Purdy (bass), that formed in 2006 in Ohio. ...read more.
48 Def Leppard Def Leppard Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement.
49 L'Arc~en~Ciel L'Arc~en~Ciel L'Arc-en-Ciel is a Japanese rock band, founded in Osaka in 1991. With a reported 40 million records sold, they were the first Japanese act to headline at Madison Square Garden.
50 D'erlanger
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124 listings
10 years, 223 days old

Top Remixes (10)

1. Fall Out Boy
2. The Black Eyed Peas
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1. Taylor Swift
2. Justin Bieber
3. One Direction
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1. Pitbull
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