Top Ten Best Musical Acts of the 21st Century

No, good music is not dead. There have been plenty of fantastic bands, singers, rappers, and producers from the past decade-and-a-half that prove that. Let's take a look at them, shall we?

The Top Ten

Eminem Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is an American rapper, actor and music producer born on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Eminem has sold over 300 million records making him the bestselling hip-hop artist of all time. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of D12 and (with Royce more.

He's not considered one of the greatest rappers of all time for nothing.
Eminem not only broke racial barriers in the hip-hop genre, but managed to make some incredible and iconic music in the process.
There's no other way to say it: Eminem (and Slim Shady, of course) is just a fantastic rapper. His voice, his flow, the beats, the lyrics, all perfect, all the time. (Just pretend that whole Encore thing didn't happen)
But what's my favorite Eminem song?
Well, honorable mentions go out to Stan, one of the darkest and saddest stories ever told through music, Not Afraid, which is inspiring and powerful and brought him back from a major career slump, and of course the classic Lose Yourself.
My favorite Eminem song is Rap God. Just listen to it, and you'll probably know why.

Eminem is AMAZING. He has the fastest selling rap album (The Marshall Mathers LP) and has the most consecutive albums to debut at #1 (9), (The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show, Encore, Curtain Calls, Relapse, Recovery, The Marshall Mathers LP2, Revival, Kamikaze). Eminem is also the 21st century greatest album act and has 2 Diamond certifications in the US (The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show).

Eminem the greatest artist to ever live on this planet

Eminem is the goat

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 Alternative more.

Despite coming from the Nu-Metal genre, one of the worst things to come out of the early 2000s, Linkin Park have proven themselves time and time again that they can really make some music. And when they do, it's fantastic.

Whether you're a fan of their older, more nu-metal influenced stuff like Hybrid Theory or Meteora, or their newer, more alt-rock/electronic rock inspired albums like Minutes To Midnight or Living Things, you simply can't deny these guys have talent to spare.

Chester Bennington is a great singer, and unlike most metal bands, when he screams, it lends actual power and emotion to the song.

Mike Shinoda is an extremely skilled rapper, and has even proven to be a good singer at points.

While most people hate more experimental albums like A Thousand Suns, I actually enjoy and respect that Linkin Park are willing to experiment and go outside their comfort zone.

And the music. Oh boy, the music.

They have SO MANY good songs. In The ...more

Bruno Mars Peter Gene Hernandez, professionally known by his stage name Bruno Mars, is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and choreographer. more.
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 more.

The best for me because his sheer consistency of making incredible, original music. Eminem hasn't been great for over 10 years, whereas Kanye has adapted his style time and time again, and it's always brought us greatness.

Yeah, I know. In real life, Kanye West is an annoying, pretentious ass. That much is true.

But we're judging by the music here, and when it comes to his music, Kanye is one of the most brilliant, creative, and talented people the rap industry has ever seen.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was a masterpiece. The College Dropout was a masterpiece. This guy is one of the most talented rappers, producers, and songwriters of our generation.

Best song?

Some honorable mentions would be Stronger, which is one of the best uses of samples in music history (may even be better than the Daft Punk original), N****s in Paris, his upbeat, catchy collaboration with Jay-Z, and the emotionally-fueled breakup ballad Heartless.

But his best song is certainly "All Of The Lights", an all-out musical masterpiece, with Kanye's best production and songwriting to date.

Rock on, Kanye, you beautiful dark twisted genius.

Perfect discography

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 more.

It could be no other.
Coldplay are my all-time favorite band. I've never heard a group of musicians capable of producing such incredible music in my life.
Chris Martin has one of the most amazing voices in musical history, and the rest of the band's musical skills all culminate into something truly admirable.
I've never heard a bad Coldplay song. They're the example of a band that does everything right. Even the Beatles had a few failures here or there, but Coldplay? Never. Not once.
Some great Coldplay songs include:
Fix You- Their signature song. A heartbreaking breakup ballad that deserves a listen.
Clocks- A Grammy-winning piece of art that keeps you captivated in the music all the way through.
Violet Hill- An impressive rock tune with great lyrics and a powerful message, A must-listen.
Yellow- An honest, beautiful love song with fantastic lyrics.
Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall- An upbeat tune that will put you in a good mood instantly.
A Sky Full Of ...more

Maroon 5 better than Coldplay? Another Joke

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.
Justin Timberlake Justin Randall Timberlake is an American singer-songwriter, actor, dancer, and record producer. Born and raised in Tennessee, he appeared on the television shows Star Search and The All-New Mickey Mouse Club as a child.

Oh, Justin Timberlake.

So much better than that OTHER Justin we have.

Anyways, this guy is the definition of cool. Every time one of his songs come on, you just can't help but be sucked in. And with R&B mastermind Timbaland by his side for a large portion of his work, this guy is unstoppable. And the fact that he's been able to remain relearn for as long as he has is really something.

But what's my favorite song of his?

Well, honorable mentions go out to Mirrors, a beautiful love song with breathtaking production, and My Love, which is a fun, danceable tune with a fantastic guest verse from TI.

But my favorite JT song is the awe-inspiring, suave, and beautiful break-up song "What Goes Around... Comes Around". The simultaneous heartbreak, anger, and "I'm over it" attitude expressed in the song all at the same time is something to be admired, and the amazing production and Justin's incredible vocals help a lot. It's a must-listen.

Adele Adele Laurie Blue Adkins is an English singer and songwriter. Graduating from the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in 2006, Adele was given a recording contract by XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on Myspace the same year. She is best known with her international hit singles more.
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 more.
Rihanna Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbadian-American pop singer. Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, she first entered the music industry by recording demo tapes under the direction of record producer Evan Rogers in 2003. She ultimately signed a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning more.

The Contenders

OneRepublic OneRepublic is an American pop rock band. Formed in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2002 by lead singer Ryan Tedder and guitarist Zach Filkins, the band achieved commercial success on Myspace as an unsigned act.

Once again, I'm at a loss of what to say.
OneRepublic are, in my opinion, one of the most underrated bands out there. They've made lots of truly amazing music, but sadly lots of people ignore them.
I almost can't describe how much I absolutely love these guys.
Frontman Ryan Tedder is a musical genius. His songwriting, singing, and production capabilities are through the roof. And with the rest of the band with him, he has created some damn fine pieces of music, if I do say so myself.
Some of their best songs include the wonderfully optimistic Good Life, the aptmospheric, emotional Say (All I Need), the catchy, upbeat Counting Stars, and the simply amazing Stop And Stare.
But the best of the bunch is All The Right Moves. It's majestic, fun, has excellent production, one of Tedder's best performances to date, and even a really cool music video. You have to give it a listen. You will love it.

OneRepublic are my favorite band. Their music is so meaningful and amazing. I like all their songs but my favorite one is Secrets.

I do really like them.

Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk, punk rock, and alternative rock band formed in East Bay, California in 1986. 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 more.

First off, let me address something: I am well aware of Green Day's output in the '90s. Yes, Dookie was a good album. Yes, they had lots of success before the turn of the millennium.
But in my opinion, Green Day really hit their stride in 2004, with the American Idiot album, which to this day remains one of my all-time favorite albums. Oh yeah, 21st Centure Breakdown was pretty good too.
Green Day are probably one of the most iconic punk-rock/alt-rock bands in the world, and with good reason. Billie Joe Armstrong is a great singer, and they have essentially perfected punk-rock music. Who doesn't love rocking out to these guys?
Honorable Mentions for best song from the 21st Century go to the tragic, heartbreaking Wake Me Up When September Ends, the explosive, politically-charged Holiday, and the amazing 21 Guns.
But I would have to say. Their best song is, undoubtedly, Boulevard Of Broken Dreams. I've been in love with that song since it first came out, and to this day it ...more

Name any Award and Green Day has probably won it.

Katy Perry Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, professionally known by her stage name Katy Perry, was born on October 25, 1984 in Santa Barbara, California. She is a singer, songwriter, actress and an ambassador on one of the most popular companies of now, UNICEF. more.
Robbie Williams Robert Peter Williams is an English singer, songwriter and actor. He was a member of the pop group Take That from 1990 to 1995 and again from 2009 to 2012. He has also had commercial success as a solo artist.
The Script The Script is an Irish pop rock band formed in 2001. The band comprises keyboardist and lead vocalist Danny O'Donoghue, guitarist and vocalist Mark Sheehan and drummer Glen Power.

The Script. What can be said about The Script?
These guys have composed some of the most beautiful, emotional, and downright incredible pieces of music in history.
I'm at a loss describing just what a fantastic band The Script truly is. Lead singer Danny O'Donahughe (not sure I spelled that right) has one of the most amazing voices in music history, and his vocal talent has helped them produce songs with pure, raw emotion.
I had trouble picking their best song. There's the inspiring Hall Of Fame, the depressing If You Could See Me Now, and of course, the heartbroken, impactful masterpiece that is Breakeven (Falling To Pieces), as song which, quite frankly, makes me want to tear up each time I hear it.
But the winner for me is Six Degrees Of Seperation. It's just a perfect example of how truly sad and, more importantly, RELATABLE breakup songs can be.
The Script are one of the greatest bands it's ever been my pleasure to listen to. Let's hope the keep on going far into ...more

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 more.
Drake Aubrey Drake Graham, known professionally as Drake, is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor, born on October 24, 1986 in Toronto, Canada. He started his career on Canadian reality show "Degrassi: The Next Generation".

Amazing. Honestly underrated. So underrated. Drake’s album went PLATINUM before it even dropped. He’s not getting the credit he deserves

Lady Gaga Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. more.
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.
Kendrick Lamar Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper and songwriter. Raised in Compton, California, Lamar embarked on his musical career as a teenager under the stage name K-Dot, releasing a mixtape that garnered local attention and led to his signing with indie record label Top Dawg more.
Avicii Tim Bergling (September 8, 1989 - April 20, 2018), better known by his stage name Avicii, was a Swedish electronic musician, DJ, remixer and record producer. He is best regarded for his work in Electronic Music during the 2010s in which his works have charted among the Top 40 Radio and for his influence more.

If any artist has helped shape Electronica as a legitamite form of music in the past few years, it's definitely Avicii. His unique blend of Folk music and EDM is very admirable, to say the least. Between the beautifully ambeiant Levels and the iconic Folktronica smash Wake Me Up, he has many impressive works under his belt.
And my favorite song of his would have to be "Hey Brother". It's surging, powerful, and simply incredible. A truly fantastic song.

Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold is an American heavy metal band, that was formed 1999 in California. Their longest lineup of members was M. Shadows (Vocals), Synyster Gates (Lead Guitar), Zacky Vengeance (Rhythm Guitar), Johnny Christ (Bass Guitar), and The Rev (Drums). more.

They are the best!

Skrillex Skrillex is an American (Born in 1988, in Los Angeles, California) EDM producer who is known for popularizing dubstep. He is part of the bands Jack Ü (DJ) and From First To Last (Lead Singer). His album Recess debuted at 4 on the BB200, tying him with Zedd for the highest debut for an EDM album on more.
Nelly Furtado Nelly Kim Furtado is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She has sold 20 million albums worldwide and more than 20 million singles, bringing her total sales to over 40 million records around the world.
The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). more.

"Most of their sales and chart success were in the '70s and '80s". Well, there you go. Neither the '70s or the 80's took place in the 21st century, therefore, the Stones are a 20th Century band.
And I know they've made lots of money during tours in the new millennium, but I am basing this list on album sales and chart success which, LIKE YOU SAID, the majority of which were in the '70s and '80s.
So, again, they are NOT a 21st century band, they are a 20th century band.

Most of their sales and chart success was in the 70's and 80's, because during the 60's they had to compete with The Beatles, which nobody could beat.
In total dollars, most of their success DID come in the 21st Century, because of just how lucrative touring is for them during modern times.
Any single tour these days makes far more money for them than any of those entire decades did.

I don't think you understand.
The point of this list is to highlight artists who experienced the majority of their commercial success in the 21st Century.
Yes, the Stones have done many things in the new millennium, but most of their successful works happened in the '60s, this making them primarily a '60s band, not a 21st-century band.
Does that make more sense?

They have put out several successful CD's during the 21st Century, and done several MONSTER tours during the 21st Century, though that is not when they got started of course.
If the list is only for acts that STARTED in the 21st Century, then Eminem is out, Justin Timberlake is out, Linkin Park is out, Coldplay is out, etc, etc.

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