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Posted at: Dec 30, 2017, 1:30 AM; last updated: Dec 30, 2017, 1:30 AM (IST)


Music that swept the listeners off their feet in 2017
Soul stirrers: (L-R) Kendrick Lamar, Bjork, Ed Sheeran, Jay-Z, Beyonce, AR Rahman

Saurabh Chadha

It has been an exciting year with music being no exception. We look at the moments that defined the year — the most notable music events, the best albums and video charts... We re-discover the music that made the year, and will give us company for many, many years to come.


Ed Sheeran had all the major music charts reserved for him. All the 17 tracks from his album, Divide, entered the Top 20 at once. If that was not all, Ed got a humungous response for his concert in India. He enthralled the crowds in Mumbai on November 19, belting out some of his most popular tracks — Eraser, Perfect, Hearts Don’t Break Around Here, Shape of You and New Man among them. Divide was also the most streamed album of the year worldwide with 3.1 billion streams, and Shape of You became the most streamed track of all time on Spotify with over 1.4 billion streams. Jay-Z released one of the most deeply thoughtful albums of his career. 4:44 was a big step for the rap industry and a sincere reflection of himself.

Top notch

In the recently released list of nominees for the 60th Grammys, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, and Childish Gambino top the lead categories for the Awards, with all three artistes up for Record of the Year and Album of the Year.

Always new

This was also a year when many notable artistes abandoned their trademark sounds. For artistes like Wezzer, Beck and 

St Vincent, it was a triumphant move, while the performance of Arcade Fire and Bear fell way below expectations. Pink and Kelly Clarkson (below) performed together for the first time at the American Music Awards, opening the show with a tearjerker duet of R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts. Jamie Foxx introduced their performance with a tribute and a hope for a better year, saying, “We needed that power of music to help us heal. From wild fires, hurricanes, hatred fueled violence, 2017 is the year that tested our faith. At these moments of crises, heroes emerge.” After a series of wildfires that ravaged parts of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Dolly Parton rallied her famous friends to help raise millions of dollars for victims of the fire in her hometown.

Viral fever

Sturgill Simpson, the Nashville singer-songwriter, gave quite a surprising act, as the not-so-known country singer was nominated for the album of the year at the 59th Grammy Awards.  His album, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, was nominated against four of the biggest stars: Beyonce, Adele, Drake and Justin Bieber. The award eventually went to Adele, though Strugill still had a triumphant moment, bagging a Grammy for the best country album. However, Luis Fonsi’s Despacito took the world by storm and became the most played video on YouTube. Played in almost every country, the song has become an internet superstar. As a setback, Gangnam Style lost its title of the most-viewed YouTube video. PSY’s video landed on YouTube in 2012 and went instantly viral. 

Farewell song

The  year left a big vacuum in the entertainment industry with the passing away of many legends, including American rock & roll guitarist and singer Chuck Berry, Italian electronic dance music composer Robert Miles, Chris Cornell (Radiohead), pop singer and actor Jerry Lewis, Pakistani classical singer Bade Fateh Ali Khan, Pop singer Tommy Page, American rock singer Tom Petty, opera tenor Louis Roney, Chuck Mosley (Faith No More), Malcolm Young (AC/DC), Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), and not to forget our very own Indian classical singer, queen of Thumri, Girija Devi.

Maestro is back

After a hiatus of over half a decade, the legendary musician AR Rahman was seen weaving a magical spell he embarked on his biggest-ever India tour reliving his musical renditions from over the years. AR Rahman’s Encore — The Concert covered four major cities in India to celebrate his 25 years in music.

Woman power

Music certainly has no age limit. Dame Vera Lynn became the oldest living artiste to grab a No.1 spot in 2009, when she was 93, and the oldest living person to have a Top 20 album in 2014 with her album National Treasure. In 2017, she raised the bar even higher as she released 100 in celebration of her 100th birthday. It had some of her best songs, including White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll Meet Again. 

Du Yun’s Pulitzer Prize win for her outstanding opera Angel’s Bone meant that four of the last eight winners have been women. The relatively younger bands were also dominated by women. These included Girlpool, Charly Bliss, Vagabon, Charly Bliss and Partner. 

What also made news was Beyoncé’s Instagram post, “We have been blessed two times over,” not only announced the birth of her twins Rumi and Sir Carter, but the photo soon became the most-liked photo on Instagram. Beyoncé also officially became the richest woman in music. She replaced Taylor Swift and, according to Forbes, the singer made $105 million this year, credit to her critically acclaimed album Lemonade and her sell-out Formation world tour. Adele came second, earning $69 million this year. 

The bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in May caused a wave of support and affection for the victims of the attack, with Grande performing a benefit concert to raise funds for those affected.

Top 10 of the year


Damn Kendrick Lamar

Melodrama Lorde

Utopia Björk

Masseducation St Vincent

Black Origami Jlin

Big Fish Theory Vince Staples

LCD Soundsystem American Dream

Process Sampha


4:44 Jay-Z 

music Videos

The Gate Björk

Humble Kendrick Lamar

The Story of OJ Jay-Z

Boys Charli XCX

Truth Kamasi Washington

New York St Vincent

Green Light Lorde

Lift Radiohead

Young Thug Wyclef Jean

Bon Appétit Katy Perry feat. Migos 

Hindi songs

Mere Rashke Qamar Baadshaho Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Raadha Jab Harry Met Sejal Sunidhi Chauhan, Shahid, Pritam 

Ghoomar Padmavati Shreya Ghoshal, Swaroop Khan

Hind Meri Jind Sachin: A Billion Dreams AR Rahman

Gori Tu Latth Maar Toilet: Ek Prem Katha Sonu Nigam, Palak Muchhal 

Jee Lein OK Jaanu Arjun, Neeti Mohan, Savithri

Humsafar Badrinath Ki Dulhania Akhil Sachdeva, Mansheel 

Meer-e-Kaarwan Lucknow Central Amit Mishra, Neeti Mohan

Main Kaun Hoon Secret Superstar Meghna Mishra

Lift Teri Bandh Hai Judwaa 2 Anu Malik, Neha Kakkar

the headliners

Record Of The Year Humble Kendrick Lamar

Best Pop Solo Performance Shape Of You Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Group Performance Thunder Imagine Dragons

Dance/Electronic Music Tonite LCD Soundsystem

Best Rock Performance The Promise Chris Cornell

Best Alternative Music Album Humanz Gorillaz

Best Rap Performance 4:44 JAY-Z

Best Country Performance You Look Good Lady Antebellum

Best Jazz Album Dreams And Daggers Cécile McLorin Salvant

Best World Music Album Rosa Dos Ventos Anat Cohen & Trio Brasileiro


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