Top 10 Decade Defining Musical Acts: 2010-14

Script written by Jordan Ruimy. By the halfway point of this decade, popular music has been dominated by genres like indie, electronic, pop, dance and alternative. For our series on the Top 10 Musical Acts Per Decade, we’ve based our choices on a mix of an act’s success, popularity and overall musical legacy. This is part of a series of videos spanning the decades of music from the 1950s to the 2000s. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 musical acts for the first half of the 2010s. Special thanks to our users Lou Ryan, Kenn1987, Ceione Pafford and Shinoaction for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Jordan Ruimy.

By the halfway point of this decade, popular music has been dominated by genres like indie, electronic, pop, dance and alternative. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 musical acts for the first half of the 2010s.

For our series on the Top 10 Musical Acts Per Decade, we’ve based our choices on a mix of an act’s success, popularity and overall musical legacy. This is part of a series of videos spanning the decades of music from the 1950s to the 2000s.

#10: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

In 2012, this hip-hop duo scored big with their blockbuster debut The Heist; it is a brilliant and heartfelt Grammy-winning album that spawned three top ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. They’ve so far shown that they’re not afraid of controversy, tackling same-sex marriage with “Same Love,” but they also know how to be funny and use really catchy beats to their advantage – just have a listen to “Thrift Shop,” which is a musical ode to getting a good bargain.

#9: Arctic Monkeys

Formed in 2002, this English indie rock band first made a splash with its rockin’ 2006 debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. But it was with later records that they really nailed their sound and got a newfound groove. Albums like Favourite Worst Nightmare, Suck It and See and AM truly represent the Monkeys at their fierce and melodic best. To top things off, you can really call them a ‘modern band,’ because it was thanks to the Internet that their initial popularity grew and eventually led to a record deal.

#8: OneRepublic

Pop rock didn’t get catchier than this during the first half of the 2010s. Following the mega success of “Apologize” in 2007, the Colorado Springs outfit kept churning out the hits year after year. 2013 saw OneRepublic earn their first top ten effort on the Billboard 200 and the inescapable catchiness of the single known as “Counting Stars.” Thanks to its folky elements, the pop tune put the band at number two on the Hot 100 chart and at the top of many other charts.

#7: Kanye West

Love him or hate him, it can’t be denied that this rapper is a talented artist. Constantly reinventing his sound, Ye knows he’s great but at least it’s for good reason. After finding success in the previous decade, Kanye gave us My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus, which represent popular hip hop music at its euphoric, ingenious best. The critics love him, the rap community gives him respect and his impact is indeed immeasurable.

#6: Muse

After making a name for themselves in their native UK, Muse has now found quite a home in other countries, including the U.S., thanks to their alternative and progressive rock sound. Drawing crowds in the hundreds of thousands, they’ve got a rep for being one of the best live acts in the world and have some pretty amazingly awesome guitar riffs - case in point: “Plug In Baby.” They’ve also earned multiple accolades, including Brit awards and a Grammy.

#5: Taylor Swift

It’s hard to ignore the impact this country singer-songwriter has had on popular music in the early 21st century. Selling over 26 million albums worldwide and 76 million in digital sells, Taylor Swift also boasts a massive amount of fans. 2012’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” became her first single to peak at the top of the Hot 100 while “I Knew You Were Trouble” allowed the young songstress to add some synths and a dub step vibe to her sound - and judging by its critical and commercial success, we think there are quite a few of you out there who can’t help but sing along when it starts to play.

#4: Daft Punk

Although they have produced many iconic dance tracks since the release of their debut album in 1997, this French electronic duo hit a career peak with their 2013 album, Random Access Memories. Their infectious and catchy single “Get Lucky” really got dance floors moving, especially since it featured Pharrell. Not only did the disco and funk-influenced track earn Daft Punk two Grammys, but its parent album also won an additional 3 trophies. The critics went crazy for it and its impact will undoubtedly be fully felt once the decade is done.

#3: Katy Perry

Unless you’re living under a rock, there’s no way you haven’t heard about this reigning pop star. Her album Teenage Dream spawned 5 number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including “California Gurls,” “Firework” and “Last Friday Night.” With Prism, she topped the singles charts again with tracks like “Roar” and “Dark Horse,” and was named the Top Certified Digital Artist Ever in 2014 with 72 million digital sales in the U.S. This Santa Barbara-born artist is definitely much more hot than cold so far this decade.

#2: Bruno Mars

You couldn’t turn on the radio during the first half of this decade without hearing this singer-songwriter’s now familiar but distinctive voice. With just two full-length albums and ten top forty solo hits, he singlehandedly owned popular radio in the early 2010s. Do the songs, “Just the Way You Are,” “Grenade,” “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man” ring a bell?! He was certainly all over the place and we can’t help but love this Honolulu-born crooner just the way he is.

Before we unveil our pick for Top 10 Musical Act of the first half of the 2010s, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Kesha
- David Guetta
- LMFAO
- The Black Keys
- Drake

#1: Adele

Yes, she just had one album this decade, but was there a more defining record during the early 2010s than her 21? No other effort sold more copies worldwide in 2011 and2012 than Adele’s brilliant breakup album. It also spawned multiple chart-topping singles, and we admit – they’re still in heavy rotation on our iPods to this day. With her beautiful melange of soul and pop, the British singer-songwriter found her way into our hearts and has stayed there ever since.

Do you agree with our list? Who’s your favorite musical act of the 2010s so far? For more Music Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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