News / Arts & Entertainment

Women Dominated Pop in 2011

TEXT SIZE - +
Ray McDonald

Women ruled the pop music scene in 2011, be they rising rappers, country crossover stars, or fallen idols.

Women Dominated Pop in 2011
Women Dominated Pop in 2011

No pop album cast a longer shadow in 2011 than Adele’s 21. Released in January, it chronicled the young British singer’s struggles in a failed relationship. Already the 10th best-selling album of all time in her native England, it’s expected to sell 15 million copies globally by year’s end. Adele is nominated for six Grammy Awards, including Record, Song, and Album of the Year. She hopes to be able to perform at the February 12 Grammy ceremony, having recently undergone throat surgery.

Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj

Diametrically opposing Adele’s confessional ballads are the supercharged hip-hop dance hits of Nicki Minaj. Last November, the New York rapper released her long-awaited debut album Pink Friday, and soon became a full-fledged star. Radio hits such as “Super Bass” and a slot on Britney Spears’ North American tour helped Nicki earn Billboard magazine’s nod for Rising Star of 2011.

Taylor Swift (file photo)
Taylor Swift (file photo)

Earning the Billboard Woman of the Year trophy was Taylor Swift, who turned 22 on December 13. A star since age 16, she spent much of the year on a global tour promoting her third album, Speak Now. Highlighting her U.S. dates were guest appearances by other acts; stars ranging from Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber to rapper T.I. gladly came when Taylor called. The young singer reinforced her squeaky-clean image by donating more than $1 million to charity over the past year.

Amy Winehouse's "Lioness: Hidden Treasures" CD
Amy Winehouse's "Lioness: Hidden Treasures" CD

Providing a somber counterpoint to this female trio’s triumph was the tragedy of Amy Winehouse. The 27-year-old singer died from alcohol poisoning in her London home on July 23. Her final recording, a duet rendition of “Body and Soul” with Tony Bennett, was released in September to commemorate her 28th birthday. Sales proceeds go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, founded by her father Mitch to help at-risk youth. The posthumous compilation album Lioness: Hidden Treasures topped the British album chart following its December 5 release.

Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" CD
Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" CD

Women didn’t have the market all to themselves in 2011: rapper Lil’ Wayne was the year’s most successful male artist. His album Tha Carter IV sold more than one million copies in its first week.

Also enjoying a banner year was Bruno Mars. The 26-year-old singer - whose real name is Peter Hernandez - received six Grammy nominations. One, Non-classical Producer of the Year, honors his songwriting-production trio, The Smeezingtons.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

The man who revolutionized music retailing in the 21st Century, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, died of cancer in October at age 56. His iPod music player and iTunes store have irrevocably altered the global entertainment field.

Also leaving us in 2011 were hip-hop performers Nate Dogg and Dwight “Heavy D” Myers; rock guitarist Gary Moore and Warrant singer Jani Lane; and musician-poet Gil Scott-Heron.

In November, Michael Jackson’s physician Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the singer’s death in 2009. He was sentenced to four years of incarceration.

The band R.E.M. with lead singer Michael Stipe performs on the plaza of Rockefeller Center during the Today Show (file photo)
The band R.E.M. with lead singer Michael Stipe performs on the plaza of Rockefeller Center during the Today Show (file photo)

Finally, R.E.M disbanded in September. Thirty-one years into their careers, the members of the Rock Hall of Fame band decided to call it a day. Lead singer Michael Stipe said “All things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.” The quartet’s biggest U.S. hit single - from 1991, was “Losing My Religion.”

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Saxophonist Craig Handy has an exciting new band called 2nd Line Smith, which combines the organ-jazz repertoire of Jimmy Smith with the “second line” rhythms of New Orleans parade music. Craig Handy joins "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club to talk about the music and perform with the band.

Blogs