News / Arts & Entertainment

Women Dominated Pop in 2011

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

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
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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.