By Staff

From Kanye being Kanye to the mutual appreciation society between Taylor Swift and Ryan Adams, here’s a look back a some of the most memorable moments in music in 2015.

Beck Wins Album of the Year, Kanye Disagrees

(Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

(Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Many were surprised when Beck‘s Morning Phase won the GRAMMY for Album of the Year, none more than Kanye West. Joking, West made a move to rush the stage, presumably to steal Beck’s award and present it to Beyoncé, a move familiar to fans of Taylor Swift and the VMAs.

West later suggested that Beck should “respect artistry” and give Beyoncé his award. That comment drew some pretty harsh backlash from the music community.

Beck for his part took the high road, even he through Beyoncé would win. “Absolutely. I thought she was going to win. Come on, she’s Beyoncé!”

Meek Mill Disses Drake, Gets Schooled

(Marcus Ingram/Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Marcus Ingram/Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

Things were going so well for Meek Mill, he was dating Nicki Minaj, and had released his first ever number one album Dreams Worth More Than Money in June. But then it was July and Mill went on an epic twitter rant accusing Drake of using ghostwriters.

Drake did not take the matter lying down, responding with the diss track “Charged Up.” Mill called the track “soft” which may have been a mistake in retrospect. Drake fired back with a second diss track “Back To Back” (which was later nominated for GRAMMY).

Mill did eventually respond, with the sub par “Wanna Know,” but by then the internet had spoken unanimously declaring Drake the winner.

Mill made a few other passing jabs, and the issue of ghostwriting in hip hop was briefly a hot topic, but perhaps Wale said it best when speaking with the Rap Radar podcast, “You can’t f— with Drake on certain levels, no matter what.”

Straight Outta Compton Rules the Box Office, Dr. Dre Releases New Music

Straight Outta Compton press image

The N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton made $56.1 million its opening weekend, and quickly went on to become the highest grossing music biopic in history.

While wildly successful, the film was not without controversy. Dee Barnes, former host of Pump It Up, was critical of film, saying it avoided discussing the misogyny of the members of N.W.A, and in particular her assault by Dr. Dre. That sentiment was echoed by by Dre’s ex Michel’leDre apologized in a statement to The New York Times, but didn’t mention anyone specifically.

Perhaps more shocking than the films success or controversy was its soundtrack, the first new album from Dr. Dre since 1999. Though fans expecting long awaited Detox may have been disappointed, Compton: A Soundtrack did feature an impressive list of guest features including Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, The Game and Eminem.

Miley Cyrus and Nicki  Minaj Trade VMA Shade

minaj miley 7701 10 Biggest Music News Stories of 2015

Getty Images

It all started when Nicki Minaj pointed out a lack of diversity when the VMAs nominees were announced. “If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year,” she tweeted; Taylor Swift saw that as a dig on her, leading to a short beef between the two artists.

Cyrus, who hosted the VMAs, called out Minaj during a New York Times interview before the show. “What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj, is not too kind,” Cyrus said. “It’s not very polite. I think there’s a way you speak to people with openness and love. You don’t have to start this pop star against pop star war.”

Nicki went on to win Best Hip Hop Video, but after accepting the award she and Cyrus engaged in a heated altercation.

Later Mianj would elaborate on why Miley’s comments had really gotten to her: “The fact that you feel upset about me speaking on something that affects black women makes me feel like you have some big balls,” she said.

Kanye West Announces Presidential Run

Kanye West (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Kanye West (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

All the pre-and post VMA beef was almost overshadowed by Kayne West.

West received the prestigious Video Vanguard Award, and during extended and rambling acceptance speech he declared his intention to run for president in 2020.

Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian admitted that even she was surprised by the news. The internet had plenty of fun with the announcement and everyone from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump weighed in. Someone even started a political action committee for West’s presumed campaign.

Maybe Rihanna said it best, “People are voting for [Donald] Trump; who wouldn’t vote for Kanye?”

Ryan Adams Covers Taylor Swift’s Entire 1989 Album

Ryan Adams (Photo: Julie Brokaw)

Ryan Adams surprised fans when he announced his intention of recording a full-album cover version of Taylor Swift’s 1989Swift was pretty excited to hear the news: “Is this true??????? I WILL PASS OUT” she tweeted.

Initially it was hard to tell if Adams was for real, but slowly he began to leak previews of each track via social media and in late September the project arrived.

Adams explained that the songs of 1989 spoke to him on an level similar to those of The Smiths. “You could kind of hear people going, ‘Is this [1989] a dance record? Is this a retro ’80s record’ But I was hearing all the emotional content here and becoming curious about it.”

“What struck me immediately is that they’re not just cover songs,” said Swift. “They’re re-imaginings of my songs. He was in a different place emotionally than where I was when I wrote them. There’s this beautiful aching sadness in this album that doesn’t exist on the original.”

The Grateful Dead Say Farewell, Slowly

Dead and Company (Maria Ives for

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, and the four original surviving members went out in style, sort of.

The band performed a final run of shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field from July 3-5 with Phish‘s Trey Anastasio filling in for Jerry Garcia.

The Chicago shows were not completely the end though, three of the four Grateful Dead principals—guitarist/singer Bob Weir and drummers Billy Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart—announced that they’d be touring as Dead and Co. and proceed to book a run of shows at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. This time with John Mayer playing the role of Garcia.

Justin Bieber and One Direction Make Teen Hearts Flutter

(Valerie Macon/Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

(Valerie Macon/Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Justin Bieber and One Direction both released new albums on November 13th, a coincidence Bieber described as a “friendly competition.” Bieber’s Purpose was hailed as comeback, while 1D’s Made in the A.M. was touted a victory lap, minus Zayn Malik who quit earlier this year, before an indefinite hiatus.

Each artist teased each singlevideo and just about everything else ad nauseam, and their fans ate it up.

In case you were wondering, in the end first weeks sales clearly favored Bieber with nearly 200,000 more units sold.

Adele Returns with 25, Shatters Sales Records

(Courtesy Columbia Records)

(Courtesy Columbia Records)

On October 21st Adele took to Twitter to address her fans, and announce her return to music. “I’m sorry it took so long, but you know, life happened,” she wrote.

“My last record was a break up record and if I had to label this one I would call it a make up record. I’m making up with myself. Making up for lost time. making up for everything I ever did and never did.”

Fans were ready. According to Billboard her first single “Hello” was the first song ever to sell at least 1 million downloads in one week. Adele’s record setting sales didn’t end there. 25 sold over 3.3 million copies in its first week, smashing a fifteen year record set by *NSYNC’s 2000 album No Strings Attached, which moved 2.413 million in its first week.

It almost never happened. When Adele spoke to with Carson Daly on 97.1 AMP Radio Los Angeles she confessed that she considered retiring from music all together. It was her son Angelo who inspired her to return.

“For awhile I was like, maybe I shouldn’t come back,” she admitted. “Maybe I should go out on a high. Maybe everyone likes what they’ve heard of me. And then I realized I want my kid to know what I do. He’s really inspired me.”

Eagles of Death Metal Not Cowed by Terror

Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death metal pays tribute to the victims of the November 13 Paris terrorist attacks at a makeshift memorial in front of the Bataclan concert hall. (Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)

Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death metal pays tribute to the victims of the November 13 Paris terrorist attacks. (Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)

Eagles of Death Metal were thrust into the global spotlight after three gunmen attacked their show in Paris on November 13, killing 89 people. The attack was part of coordinated terrorist effort across the city.

The band themselves escaped, but Nick Alexander, who was working the band’s merch table, and Thomas Ayad, Marie Mosser, and Manu Perez who worked for the band’s French record label were murdered.

The band issued a statement that read in part: “Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, and all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love and compassion.”

Less than a month later, the band returned to Paris, joining U2 as part of a live concert special.

The Biggest Non-Stories of 2015

While a lot did happen in 2015, there were also a handful of notable things that did not.

Frank Ocean’s sophomore album, supposedly titled Boys Don’t Cry was reported to come out this July, and that never happened; no updates or explanations were given. Ocean did take some time to bash Donald Trump, so the year was not a complete waste.

Kanye made our list twice, and the news more several times, but his new album, currently titled SWISH has yet to see the light of day, or get a release date. Lamar Odom has apparently heard it, and he doesn’t just like it, he loves it.

Rihanna also teased a new album ANTi, she even shared the cover artwork and announced a massive world tour, but still no album. According to Sia, we may be in for a wait.



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