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)
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.
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
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 includingKendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, The Game and Eminem.
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.
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  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
This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, and the four original surviving members went out in style, sort of.
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)
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 single, video and just about everything else ad nauseam, and their fans ate it up.
“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. (Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)
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.”
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.