2017 was the year of new popstars, emo rap and memes. Here are the best parts of it:
Dua Lipa Delivering The Best Video Of The Year
Dua Lipa was already having a great year of the back of her debut, self-titled album but things exploded when she released the video for New Rules. Easily the best video of the year, it catapulted the song to the top, making it her biggest hit to date.
Cardi B Hitting Number One
At the start of the year Cardi was an internet cult hero with a small mainstream following but Bodak Yellow gained more and more momentum, coming out of nowhere to become the runaway hit of the year. From clubs to house parties, Bodak Yellow was infectious and viral eventually climbing the charts in the US to knock Taylor Swift from the top spot. Literally no one would've bet on that happening at the start of the year.
Kehlani Touring Australia
Kehlani's debut Australian tour was a triumph. The US R&B singer delivered sets across the country made up of SweetSexySavage songs, playing to some of the most inspired and energetic crowds we've seen this year. On top of that, she embraced this country's indigenous culture and advocated for the yes vote during Australia's same-sex marriage vote.
Kendrick Lamar Pleasing The Charts And The Critics
Kendrick Lamar has been at the top for a while now but in terms of conquering the charts he still had work to be done. Work that DAMN. completed this year. He earned his first solo number one single in the US with Humble and also made what many are rightfully calling the Album Of The Year. He showed that he has a commercial side that doesn't come at the detriment of his skill. A once in a generation artist who is unmatched right now.
Paramore Going Full Pop
Paramore edged towards pop with their last, self-titled record but on 2017's After Laughter they embraced it fully. From Hard Time to Fake Happy, Hayley Williams and co wrapped syrupy melodies around '80s-tinged instrumentals while tackling mental health at the same time. Paramore are a band who have kept their flame alive with reinvention and they burned so bright this year.
Stormzy's Aussie Tour Antics
Sometime an artist touches down in the country and makes headlines for the right reason with every show they did. That was Stormzy this year when he touched down for Splendour In The Grass and a sold out headline tour. From doing a shoey out of a Yeezy to telling a fan off for asking him not to perform his remix of Ed Sheeran's Shape Of You, Stormzy was the MVP of Oz touring this year.
Our High Tea With Dune Rats
This may be more a personal highlight but our year hit a high point when we took Dune Rats to a fancy high tea. The Aussie band who hit number one this year with their second LP managed to turn a very hoity-toity event into something raucous and while we were never quite sure exactly what they were going to do, we enjoyed the ride all the same.
Lil Uzi Vert Introduced The Charts To The New Emo
Lil Uzi Vert made an impact on 2017 in a way that was hard to predict at the beginning of the year. He was the poster boy for a generation of "emo" rappers that were penetrating the charts with woozy, dark songs. XO Tour Llif3 became one of the biggest hip-hop tracks of the year and then he followed it up with a huge album Luv Is Rage 2. Oh, and he started the year with a number one on Migos' Bad And Boujee. A pretty amazing year.
HAIM's Shania Twain Obsession
The best Like A Version of the year belonged to HAIM with their cover of Shania Twain's That Don't Impress Me Much. It was an endearing moment that proved that country pop is still alive and well. Even Shania gave her stamp of approval which would've made 2017 one of the girls' best year no doubt.
Just About Everything SZA Did
SZA's fanbase grew and grew this year purely because she was doing great thing after great thing. Her debut album CTRL is one of the year's best and the way she has expanded on it with visuals and live shows in mind-blowing. Her performance over the weekend at SNL of Love Galore and The Weekend complete with a choir showed just how mighty her transformation has been.
Calvin Harris' Transformation From EDM Producer To Funk Master
Calvin Harris entered the year as the biggest EDM producer in the world but shocked everyone when murmurings of a Frank Ocean and Migos collaboration came to light. That collab surfaced as Slide, one of the best songs of the year that signalled his move into funkier and more nuanced music. His album Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1 features a huge array of guests from Future to Kehlani and is a game changer.
Charli XCX's Consistent Output of Greatness
What a year for left-centre pop Queen Charli XCX. She didn't release her highly anticipated third album but she did just about everything else. Her innovative mixtape Number 1 Angel came first and then she followed it up with Boys which came complete with one of the year's most talked about videos. She's now about to follow it up with Pop2 which will act as a victory lap for a spectacular year.
Frank Ocean Was Officially Out Of Hiding
Even though Frank Ocean released two albums last year he was still very much in hiding. This year, however, he emerged. He played live festival shows, started a radio show and released a handful of great singles topped by highlight Chanel. We might not see him again for another four years but his presence was felt and appreciated this year.
Young Thug's Director Made A Video Without Young Thug
When Ryan Staake was pinned to direct a $100,000 video for Young Thug's Wyclef Jean he thought the rapper would be there. But he wasn't. Thug never turned up for long enough to film the video but instead of canning it, Staake made a video about how he never turned up. It's brilliant and easily one of the best vids of the year, no thanks to Thug.
Lady Gaga's Super Bowl Performance
Lady Gaga completed the trifecta this year. She performed at the Grammys, the Super Bowl and Coachella, delivering spectacular performances at each. None were better than her epic Super Bowl performance which saw her fly onto the stage from the top of the stadium and kill it from the ground.
Lorde's Melodrama Conquered Great Heights
Lorde's return could've gone either way. At the beginning of this year she was, after all, a bit of a one-hit wonder despite the fact that Pure Heroine was excellent. Melodrama took her to another level though. Helmed by the triumphant lead-single Green Light, Melodrama was an honest depiction of live as a twenty-something - the highs, the hangovers, the doubts and the euphoria.
Rihanna Won The Year Without Dropping An Album
Rihanna was the most played female on Spotify this year and yet she didn't even release an album. How'd she do it? She guested on DJ Khaled's Wild Thoughts, N.E.R.D.'s Lemon, Kendrick Lamar's Loyalty and continued to champion 2016's ANTI. She also teamed up with Puma, released a beauty line, unleashed sock collaborations and stole every red carpet she stepped on. Icon.
Aussie Girls Were The Strongest Force On Triple J
It was a huge year for Aussie music in general but the girls just kept on winning. It started with Amy Shark and Tash Sultana clocking number two and three in the Hottest 100 and continued with the success of Meg Mac, Vera Blue, Ali Barter, George Maple, Alex Lahey, E^ST, Alex The Astronaut and more.
Kesha's Unpredictably Triumphant Return
No one knew what Kesha's comeback would look like or whether it would even come but this year she returned in one of the most triumphant moments of the year. Praying was the mightiest ballad of the year, choosing to rise above everything she's been through and celebrate her own strength. Rainbow followed positioning her as the artist she always wanted to be.
Everything Tyler The Creator Did
Shoes, clothes, tv shows, music videos and one of the best albums of the year - Tyler really did do it all in 2017. He's always been a great visionary but rarely have all his projects combined in such a forceful way. Flower Boy is the best album he's ever released and it seems the vision in his head is finally coming through physically.
Vince Staples Making A Better Club Record Than Any Club Producer
On Summertime '06 Vince Staples was coming for Kendrick Lamar's crown but on Big Fish Theory he took a sharp left turn, churning out an innovative club record that recruited producers like SOPHIE and the GTA. The result was a cohesive, wildly inventive project that put him in his own lane.
Lana Del Rey Finally Announcing A Bloody Australian Tour
Lana Del Rey has skipped Australia for her past two albums but she finally included us this time around. It's come at a great time too. Lust For Life feels like her most accomplished album yet and she's more self-assured than ever. Expect a very different LDR than the one we saw back here in 2012 next year.
Australia Embracing New Music
Australian music was as popular as ever this year but the names that kept popping up were all new artists. Winston Surfshirt were one of the most played on triple j and sold out national tours, Super Cruel made a mighty entrance with November and Alex The Astronaut came outta nowhere to have a spectacular year. Special shout out to other newbies like Midas.Gold, Turquoise Prince, Miss Blanks and Mallrat who all had great years.
Memes Ruling The Charts
It was the year memes took over the charts and whether you love it or hate it, they were inescapable. The Cash Me Ousside started as a viral meme stemming from a Dr Phil segment and is now carving her way as a legitimate rap star, Dua Lipa's New Rules was twisted by Twitter and a British comedian turned a comedic grime song Mans Not Hot into a global hit. Even Migos' Bad And Boujee was pushed along by viral memes.
Client Liaison And Tina Arena's Partnership Flourishing
Client Liaison dropped their collaboration A Foreign Affair with Aussie icon Tina Arena earlier this year and the friendship just continued to flourish. They took over Splendour In The Grass with the song plus a cover of Sorrento Moon and also delivered triple j's Video Of The Year.