Teen dream Justin Bieber is arguably the biggest pop star in the country and Simon Cowell isn't doing American Idol. A lot's changed since last year in the world of pop. Institutions fell, ideas were challenged, and the Black Eyed Peas didn't have the number one song in the country at any point. In the final days of 2010, we look back at the biggest changes in pop music.
10. The return of the video: Lady Gaga spearheaded a resurgence in the music video as a legitimate way to make a song a hit. It helped that everyone was listening to music on YouTube anyway.
9. Dr. Luke can't miss: Billboard says "Tik Tok" is your song of the year; lots of other people think it's "California Gurls" -- it doesn't make much of a difference. Both of those and plenty more of the year's defining singles were the handiwork of Dr. Luke. Let's hope the Hot 100 continues to sound this ebullient .
8. Young Money is no longer the Lil Wayne show: Lil Wayne had a rough year (Rebirth, prison), but his crew made sure no one forgot about Young Money. Nicki Minaj and Drake were two of your five biggest breakout stars of the year, and "BedRock" was one of the best 2010 chart-toppers. Time for Lloyd to get huge.
7. The Beatles appear on iTunes: Just kidding. But seriously: We're still mad at you for how much you hyped that announcement, Apple. You told us to expect something life-changing, and we got a bunch of music we already have.
6. Rock and roll gets locked out of the penthouse: The only two rock bands eligible for discussion as the biggest musical act of the year are Train and Lady Antebellum. Fall Out Boy doesn't look so silly any more, does it?
5. Indie goes mainstream: Vampire Weekend hit the top of the charts, Arcade Fire did that plus sell out Madison Square Garden, and the best pop couple Target could think of to market itself during the Holidays was Best Coast and Wavves.
4. Kanye West goes for broke and finds he can't: He simply has too much money. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy didn't sell as much as it seemed like it would, but make no mistake: We will be feeling its effect on pop music for a long time. Expect lots of orchestras on hip-hop albums in the next couple years. Don't expect any of them to sound as rich as this album does.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
3. Disney goes down: Miley Cyrus got high and lost most of her clothes, the Jonas brothers became irrelevant, and Demi Lovato is in rehab.
2. As does American Idol: Idol should have changed its image by giving it to Crystal Bowersox when it had the chance. Instead, Simon's last season ended with Lee DeWho? and no one cares about next year's knock off.
1. Who needs puberty? Justin Bieber was a better Justin Timberlake than the real thing this year. Nine-year-old Willow Smith had a hit single, and her classmate Jackie Evancho had a hit album.