It’s July 2017, which means that we’ve now officially passed the ¾ mark of the 21st century’s second decade. To commemorate somehow being 75% of the way through the ‘10s, we at Billboard have decided to look back at the biggest happenings of the decade thusfar – the Earth-stopping releases, the major industry changes, the biggest live spectacles, and other moments where you could feel the pop landscape shifting underneath your feet.
Read our chronological list below, and let’s hope that the decade’s last quarter is just as action-packed.
November 15th, 2014: Taylor Swift’s 1989 sells 1.287 million in first week
The world’s biggest country superstar at the end of the ‘00s, Taylor Swift set her sights on a full pop crossover in the ‘10s, culminating in her biggest sales week to date – and the biggest of anyone in over a decade – in 2014, for her retrofitted pop blockbuster LP 1989. The set moved 1.287 million units in its first frame, part of a total top 40 takeover that also resulted in each of the set’s first three singles topping the Hot 100 and Taylor taking home album of the year – her second, a first for a female solo artist – at the 2016 Grammys. By then, Taylor could no longer be considered country’s biggest superstar, but she was almost certainly pop’s. – A.U.
June 21, 2015: Taylor Swift pens open letter to Apple
The pending launch of Apple Music June 30 was widely anticipated, and the company’s decision to offer free trials for its first three months of operation was seen as an easy way to test its functionality with users. But Apple’s decision to also not pay royalties during that period drew the ire of many – most publicly, Taylor Swift, who wrote a heartfelt open letter on behalf of her fellow musicians trashing that decision and announcing she would be withholding her 1989 album from the service. Apple’s response was, ahem, swift, and before the end of the day the company had reversed course, promising to pay royalties and forging a partnership with the superstar that resulted in a 1989 World Tour concert documentary and a string of humorous commercials for its streaming service. – D.R.
Inside a Burbank rehearsal studio, the women of Fifth Harmony — surrounded by the thousands of album booklets they’ve autographed for fans, the most dedicated of whom are known as “Harmonizers” — are having an emoji debate.
They want to use the digital icons to accompany the online reveal of the track list for their upcoming self-titled album, due Aug. 25 via Syco Music/Epic.
Dinah Jane Hansen, 20, suggested a finger pointing downward as a clue for the album’s lead single, “Down,” but the rest weren’t as easy.
“We need to go quicker, guys,” Ally Brooke Hernandez, 24, instructed as they struggled to stifle giggles.
After all, there’s other, more important business for Fifth Harmony to convey in 2017.
“We should mention we wrote most of these,” said Normani Kordei, 21.
Co-writing and ownership of records is a first for these women — since being put together on the U.S. edition of the televised singing competition “The X Factor,” the members of Fifth Harmony, which also includes Lauren Jauregui, 21, have struggled to assert their independence and prove they’re singular artists who are not just a made-for-TV creation.
We’re so in sync, the four of us. When you have a strong unit, there’s no stopping you.
— Lauren Jauregui
That Fifth Harmony even made it to album No. 3 is something of a feat. Just a few months ago, the group was parting ways — acrimoniously — with one of its founding members as rumors of conflict hit a fever pitch.
And yet in recent weeks, the act has filmed two music videos — including a sexy, lo-fi clip for “Angel,” its new single that was produced by Skrillex and carries hip-hop-inflections — and its members are rehearsing for a tour and Fifth Harmony’s debut at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 27.
“It’s the most monumental moment of our careers,” Kordei said. And the turnaround couldn’t have come quicker. Though the act seemed to be coming into its own with last year’s well-received release “7/27,” there was enough behind-the-scenes drama to fill a whole other reality show.
In December, the group appeared to be in crisis when it announced that singer Camila Cabello had exited just hours after a performance.
The group claims Cabello informed them via her representatives that she was out, something Cabello has rebutted.
And then things got messier.
Shortly after news of Cabello’s departure broke, a recording was leaked of Jauregui tearfully telling Hernandez that the group was being treated like “literal slaves.”
They were exhausted from touring — a period in which more than one member lost loved ones — and frustrated by a lack of creative fulfillment. From the beginning, Fifth Harmony has said that it had zero say in collaborators or the creation of its music, often receiving songs the day before studio sessions.
Often, its members say, the anxiety was crippling, and they started to resent performing. The dream of being the preeminent girl group of its generation was proving to be anything but.
We’ve been taking leaps of faiths — and trusting ourselves.
— Dinah Jane Hansen
“We lost the magic of it all,” Hansen added. “We were doing songs just to do songs.”
The magic, such as it was, began in 2012 when the thenteens entered the short-lived U.S. edition of “The X Factor” as solo contestants. They fizzled out but were then packaged as a group by Simon Cowell and then-Epic Records Chairman L.A. Reid.
Fifth Harmony took third place in the competition, scoring a joint deal with Epic Records and Cowell’s Syco Music.
Though a wave of boy bands had found recent success — including One Direction (assembled on the British version of “X Factor” — no girl group had managed to hit it big like Danity Kane, Pussycat Dolls, Destiny’s Child, the Spice Girls or TLC did in their prime.
Today, pop is dominated by assertive yet solo female artists, and Fifth Harmony risked looking like a relic from another era. And that doesn’t even consider the simple challenge of cultivating chemistry among a group of teenage girls who met on a TV show.
“When you get in a group, you have to go in understanding it’s not just about you and your ideas. It is a collaboration,” said TLC’s Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas. “When you think of [girl groups], most of them don’t stay together, because it’s not easy at all. Chemistry is something you either have or don’t have.”
Epic worked heavily to sell Fifth Harmony, keeping the group on the road constantly, often booking concerts at malls. “Every season, for 4½ years … I was a zombie,” Jauregui recalls.
From the outside, there was much to celebrate.
Fifth Harmony’s 2015 debut, “Reflection,” saw the group pick up where Destiny’s Child and TLC had left off, with an album full of slinky dance-pop and R&B/hip-hop-informed girl power anthems — with breakout single “Worth It” becoming one of the year’s biggest earworms.
The act then made history last year as the first girl group to score a top 10 Billboard Hot 100 smash in nearly a decade with the snappy “Work From Home.”
Yet the women in Fifth Harmony said they it felt burnt out and controlled by the label — like “puppets,” they agree. The women pushed though teary onstage breakdowns, infighting and family feuding.
“It came to a point where I’d catch myself onstage and realize, ‘I’m not feeling this,’” Kordei said. “It scared me, because this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Today, the women are relaxed and comfortable discussing their recent history. They’re dressed in active wear — Kordei’s shirt has “Phenomenal Woman” emblazoned across it, while Jauregui is wearing the anti-discrimination top Frank Ocean recently made famous — and their faces are makeup-free.
Jauregui reflected on the stress of the past.
We’ve been grateful to have a machine behind us. But we definitely needed respect — and we had to demand it.
— Ally Brooke Hernandez
“You’re in front of so many people that you know love you,” she said. “To be in a space where you don’t connect or when you feel bored in that kinda setting …”
“You feel guilty,” Kordei offered.
“It’s overwhelming to have your whole, entire life planned for something you don’t feel passionate about,” said Jauregui, the room falling silent. “You’re not seeing your family, your friends. You’re not doing anything for yourself. It was depressing, draining and sad. Now, it’s a whole different thing.”
In fact, the members of Fifth Harmony had long been fighting for the autonomy and respect that they are only now receiving. In late 2015, Hernandez contacted outspoken L.A. music lawyer Dina LaPolt, who helped the group clean house.
LaPolt got them new management with the powerhouse firm Maverick and helped transfer the Fifth Harmony trademark from Cowell to its members, giving them complete ownership of the brand.
A more favorable contact with Epic was then negotiated, but the women still weren’t in the driver’s seat when it came to music.
Everything we’ve been through, the ups and downs, I really believe it was to shape and mold us for this moment.
— Normani Kordei
“We were 15, 16 and 19 when we started,” Jauregui said. “We didn’t have any basic understanding of business, and we’re being thrown into this world of wolves where they really screw you over with contracts. We were really in a line of adversity.”
After Cabello’s departure, the women realized they wanted to work on repairing the group’s dynamic as well as its relationship with the label in order to become more vocal about its career ambitions. “We all got on the same page … and fought for our say,” Hansen said.
A key ally was Epic A&R executive Chris Anokute, who joined their team during the recording of “7/27.”
“They were uninspired, beaten up, bruised. They weren’t gelling,” Anokute said. “You could tell there were some things going on between the girls … issues with management. They started venting their insecurities and desire to write songs, and I realized they were never a part of it.”
Anokute pushed Reid to commit to another album after the turmoil with Cabello (Reid left the label in May), bolstering the group’s confidence.
“We are being more respected this time around,” Hansen said. “We are in a place where we know what we want and who we are. We’ve recognized our truth and what we have to offer — and our power.”
I love these girls and consider them sisters. I have such high visions for us, the four of us. Everything that has come true this year has been validation.
— Ally Brooke Hernandez
Fifth Harmony finding its voice shows on the new album — its title a nod to the group’s newfound independence.
The album was recorded in seven weeks at Santa Monica’s Windmark Recording, and the women co-wrote more than half of the songs on the project — splitting into pairs and penning the type of tunes they’ve wanted to do alongside handpicked producers, including Dreamlab, the Stereotypes, Harmony Samuels, the Monsters & Strangerz and Tommy Brown.
The record is raw, soulful, sexy and fully the group’s own vision.
On a recent afternoon, the pop of a Champagne bottle echoed around a boardroom inside Epic Records’ headquarters on the Sony lot in Culver City.
Cheers, air kisses and hugs awaited the ladies as they filed into a room stuffed with label staff gathered to hear Fifth Harmony’s new album — a mountain of tacos and bottles of tequila and Champagne awaiting them.
Before the music began, acting Epic President Sylvia Rhone led the room in a toast.
“To the baddest ladies in the business — it’s a pleasure to have worked with you guys,” Rhone said, her glass of Champagne hoisted high above her head as the women looked on with glassy eyes, clutching one another’s hands.
“It finally feels like we are living our lives. We’ve taken ownership,” Kordei said. “It’s been there all along, but maybe we weren’t confident enough or bold enough. This time, we’ve got the extra fire … and we don’t care what anyone else has to say.
“I kinda wish it could have been like this all along,” Kordei said with a sigh.
Jauregui, unarguably Fifth Harmony’s most outspoken member — she’s the first to admit group members barely listen to their earlier work — takes a bolder stance.
BTS reaction to you being known as the sexy one but in reality you are cute
This fluffy marshmallow saw you as someone who was purely sexy and admired your aura on your solo stages. He was your silent fan and was always captivated by your sex appeal. One day he overheard you talking about how tired you were and saw how your face automatically lit up after you talked about food and he found it so adorable. He tried to keep his inner fan boy inside as he now refused to believe you were the same person as on stage.
“How could someone so sexy turn out so cute?”
You were a solo artist that was going to be an mc with V. You both had to meet up at an unpopular restaurant to work out things like what gestures to do. Taehyung found it absolutely cute how you enthusiastically talked about your ideas and loved your playful expressions and thought of you as a girl full of purely aegyo. On the day you both were lively mc’ing and he had not known you were also promoting at the time. He was in the dressing room preparing to watch you and had expected a cute and bubbly performance but was left gobsmacked as he saw those sexy moves and the way you flipped your hair. He was completely taken back and could not hold back the blush. He found you absolutely intriguing.
“Y/N ahh you are an idol full of many surprises and I love it”
Namjoon had to help you write a rap verse as you were the only female solo artist in the company. You were known for your sexy image and your curvy body and thats what he expected ‘a girl with a lot of sex appeal’. He showed you some verses that he had wrote to fit your sexy image and had expected you to be familiar with erotic writing but instead you covered your face and blushed. He was not expecting such a cute reaction. The more you spent time he forgot about your sexy image.
“you are too pure for your sexy image”
His lazy ass refused to get out of the car to go take a break from all the driving and was left alone. He was about to fall back to sleep, instead something caught his eye. You. You were famous for being the sexiest solo artist but at that moment he refused to believe it as he saw you walking down the street, eating a hamburger with so much glee in your eyes. He payed attention to the way you smiled to the manager as you got into your own van and his heart started thumping. The sexy smile he thought was your natural smile turned out to be fake and for once he saw your adorable gleaming smile.
“how could a smile make my heart beat so much”
He admired how you could sway anyone whether female or male with your sexy dance moves and alluring voice. He decided to gather up the courage to talk to you and soon after a while you had both gotten to the basic conversation stage. He later on cracked a joke and had expected a sexy captivating laugh but instead was greeted with a child like, soft laughter. You covered your mouth and you turned red trying to keep the laughter in. He was amazed about how cute you turned out to be and at some point thought about how you were someone whom he would always want to make laugh.
“Seeing you happy makes me happier”
You and Jungkook were the same age and saw you as an inspiration on how you could have such a sexy and mature image at such a young age. He had only saw you performing on stage and never interacted with you in real life. At a mama concert he was performing after you and had gotten time to interact with you. He saw your bright cute smile as you walked backstage after the song had ended. You came closer to the group and bowed down with such a bright playful vibe that had left a lot of impact on him.
“She is like me after all”
After a performance he had seen you in the midst of putting on makeup. He saw you pout as a makeup artist put some lipgloss on you. He never knew you could make such a expression and was so captivated that you noticed. Upon noticing you accidentally turned your head too far and the makeup artist had spread the lipgloss across your cheek. Jin was expecting a diva or sexy like reaction but instead came across you laughing at the mistake. He blushed at your reaction and bowed down in apology causing you to laugh more at his cute reaction.
“How could a sexy person have such a innocent laugh?”
Hey! I wanted to ask you if you could make a ‘bts s/o’ or ‘bts reaction to’ about them reacting to your speech for 'best female solo artist’ or 'best female artist of the year’ or so, during 'Seoul music awards’ or 'gaon chart’ or 'MAMA’ etc. And could you pretty pls make a version of while your his girlfriend, his crush and while you guys were privately dating!😙 Thank you sm if you do decide to make this 💜
[requests are open]
scenario: you had won the award for best female artist of the year at the Seoul Music Awards and you’ve included them in your speech
Jin would be so proud of you. He knew that you deserved the award because of all the hard work you’ve put into making music. His smile would grow even more when you had mentioned him in your speech, thankful that you had acknowledged him even if he didn’t really do much.
“I’d like to also thank my wonderful boyfriend, Kim seokjin. Thank you for being here to support me through everything.” *Jin beams with pride*
Namjoon would feel so moved that you had mentioned him in your speech. But he knew it was because of all the help he had given you when you needed it the most. When he seen you afterwards, he would pull you in for a hug.
“Kim Namjoon, thank you for not only the endless support, but for being there to help me when I needed it the most.”
He would be surprised when you mentioned his name. He never thought that he was important enough to be mentioned, especially since all the hard work came from you. But nonetheless, Yoongi was grateful.
“I want to thank Min Yoongi. Thank you for all those late night talks that have helped me make my music. Thank you for the lyrics that come from our everyday conversations.”
Hoseok would cry tears of happiness. He would already have some tears flowing from when you were announced as winner, but he really started to cry when you mentioned him in your speech.
“And thank you Jung Hoseok for staying by my side, even after all the times I snapped at you when I was stressed. Thank you so much for your support. I love you.”
At first Jimin would be disappointed when you didn’t mention him right away. He had hoped you would. When you surprised him though when you finally did. After that he was beaming with pride.
“And for the most important thank you. Thank you Park Jimin for always being here for me. Through thick and thin, I couldn’t have asked for someone better.”
Taehyung would be bouncing in excitement when you mentioned his name. He would turn to all his neighbors and talk excitedly about how you were the best girlfriend any guy could have.
“Thank you Kim Taehyung for being so supportive of my work. Thank you for everything you do.”
Jungkook would be in awe. He knew there was a chance that you would win the award, but it never crossed his mind that you would mention him. Nevertheless, he was deeply moved.
“Jeon Jungkook, thank you. You are my inspiration, my muse, and my heart,”
BTS Reaction: You winning and making a speech at Seoul Music Awards for “Best Female Solo Artist” [request]
The request was quite long and I might have changed it a little bit to make it easier to write, I hope you’ll still like it anon! Sorry for the long wait ^^
Also this is my first reaction or actual post on this blog so please don’t be too harsh and I hope you like it! Sorry for any errors.
credits to gif owners
- Admin Satellite
You and Jin had been secretly dating for over three months. And he knew how hard you had worked on your comebacks and new album. He was probably more nervous than you waiting for the name of Best Female Solo Artist of the Year to be revealed.
“And the winner is…” Jin would be holding his breath. He’d look over at you where you sat over at a table not too far from his. You and your team of people all holding their fingers with closed eyes. He would cross his own fingers “…Y/N”
The whole room would erupt into cheers and Jin would feel like he was going to pass out. His princess had made it! She had actuallymade it. Hed look over at your surprised but ecstatic face. All he he’d want to do was run over to you and hug you. But he couldn’t, and that pained him. But despite that, he knew well that you’d celebrate later with each other. So he stood up, the rest of the boys following and he smiled and applauded you onto the stage.
When nobody was looking he’d try to throw you one of his famous flying kisses and fail.
During your speech he wouldn’t be able to stop smiling. His heart swelling at your every word. He couldn’t take his eyes off of you, feeling like the proud boyfriend he was.
“This… Thank you” you’d say, trying to find out what to say “I want to thank my friends, my fans, but most of all my family” as you mentioned the latter your eyes looked straightly into Jin’s and he’d feel some tears trying to break through. He couldn’t wait until he could hug you and spend time with you privately.
Suga’s crush on you had been consistent since the day you had stepped into his studio, wanting help for your new album. The album that you had worked so hard with, putting in all your blood, sweat and tears [no pun intended] to get you on that stage and winning Best Female Artist of the Year. The passion you held for music matched his perfectly and he couldn’t be more proud as he saw you walking up on that stage. He clapped loudly with the rest of the boys and gave you a gummy smile as you’d walked past his table.
“I just want to thank all my friends, family and fans for everything. Without you, I’d never be able to stand here. I love you all so much!” you said into the mic, your voice booming over the crowd.
“I also want to put an extra thanks to those who helped me produce my latest album. TrophyCat, MegaMind and Suga -” at the mention of his name he couldn’t help but smile. But as soon as it had appeared, it was gone again. But after a couple of seconds the smile slowly started to grow back.
This is silly he thought. But at the same time, he wouldn’t really mind spending more time with you in the studio and getting to know you more.
Afterall, your passion for music seemed almost as big as his.
This boy would be more nervous than you. Biting his lips and not being able to keep still. You and Hobi had been dating for over a year now, but it hadn’t been known to the public for too long. Despite that, your tables would be placed next to each other and he’d hold your hand as you waited for the names to be called out.
“Calm down Hobi, you’re making me even more nervous” you’d laugh a bit as you’d rub patterns in his hand “I’m the one who should be nervous”
As your name would be called he’d be in a state of disbelief. His baby did it. As soon as it’d hit him he’d jump up and hug you close while spinning you around. And as soon as he’d let you down you’d be dragged of to the stage.
His eyes would start to tear up as he’d watch you stand on the stage holding your speech. “…I feel so honoured to get this prize. But I wouldn’t be able to have done this without all of you. Without all of you I’d still just be a girl singing by myself in a room. I want to thank all of you for the support. But most of all, I want to thank my family and beautiful boyfriend Hobi for always being there for me and supporting me through everything!” when you mentioned his name a tear would escape and he’d dry it off quickly as his heart would swell. He’d feel so proud and happy for you.
and all the people watching would be jealous and just watch you two in awe
You and Namjoon had been dating for a year. But nobody except for the boys and some people knew it. Both of you wanted to keep it secret, for privacy reasons. But it was hard for him to fight the urge to want to hold you as he looked at your stressed self. He himself would probably be quite calm.
He’d already sense that the name being called would be yours. But even though he believed in it with his whole body, as the other nominees got mentioned he wouldn’t be able to sit still. His foot would tap rapidly on the floor and he’d bite his lip a bit.
“And the winner is…” he’d close his eyes, hoping for your name to be the one called out “…Y/N!” the announcers yelled out and Namjoon would break out into a big knowing smile.
He wouldn’t be able to stop smiling throughout your speech. Feeling nothing but pride, and he felt happy that he could call you his. You even mentioned him a bit indirectly, with some inside jokes between only you and him. Even if the world didn’t know, all that mattered was that he knew.
You and Jimin were known as the cutest couple in Korea. Publically you’d been dating for 5 months. But in reality you were long over a year and a half. He’d be by your side all the way until your name got called. Poor Jimin would be so nervous for your sake, wanting you to win - probably more than yourself.
He’d be so nervous he’d accidentally spill water while trying to drink to calm his nerves.
He would be so happy for you and he wouldn’t be able to stop smiling. As you walked onto stage to claim your prize and hold the speech he just sat down staring fondly at you. He had probably heard the speech a couple of times before as you had trained it a bit before because Jimin knew you’d win and forced you to, in case you’d win.
“I want to thank everyone, my family, my friends and for my fans - for taking me all the way here. Without you I wouldn’t be able to stand here and hold this prize in my hands. This isn’t just a prize for me. It’s for all of you too. Because without you, there’d be no prize for me to win” you took a shaky deep breath “I was so nervous before this. But to be honest, what helped me keep a bit calm was my beautiful boyfriend that was, can I say more nervous than me?” you said starting to giggle a bit, because of course you had to mention how nervous Jimin had been for you. And how he spilled water while trying to calm himself down and he’d just laugh in embarrassment [gif] together with the rest of the crowd.
Tae would be ecstatic, just for you being nominated. He would be bouncing up and down even before the nominees were called up. The cameras would show his hyper self next to you as you waited for the result. Nobody could deny you were the hottest couple at the awards show, being as you newly made your relationship public after a couple of months dating.
As your name got called up as the winner he’d hug you from behind yelling “That’s my girl!” [you’re instead of hobi in the gif].
And as you’d hold your speech he’d cheer louder than anyone and clap until his hands hurt. Because he was so proud of you. He wouldn’t stop smiling his boxy smile until the next day probably. He was so happy for you.”I want to thank my family, my friends, my fans. Without you I’d never even come close to this. Without you I’d be nothing and I couldn’t thank you enough for that. But most of all I want to give a big thank you to my ‘biggest fan’ and beautiful boyfriend” as you mentioned him in the speech the cameras would shift to him and he’d just smile while nodding. Acting like a crazy #1 fan yelling out “I love you Y/N” and making the audience laugh.
And you can bet your ass he would have worn a “Y/N #1 fan” shirt if it hadn’t been for the big nono’s from the stylists.
He couldn’t help but clap excitedly as your name was announced as the winner of Best Female Artist. His bunny smile brightened up his whole face. You hadn’t known him for very long. But in your latest comeback you had done a collaboration with him. You did a sensual song with a nice dance to go with. And Jungkook couldn’t help but develop a little crush on you as time had passed on.
But poor boy is too shy to really do anything, except for cheering you on in the background. But he couldn’t help but feel proud to call himself at least your friend as you walked up to that stage with a surprised expression.
He always knew you would make it. I mean how couldn’t you? With all that talent and personality.
“I can’t believe this… Wow- thank you” you said into the mic speechless. Cute he thought “Uhm… I want to thank all my fans - without you I wouldn’t be here. I want to thank my family for supporting my dreams and also my friends for always being there for me, helping me out and cheering me on” at the end of the sentence you found Jungkook’s eyes and you smiled. He’d blush at the attention and look away a bit embarrassed.
Hope you liked it and please leave me feedback! Afterall it is my first reaction >.<