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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 18, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 51
BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Hottest Artists of the Year
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Hottest Artists of the Year

by Albert Rodriguez and Jessica Price - SGN A&E Writers

Some artists had a better year than others. And some had a better year than everybody. Here are ten that towered above the rest, in ranking order.

1. TAYLOR SWIFT
Taylor Swift's massive 1989 World Tour provided a magical my first concert moment for many a starstruck teen (and adults loved it, too). J. Price

2. ADELE
Adele came roaring back in 2015, with a new single, Hello, and then with her third studio album  her first in four years  titled 25; both shattered sales records domestically and internationally. An appearance on Saturday Night Live, a TV concert filmed at Radio City Music Hall, and guest spots on the late night talk show circuit put her back in the limelight, where she was all too missed. A. Rodriguez

3. KENDRICK LAMAR
The Compton native rose to superstar status with another critically praised album, a rap masterpiece called To Pimp a Butterfly, and capped a bountiful year that saw him lead all Grammy nominees with 11 nods, including the top three awards  Album, Record, and Song of the Year. Lamar's collaborations with Taylor Swift, the #1 single Bad Blood, and electronic act Flying Lotus, Never Catch Me, also accounted for his success in 2015. A. Rodriguez

4. THE WEEKND
With a smash single, Can't Feel My Face, a top-selling album, Beauty Behind the Madness, and a featured track on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack (Earned It), the Toronto-based artist spent much of the year in the spotlight. He matched Taylor Swift's 7 Grammy nominations and competes for Album and Record of the Year, and in 2016 he already has a slate of stadium shows booked in Europe. A. Rodriguez

5. MILEY CYRUS
Musically, the Disney star-turned-pop phenom didn't release anything in 2015 that got our attention; that Dead Petz album was a letdown, though she still managed to have a big year. Her introduction of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was spot-on, while her hosting gig for the MTV VMAs was better than decent. But the biggest accomplishment in the past twelve months for Cyrus was her tie-ins with the LGBT community  she bravely came out (as Bisexual) to the public, affirmatively backed Gay marriage, and founded an organization called The Happy Hippie Foundation that assists homeless and LGBT youth with a variety of resources. A. Rodriguez

6. MADONNA
Though the Rebel Heart album was spotty at best, M delivered on her world tour as always. J. Price

7. JUSTIN BIEBER
We love to hate him, don't we? But the little shit won't go away. In fact, in 2015 besides being photographed naked (nice ass, I admit), The Biebs actually scored a comeback hit, Where Are U Now with Diplo and Skrillex, which earned the trio a Grammy nod for Best Dance Recording, and then released a solo hit, Sorry, that went to #1 in 11 countries. His much-anticipated tour will launch March 9 in Seattle, so get ready to be invaded by thousands of Beliebers. A. Rodriguez

8. BETTE MIDLER
Bette's still got it, enough said. Her 2015 tour featured classics along with material from the hit album Its the Girls. J. Price

9. EDM (ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC)
No other music genre had the kind of year that EDM did. It impacted mainstream, from TV commercials to its infusion into pop, R&B, and hip hop. Major Lazer, Grimes, Mark Ronson, Calvin Harris, Zedd, Galantis, The Chainsmokers, Skrillex, Flosstradamus, Martin Garrix, Disclosure, and Jamie xx are some of the electronic artists who enjoyed commercial and artistic success in 2015. A. Rodriguez

10. FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
Flo's album and tour for How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful usher in a more mature sound for one of music's most promising female songwriters and performers. J. Price

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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Hottest Artists of the Year
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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Feature Artist Interview
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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Albums
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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Singles
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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Live Performances
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Best of Music 2015 and special interview with Allen Stone next week
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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Worst Music
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Ham for the Holidays with Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt is amazing comedy
FINAL WEEKEND

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Adele gives Seattle a big hello with two concerts next July
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STG presents 'So You Think You Can Dance' at the Paramount Dec. 26
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Seattle Musical Theatre presents She Loves Me
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Seattle LGBT Community Center
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Seattle musicians Brandi Carlile, Death Cab for Cutie, and Seattle Symphony earn Grammy nominations
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Danish Girl a gender journey of self-discovery
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Abrams' Star Wars brings balance back to The Force
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Rambunctious Sisters a Poehler-Fey gem
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Howard's Sea a whale of a disappointment
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