Inside the Decade's Most Talked About Moments in Music
Kanye West Takes Taylor Swift's Moment at the VMAs
During the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift to create one of the most infamous moments in recent pop culture history. As a fresh-faced Swift was accepting her award for female video of the year, West took the microphone and said "Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time."
Lady Gaga Drapes Herself in Culinary Couture
Lady Gaga, 33, shocked fans when she attended the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards adorned in a dress made from actual meat. According to MTV.com, the meat dress is still owned by Gaga but is now part of the “Women Who Rock” exhibition in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Because of its unique materials, the garment had to be preserved like beef jerky (seriously), and transported in a climate-controlled truck. The meat is apparently “very hard” to the touch.
Beyoncé Reveals She's Pregnant For First Time at 2011 MTV Video Music Awards
Beyoncé, 38, took the world by storm when she revealed that she was pregnant with her first child, Blue Ivy Carter, at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. After her showstopping performance, the singer took a moment to rub her growing belly. Breaking the internet again in 2017 with the stunning surprise Instagram announcement of her second pregnancy, she and her husband JAY-Z have since welcomed their twins Rumi and Sir, 2½. Blue is now 7 years old.
Mariah Carey Welcomes Twins (aka "Dem Babies") with Nick Cannon in 2011
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon made headlines when the pair got married in 2008. They surprised fans once again when the singer revealed she was expecting twins in 2010. On April 30, 2011, the pair welcomed their little ones, Moroccan and Monroe. Years later the two went their separate ways and finalized their divorce in 2016.
The World Says Hello to Adele
Adele has picked up 15 Grammy awards across her wildly successful career, most recently taking home album of the year for 25. The win marked the second time the songstress has won best album of the year this decade, following her 2011 victory for her album 21. She took the world by storm with the 2011 release of the fan favorite album which landed a spot in Billboard's top 10. Adele won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the James Bond theme "Skyfall" in 2013. Just two years later, 25 was another huge success selling 3.38 million copies in the United States within its first week.
Whitney Houston Dies in 2012 and Daughter Bobbi Kristina Dies Three Years Later
Music icon Whitney Houston tragically died in 2012 at the age of 48. The singer's death was announced just hours before she was expected to perform at Clive Davis’s annual pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, died in hospice care in 2015 months after she was found unconscious in a bathtub in her Atlanta home, circumstances that were eerily similar to her mother’s death. She was 22.
Miley Cyrus Goes Nude for "Wrecking Ball"
Miley Cyrus, 27, floored fans when she went full nude for her “Wrecking Ball” music video in 2013. The song was a smash hit and in the video, the singer is seen suggestively licking a sledgehammer and perching on top of a swinging wrecking ball wearing nothing but Dr. Martens boots.
Jonas Brothers Break Up to Make Up
The Jonas Brothers (Kevin, 32, Joe, 30, and Nick, 27) were teenage heartthrobs when they first hit the scene as child stars. It was a huge shock when the family trio broke up in 2013. After years of solo projects and rebuilding their relationship, they worked things out, reunited and released their hit track "Sucker" in 2019.
Beyoncé, JAY-Z and Solange Knowles Have Infamous 2014 Elevator Incident
In 2014, after the trio attended a Met Gala party, surveillance video surfaced of Beyoncé, JAY-Z and Solange Knowles having a disagreement in an elevator. In the video, Solange was seen yelling at JAY-Z and ultimately hitting and kicking him. Ten days after the incident, the three released a joint statement confirming that the "family has worked through it." Later Beyoncé hinted at the incident, singing “Of course sometimes s--- go down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator” on 2014’s “Flawless (Remix)”.
JAY-Z Launches Tidal and Later Becomes First Hip-Hop Artist to Become a Billionaire
JAY-Z made history when he launched his own music streaming platform, Tidal, in 2015. He made history once again at the end of the decade when he reached billionaire status in December 2019, making him the first hip-hop artist to amass a billion-dollar fortune with his impressive investments across liquor, art, real estate and companies like Uber. His latest investment: an allergen-free snack company named Partake Foods.
Kanye West Marries Kim Kardashian and the Pair Welcome Four Children
Kanye West, 42, and Kim Kardashian, 39, wed in May 2014. The star-studded ceremony was held in Florence, Italy. The pair welcomed their first child, North, 6, in 2013 and have since welcomed Saint, 4, Psalm, 7 months, and Chicago who turns 2 next month.
Things Get Better and Then Worse Between Kanye West and Taylor Swift...and Kim Kardashian
In 2015, six years after West interrupted Swift’s VMAs acceptance speech, she presented him with the MTV Video Vanguard Award and the pair's tension appeared to be at bay. Swift even joked, “I first met Kanye West six years ago – at this show, actually!” as she presented him the award. The rapper gifted her with flowers shortly after the show.
But in an unexpected turn of events, West drew criticism for name-checking the singer on his February 2016 release of “[tempo-ecommerce src="https://www.amazon.com/Famous-Explicit-Kanye-West/dp/B01HH8608S" rel="sponsored" target="_blank">Kardashian West subsequently claimed that Swift knew of West’s plans to release the song, though Swift’s rep told PEOPLE, “Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric." Later that year, Kardashian West leaked a phone call between West and Swift on Snapchat during which the pair discuss the song.
In 2017 Swift slammed the rapper in her single "This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things" and in 2019, during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen Kardashian West said, “I feel like we’d all moved on." But three months later the reality star seemingly shaded the singer by posting pictures of snakes on her Instagram story.
Swift recently shared a former diary entry during the initial 2009 incident with West and later opened up to Rolling Stone giving details about the various “events that led up” to the infamous leaked call.
One Direction Breaks Hearts and Call It Quits in Favor of Solo Careers
One Direction (originally made up of Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan) left their legion of fans reeling when the disbanded. In March 2015, Malik was the first member to part ways from the group. News of his departure was announced on the band’s official Facebook page. "After five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band," he wrote adding that there were no hard feelings between the members. Later that year, PEOPLE confirmed that 1D made plans to embark on an extended hiatus starting in March 2016. The news was surprising to some fans but it wasn't a complete shock. PEOPLE previously reported that the members had been planning on pursuing solo projects “just like the [Rolling] Stones.”
David Bowie and George Michael Die in the Same Year
Music legends David Bowie and George Michael both tragically died in 2016 at ages 69 and 53 respectively after suffering from major health issues. Bowie died after an 18 month long battle with liver cancer. Michael suffered from a dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver. The two left behind trailblazing careers in music.
The Prince of Pop Dies at 57
The Inaugural Fyre Festival Goes Up In Smoke
Fyre Festival was touted as one of the most highly-anticipated events of the decade, but it turned into an epic disaster in April 2017. Billy McFarland, who got sentenced to six years in prison, was one of the co-organizers of the luxury, Coachella-like music festival along with rapper Ja Rule who was his partner in launching the event. It was to have taken place on Exuma, a Bahamian island where attendees found themselves stranded after the poorly executed event was postponed indefinitely after many fun-seekers had already arrived. Social media posts showed there was barely any food, water, security or electricity on the day the event was scheduled.
Ariana Grande's 2017 Manchester Concert Ends in Tragedy
Ariana Grande's life was turned upside down on May 22, 2017 when a terrorist bombing killed 22 of her concertgoers and injured more than 250 people at the her show in Manchester, England. Less than one month later, she returned to the city to host a benefit concert, with ticket proceeds going towards victims and families that were impacted by the attack. Two years after the tragedy, Grande returned to Manchester to perform at 2019 Manchester Pride Festival.
Cardi B Becomes First Female Rapper to Have First Three Singles on Billboard's Top 10
Cardi B, 27, made history in 2017 after "Motorsport," which also features Nicki Minaj, climbed to the No. 6 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. After a breakout year following the runaway success of her single “Bodak Yellow”, it made the newcomer the first female rapper to have her initial three singles in the Top 10.
Ciara Welcomes First Child with Rapper Future, Ends Engagement and Marries Russell Wilson
Ciara, 34, made headlines after she and rapper Future officially called off their engagement after three years in 2017. It was just three months after the birth of their son, Future Zahir and the singer has hinted at issues over infidelity. Since then, Ciara has moved on marrying the man of her dreams, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The couple wed during a gorgeous ceremony in England in 2016 and have since welcomed their daughter, Sienna, 2.
Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner Welcome Daughter Stormi After Secret Pregnancy
Travis Scott, 28, and Kylie Jenner, 22, welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Stormi, in February 2018. Jenner concealed her pregnancy and confirmed the news of her daughter's arrival on Instagram — completely shocking many fans. Though some speculated that the reality star might've been pregnant after she posted a butterfly emoji in a tweet.
Cardi B Attempts to Fight Nicki Minaj in 2018
In what became a disastrous almost-rumble, Cardi B attempted to fight Nicki Minaj during New York Fashion Week in 2018. In videos posted on social media, Cardi can be seen charging at someone. In another video, Cardi can be heard screaming “say some s— about my daughter again.” The rapper said that she attempted to fight because Minaj allegedly made comments about her parenting.
Drake Confirms Son Adonis with Sophie Brussaux After Being Outed by Pusha T
Drake, 33, confirmed that he fathered his son Adonis with former adult-film star Sophie Brussaux in June 2018 after rumors of his fatherhood were widely circulated. The confirmation came after rapper Pusha T revealed that Drake had secretly fathered a child in his diss track "Infrared" earlier that year. Adonis is now 2 years old.
Taylor Swift Leaves Big Machine Label in 2018 and Fights for Her Music
Taylor Swift, 29, took a huge step in her music career when the singer left her former label Big Machine for Universal Music Group in 2018. She also took on music streaming services demanding revenue from the streams of her music and the same for other artists. Recently the pop star has been more vocal than ever about the hardships she's faced with her former label and its new owner Scooter Braun. She is currently making strides towards re-recording her old music.
Diddy and Al B. Sure! Mourn Sudden Death of Kim Porter
Kim Porter died on Nov. 15, 2018 at the age of 47, leaving behind four children and an incredible legacy with a career that spanned decades. Her tragic death came just one month ahead of her Dec. 15th birthday. The late model died of lobar pneumonia in her Toluca Lake, California home. She was laid to rest in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia on Nov. 24, 2018.
In December 2019, Diddy hosted an extravagent 50th birthday celebration and honored the late mother of his children. The party coincided with what would've been her 49th birthday weekend. Porter is the mother of Quincy, 28, whom she had with Al B. Sure!, Christian, 21, and twin daughters Jessie and D'Lila, 13, whom she had with Diddy.
Kanye West Opens Up About Mental Health After Years of Twitter Rants
Kanye West, 42, revealed that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2018. “I had never been diagnosed until I was 39,” he said during an interview recorded with radio host Big Boy after his Wyoming listening party for his album YE. In the same year, the singer went on an explosive Twitter rant sending 125 tweets, claiming Drake “called trying to [threaten] me.” Sitting down for an episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman in 2019, the rapper got candid about his experience living with the condition. "They handcuff you, they drug you, they put you on the bed, and they separate you from everyone you know," West said. The rapper says he wants to help break the stigma around bipolar disorder.
Rihanna Becomes World's Richest Female Musician After Launching Fenty Beauty Line
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth Get Engaged, Call Off Engagement, Marry and Then Split
Miley Cyrus, 27, and Liam Hemsworth, 29, made headlines when the pair — who had been dating on and off for a decade — officially tied the knot in December 2018. But they shocked fans again when they split in August 2019, less than a year after their intimate wedding. The two were previously engaged in 2012 but they called off their nuptials a year later and reconciled in 2015. Since their last split, Cyrus has moved on with both Kaitlynn Carter and Cody Simpson.
Justin Bieber Marries Hailey Baldwin (Twice!)
Nick Jonas Marries Priyanka Chopra During Weekslong Celebrations (in India and America!)
Nick Jonas, 27, and Priyanka Chopra, 37, wed in December 2018 during several extravagant celebrations in the actress' native country of India as well as stateside. The bride and groom had event-packed nuptials from saying "I do" in two lavish pre-ceremonies to a traditional Mehendi ceremony and a lavish Hindu wedding. Months later the festivities just kept going.
R. Kelly Faces Multiple Charges for Various Sex Crimes
For decades R. Kelly has been accused of several sexual assault allegations by women and girls, including possession of child pornography, after incidents that date back to the early ‘90s. Lifetime Network created and aired a shocking six-part docu-series titled Surviving R. Kelly that revealed many of the allegations in January 2019. Kelly allegedly married the late singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 years old. He was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in February 2019 and the charges have continued to roll in as he awaits trial in jail.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's Intimate Oscars Performance of “Shallow”
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who starred in the hit film A Star Is Born together in 2018, caught fans by surprise with their steamy performance of their song “Shallow" at the 2019 Oscars. The duo stirred up speculation of a romance though Cooper was in a relationship with Irina Shayk, the mother of his daughter Lea De Seine, at the time. In November 2019, Gaga officially cleared the air, saying that the seemingly romantic performance was "orchestrated."
Beyoncé Delivers Iconic Coachella Performance by Paying Tribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Beyoncé did not come to play when she headlined Coachella 2018 with one of the most memorable performances of the decade. The pop star, 38, delivered an incredible show jam-packed with intricate dance routines, bright outfits and nods to HBCU culture. From the marching band to the costumes, Beyoncé's headlining act was a celebration of black excellence. To top it off, she teamed up with Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland for the ultimate Destiny's Child reunion on stage. Fans now dress up in the now iconic yellow hoody and denim shorts the Grammy-winner wore for Halloween and many now call the event "Beychella."
Jennifer Lopez Stuns in Recreated Iconic Versace Dress Almost 20 Years Later
Jennifer Lopez, who turned 50 in 2019, proved that she's still Jenny from the Block when she wore a revamped version of her iconic floral, green Versace dress during Milan Fashion Week in September 2019. The new look came nearly 20 years after the singer first wowed fans with the original dress at the Grammy Awards alongside then-boyfriend Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs.