Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a slew of stars managed to make it into the studio and record music that helped us make it through the year

By Jeff Nelson
Updated December 31, 2020 11:35 AM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.
Advertisement

When the world shut down earlier this year as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, it almost seemed like the music would stop, too. But thankfully, these artists made it back to the studio, using quarantine as a time to unlock even more creativity in their craft. Below, check out our 10 favorites of the year from some chart-topping mainstays and a few fresh faces. And see more of PEOPLE's best in movies, TV and books in this week's issue, on newsstands Friday.

1. Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa

The British star delivered disco-fever perfection on her second LP.

Buy It! Future Nostalgia, $11.99; amazon.com

2. Folklore by Taylor Swift

Her raw, reflective album captured a very relatable sense of isolation.

Buy It! Folklore, $11.47; amazon.com

3. Chromatica by Lady Gaga

Gaga got real on an out-of-this-world return to her dance roots.

Buy It! Chromatica, $11.25; amazon.com

4. Ungodly Hour by Chloe x Halle

The sister act did mentor Beyoncé proud on their R&B tour de force.

Buy It! Ungodly Hour, $10.99; amazon.com

5. Rare by Selena Gomez

Gomez left her pain in the past on a self-love soundtrack.

Buy It! Rare, $9.49; amazon.com

6. Plastic Hearts by Miley Cyrus

Cyrus unleashed a rebel yell on this breakup record, her best yet.

Buy It! Plastic Hearts, $11.98; amazon.com

7. Fetch the Bolt Cutters by Fiona Apple

The alt queen sang of cabin fever over avant-garde beats.

Buy It! Fetch the Bolt Cutters, $9.99; amazon.com

8. After Hours by The Weeknd

The R&B singer served up cinematic 1980s glam.

Buy It! After Hours, $11.69; amazon.com

9. The Otherside by Cam

Honest lyrics and wrenching vocals from a rising Nashville star.

Buy It! The Otherside, $11.98; amazon.com

10. Papi Juancho by Maluma

The Latin pop star channeled a playboy alter ego for this steamy set.

Buy It! Papi Juancho, $17.99; amazon.com