Join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at some of the most memorable moments in music that are celebrating major anniversaries in 2020… starting with the release of Britney Spears' sophomore album. On May 16, 2020, Britney's second studio album — "Oops… I Did It Again!" — turns 20. The album, which was Britney's second to earn diamond certification by the RIAA, broke the previously held Nielsen SoundScan record for highest debut-week album sales by any female artist. As Britney and more on our list have proven, the year 2000 was a particularly iconic one for pop music. Keep reading to learn about more notable music anniversaries in 2020…
This year marks 50 years since The Beatles broke up. Though John Lennon privately told his bandmates he was leaving in September 1969 and Paul McCartney announced his own departure in April 1970, Dec. 31, 1970, is the day that technically marks the group's breakup as it's when Paul sued to legally dissolve The Beatles. From tensions between the musicians caused by the Beatlemania phenomenon to disagreements about furthering their solo careers to issues of control and jealousy, the English band experienced a slew of issues leading up to their split. While there were many factors at play, fans have long speculated that John Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono, was the reason for the breakup — an accusation he and Paul both denied.
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2020 marks the 40th anniversary of John Lennon's death at 40: On Dec. 8, 1980, the world suffered a painful loss when the former Beatles member was murdered. John was shot in the archway of his apartment building, the Dakota, in New York City by Mark David Chapman, a man who had become enraged by the music star's public comments and way of living. During an interview on "The Jonathan Ross Show" in 2014, bandmate Paul McCartney recalled the moment he learned John was dead. "It was just so horrific that you couldn't take it in — I couldn't take it in," he said. "Just for days, you just couldn't think that he was gone. So, yeah, it was just a huge shock and then I had to tell [my wife] Linda and the kids. It was very difficult. It was really difficult for everyone. That was like a really big shock, I think, in most people's lives."
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On June 15, Drake will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of his debut studio album, "Thank Me Later." The 14-track release — which includes hits like "Best I Ever Had," "Over" and "Fancy" — sold 1.8 million copies by August 2015 — just two months after it came out. Many of the tracks on the platinum-selling "Thank Me Later" address the unexpected reality of making it big — a fitting theme for the Canadian former child actor ("Degrassi: The Next Generation," anyone?) who turned into a Grammy-winning rapper.
Is there anything Beyonce can't do? Jan. 31 marked 10 years since the singer set an impressive record: At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2010, Beyonce's "I Am… Sasha Fierce" album took home seven awards including album of the year, setting the record for most Grammy wins by any female artist in a single night.
Christina Aguilera's talent has always been undeniable — the year 2000 merely validated that fact. Feb. 23 marked 20 years since the "What a Girl Wants" singer won big at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards when, at just 19, she took home the prize for best new artist. Christina had released her self-titled debut album in 1999 — it included three No. 1 singles: "What a Girl Wants," "Genie in a Bottle" and "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)." That was merely the beginning for the exceptional pop star — as of 2020, Xtina had earned four more Grammys and 19 more Grammy nominations.
Feb. 8, 2020, marked five years since English singer-songwriter Sam Smith won big at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, taking home three of the top four awards that evening (for best new artist, record of the year and song of the year). Sam was also the first openly gay artist to win record of the year (for "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)"). Sam's debut album, "In the Lonely Hour," set records too — it was one of just two albums released in 2014 to go platinum.
March 31 marks 25 years since the world lost the Queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla. The Grammy-winning Latina artist's career was cut short when she was shot and killed at 23 in a Corpus Christi, Texas, motel room by her fan club president, Yolanda Saldivar. While she was taken from us too soon, her impact will never be forgotten — Selena remains one of the most influential artists in Latin music. Her fifth studio album, "Dreaming of You," was released four months following her death and quickly reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Remember when we said the year 2000 was an iconic one for pop music? Enter *NSYNC. On March 21, the boy band's second studio album, "No Strings Attached," turns 20! The album, which includes iconic hits like "Bye Bye Bye" and "It's Gonna Be Me," was the bestselling album of 2000. Similarly, the "No Strings Attached" tour was also one of the highest grossing tours of the year. *NSYNC — which consisted of Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass and Chris Kirkpatrick — would go on to earn a nomination at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards for best pop vocal album.
Who could forget about this musical duo? November 2020 marks 30 years since Milli Vanilli members Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan were exposed as frauds. On Feb. 21, 1990, the German R&B duo experienced what should have been a monumental moment — they won the Grammy Award for best new artist. However, they were stripped of that honor the same year on Nov. 19 after one of the biggest music industry hoaxes came to light — that they didn't actually sing any of their released songs. While the duo attempted to make a comeback after the infamous lip-syncing hoax, their second attempt at artistry never took off. The public embarrassment and inability to regain their success haunted Rob, who died of a drug overdose in 1998 at 32.
In 1970, the world lost two great icons. On Sept. 18 and Oct. 3, respectively, it will be 50 years since the untimely deaths of musicians Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin — both of whom died due to drug overdoses when they were 27.
On Nov. 22, Kanye West's fifth studio album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," celebrates its 10th anniversary. The critically praised effort won best rap album at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards and is often regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time as well as Kanye's magnum opus. "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" has long been praised for its tracklist, which boasts a strong list of features from artists like Nicki Minaj, John Legend, Bon Iver and Kid Cudi. The album, which contains tracks like "Power," "Runaway," and "All of the Lights," came after a notable period of backlash for the rapper, who seemingly went into a self-imposed exile in Hawaii where he recorded the album.
Of one thing we're certain — Lin-Manuel Miranda did not throw away his shot! Winter 2020 marks five years since the soundtrack to Broadway's "Hamilton" debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 — an unprecedented spot for any Broadway cast recording. "Lin-Manuel Miranda turns his groundbreaking Broadway smash into a cohesive, exhilarating pop experience," Rolling Stone critic Brittany Spano wrote in 2015.
April 10 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Elton John's self-titled second studio album, which includes the iconic track "Your Song." It went on to receive an album of the year Grammy nomination in 1971 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2012 for being an album that exhibits "qualitative or historical significance."
Before it became a single-destination music festival in July 2005 — 2020 marks 15 years since that concept debuted — Lollapalooza was actually a touring festival that took place at various venues across the country starting in 1991. The touring concept, however, was unsuccessful after many years, so the festival's creator — Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell — decided to transform Lollapalooza into a single-city, four-day music festival (much like Coachella and Bonnaroo). The switch proved to be successful as Lollapalooza is now considered among the world's most notable music festivals and one of the longest running in the United States. Annually, it takes place over four days in Chicago's Grant Park.
Just try to name a song that makes you want to dance more than this one! On Oct. 10, Ricky Martin's hit single "She Bangs" turns 20! The upbeat, salsa-inspired track spent five weeks at No. 1 on the tropical music chart in 2000. Another moment worth celebrating? March 29 marks 10 years since the talented Puerto Rican singer came out as a gay man. "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man," Ricky wrote on his website.
Where has the time gone? On June 12, Mariah Carey's self-titled debut album turns 30! The hit album, which has been certified nine-times platinum, includes iconic hits like "Vision of Love," "Love Takes Time," "Someday" and "I Don't Wanna Cry." At just 20, the singer and her incredible five-octave vocal range were well on their way to becoming one of the most successful artists of the '90s.
"Stop! Hammer time." On Jan. 13, MC Hammer's catchy track "U Can't Touch This" turned 30! The song, which samples the notable riff of Rick James' "Super Freak," was an absolute hit when it debuted — at the 1991 Grammy Awards, it won best R&B song and best rap solo performance and was the first rap song to ever be nominated for record of the year.
It'd be hard to imagine a world without One Direction! July 23 marks 10 years since Simon Cowell put solo contestants Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson into a group on the U.K. competition show "The X Factor." One Direction soon took the world — and the hearts of millions of teenage girls — by storm, generating a plethora of hit songs like "What Makes You Beautiful," "Live While We're Young" and "Night Changes." Unfortunately, the beloved boy band would disband indefinitely in 2016. But don't fret — many of its members have since gone on to craft successful solo careers.
On Nov. 19, Nicki Minaj's debut album, "Pink Friday," turns 10! The album, which came out just a year after the rapper signed a contract with Young Money Entertainment, includes features from notable artists including Rihanna, Drake, Kanye West and Natasha Bedingfield. "Pink Friday," which contains hit singles like "Your Love," "Moment 4 Life" and "Super Bass," went triple platinum. At the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, it was nominated for best rap album. Nicki also garnered nominations for best new artist and best rap performance for "Moment 4 Life."
July 2020 marks five years since the streaming service Spotify unveiled its "Discover Weekly" service — an algorithm-based, automatically generated playlist of songs that is made available every Monday. The feature has been praised for its consistency, with many users commending its ability to craft personally curated playlists in a way that feels authentic and refreshing. In 2016, just one year after its launch, "Discover Weekly" playlists generated almost 5 billion track streams.
Jan. 26, 2020, marked five years since blink-182's Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker released a statement announcing that the pop-punk band's founding co-vocalist and guitarist, Tom DeLonge, had left the band. "We were all set to play this festival and record a new album and Tom kept putting it off without reason," they said. "A week before we were scheduled to go in to the studio, we got an email from his manager explaining that he didn't want to participate in any blink-182 projects indefinitely, but would rather work on his other non-musical endeavors." Tom initially denied he'd left tough later confirmed he was moving on so he could focus on his UFO research. In 2015, Mark and Travis found a new third member in Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba, who's been with the band ever since.
On Aug. 8, Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" turns 25! The track, which was included on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time list, was released on both Coolio's album of the same name and on the soundtrack for the 1995 film "Dangerous Minds." Coolio won a Grammy for best rap solo performance for the track in 1996.
On Aug. 9, it will be 25 years since Grateful Dead guitarist and singer Jerry Garcia died at 53 from a heart attack. His sudden passing in 1995 shocked the music industry. "Garcia is a cheery and resilient man, but I always felt that under his warmth and friendliness there was a deep well of despair — or at least a recognition that at the heart of the world there may be more darkness, despair and absurdity than any sane and compassionate heart could stand," longtime friend and collaborator Robert Hunter told journalist Mikal Gilmore.
March 1 marked 45 years since Stevie Wonder won album of the year for the second year in a row with "Fulfillingness' First Finale." Only five other artists have won album of the year more than once — Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, U2, Taylor Swift and Adele.
July 10 marks five years since Global Release Day (alternatively referred to as New Music Fridays) went into effect — a set international day for releasing albums and singles. "More than ever, the music industry has become global, and we represent international companies marketing international acts in multiple markets," former RIAA CEO and chairman Cary Sherman said in a statement in 2015. "Geographic lines are often irrelevant to digital marketing strategies and fans' expectations of instant access to their favorite music. This change will be good for fans and good for the business." This significant change in the industry was made in hopes of reducing piracy and giving artists the opportunity to focus their social media campaigns.