Just how do you list the 5 most popular musicians of 2017?
As the end of the year approaches, many websites, bloggers, reporters, and publications are looking back at the year that was. Notable deaths of celebrities and famous people are reminisced about, but there is also an attempt to capture a snapshot of society that was still vibrant. These end-of-year lists and pieces tend to happen every year, and serve as a contrast or touchstone for the concluding year to be remembered for and compared to other years, both past and future.
So, while a list of the 5 most popular musicians of 2017 might be fascinating to come up with, just how do you do it? You can come up with objective criteria to measure popularity by, but the choice of which objective measure is itself subjective as can be. An argument could be made that album sales are a great measure of popularity, except that it doesn’t possibly consider individual MP3 sales or downloads.
Concert tickets are another good indicator in the eyes of many, except that some artists might not have toured or stuck to festival lineups that shared ticket sales with so many others. Social media followings could be counted, but do you count international followers? Shakira would outweigh Beyonce, but it’s likely that Beyonce is currently more popular in the United States. Even going by money made is debatable, as some artists might be part of bands that have to split revenue, and female artists might honestly suffer discrimination based on their gender.
Sadly, with the events that transpired in 2017, many of the musicians that might be considered the most popular are done so given tragic circumstances. Tom Petty passed away in this year, and his many hits wound up receiving significantly higher airplay on stations and streaming services alike after his demise. While he’d not had a hit in a while, he was an influential figure in rock through the 80s and 90s, and still has many fans, some of which are new.