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100 iconic moments from music history

  • The Eagles release first new material in 28 years

    The band dropped “Long Road Out of Eden” in 2007. It contained their first new material in almost three decades, according to Norman Abjorensen, author of “Historical Dictionary of Popular Music.” More than 1 million copies of the album sold within two weeks of its release.

  • Radiohead experiment sparks debate in the music industry

    Without major label representation, Radiohead released its 2007 album “In Rainbows” as a pay-what-you-wish digital download. Believers in the experiment thought of it as a new model for the industry, while critics accused it of undermining the value of music, according to Eric Garland of NPR Music. Despite the album being available for free, it experienced high rates of piracy.

  • Lady Gaga releases The Fame

    The singer released her debut studio album “The Fame” on Aug. 19, 2008. It would top the charts in multiple countries and become one of the bestselling albums the following year.

  • Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards

    Just after Taylor Swift accepted an award for best female video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West rushed on stage to proclaim that Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time. West would be met with severe backlash from the public, including President Barack Obama, who called him “a jackass.”

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  • Taylor Swift becomes youngest winner of top CMA Award

    The singer took home the Country Music Association Award for entertainer of the year in 2009, along with three other awards. Just 19, Swift would be the youngest person in history to take the top honor at the CMA Awards.

  • Beyoncé wins six Grammy Awards

    The singer became the first woman in history to take home six Grammy Awards in one night in 2010. Adele would tie with her two years later after her album “21” surged in popularity.

  • Michael Jackson gets biggest record deal ever—after his death

    The estate of Michael Jackson signed a $250 million deal with Sony Music for the rights to his catalogue and posthumous new releases in 2010. It’s the biggest record deal in history, according to Paul Schrodt of Business Insider.

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  • Five songs from Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream hit number one

    Katy Perry made history when five songs from her 2010 album “Teenage Dream” hit the top of the Hot 100 list in August 2011. She was the second artist in history to do so, after Michael Jackson had five chart-toppers from “Bad’ in the late 1980s, as well as the first female artist to achieve that success, according to Billboard.

  • Nicki Minaj takes seven spots on Billboard Hot 100

    In 2010, Nicki Minaj shattered records when she became the first female soloist to appear on seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the same time, according to MTV News. The songs included Lil Wayne’s “Knockout,” Usher’s “Lil Freak,” and Ludacris’ “My Chick Bad,” among others.

  • Rebecca Black’s Friday goes viral

    At 13, Rebecca Black demonstrated the power of the internet on the music industry when she released the song “Friday” in 2011. The YouTube video received millions of views, despite the track regularly being referred to as “the worst song ever.”

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