Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

NPR Music 10

NPR Music 10
Lure Design for NPR

As NPR Music celebrates its 10th anniversary, we're looking back at the first decade of our existence year by year. This website was born during a time when technology was changing how we bought, sold, carried, listened to and understood music; some of the developments that we saw as revolutionary in the moment almost feel quaint today. The music has a way of sticking around, though, as do the memories of the people we shared it with: musicians, friends, you. Our list isn't comprehensive — it couldn't be. Instead, what you'll find on the pages that follow is a selection — picked by those of us who call NPR Music home — of songs, albums, events, trends and happenings that linger in our minds, that draw us back in time, that make us hungry for the next 10 years.

Go back to the year 2007, when NPR Music was born, along with classmates like Radiohead's pay-what-you-wish album In Rainbows and the very first iPhone. View 2007 >

2008 brought the first Tiny Desk Concert, the arrival (finally) of perhaps the most notoriously delayed album ever and one of the best videos of all time. View 2008 >

Go to the year 2009, which saw black entertainers celebrating a new president and the death of the King of Pop. View 2009 >

A year of big debuts — from the likes of Kesha, Justin Bieber and Janelle Monáe— and new chapters from Kanye West, Gil Scott-Heron, Jónsi and The Beatles. View 2010 >

2011 can be summed up by one album that landed in January and dominated the rest of the year. View 2011 >

2012 showed the Internet in all its glory and horror: crowdfunding, "Call Me Maybe" memes and "Gangnam Style." Plus: Channel Orange and the Tupac hologram. View 2012 >

In 2013, we lost George Jones and Lou Reed but witnessed the return of a pair of disco-loving robots and a surprise from Queen Bey herself, just weeks before the year's end. View 2013 >

2014 began with a Frozen streak, included some stumbles (U2 and Apple, we're looking at you) and closed with an R&B revelation. View 2014 >

In 2015, Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly spawned a protest anthem, Hamilton rewrote history and Sufjan Stevens dug into his own past. View 2015 >

2016 was shaped by the loss of David Bowie, Prince and Phife Dawg and driven forward by Beyoncé's landmark album, Lemonade. View 2016 >

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit