The Year In Music 2018: 17 Memorable Moments

Year In Music 2018
Getty Images, AP; Design by Quinton McMillan


Recapping the most memorable stories of the year, from viral moments to history-making award wins

-- DAMN. is right: Kendrick Lamar wins the Pulitzer Prize for music for his 2017 album, making him the first nonclassical or jazz artist to collect the award.

-- Weeks after his release from prison, Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill gives a surprise performance joined by Tory Lanez, Gunna and Lil Baby at Miami’s Rolling Loud festival in May.

-- Carrie Underwood sings “Cry Pretty” at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April, her first performance since a late-2017 fall left her with 40 stitches on her face.

-- Twelve-year-old viral Walmart yodeler Mason Ramsey plays Coachella and the Grand Ole Opry before releasing debut EP Famous (Atlantic Records/Big Loud) in July.

-- Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl LII halftime gig in February includes a Prince tribute, throwbacks like “Rock Your Body” and a fan selfie that goes viral.

-- Bruno Mars takes home six Grammy Awards including song, record and album of the year at the ceremony in January -- Jay-Z wins zero of eight noms for 4:44.

-- Khalid and Shawn Mendes perform their collab “Youth” at the Billboard Music Awards in May, joined by survivors of the February school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

-- Beyoncé and Jay-Z surprise fans by releasing joint album Everything Is Love as The Carters during the London stop of their On the Run II Tour in June.

-- In July, members of Pussy Riot spend 15 days in prison after rushing the field at the World Cup final dressed in police uniforms to protest human-rights abuses in Russia.

-- A week before Travis Scott’s third album, Astroworld, arrives Aug. 3, massive gold-colored replicas of his head appear atop landmarks in Houston, New York and Los Angeles.

-- 2 Chainz marries longtime love Kesha Ward at Miami’s Versace Mansion in August, three months after proposing (for the second time) while on the Met Gala red carpet in New York.

-- Jennifer Lopez accepts the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV VMAs and performs a medley of hits including the 2002 smash “Jenny From the Block.”

-- At the Emmys in September, John Legend wins best live variety special for Jesus Christ Superstar, making him the first black man (and youngest person ever) to earn EGOT status.

-- After a five-year wait, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V debuts atop the Billboard 200 in September with the second-biggest streaming week ever for an album.

-- At 76 years old, Paul Simon wraps his farewell tour in September by performing the 1965 Simon & Garfunkel classic “The Sound of Silence” in his native Queens.

-- John Mayer, SZA, Travis Scott and others perform at a sold-out Los Angeles benefit concert, A Celebration of Life, honoring the late Mac Miller on Halloween.

-- In November, Spice Girls announce a six-date U.K. reunion tour for 2019, while Backstreet Boys plot a global arena run in support of their upcoming 10th studio album, DNA.

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 15 issue of Billboard. 

Billboard Year in Music 2018


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