Cover Photo: Instagram / @beyonce

These are the names that still carry weight in the music industry a decade later

From wearing outrageous dresses on the red carpet to racy dancing on stage, these pop icons have shocked, inspired, and influenced a whole generation.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift always knew how to portray love and heartbreak through songs with catchy tunes, a talent that led her to immediate success at the tender age of 16. Her hit singles, Love Story and You Belong With Me, were a hit on the digital market.

Ownership issues and celebrity feuds later, the artist took a jab at critics and even herself when she released Reputation in 2017. She has also released the documentary Miss Americana which focuses on her life and career, the introspective album Folklore, which won Grammy Album of the Year, and the sister record Evermore

In 2021, Swift surprised fans with a re-recording of her old songs, which the artist had done to gain control of her master tapes after her former label sold her material to Scott Braun. 

See also: 9 Celebrities and Their Adorable Pets: Taylor Swift, Hugh Jackman, and More

Lady Gaga

Over time, Lady Gaga has proven herself to be a powerhouse. She earned the world's respect and admiration for her incredible vocal range, theatrical stage performance, versatility, and political stance. 

While working on her debut album (which later won a Grammy award), The Fame, the artist wrote songs for other big names, including Akon, Fergie, and Britney Spears. She gained international fame with the release of Poker Face (which also won a Grammy award), Just Dance, and Bad Romance from her second album, The Fame Monster. She also collaborated with Tony Bennett on the jazz collection Cheek to Cheek. They teamed up once again in 2021 in Love for Sale.

See also: 'A Star Is Born': 9 of Lady Gaga's Spectacular Career Highlights

It also didn't take long for the artist to pursue acting. In 2018, Lady Gaga starred alongside Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born.

Lady Gaga has also openly advocated for gay rights and delivered a speech at the 2009 National Equality March in Washington, DC.

Beyoncé

Some stars shine the brightest on their own. Such is the case for Beyoncé, former leader of the R&B group Destiny's Child. 

When Beyoncé began her solo career, she debuted her first album, Dangerously in Love, which included the global hit single Crazy in Love featuring her husband, Jay-Z. A year later, the multi-talented artist won five Grammy Awards. 

See also: Charitable Celebrities to Know and Follow: Beyonce, Oprah, U2, And More

Later on, Beyoncé released what became an anthem that took over the world—Single Ladies—which proved her to be a true performer and a symbol of power for people of colour.

Beyoncé has also delved into business, founding the athletic-wear brand Ivy Park which offers gender-neutral pieces for all. 

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus was a country girl with a guitar and a dream. Following her father's footsteps, Cyrus became a child star at nine years old and gained popularity for her iconic role as Hannah Montana in the eponymous Disney TV show.

Soon, Cyrus departed from the character and pursued music as herself. Although her single Party in the USA was an instant hit, the singer also took on acting stints such as The Last Song and LOL

See also: Miley Cyrus Is Gucci Beauty's New Muse: What We Know So Far

Much like other Disney stars growing up, Cyrus was criticised for her new image. But this did not stop the singer from producing a more mature sound and writing. For the first time, the singer topped the Billboard charts with Wrecking Ball despite controversies surrounding her sexuality, image, and relationship.

Cyrus grew musically, venturing onto the rock genre with her recently-released album, Plastic Hearts.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber caught the world's attention in 2009 with One Time. The artist began his journey on YouTube, where he was first discovered by Braun and later met Usher, who helped sign him to a recording contract. 

Bieber instantly became an international sensation with a fanbase composed mostly of teenage girls. He has made hit after hit with songs like Baby, Never Say Never, and Under the Mistletoe. 

The artist soon entered adulthood and was further criticised for his relationships and music. But Bieber rose above the controversies and produced albums that appealed to older audiences.

See also: Coachella 2022: 9 Music Stars With the Boldest and Most Glamorous Outfits

Rihanna

The singer turned entrepreneur Rihanna is popular among Millenials for her versatility, style, and work mentality. 

Early in her career, Rihanna came out with catchy hip-hop and R&B tracks under Def Jam. She has gained an international audience with songs like S.O.S, Tainted Love, and Umbrella. But this was nowhere near her upcoming success in 2011 when her single S&M became her 10th number one Billboard hit—making her the youngest artist to experience such an achievement. She collaborated with renowned artists, including Eminem, for the song Love the Way You Lie and released new singles that fans couldn't help but love.

See also: Rihanna: 9 Powerful Fashion Moments We're Still Obsessed With

Later on, Rihanna began her acting career, appearing in Battleship, This Is the End, Home, and Ocean's 8.

It also did not take long for Rihanna to start her own line, Fenty Beauty, which became a massive success after promoting inclusivity. She even partnered with LVMH Moet Hennessy to create a fashion line under the same name—Fenty—making her the first woman of colour to head a fashion house at the LVMH.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry gained international fame for her distinct voice, anthemic adult-themed songs, and playful style. 

The artist's brazen lyricism on sexuality and love against a catchy beat has brought Perry fame. Songs like Ur So Gay, I Kissed a Girl, and Hot N Cold became popular, eventually growing her fanbase. 

But it was the success of the Teenage Dream album(which earned her a Grammy nomination) thapaved the way for Perry to show her true vocal talent through Firework. She also continued to reach mainstream success with California Gurls featuring Snoop Dogg and TGIF which remain to be timeless party anthems. She continued to maintain her popularity with hits like Roar and Rise (which were featured in the 2016 Olympic Games.)

Perry has also taken musical authority by becoming one of the judges on the TV show American Idol.

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