Women are badasses on and off the stage—that’s just a fact. We deemed these ladies as the queens who ruled the rock scene in 2020.
Women in music are constantly pushing the limits on what we know of rock and pop music’s possibilities. These women topped the charts, achieved great things and set themselves up as No. 1 in the industry.
Below we’re celebrating 10 young female artists who broke records in music and will continue to do so.
At just 19, Billie Eilish has broken more records than most artists have in their lifetime. Perhaps her most impressive feat is when she swept the 2019 Grammy Awards, winning all four major categories, including Record Of The Year for “bad guy.” She’s the youngest person ever to win this highly sought-after award. According to Insider, she’s also the only person born in the 21st century to have both a No. 1 album and song. Beyond these amazing records, she’s also the youngest person to record the theme song for James Bond. If we were placing bets, we would put money on her shattering more records in years to come.
Taylor Swift has broken more music records than we can count on our fingers. Her latest feat comes with the arrival of her back-to-back album releases in 2020, folklore and evermore. Good Morning America reported that Swift had the top-selling album of the year five times thus far. Between her two 2020 releases, she’s now been at the top of the Billboard Top 200 for 51 consecutive weeks, tying with Michael Jackson. In a matter of weeks, it’s possible we will see more streaming, sales and chart records broken by these two phenomenal albums, which also set records on the Alternative Albums chart. Swift was also one of the most searched women of 2020 on Google—no surprise there.
From acting on Hannah Montana to coming full circle in her rock roots with “Plastic Hearts,” Miley Cyrus has been visible in pop culture for quite some time. In 2013, her “Wrecking Ball” video was the most viewed Vevo music video in one day, with approximately 19 million views. Cyrus grabbed this record from One Direction. After she “came in like a wrecking ball,” she actually broke her own YouTube viewing record in 2017 with “Malibu.” Additionally, she was deemed the “most searched for pop star on the internet” in 2014. Yes, that was one year after the Robin Thicke performance. No shame at all: Let your teddy bear-themed freak flag fly.
Speaking of Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande recently broke one of her records. Grande took the lead on being the fastest woman to have three No. 1 albums on the Billboard charts with Sweetener, thank u, next and Positions. It’s fair to say 2020 wasn’t a great year, but Grande certainly did have a successful one as she broke six additional records.
Adele has shared her deepest, rawest emotions and stories with us since she was 18 years old. As her career advanced, she kept taking the charts by storm. Her main claim to record-breaking fame comes with her album 25, which is one of the fastest-selling albums in the United States, with 3.38 million albums sold in its first week alone.
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion released “WAP” this past summer, celebrating the beauty of women and their sexuality. Though the song had some haters who thought the track was too dirty, it didn’t stop the two talented artists from shattering records with the anthem. With a debut of 93 million streams, it broke a record for those first-week numbers, and it hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Lizzo is currently leading a revolution in rap and body positivity, all while making the flute the sexiest instrument on the market. With her bold track “Truth Hurts,” she became the sixth female rapper ever to chart No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart, beating previous record-holder Cardi B with “Bodak Yellow.”
Lady Gaga has broken down the constraints of modern pop culture time and time again as someone who can arrive at awards shows in an egg or sing love songs with Bradley Cooper (it’s called range). To no surprise, Mother Monster has broken music records more than once. Most recently, Gaga’s Chromatica hit “Rain On Me” featuring Ariana Grande became the first female collaboration track to debut on the Hot 100 at No. 1.
Willow Smith, now characterized just as Willow, has grown into an astounding performer and inspirational individual with her openness about growing up with famous parents and the hardship of self-discovery in the limelight. When she was just 9 years old, she became the youngest person to sign to Jay-Z‘s record label Roc Nation, where she released her first big hit, “Whip My Hair.”
Of course, this OG Warped Tour performer grew into a chart-topping, record-breaking musical genius. In November 2020, Katy Perry became the first-ever woman to have six music videos with more than 1 billion views each. These music videos include “Hot N Cold”, “Dark Horse,” “Roar,” “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” “Bon Appetit” and “Firework.” She’s also the No. 1 most followed woman on Twitter in the world, only trailing behind former president Barack Obama and Justin Bieber. You can check out more records Perry broke here.