Top 10 Female Pop Albums That Changed the Game in the 21st Century Music

Tags: #ArianaGrande ,   #TaylorSwift ,   #Beyonce ,   #Rihanna ,   #LadyGaga

Scarlett Goldstein

Scarlett Goldstein

Last updated:  2021-11-10 14:20:09

Some albums are so influential that they linger on the charts for ages. Some of them stay on our minds forever, though, and that matters the most! We've had various iconic female releases in this century, and many artists managed to write history with a brand new sound, vibe, or trend that they set. These ten albums changed pop forever without even trying, so knowing them all is a must!

10. "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry

An ugly duckling turning into a swan – Katy Perry knew which image she should portray for a video like this

Katy Perry started to fade away so fast that no one could predict that, even after her third album, "Prism." However, people can't deny that "Teenage Dream" is an album that influenced the world. Its stories were so relatable that all the artists could hope to transmit a message as good as Perry did it, both with her bops and ballads.

"Teenage Dream" is so influential that it turned a plastic bag into the most quoted item of the year when she released "Firework." Were you also the one who felt "like a plastic bag, wanting to start again?" Should we even mention the impact "California Gurls" or "Last Friday Night" had? These stories will live on for ages!

9. "Anti" by Rihanna

Just Rihanna seducing the whole universe for four minutes straight

It's been so hard to decide which Rihanna's album was the most revolutionary moment of her career – she had many of them, indeed, so her place on the list was pretty much safe. Even though "Rated R" was a close second, we couldn't avoid mentioning "Anti," her sultry 2016 release, which was surprising even for her style!

Despite some moments on this album, such as "Work" seem predictable, did you ever hear something like "Needed Me?" How many songs make you crave for more like "Kiss It Better?" Moreover, the way Rihanna plays smoothly with her voice on "Love on the Brain" is enough to get her every Grammy award in this world!

8. "Back to Black" by Amy Winehouse

Amy did go back to black, unfortunately

She gave us a masterpiece to remember forever, and then she left the world. Years after Amy Winehouse's death, "Back to Black" still feels like a holy farewell. It is one of the best female releases of the 21st century, without even mentioning how hard it influenced further releases of the decade.

"Back to Black" as a song itself is revolutionary for its authentic sound and heart-breaking lyrics that kind of predicted the singer's future. Now, her overwhelming track "Tears Dry on Their Own" is here to remind us how we all felt when we heard the news in 2011. "Rehab" is also a tune that went down in history!

7. "thank u, next" by Ariana Grande

"thank u, next" is a perfect example of the new generation's pop

She listed all her exes, paid tribute to her late lover Mac Miller, all the movies she loved, all the iconic characters… Ariana Grande did all that with just one song, "thank u, next," and made that phrase remind people of her. This song is relieving, works as a therapy, and it's so casually cool that its sound influenced albums worldwide.

Even though "thank u, next" was enough to make Grande go down in history, she didn't stop there with this album. Her massive hit "7 rings" was so influential that you could hear ladies all around the world praising their money and hard work. And what about "break up with your girlfriend, I'm bored" being every single girl's Instagram caption? That's a Grande fever!

6. "21" by Adele

"Rolling in the Deep" is a song that more than a billion people in this world cried to, for real

The "21" is so revolutionary that everyone dreams about creating another "Someone Like You" crying anthem. However, could you really sob that hard to any other song by any other artist? Adele is the ultimate queen of making you feel all the sorrows you didn't even know you could feel.

"Rolling in the Deep" together with "Set Fire to the Rain" are those songs that made power ballads a thing again, and Adele basically turned it into her own genre. This album wrote history, and it's a role model for displaying raw emotions – Adele's rich, deep voice is just a bonus that made her unique and unforgettable!

5. "Lemonade" by Beyoncé

"Formation" stuns thanks to its symbolism and profound message – it's a record that you make only once in life

Beyoncé went from Destiny's Child member to that woman who can eat the stage independently and turn an award show into her own concert. She owned the Super Bowl, released some iconic tunes that fought against racism, supported woman empowerment, and she keeps raising the bar. Her 2016 record, "Lemonade," was a hard pill to swallow for her haters since she won again!

Both "Sorry" and "Hold Up" made people remember how influential she is. Still, the song that is her magnum opus from "Lemonade" is definitely "Formation." Others dream of making lyrics so unapologetic and bold about the Black Power. Still, they can keep dreaming – Beyoncé made this one 100% hers, fresh, and timeless.

4. "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" by Billie Eilish

How did she manage to make you confident with a song as unique as this one?

Billie Eilish was only 14 when she wrote "Ocean Eyes," and she wasn't even 18 when releasing one of the albums that made the "sad teen" aesthetic flood the Internet and all the social media. The number of hits she has on this record alone is enough to make her immortal and unforgettable. Yet, she keeps surprising her fans!

After this album, Eilish didn't even have to wait more than two years to sing a James Bond theme, despite many artists waiting their whole life for a chance like that. Even the hit "bad guy" got her the first billion views of her glorious career. Her "sad" and "depressive" attitude is unlike any other pop culture image today!

3. "Born to Die" by Lana Del Rey

No one ever attempted to make a hit like "Blue Jeans"

Wait, did we just say that Eilish's "sad girl" is iconic? Well, Lana Del Rey did it a few years before her, with fewer awards and acclaims, but she never asked for public praise, anyway. The girl literally shot the video for "Video Games" without makeup, in regular clothes, because she never dreamed of that video blowing up on the Internet overnight.

Obviously, "Born to Die" becoming a number one album overnight isn't a coincidence. From "National Anthem" to "Summertime Sadness," it secured Lana's place on the throne, and it even gave us so many different sides to her magnetic, gloomy personality. She's art herself, so her magnum opus had to change the game for music forever!

2. "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga

"The Edge of Glory" is one of her best songs and obviously a revolutionary single for modern pop

If a person could be the synonym for "revolution," it would be indeed Lady Gaga. She's been a game-changer since her glorious debut, "The Fame," but the album that skyrocketed her uniqueness is "Born This Way!" Just like the title suggests, "Born This Way" oozes confidence and expresses individuality, so Gaga made people like themselves the way they are.

Moreover, the way Gaga was so sincere about her LGBTQIA+ support was still revolutionary for the time. The religious issues revolve around the hit single "Judas" even today, and when it got released, we remember people being afraid of the music video and the whole image. The way Gaga is unapologetic will make her iconic forever!

1. "1989" by Taylor Swift

"Style" is that song that literally changed the whole aesthetic of the future music videos

Taylor Swift was almost equally influential as both a country and pop artist, but her first pop attempt is unmatched. This woman just decided to switch to it, try it at once, and make history along the way, which is simply unrealistic. Without any doubt, "1989" is one of the role model albums for many of Swift's colleagues!

Moreover, this Grammy-winning record isn't only packed with massive hits, such as "Bad Blood" or "Blank Space." It's sonically cohesive, exciting lyrically and rhythmically, versatile and wild, and indeed the quality content we had on charts for ages. Swift made the "Wildest Dreams" jungle aesthetic cool and raised the "Blank Space" drama queen – what else should she do?

Luckily, music always finds its way to being brand new, so we always have fresh releases that seem revolutionary. As long as we have new waves and artists that aren't afraid of trying, music will be versatile and life-changing, just like these albums are!

Which album do you like the most? Which one did indeed change the game, and did we skip any revolutionary release? Let us know in the comments section!


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