2023 Music News Roundup


If we look at the major music news stories and streaming details of the last year we can see certain trends for 2023. Music is still in the process of recovering from the pandemic but the return of big shows and large ticket sales are back. Plus this year saw a return of some of the biggest bands ever like The Beatles! Here is a roundup of the most popular music news of 2023.

  • HipHop is still being dominated by female artists!
  • Nu Metal and Pop Punk of the 1990’s has returned with old revivals and new bands emulating them.
  • Country continues to mix strongly with elements of HipHop and R&B.
  • Genres like Ambient and Lofi have become more prominent in streams.
  • For the younger generation streaming sites report music is more about mood than genre and TikTok can bring old artists back or make new ones go viral.

Most Popular Artists By Genre in 2023

2023 was a year for the return of established artists and musicians of all ages; the rebound of live music has encouraged new albums and tours. Older artists like Iggy Pop, Depeche Mode, Belinda Carlisle, Noel Gallagher, Peter Gabriel, and The Pet Shop Boys all released new music. If you are learning guitar, these are all great artists to study in some online guitar lessons.

Below are the best songs and bands from 2023 based on streaming data among various sites and record sales. The genres aren’t as set these days because so many styles mix but the categories below are as close as we can get to some musical order!

Indie Folk

Folk and Indie songs were popular again this year, often thanks to repeatedly playing as TikTok sounds. With artists like Mitski, Blondshell, Hannah Jadagu, and Nat Myers with a more blues folk vibe.


Morgan Wallen dominated a few streaming services and among his top selling songs of 2023 was the Tracey Chapman cover of “Fast Car.” The other top country artists were Luke Combs, Jason Aldean, Jelly Roll, and Luke Bryan. Some of the new female country singers showing up this year are Lainey Wilson, Megan Moroney, and Mickey Guyton.


Afrobeats had a bit of a resurgence also in the HipHop community with artists like Rema and Noname, who make great use of polyrhythms. And Peter One is an Ivorian musician who mixes unique rhythms with folk and dance. This year saw an explosion in more complex time signatures and rhythms and surely it will continue into 2024.


While metal and its many dark offshoots are going strong, the year was dominated by past acts. The most streamed metal artists were Lamb of God, Megadeth, Korn, Slipknot, and Metallica. Along with more album releases by Avenged Sevenfold, Cannibal Corpse, Dwellings, Tomb Mold, Haken, and many others. Of course these smaller death and doom groups may not have as big of sales but they have a large fanbase.


Like many of the 80’s and 90’s revival, Shoegaze has also made a comeback in 2023. In fact bands that play New Wave, post punk, and similar genres are doing great on streaming sites. Older acts like My Bloody Valentine are back along with groups like Ringo Deathstarr, Slowdive, Heavenward, and many more. Like all the offshoots of metal there are so many shoegaze and dream pop bands who love effects units and pedals!


With each year R&B and HipHop are getting harder to tell which category to put them in! Singer songwriter SZA was one of the top streaming musicians along with The Weeknd,, Sam Drysdale, Anderson.paak, Jasmine Sullivan, and Coco Jones. A few of the new R&B artists this year have soulful folk voices like Abraham Alexander and Madison McFerrin.


Bad Bunny is the top of this genre mix of Latin trap beats, EDM, and other elements in his music. Peso Pluma was another top streaming artist with reggaeton and even guitar elements from his native Mexico. It was a strong year for Latin music all around including the artist Feid.


Post Malone made the top list again in 2023 as other past artists dominated like Drake, Future, Travis Scott, and 21 Savage. However most of the spotlight and attention went to female rappers like Ice Spice, Flo Milli, Sexyy Red, Doja Cat, Latto, Nicki Minaj, and Cardi B. Years ago female choices in HipHop were limited, now they surely are on the way to dominating.


Harry Styles ruled the airwaves along with Nicky Youre and dazy. Lana Del Rey, Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, and even Ryan Gosling had success with his song from the movie Barbie. And U2 began playing concerts at the new Las Vegas venue the Sphere. While Miley Cyrus had the top song of the year on Spotify with “Flowers,” and of course Taylor Swift had such a great year of everything that she became a billionaire!

Psychedelic Rock

Besides Taylor Swift’s movie and music releases the biggest music news of the year was surely The Beatles. Proving one last time that the psychedelic rock group could make a sensation. “Now and Then” is not perfect or the best Beatles song but it is a fitting closure to a band that will surely be the most remembered of any artist mentioned so far.

Other genres that are continuing to grow are the usual suspects of K-Pop and even Mandopop is on the rise. Indian classical music has had an almost 50% increase and as always Eurovision had an impact on streams. China and Brazil are rising to be a large musical influence like the USA, UK, Japan, Germany, and South Korea.

Music Losses

Every year we lose many beloved musicians and 2023 was no different. We lost great rockers like Jeff Beck, Gary Wright , David Crosby, Floyd Sneed, Jim Gordon, Robbie Robertson, and Jimmy Buffet. As always there were artists who were still not that old like Sinéad O’Connor, The 45 King, Shane McGowan, Young Capone, and Steve Harwell.

We also lost great Caribbean and R&B performers like Harry Belafonte, Rudolph Isley, George Brown, and Jean Knight. And three of the most influential artists who passed in 2023 were Tony Bennett, Burt Bacharach and Huey Smith, their singing, songwriting, and playing styles spread through many genres.

Perhaps the biggest loss of all was the major news story of 2023, the power of AI. Numerous sites and major companies have seized on it to potentially take away musicians’ livelihood. So far that hasn’t happened but many artists are not happy with how it is being pushed and promoted. Maybe 2024 will be better but so far AI is lackluster in its creative abilities, the humans making the music still sound better!

There were more music news stories of 2023, many other bands with releases and sadly other artists that passed. If you are looking for new bands and albums the music this year is great to choose from. If you are in a band, who knows what the next year will bring, work hard, and play great music and you might just be one of the breakout musicians of 2024. Just be sure you are paid for your streams and shows!

By Shawn Leonhardt for Guitar Tricks and 30 Day Singer