As the year 2020 comes to a close, shattered by the global pandemic of COVID-19, the music industry, too, suffered a massive blow to one of its biggest arms: live concerts. We saw artists being unsure of releasing their new creative work in the first quarter of 2020. In this new-normal-world, nobody knew what it would mean to release a new music album, as the fans were dealing with the stresses of lockdowns, low income, health issues, etc.
However, artists, at least some of them, did decide to release their new music and albums whole throughout the year 2020. Some artists did it to keep their sanity in check, and some others as a source of escape to their fans from the pandemic-struck reality out there. Whatever the motives behind the releases, 2020 was yet another great year for music.
We saw surprise album releases by Taylor Swift and Eminem, debut releases by artists such as Joyner Lucas, KSI, Megan Thee Stallion, posthumous albums by Mac Miller, Pop Smoke, Juice WRLD, and a retirement album by Logic. And some albums performed extremely well under the dire conditions of the world.
List of Best-Selling Albums of 2020
Taylor Swift took time off of her usual pop-persona to release ‘folklore,’ an unexpected self-reflective album. This balladic album drove into some personal topics from Taylor’s life from a time almost forgotten in memory until the present days. Sometimes, she sang in first person, and other times in complex riddles and hooping through different perspectives. Either way, Taylor Swift produced one of the freshest, most creative, and personal albums of 2020.
Juice WRLD was one of the best-performing artists of the present time. Unfortunately, the world lost him due to an overdose of drugs in December 2019. Seven months later to his passing, his estate released the rapper’s third studio album and first posthumous album ‘Legends Never Die,’ aptly titled. The album was well-received, and his passing did not seem to stop the escalation Juice WRLD’s career was gaining.
Rapper Pop Smoke suffered a similar fate to Juice WRLD, as he passed away in February 2020, after suffering fatal gunshot wounds during a home invasion in California. His debut studio album ‘Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon’ was his first posthumous album as well. Speaking to the rapper’s rising success, the album reached #1 in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many more.
The Weeknd’s ‘After Hours‘ album was a major drop in 2020 and was well-received throughout the music industry. The album was also ranked #1 in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. These are reasons why The Weeknd was quite upset about the Academy snubbing ‘After Hours’ album with zero nominations in the 2021 Grammy Awards. The album, along with its visuals, was a very creative effort by The Weeknd.
The K-pop supergroup BTS is the only artist to have two albums on the best-selling new albums of 2020 list. The group’s ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ English album and ‘BE’ Korean album both achieved international success within 2020. The former album, released in February 2020, has already gone Platinum in the US and their home country. The latter, released in November 2020, is yet to solidify its position on the charts but has made a strong first impact.
Returning from his feud with Machine Gun Kelly, Eminem released his eleventh studio album ‘Music To Be Murdered By‘ in January 2020. Boosted by the hit single “Godzilla” and featuring a handful of featured artists such as Young M.A, Royce da 5’9″, Ed Sheeran, Juice WRLD, Skylar Grey, Don Toliver, Kxng Crooked, and more, the album became a massive success. The album peaked on the charts in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and more. Eminem set a new record for the fastest rap verse by dropping 10.65 syllables per second, breaking his own record set in “Rap God.”
Lil Uzi Vert with his second studio album ‘Eternal Atake,’ Lady Gaga with her sixth studio album ‘Chromatica,’ and Halsey’s third studio album ‘Manic‘ occupy the remaining spots of the best-selling new albums of 2020 list.
Are your favourite albums part of this list? Let us know in the comments below.