Mid 2000s Music Scene
Alex Cosper (1/1/13)

The mid 2000s was pretty much a carryover of the early 2000s era. It included many of the same artists such as Eminem, Ludacris, Sean Paul, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Usher, 50 Cent, Gwen Stefani, Nelly and Mariah Carey. Newcomers on the scene included Rihanna and Chris Brown. One of the biggest hits of the era was "Yeah" by Usher, which some people might call the dance track of the decade. Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" stayed at the top of the charts a long time, but it doesn't seem to stand out as a bigger hit than "Gold Digger" by Kanye West.

Rihanna's early hits "Pon De Replay" and "SOS" kept the worldbeat sound theme going as a strong undertone in the mainstream, as did Shakira's big hit "Hips Don't Lie." Although rap had bigger hits in the early 2000s, it was still a big seller in the mid 2000s propelled by hits like "Drop It Like It's Hot" by Snoop Dogg and "Money Maker" by Ludacris.

The emergence of neo-soul, or a more grass roots sounding r&b music, has been growing since the beginning of the genre, but became more evident by the middle of the new century's first decade. Artists such as Ne-Yo began to bring more melody and heartfelt lyrics back to the genre. At the same time, r&b continued to generally merge with electronic music, which it had been doing since the 80s. The heavy saturation of electronic sound created an opening for more artistic soul using less studio tricks, as pronounced by Alicia Keys.

As the middle of the decade unfolded, Fergie developed as a solo artist from The Black Eyed Peas while Beyonce became a star following the success of Destiny's Child. Her song "Irreplaceable" stayed at the top a long time starting at the end of 2006. Justin Timberlake also moved on from *NSYNC to become a big solo pop star. His dance track "Sexyback" was one of the biggest hits of the era.

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