The dawn of the new millennium saw drastic shifts in attitudes, categories, which brought music into new directions. While some carried and banked on their popularity from the earlier decade, a new breed of female artists surprised the pop scene and forged their own identities. Here’s a list of the best female pop artists that reigned supreme in the 2000s.
Ashanti was first known for her duet singles with famous rappers, complementing them with her soothing voice. Those songs rocked the airwaves and set the stage for her incredible solo career. Her debut single ‘Foolish’ topped the charts alongside her collaboration with Ja Rule for ‘Always On Time’ and Fat Joe for ‘What’s Luv?’ She had three songs in Top Ten within the same week, a glorious feat that made her one of the most significant female urban music sensations of the decade.
2. Kelly Clarkson
From being an anonymous talent to a music sensation, Kelly Clarkson catapulted to popularity after winning the first season of American Idol. Her inspiration debut single ‘A Moment Like This’ reached platinum sales just a few weeks after winning the competition. In 2004, she released her album’ Breakaway’, which contained most of her iconic singles, ‘Behind These Hazel Eyes,’ ‘Because Of You,’ and ‘Since U Been Gone.’ In 2006, the same album was awarded as the ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ in the 48th Annual Grammy Awards.
3. Hilary Duff
Hilary Duff first experienced stardom as the title character of the hit-Disney T.V. series, ‘Lizzie McGuire.’ However, it was in 2003 when she became a bona fide pop star through her debut album ‘Metamorphosis.’ True enough, it was a reinvention for Duff as she offered a hipper sound and dynamic sound compared to what she has done in the series. The album peaked at number two in the Billboard 100, and its lead single ‘So Yesterday’ rocked the airwaves, allowing Duff to get out of Lizzie McGuire’s shadow.
4. Vanessa Carlton
Vanessa Carlton is an American singer, musician, and songwriter. Her debut single ‘A Thousand Miles’ was a massive hit, peaking at the top five on the Hot 100 chart. ‘Be Not Nobody,’ her debut album, reached platinum status in the United States. While her next records, ‘Harmonium’ and ‘Heroes & Thieves’, were not as successful as her first, her first single was enough to make her name shine in the 2000s.
5. Norah Jones
Norah Jones mesmerized the nineties with her enchanting vocals and her musical miscellany of pop, jazz, country, soul, and folk. ‘Come Away With Me,’ her debut album, earned critical acclaim and sold more than 300,000 copies a few weeks after its release. It spawned three international smash singles, selling over 27 million records worldwide.
The Australian singer Kylie Minogue rocked the hit charts with her catchy and inescapable hit ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ in 2001. While she may have minimal success after the said hit, she continued to be a prominent pop star, infiltrating previous hard-to-reach markets, such as Russia and the U.K.
7. Michelle Branch
Michelle Branch can be credited with why many teens purchased guitars and attempted to embark on their own songwriting stints in 2002. She released iconic alt-rock singles, such as ‘Everywhere’ and ‘All You Wanted,’ propelling her to stardom in the teen pop era. Her collaboration with Santana, ‘The Game Of Love,’ won the Grammy award for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals in 2003.
8. Amy Winehouse
With her jazzy and soulful vocal, distinct charm, and emotional, lyrical prowess, Amy Winehouse became one of the U.K.’s most prominent flagship singers in the 2000s. Her debut album, ‘Frank,’ showcased her brilliance and launched to stardom. She was an honest and bold songwriter. Her song poetry was extremely personal, and it was what allured most to listen to her incredible music.
9. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan was an actress and teen star that graced the pop in 2004 through her debut album, ‘Speak.’ It climbed up to number four on the Billboard charts and quickly gained platinum status. The following year, Lohan transformed into a bold and damaged siren with her sophomore album ‘A Little More Personal (Raw), which was certified gold.’
10. Nelly Furtado
Touting a unique balance between Brit-pop, hip-hop, and R&B, Nelly Furtado gained popularity through her debut album, ‘Whoa, Nelly!’ Its smash hit single ‘I’m Like A Bird’ won a Grammy award for ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’ in 2002. She continued to spawn hits, through her uniqueness that most anchored on her ear of cryptic yet enchanting melodies.
While other performers are centering on the R&B style, Pink forged her own identity in the music scene by touting a distinct blend of pop and rock-influenced vocals. In 2001, she released her breakthrough album, ‘M!ssundaztood’, which spawned her iconic hits, such as ‘Get The Party Started,’ ‘Just Like A Pill,’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Get Me.’ Almost two decades later, she continues to shower chart-topping singles, making her one of the greatest female pop acts in the world.
12. Gwen Stefani
From being the lively lead singer of ‘No Doubt,’ Gwen Stefani went into a solo career during the band’s hiatus and reached new heights. She brought a fresher sense in the industry, providing a perfect blend of electro, R&B, and J-pop. Her debut solo album ‘Love. Angel. Music. Baby.’ became a commercial and critical success, giving her hit singles, such as ‘Rich Girl,’ ‘Cool,’ and the iconic ‘Hollaback Girl.’
Jojo is a pop-R&B artist that rocked the airwaves in 2004. At the age of 13, her hit-single ‘Leave (Get Out)’ climbed the number one spot on the Billboard charts. This feat made her one of the youngest solo artists to get a number one song in the U.S. Two years later, she released her sophomore album, ‘The High Road,’ which centered on more urban pop/hip-hop songs.
14. Christina Aguilera
After a late-’90s breakthrough, Christina Aguilera continued to shine in the new millennium. Her sophomore album, Stripped, achieved massive success with its inspirational ballad ‘Beautiful,’ and the high-sexualized ‘Dirrty.’ Her reliable vocal range and ambitious music are what separated her from her female counterparts, making her the true pop diva of her time.
15. Jennifer Lopez
Fresh from her success in the late nineties, Jennifer Lopez released her sophomore album, ‘J. Lo,’ in 2001. It reached number one on the Billboard charts then eventually achieved four-time platinum status. Some of her iconic hits in the new millennium are ‘Play,’ ‘I’m Real,’ ‘Jenny From The Block,’ and ‘All I Have.’
Shakira is another successful Latin-pop female artist that crossed over mainstream pop in the 2000s. ‘Whenever, Wherever’ her English-language debut gained massive success in the U.S. market. She became an instant pop star, mainly due to her witty, poetic prowess, and sexy persona powered by electrifying belly dance moves.
After being the central member of ‘90s group Destiny’s Child, Beyonce embarked on a fabulous multi-platinum solo career in the following decade. In 2003, she released her first album ‘Dangerously In love,’ which spawned the chart-topping hit ‘Crazy In Love.’ It was followed by other smash singles, such as ‘Baby Boy,’ ‘Irreplaceable,’ and ‘Single Ladies,’ that solidified her status as one of the top-selling artists of the decade. Today, she continues to be a prominent female figure in the music industry.
18. Missy Elliot
Relying on dynamic rhythms and beats, Missy Elliot changed the face of rap and hip-hop in the 2000s. While she was already a successful producer, giving smash to Tweet and Aaliyah, she made a mark for herself through her own hit singles, such as ‘Get Ur Freak On,’ ‘Gossip Folks,’ ‘Work It’ and ‘Back In The Day’ with Jay Z.
19. Avril Lavigne
Feminizing pop-punk and sporting an anti-starlet image, Avril Lavigne rose to stardom in the 2000s through her debut single ‘Complicated.’ She deviated from the usual glamor of conventional pop and brought her own skatepunk personality. At 17, she quickly achieved teen idol status, and even started a new punk fashion craze, fancying neckties and tank tops. Her debut album ‘Let Go’ sold millions of copies and became one of the best selling albums in 2002. Her sound continued to infect the decade, releasing few other chart-topping singles, like ‘Sk8er Boi’ and ‘My Happy Ending.’
20. Britney Spears
Storming the pop scene in the late-nineties, Britney Spears remained a prominent force in the new millennium. In 2001, her self-titled album brought the highly-sexualized massive hit ‘I’m A Slave 4 U,’ which was an apparent deviation from her teenage star image. Two years later, she released the album’ Me Against The Music,’ which gave her first Grammy award for Best Dance Recording for the single ‘Toxic.’
These are few of the female pop stars that rocked the new millennium through their distinct music, lyrical prowess, and incredible personality. Have you heard of them all?