Top Pop Female Stars of the 2010s

The 2010s were a dynamic decade for pop music, particularly for female stars who dominated the charts and captured the hearts of fans worldwide. This period saw a diverse array of talents rise to prominence, each bringing their unique voice, style, and perspective to the genre. From dance-worthy anthems to soul-stirring ballads, these artists shaped the sound of pop music, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a pop star.

Their influence extended beyond music, impacting fashion, social issues, and the global cultural landscape. In this article, we’ll highlight the top female pop stars of the 2010s, celebrating their achievements, the memorable moments they created, and the indelible marks they left on the decade. Through their stories, we’ll see how they navigated the challenges and triumphs of fame, contributing to the ever-evolving story of pop music.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift live

Taylor Swift’s evolution from country sweetheart to pop powerhouse marks one of the most compelling narratives in the music industry during the 2010s. Swift’s knack for storytelling, coupled with her keen sense of melody, has enabled her to connect with fans on a deeply personal level. Her journey through the decade was not just a series of chart-topping hits but a saga of artistic growth and reinvention. Swift’s ability to craft songs that blend lyrical depth with infectious pop sensibilities has made her a defining figure in the genre.

Below are three of her biggest hits:

  • “Shake It Off”: An anthem of resilience and self-acceptance, this track marked a significant moment in Swift’s transition to pop, capturing the essence of shaking off criticism.
  • “Blank Space”: Offering a satirical take on Swift’s media portrayal, this hit showcases her songwriting prowess and ability to laugh at herself.
  • “Bad Blood”: Known for its catchy beat and star-studded music video, “Bad Blood” exemplifies Swift’s talent for turning personal narratives into pop anthems.

Adele

Adele’s rise in the 2010s was marked by her soul-stirring vocals and heartfelt ballads, setting her apart in an era often dominated by upbeat pop and electronic dance tracks. Her albums “21” and “25” broke numerous records, resonating with audiences worldwide through their themes of love, loss, and redemption. Adele’s ability to convey deep emotion through her music has made her a standout artist, earning her critical acclaim and a dedicated global fanbase.

Her impact lies not only in her commercial success but in her approach to fame and artistry. Adele’s music reflects a timeless quality, often drawing comparisons to the great vocalists of the past, yet her authenticity and modern sensibility have cemented her place as a voice of her generation. Through her songs, Adele has created a space for vulnerability and connection, reminding listeners of the power of music to heal and unite.

Check out the top hits of Adele below:

  • “Someone Like You”: A poignant ballad about coming to terms with loss, this song showcases Adele’s emotive voice and storytelling skill.
  • “Rolling in the Deep”: With its powerful vocals and stirring lyrics, this track captures the depth of betrayal and the strength of resilience.
  • “Hello”: Marking her return to the music scene, “Hello” is a sweeping anthem of nostalgia and longing, highlighting Adele’s unmatched vocal range and emotional depth.

Beyoncé

Beyoncé

Beyoncé’s influence in the 2010s transcended music, making her an icon of empowerment, creativity, and activism. Her seamless blend of R&B, pop, and experimental sounds has pushed the boundaries of music production and performance. Beyoncé’s albums from this decade, notably the visual album “Lemonade,” are not just collections of songs but rich, multimedia narratives that explore themes of identity, love, and social justice.

Her role as a cultural icon is underscored by her ability to use her platform to spotlight issues of racial inequality, feminism, and political engagement. Beyoncé’s performances, often laden with powerful imagery and messages, serve as rallying cries for change and solidarity. Her influence is felt in the waves of artists who see music as a vehicle for expressing their values and beliefs.

Here are three top hits from Beyoncé:

  • “Formation”: A bold declaration of cultural and personal identity, “Formation” stands as a powerful statement on Black excellence and empowerment.
  • “Drunk in Love”: Featuring Jay-Z, this track blends sensuality with soul, showcasing Beyoncé’s versatility as a vocalist and performer.
  • “Run the World (Girls)”: An empowering anthem that celebrates female strength and independence, highlighting Beyoncé’s role in shaping contemporary feminism.

Rihanna

Rihanna’s influence in the 2010s solidified her status not only as a pop icon but also as a trendsetter in fashion and a pioneer in business. Her musical journey throughout the decade featured a daring blend of genres, from pop and R&B to dancehall and electronic, showcasing her versatility as an artist. Rihanna’s work, characterized by its bold lyrics and innovative soundscapes, pushed the boundaries of mainstream music, earning her a place among the decade’s most influential figures.

Beyond her chart-topping hits, Rihanna’s impact extended to her entrepreneurial ventures and philanthropic efforts, further establishing her as a multifaceted icon. Her Fenty Beauty line broke new ground in inclusivity within the beauty industry, while her Clara Lionel Foundation has made significant contributions to global education and emergency response programs. Rihanna’s ability to excel across various domains demonstrates her unparalleled influence and legacy in the 2010s.

You are most likely familiar with some of Rihanna’s top hits, including:

  • “We Found Love”: A collaboration with Calvin Harris, this dance anthem became a global sensation, celebrated for its catchy melody and uplifting message.
  • “Diamonds”: Highlighting Rihanna’s vocal range and emotional depth, “Diamonds” is a powerful ballad that showcases her ability to connect with listeners on a profound level.
  • “Work”: Featuring Drake, this track blends reggae with R&B, creating a hit that’s both infectious and emblematic of Rihanna’s Barbadian roots.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry

Katy Perry’s ascent in the 2010s was marked by her catchy pop anthems and visually stunning performances, making her one of the decade’s most memorable stars. Her songs, often infused with playful lyrics and vibrant imagery, captured the imagination of a global audience, while her elaborate music videos and live shows helped redefine what it means to be a pop performer.

Perry’s ability to consistently reinvent her image and sound kept her at the forefront of the pop scene throughout the decade. Her knack for creating anthems that resonate with a wide audience, combined with her engaging persona, has cemented her status as a pop icon.

Below are Katy Perry’s top hits that you can listen to:

  • “Firework”: An empowering anthem that encourages self-belief and resilience, “Firework” has become synonymous with Perry’s message of hope and inclusivity.
  • “Roar”: With its catchy hook and inspiring lyrics, “Roar” serves as a battle cry for overcoming obstacles and finding one’s voice.
  • “Teenage Dream”: This title track from her third studio album captures the essence of youthful love and nostalgia, showcasing Perry’s talent for crafting relatable pop songs.

Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding burst onto the scene in the early 2010s with her ethereal voice and a unique blend of electropop, synth-pop, and indie-pop. Her distinctive sound, characterized by electronic production and heartfelt lyrics, quickly garnered a loyal following. Goulding’s music often explores themes of love, heartache, and self-discovery, resonating with audiences around the world. Her ability to fuse electronic music with pop sensibilities made her a standout artist of the decade, influencing the direction of pop music towards a more electronic sound.

Goulding’s impact extends beyond her music; her philanthropic efforts and advocacy for mental health and environmental causes have made her a role model for fans. Her style and music videos, often featuring visually stunning landscapes and choreography, have also contributed to her status as a fashion and pop culture icon.

If you aren’t familiar with Ellie Goulding’s top hits, you can listen to the three hits below:

  • Lights”: A breakout hit that showcases Goulding’s airy vocals and synth-driven production, “Lights” is an infectious track that reflects her signature sound.
  • Love Me Like You Do”: Part of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” soundtrack, this song became a global hit, celebrated for its sweeping chorus and emotional depth.
  • “Burn”: An anthemic pop track with a catchy melody and uplifting lyrics, “Burn” captures Goulding’s knack for creating danceable yet poignant songs.

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande emerged as one of the defining voices of pop music in the 2010s, combining her broad vocal range with a contemporary mix of R&B, pop, and electronic music. Her career, which began on television, quickly transitioned to music, where she found unparalleled success. Known for her powerful vocals and impressive whistle register, Grande’s music spans heartfelt ballads to upbeat pop anthems, reflecting her versatility as an artist. Her presence, both online and in the media, coupled with her distinctive style and voice, made her a prominent figure in the pop landscape of the decade.

Give a listen to Ariana Grande’s popular songs, which include:

  • “Thank U, Next”: This self-reflective anthem became a viral sensation, praised for its message of self-love and growth following personal hardship.
  • “No Tears Left to Cry”: Released as a comeback single after the Manchester concert attack, it’s an uplifting track that showcases Grande’s resilience and positivity.
  • “7 Rings”: Inspired by a spontaneous shopping spree with friends, “7 Rings” blends pop with trap, highlighting Grande’s flair for capturing the cultural zeitgeist.

Lorde

Lorde burst onto the pop scene with her debut single, “Royals,” offering a stark contrast to the opulent themes prevalent in pop music at the time. Her unique sound, characterized by minimalist production and deep lyrical content, challenged the status quo and resonated with a wide audience. Lorde’s music reflects a mature perspective on fame, identity, and adolescence, setting her apart as an insightful songwriter and artist. Throughout the 2010s, she solidified her place in pop music with her critically acclaimed albums, each showcasing her growth as an artist and her willingness to explore new musical landscapes.

You can check below for three of Lorde’s biggest hits:

  • “Royals”: A commentary on the luxurious lifestyle often glorified by pop culture, “Royals” became an anthem for a generation disillusioned by materialism.
  • “Green Light”: A departure from her earlier work, “Green Light” is an energetic and cathartic track about moving on from heartbreak, showcasing Lorde’s dynamic range as an artist.
  • “Liability”: A deeply personal ballad, “Liability” touches on the themes of loneliness and self-love, reflecting Lorde’s introspective and poetic songwriting style.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga’s impact on the 2010s cannot be overstated, as she continued to push the boundaries of pop music, fashion, and performance art. Known for her theatricality and powerful vocals, Gaga’s work throughout the decade explored themes of fame, identity, and empowerment, resonating with fans across the globe. Her ability to merge various artistic disciplines into her music and persona has made her a standout figure in the pop landscape, challenging conventional norms and encouraging self-expression.

Gaga’s advocacy for mental health and LGBTQ+ rights, along with her foundation, Born This Way, underscore her commitment to making a difference beyond the music industry. Her performances, often laden with symbolism and social commentary, have elevated the standard for what audiences expect from live shows. Lady Gaga’s artistic risks and dedication to her craft have not only garnered her critical acclaim but have also inspired countless individuals to embrace their uniqueness.

A few of Lady Gaga’s biggest hits include:

  • “Bad Romance”: Showcasing her signature style of combining catchy pop with avant-garde fashion, “Bad Romance” became an anthem of the 2010s, celebrated for its boldness and creativity.
  • Born This Way”: An empowering call for acceptance and love, “Born This Way” has been hailed as an LGBTQ+ anthem, highlighting Gaga’s role as an advocate for equality.
  • “Shallow”: A duet with Bradley Cooper from the film “A Star Is Born,” “Shallow” demonstrated Gaga’s versatility as an artist, earning her critical acclaim and several awards

Sia

Sia’s distinctive voice and songwriting prowess made her one of the most influential pop artists of the 2010s. Initially known for her work as a songwriter for other artists, Sia’s solo career took off with a series of hits that showcased her unique blend of pop, electropop, and soulful balladry. Her ability to convey deep emotion, combined with her signature blend of powerful vocals and enigmatic public persona, marked by her often face-obscuring wigs, made her a standout figure in the music industry.

Sia’s contributions to pop music extend beyond her chart success; she has been a driving force in bringing attention to issues of mental health and animal rights through her platform. Her creative music videos, often featuring dancer Maddie Ziegler, have been praised for their artistic expression and storytelling, further cementing Sia’s status as a visionary in the pop genre.

Sia has recorded a couple of top hits, including:

  • “Chandelier”: A powerful exploration of Sia’s struggles with addiction and fame, “Chandelier” pairs her soaring vocals with a raw emotional depth, making it a landmark track in her career.
  • “Cheap Thrills”: This upbeat track featuring Sean Paul became a summer anthem, celebrated for its catchy melody and danceable rhythm.
  • “Elastic Heart”: Accompanied by a visually striking music video, “Elastic Heart” delves into themes of resilience and strength in the face of adversity, showcasing Sia’s skill in crafting emotionally compelling music.

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez’s transition from a child star to a pop sensation in the 2010s is a testament to her versatility and resilience. Her music, which encompasses a range of genres from dance-pop to electropop, reflects her journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Gomez’s ability to connect with her audience through honest and relatable lyrics, combined with her melodic voice, has cemented her status as a key figure in the pop music scene. Beyond her musical achievements, Gomez has used her platform to advocate for mental health awareness, becoming a role model for fans worldwide.

Gomez’s influence extends into fashion and television, where her work as an executive producer on the critically acclaimed series “13 Reasons Why” sparked conversations about mental health and bullying. Her approachable persona and willingness to share her struggles openly have endeared her to a global audience, making her not just a pop star but a beacon of strength and positivity.

Check out three of Selena Gomez’s pop hits:

  • “Come & Get It”: Marking a pivotal moment in her solo career, this song showcased Gomez’s transition into a more mature sound, blending Indian music influences with pop.
  • “Lose You to Love Me”: A powerful ballad that reflects Gomez’s journey of self-love and healing, this song resonated with fans for its emotional depth and honesty.
  • “Bad Liar”: Demonstrating her knack for innovative pop music, “Bad Liar” samples the Talking Heads and stands out for its storytelling and unique vocal delivery.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato’s career in the 2010s was marked by her raw emotional honesty and vocal intensity, making her one of the most compelling voices in pop music. Her songs often delve into her personal struggles with addiction, mental health, and identity, offering a level of vulnerability that resonates deeply with fans. Lovato’s musical style spans pop-rock, R&B, and more, showcasing her wide-ranging talents and refusal to be pigeonholed into a single genre.

Lovato’s influence extends beyond music; her openness about her challenges has made her a key advocate for mental health awareness and LGBTQ+ rights. Her ability to rebound from personal setbacks with grace and strength has inspired many, making her story one of resilience and empowerment.

You can listen to these three big hits from Demi Lovato:

  • “Skyscraper”: An anthem of resilience and recovery, “Skyscraper” showcases Lovato’s strength in the face of adversity, both personally and professionally.
  • “Sorry Not Sorry”: A defiant declaration of self-assurance, this hit combines powerful vocals with a catchy beat, marking a triumphant moment in Lovato’s career.
  • “Heart Attack”: Demonstrating Lovato’s knack for dynamic pop anthems, “Heart Attack” features compelling vocals and lyrics about the vulnerabilities of falling in love.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus’s evolution throughout the 2010s was one of the most dramatic transformations in pop music, shedding her Disney star persona to embrace a more edgy and unabashedly bold image. Her music ranged from country-tinged pop to psychedelic rock, reflecting her diverse influences and fearless approach to genre experimentation. Cyrus’s willingness to push boundaries and challenge societal norms has made her a figure of empowerment and controversy alike, sparking discussions on identity, sexuality, and artistic freedom.

Cyrus’s impact on pop culture is undeniable, with her provocative performances and candid public appearances often dominating the media narrative. However, beneath the spectacle, her musical talent and ability to reinvent herself have earned her critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase. Her work with the Happy Hippie Foundation, focusing on youth homelessness and LGBTQ+ rights, highlights her commitment to using her fame for advocacy and change.

The biggest hits of Miley Cyrus include:

  • “Wrecking Ball”: An emotionally charged ballad that showcased Cyrus’s vocal prowess, “Wrecking Ball” became an anthem of heartbreak and vulnerability.
  • “We Can’t Stop”: Reflecting her departure from her previous image, this party anthem embraced themes of freedom and rebellion, becoming a symbol of Cyrus’s new artistic direction.
  • “Malibu”: A return to her roots, “Malibu” offers a softer, more introspective look at Cyrus’s life and love, highlighting her versatility as an artist.

Jessie J

Jessie J

Jessie J emerged as a force in the pop and R&B scenes with her powerful vocals and dynamic stage presence. Known for her wide vocal range and bold persona, Jessie J’s music blends pop with elements of soul and hip-hop, offering a fresh take on the genres. Her songwriting, often marked by themes of empowerment and self-confidence, has inspired a dedicated fanbase. Jessie J’s ability to deliver high-energy performances, coupled with her vocal prowess, has earned her a spot among the decade’s most influential pop artists.

Jessie J’s contributions to pop music have been recognized with numerous awards and nominations, cementing her status as a formidable talent in the industry. Her collaborations with other artists have also showcased her versatility and willingness to experiment with different sounds and genres.

Listen to these top hits from Jessie J:

  • “Price Tag”: Featuring B.o.B, this song critiques materialism over a catchy beat, highlighting Jessie J’s soulful voice and clever songwriting.
  • “Domino”: A dance-pop track that showcases Jessie J’s vocal range and pop sensibilities, “Domino” is an upbeat song about the euphoria of love.
  • “Bang Bang”: A collaboration with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, this powerhouse anthem combines Jessie J’s explosive vocals with Grande’s pop prowess and Minaj’s rap verses, creating a chart-topping hit.

Conclusion

As the curtain closed on the 2010s, the pop music scene was undeniably shaped by the incredible talents and contributions of its female stars. These artists not only dominated the charts with their unforgettable hits but also used their platforms to address important social issues, inspire their fans, and push the boundaries of the genre. From the anthems that became the soundtrack of the decade to the deeply personal ballads that resonated with millions, the impact of these women is both profound and lasting.