NPR Music remembers the singers, instrumentalists, songwriters and personalities who died in 2012. Explore their musical legacies.
These are the moments, issues and debates that shaped the year in music. These are things we'll remember.
We asked musicians, music industry folks, writers, programmers and DJs — fans all — to tell us how they saw 2012 in music. We sent them five questions asking what began and what fell apart, what made them happy and what disappointed them.
The question "what do readers want?" has hovered over any media business worth its advertising revenue for years, but in 2012, it took on more urgency. Knowing the answer to that question can be bad for the product.
Two things make for great years in pop music: variety and shared pleasure. After a handful of years when four-on-the-floor dance beats dominated radio, 2012 had both in spades.
He laces his bouncy, terse rhymes with a charisma reminiscent of another musician — Ringo Starr. The success of both artists, one in a '60s rock 'n' roll era and the other in a 21st century rap era, is a testament to people who consume pop music, which is everybody.
This year, the most popular records made by young jazz musicians reflected hip-hop, R&B and the black community where they came from. When they broke through, they made an ongoing conversation about jazz's place in popular music more visible.
In the Internet era, single-artist albums are suffering, but despite the make-your-own playlist options provided by mp3s and streaming services, compilations are thriving.