Best Music Of 2021 A collection of lists, essays and features on the best recordings of 2021.

Best Music Of 2021Best Music Of 2021

In 2021, Lil Nas X, whose single "Old Town Road" holds the record for the most weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, delivered his debut album Montero and cemented his ability to bend media platforms to his will. Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr/NPR/Getty Images hide caption

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Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr/NPR/Getty Images

Lil Nas X, Japanese Breakfast, Vince Staples (pictured above) and more share their favorite music of 2021 with NPR. Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr/NPR; Getty Images; Album art courtesy of Polydor & Wolf Tone Records, Saddle Creek Records, Kemosabe & RCA Records hide caption

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Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr/NPR; Getty Images; Album art courtesy of Polydor & Wolf Tone Records, Saddle Creek Records, Kemosabe & RCA Records

Projects released by Young Thug, Tyler, the Creator and Little Simz are included in NPR Music's best hip-hop albums of 2021. Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr/NPR; Getty Images hide caption

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Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr/NPR; Getty Images

The composer Julius Eastman died in 1990, but his music is experiencing a renaissance. The Los Angeles-based group Wild Up's jubilant recording of his 1974 work Femenine is one of the most remarkable classical albums of the year. Ron Hammond hide caption

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Ron Hammond