Music is something that often unites people from different backgrounds, different races, gender, and nationalities. It brings immense joy to those listening to it and performing it. Whatever the genre somebody will always appreciate it, but whilst we can be united by music, some just can not agree that it all has its artistic merits. This is understandable, after all, we do not all like the same food or agree on sports, that’s what helps make music so interesting.

One thing we can all agree on is that the level of devotion to writers and performers alike is outstanding. Knowing that very few people will ever be heard that have talent, but still, the love of the instruments keeps them playing all the same. If young people were not listening today to Johnny Cash chords and 80s hip hop trying to emulate their heroes where would the music scene be today? Modern music takes most of its inspiration from older music, but there has been in recent years a shift away from older music and new genres were born, with huge success. Here are the most popular music genres of 2021, in no particular order.

The Sensation From The East, K-Pop

K-Pop has become a global brand in the world of music, originally a Korean language pop themed music genre aimed at teenagers, it has now become popular in many countries. Korean bands now perform in the United States and Europe to full houses, in Korea, the bands and individual stars are household names and are treated like pop royalty. K-Pop stars are some of the most followed on social media anywhere in the world. According to Spotify, the most listened K-Pop bands are:

– BTS, the biggest K-Pop band in the world at the moment, boasting 16m monthly listeners on Spotify each month and has the highest ever selling album by a Korean band.

– SuperM, a 7 member boy band, only formed last year.

– BIGBANG, formed in 2016 they have now become one of the biggest boy bands in the world.

– Girl’s Generation, known in Korea as “The Nations Girl Group”, this 8 member band was crowned in 2017 by Billboard “Top K-Pop Girl Group of the Past Decade”

– Blackpink, another girl group that in 2019 became only the second Korean artist to achieve over 1 billion views on YouTube in a single year. Psy and Gangnam Style was first.

It seems Korean music is here to stay, and in recent years Korean culture has also been exported to various places across the globe, including London with its many Korean BBQ restaurants

Indie And Alternative Rock Music

The term Indie has been evolving for more than 30 years. D.I.Y bands that once derived from the Punk scene now are made up of stars that would rather be associated with glamour and fashion. Which is very far from the traditional Indie roots and the D.I.Y approach.

But Alternative Rock has kept its roots and has changed very little over the years, especially in the underground scene. Never a huge chart sensation, it is still one of the most popular live music choices of many, loud and vibrant there are not many towns and cities without live performances. Rising to fame throughout the nineties as an alternative to the pop scene and still thriving today.

Electronic Dance Music (EDM)

One of the most popular music genres in the world today, the charts are full of electronic music. With the advances in technology over the years computer generated music has made a huge impact on the music world. Now you don’t even need an instrument to create a global hit, just the correct software, access to computers, and an ear for music. You can be your own writer and producer without leaving your chair. And if you are talented enough try using your own music and DJ in clubs and private parties.

Rap and Hip-hop, Steeped in History

Two of the most successful music genres for the last 30 years can trace their origins back to Gospel and the Blues. Starting to gather momentum primarily in the 1980s in African American inner city ghettos. A mixture of spoken word and electronic music both rap and hip-hop music centered around the daily struggles of life growing up in the harsh ghetto environment and lyrics often gave a voice to otherwise voiceless people. Music about racism and police brutality experienced helped to bring these social ills to the masses.

Rap and trap are both sub-genres of hip-hop, rap has become a global phenomenon and multi-billion dollar industry. Any time you look at the mainstream charts there are always rap tunes and rap collaborations dominating the top 40. Rap has even crossed into the karaoke scene in recent years.

Rock Music and its Sub Genres

Rock music started to gain popularity in the 1950s and is a direct descendant of the Blues. Bursting on the American music scene in the mid-50s it didn’t take long to cross the Atlantic and land firmly on the British music radar. From Britain, it spread slowly across Europe gaining a hold all over the continent, seen as a way of describing the movement of the tumultuous 1960s and specifically the Vietnam War and the counterculture of the time.

The rock genre soon progressed with a more heavy and rustic sound, in the seventies it gave birth to the Punk movement. Although in recent years rock music has slowly lost its appeal to a younger generation, which is reelected in the charts, it is still one of the most popular music genres all over the world.

The Country And Western Music Genre

Absolutely loved by Americans and popular around Europe, country and western music is still going strong. In a recent poll, 40% of Americans said they listen to country music almost daily, whether it is in the car on the way to work or at home country remains America’s number one music of choice.

Whilst still retaining its original sound, country and western has started to adopt elements of rock and pop music, attracting new fans and still entertaining the older generation. Chords guitar unlike other music, banjo’s, acoustic guitars, and amazing voices country and western is also a great source of live entertainment in bars and clubs all across the United States.

Pop Music, The Most Popular Genre of Them All

Still, the number one choice of music for many people all across the world, pop music has been the soundtrack of many people’s lives for decades. The Beatles weren’t the first pop band but became the world’s favorite band with their mix of soft rock and pop sound. During the eighties with the introduction of electronic instruments, pop took on a new lease of life, filling the airwaves and clubs from the United States to Australia. In the nineties, pop artists started to collaborate with rap and hip-hop stars to produce some memorable hits.

Nowadays pop remains the number one chart music in most countries due to its ever-evolving sound, but yet never straying too far from its roots. It is hard to see any other genre taking its place and becoming more popular anytime soon.


There are many different music styles that are popular all over the world and everybody’s tastes are different. It is surely best to try as many as possible and not just stick to the one genre of music, you never know you could find yourself taping your foot to Latin American music and really enjoying listening to it.