Below are the nominees for Artist of the Decade. There were 61 artists that received five nominations, but as the maximum number of options for a poll is 50, I had to increase the minimum qualification to six nominations- bad luck to Tyler, Dean Blunt, Leonard Cohen, Girl Band, Beach House, King Gizzard, Gazelle Twin, Parquet Courts, Ty Segall, Hot Chip and Nicolas Jaar

  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Frank Ocean
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • FKA Twigs
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Rolo Tomassi
  • Kanye West
  • St Vincent
  • Earl Sweatshirt
  • The National
  • Angel Olsen
  • Sharon Van Etten
  • Four Tet
  • Deafheaven
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Run The Jewels
  • Solange
  • Thee Oh Sees
  • Young Fathers
  • Grouper
  • Julia Holter
  • Jenny Hval
  • Joanna Newsom
  • Mount Eerie
  • Perfume Genius
  • Nils Frahm
  • Twilight Sad
  • Protomartyr
  • Sufjan Stevens
  • Oneohtrix Point Never
  • Cloud Nothings
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Blanck Mass
  • Holly Herndon
  • Kurt Vile
  • Everything Everything
  • Bon Iver
  • Danny Brown
  • Big Thief
  • Mitski
  • Richard Dawson
  • Taylor Swift
  • Robyn
  • Idles
  • Kamasi Washington
  • These New Puritans
  • Beyoncé
  • Dev Hynes/Blood Orange
  • Bjork

0 voters



Please use the comments below to make the case for your favourite if you are feeling passionate/persuasive

The winner should definitely be Kendrick Lamar.

In the last six years he has released three classic albums - Good Kid, Maad City, To Pimp a Butterfly and Damn. According to acclaimedmusic.net (which aggregates critical assessments from around the world) those three albums are rated at number 2, 4 and 8 amongst the best albums of the decade. To put that in context, no other artist has more than one album in the top 10, and only one other has two in the top 20.

All three albums are certified triple platinum and have been number one around the world. Kendrick has won 13 Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize (the first ever non-classical or jazz artist to do so) and been nominated for an Oscar.

His cultural influence, both musical and political, has been enormous. His song Alright (named best song of the decade by Pitchfork) became an anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement. His clever use of jazz musicians on TPAB has had a massive influence on the resurgence of that form - one of the most exciting musical developments of recent years.

He’s really good. He should definitely win.


You forgot Tiger Crew


Taylor Swift

She’s very good indeed.

Red and 1989 are brilliant albums. I’m probably in the minority of loving the last two too. Besides, she’s not up Trump’s arse like Kanye. You’ve seen the Trump-Kanye love in. He’s a Trump supporter or an appeaser at the very least.

Oh, and her songs are nicer than The National’s. They’re dull.

Yep. She’ll be voted out on round one here. Probably not popular on this board but she’s a Democrat; unlike Kanye.

Vote Taylor Swift She’s the fun pop singer who’s huge with a big Twitter following who’s a Democrat and it’s election year next year.

Wow. Missed this thread and the supporting one but that’s slim pickings for a decade.


Yeah. I’ll frustratingly agree and disagree with you.

They’re slim pickings but unless there’s around a 200 artists from a variety of genres no one’s going to be totally happy. Very hard to choose those too.

That list seems as reasonable overall as it goes for this music board.

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Kanye for me. MBDTF is obviously regarded as one of the best albums ever (even if it doesn’t have the same impact on me), I love Yeezus and I was fully into the whole saga around Pablo; the tracklist changes, the guesses for what TLOP would mean, listening with my friends at a party as soon as it was released etc. Not had that level of engagement with many artists before, so even if his best work was last decade and he’s turned into a full-on knob, I can’t deny the impact he had on my listening for the last 6 years or so.

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One that I forgot until about 5 minutes ago while falling down a youtube hole, James Blake. He has been all over alot of stuff this last 10 years. Even if his albums haven’t lived up to CMYK he has been on a lot of other peoples albums.

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Nah. Annoying voice.

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If we think of ALL the criteria in terms of influence, impact on the mainstream, record sales, quality of music then Kendrick wins this hands down whilst wearing a blind fold.

Hard to argue with Kendrick. I think it’s not just that he has been incredibly successful and critically acclaimed but also that the music he has produced is defining of the era.

BTW I think this long list captures the music of the decade far better than an individual album list can.

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His music defines the era, in the age of digital music streaming there isn’t many artists I can say that about. He may not be my fav on the list but I really couldn’t listen to an argument against Kendrick without assuming someone was just voting for their fav artist or they just dont like his music. But when you really think it through, I feel like he’s the only one here that really can be considered? He just hits all the criteria
Critically Acclaimed
Commercially Successful
Transend Genres
Endless artists mimmicking his style
Cultural impact
Soundtracked a major block buster
One of the true headline acts this era has produced.

If news of a Kendrick record were to drop tomorrow more people in this forum will be talking about the news than any of the other artists in this list and this will be true in just about every corner of the internet.,


TLDR: Kendrick could be booked as headliner for ANY music festival and he wouldn’t be out of place

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Yeah in terms of someone that has had a monumental influence on the sound of modern pop music he’s up there due to the amount of albums he appears on. Same could probably said about Dev Hynes


I think it’s a really good list as it picks up a broad spectrum of what has happened in music over the last decade.

i voted for Jenny Hval because KL will win anyway and I think JH in a far more left field way (obviously) is representative of a really vital area of music that has meant a lot to me personally this decade.


I listen to every band on this list :smiley: I would sooner vote for Danny Brown in terms of someone I like listening to but if I’m being honest with myself… it’s Kendrick, it just is

yeah he just is the ‘artist of the decade’ isn’t he.


I dont want to sound dismissive of the other but… he just is…

Not sure if you are saying that the wrong 50 have been nominated, or that they are the right 50 but that they don’t reflect well on the decade.

I think the truth is that it is hard to tell without a bit of distance - only time will tell which artists have a truly substantial influence on music to come.

My own view is that whilst there has been loads of amazing music from hundreds of artists the decade has lacked a truly game-changing, unique star. Only Kendrick comes close in my view. Kanye could have been a contender if he wasn’t such a complete dick, the only other possibles are people like Taylor Swift, Drake (who no-one nominated), Rihanna (who no-one nominated) and Beyoncé- who are brilliant at what they do and culturally significant but who have not done anything massively original in musical terms. Maybe it is too late in the history of pop music to really expect the original.

When I was thinking about nominations I could think of lots of great albums but really struggled to think of artists that had released more than one of them (only Kendrick and Nick Cave really qualify in my personal view). It don’t really know why this is, but one other thing that struck me is how un-prolific artists are in general now. Kendrick released his first album in 2011 and has managed 4 studio albums in the whole decade. I know two of those are sprawling epics, and also that he’s done lots of other things (you could argue that Untitled, Unmastered and the Black Panther soundtrack are extra records). By comparison Bowie released 11 albums in the 70s, and Dylan 9 in the 60s (despite not starting until 1962).

People like PJ Harvey, Joanna Newsom, Bjork and Robyn have all been frustratingly slow to produce new work - nine albums in total between the four of them in a whole decade. Any one of them could have been high up in this poll if they’d produced more albums.