Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the Western world as a softer alternative to rock and roll. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many styles. "Pop" and "rock" were synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they were increasingly used in opposition from each other.
Although pop music is seen as just the singles charts, it is not the sum of all chart music. Pop music is eclectic, and often borrows elements from other styles such as urban, dance, rock, Latin, and country; nonetheless, there are core elements that define pop music. Identifying factors include generally short to medium-length songs written in a basic format (often the verse-chorus structure), as well as the common use of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and hooks.
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (//; born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child and rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. Their hiatus saw the release of Beyoncé's debut album, Dangerously in Love (2003), which established her as a solo artist worldwide, earned five Grammy Awards and featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy".
Following the disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2006, she released her second solo album, B'Day (2006), which contained hits "Déjà Vu", "Irreplaceable", and "Beautiful Liar". Beyoncé also ventured into acting, with starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay Z and portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the birth of her alter-ego Sasha Fierce and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Beyoncé took a hiatus from music in 2010 and took over management of her career; her fourth album 4 (2011) was subsequently mellower in tone, exploring 1970s funk, 1980s pop, and 1990s soul. Her critically acclaimed fifth album, Beyoncé (2013), was distinguished from previous releases by its experimental production and exploration of darker themes. With the release of Lemonade (2016), Beyoncé became the first artist to have their first six studio albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.
Throughout her career, she has sold over 100 million records as a solo artist, and a further 60 million with Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She has won 20 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award's history. She is the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized her as the Top Certified Artist in America during the 2000s (decade). In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade, the Top Female Artist of the 2000s (decade) and handed their Millennium Award in 2011. In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time's 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row. Forbes listed her as the most powerful female in entertainment of 2015, and in 2016 she occupied the sixth place for Person of the Year.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE (//; born 5 May 1988) is an English singer-songwriter. Graduating from the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in 2006, Adele was given a recording contract by XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on Myspace the same year. In 2007, she received the Brit Awards "Critics' Choice" award and won the BBC Sound of 2008 poll. Her debut album, 19, was released in 2008 to commercial and critical success. It is certified seven times platinum in the UK, and three times platinum in the US. An appearance she made on Saturday Night Live in late 2008 boosted her career in the US. At the 51st Grammy Awards in 2009, Adele received the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Adele released her second studio album, 21, in early 2011. The album was well received critically and surpassed the success of her debut, earning the singer numerous awards in 2012, among them a record-tying six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year; two Brit Awards, including British Album of the Year, and three American Music Awards. The album has been certified 16 times platinum in the UK, and is the fourth best-selling album in the UK of all time. In the United States, it has held the top position longer than any album since 1985, and is certified diamond. The album has sold 35 million copies worldwide.
The success of 21 earned Adele numerous mentions in the Guinness Book of World Records. She is the first woman in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have three simultaneous top 10 singles as a lead artist, and the first female artist to simultaneously have two albums in the top five of the Billboard 200 and two singles in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100. 21 is the longest-running number one album by a female solo artist in the history of the UK and US Album Charts. In 2012, she released "Skyfall", which she wrote and recorded for the James Bond film of the same name. The song won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, as well as the Brit Award for British Single of the Year. After taking a three-year break, Adele released her third studio album, 25, in 2015. It became the year's best-selling album and broke first week sales records in the UK and US. 25 was her second album to be certified diamond in the US. The lead single, "Hello", became the first song in the US to sell over one million digital copies within a week of its release. Her third concert tour, Adele Live 2016, is her largest to date, taking in Europe, North America and Oceania, and will end with four concerts at Wembley Stadium, London in mid 2017.
In 2011, 2012 and 2016, Billboard named Adele Artist of the Year. In 2012, she was listed at number five on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music. Time magazine named her one of the most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2016. With sales of more than 100 million records, Adele is one of the best-selling recording artists in the world.