Music Genres Ranked by Popularity

What is the most popular music genre to date?

Over the years the most popular music genre has really shifted. What once was the most popular in the 80s changed in the 90s and again in the beginning of the 2000s. Here we are, year 2022, and this is how the genres rank.

1. Pop

At #1 we have Pop Music. Pop has really increased in popularity over the last few years. Our most famous pop star to date being Michael Jackson. 

We would not have Pop music if it weren’t for Thomas Edison and Emile Berliner discovering that sound could be reproduced using a strip of tinfoil wrapped around a rotating metal cylinder. Emile then got the inspiration to build the gramophone, which allowed the recording of records at a lower cost. This allowed those that once couldn’t afford such things to be able to purchase their first technology piece. This is how pop music can be traced back to the late 1890s, although it didn’t really become it’s own thing until it hit the West Coast in the 1950s. 

2. Hip-hop and Rap

Second most popular genre is Hip-hop and rap. Hip-hop and rap were first debuted in block parties around New York City in the 70s. Since it’s creation, rap and hip-hop music has blown up to be one of the most popular music genres to date. Most famous rapper is Kurtis Blow, the first rapper to be signed by a major label record label, Mercury. He was also the first rapper to appear on Soul Train, a popular TV show back in the day.

3. Rock

I LOVE ROCK & ROLL! Who doesnt get imediately infected with the sweet sound of rock & roll. Traced as far back in the 40s began the intoxicating sound of rock music with the introduction of electric guitars and drum beats together. The most famous rock star was Elvis Presley of course, The King of Rock & Roll. We can’t forget about Chuck Berry though, the Father of Rock and Roll who is recognized universally as the person who started it all.

4. Dance and Electronic music

Dance and Electronic music was first born in New York City, in the 1970s, after a Japanese electronics manufacturer launched new technology into the world. Music producers began experimenting and created a new style of music. Generally present in the beginning in disco and Hip Hop songs. Soon it evolved to its own addicting sound we can never get enough of. Daft Punk is currently the most famous EDM artist of all time. 

5. Latin music

Latin music can be traced back to the 16th century when the Europeans brought it with them. Latin music also has multiple genres within the genre itself. Most Latin music has a beat you can dance to, many forms of dancing were also created to go along with the different styles of music. Some of the most popular Latin artist of all time can vary from Ricky Martin to Selena to Shakira. 

6. Indie and Alternative Rock

Indie Rock and Alternative Rock was the name used to describe bands that did not pursue to achieve commercial success, they are not compatible with what mainstream media likes. There are further subgenres to describe and categorize each bands style with more detail like grunge and punk rock. Not everyone likes being categorized by one style because their music is so much more.

7. K-Pop

K-pop is short for Korean Pop Music. It was invented by Soo-Man Lee shortly after seeing the release of MTV while he was in school in California. Once he moved back to Korea, he started his company S.M Entertainment and over 20 years grew to be one of the largest entertainment companies in Asia. Discovering talent after talent, the k-pop genre blew up and is loved worldwide. It’s addicting sound puts anyone in a great mood and leaves us craving more. No doubt k-pop music can reach the top and become the most popular genre in the United States.

8. Country

Country music originated in the south amongst the working class. It is widely known that for the most part, country music hurts. Country music was written to make people feel and relate with what is being sung. Most country songs are sad and about a bad relationship. Although some are also cheerful and fun to dance to at parties. Mostly sad though, maybe that’s why its ranked lower than most genres. People don’t want to be sad all the time, but when you feel like crying, there is a good ol’ country song to help you out.

9. Metal

Metal music originated in Britain in the late 60s. Believed to be influenced by the hippie movement, Metal music was created to envoy deep or serious feelings. Black Sabbath was one of the first bands to break out as metal bands with their incredible electric guitar riffs. 

10. Classical music

Nothing against classical music but it is the least popular genre amongst the genres we listen to in today’s world. Classical music can be traced back to the early 1700s when Bach along with other composers were experimenting playing different instruments together. It has been refined since with the addition of new instruments and the retirement of no longer used or made instruments. Classical music is very beautiful but difficult to play alone, in today’s world, it is hard to get people in the same room let alone find people that can play complimenting instruments with each other. Maybe that is the reason classical music ranks least popular genre.