Throughout the 2010s, female artists have made a name for themselves in various genres of music. We can’t shout out every amazing female artist we love, but we can do out best to siphon it down to our top 15 favorites. So without further ado, here are our choices for the fifteen female singers of the 2010s that we believe did some unbelievable things in the world of music.
Female Singers of the 2010s We Love
Let’s begin with Demi Lovato.
Although her debut studio album, Don’t Forget, and second album, Here We Go Again, were released just short of 2010, Demi Lovato provided the music world with four amazing albums throughout the 2010s that included Unbroken in 2011, Demi in 2013, Confident in 2015, and Tell Me You Love Me in 2017. Throughout the release of each album, Demi had several hit singles and also collaborated on other songs with artists, such as Christina Aguilera, Fall Out Boy, Clean Bandit, and Cheat Codes.
In her first album of the 2010s, Demi offered a Pop and R&B vibe in her songs before returning to a mostly pop vibe on the remaining albums. Some of her biggest hits during this era included: Skyscraper, Give Your Heart a Break, Heart Attack, Confident, Cool for the Summer, Sorry not Sorry, and Tell Me You Love Me. While her music during this time definitely portrayed her as a pop singer and were perfect for an upbeat jam session with friends, the lyrics in many of her songs could be relatable to those across all genres.
In several of her songs, Demi presents herself as vulnerable and brave as she opens up and shares many of her life struggles, including her battle with addiction, mental health, and a rocky relationship with her biological father. Just a few of her songs that should be noted and are sure to include vulnerability, strength and raw emotions include Skyscraper, Father, Sober, Anyone, and For the Love of a Daughter.
While it is extremely difficult to choose favorites when selecting Demi Lovato songs, my all-time favorite thus far is from her latest album, Holy Fcvk, that was released this year. Although titled Happy Ending, this song brings out many emotions other than “happy.” Demi starts the song off by mentioning her near-fatal overdose in 2018 as she sings, “I met God, just for a minute.”
Throughout the song, Demi sings of various things she has tried filling an empty void with, including love, alcohol and drugs, and fame; however, in this tear-wrenching song, we can hear the continued emptiness and pain she has felt as she sings, “Am I gonna die trying to find my happy ending?” This song is for anyone who has navigated through life while constantly searching for something to make them feel whole and as if they were finally living rather than just existing. Below, you can read more about the making of this song while also taking a listen and watching her live VEVO performance of this masterpiece of a song.
While starring in her Disney Channel show, Hannah Montana, and playing the lead role in the movie The Last Song, Miley Cyrus also remained a huge pop star throughout the 2010s. Her two well-known albums Can’t Be Tamed and Bangerz provided the pop world with a new, more grown-up side of Miley. From my perspective, the best songs to come from Bangerz included the album’s singles, We Can’t Stop, Adore You, and Wrecking Ball, as well as My Darlin’, Someone Else, and Love Money Party.
Miley also released two other albums during this time, including Younger Now in 2017 and SHE IS COMING in 2019, although these were not as big of a hit as her previous two albums. From the Younger Now album, there was only one song that appeared to spark interest to mainstream pop music – with that being Malibu, where fans have speculated that Miley is singing about now ex-husband, Liam Hemsworth.
While SHE IS COMING did not receive any huge awards or an immense amount of recognition, Miley provided listeners with a different sound in this album and leaned slightly into her rock vocals. A few worth listening to from this album include Mother’s Daughter, Unholy, and D.R.E.A.M.
An all-time favorite song by Miley Cyrus would have to be Someone Else from her Bangerz album. The lyrics of this song describe the experience of enduring a painful love that changes you as whole. At the end of the song, Miley describes just how painful “love” can be as she references biblical scripture of love just before the lyrics shift to the complete opposite and reference what the other side of “love” can be as she sings, “Love is patient, love is selfless, love is hopeful, love is kind” and then, “Love is jealous, love is selfish, love is helpless, love is blind.”
Bringing five amazing albums to the 2010s, Taylor Swift was for sure one of the biggest hits in the pop music industry during this time. The albums Speak Now, Red, 1989, Reputation, and Lover provided the singer with not only multiple Grammy nominations, but also several Grammy awards. Although many may think of her music as a bore due to writing ongoing songs about ex-boyfriends, Taylor offered her fans and other listeners with much more throughout these albums – songs to jam to about yes, ex-boyfriends, but also previous feuds, love stories, growing up, life lessons, and more. Whether you need to cry about a past relationship, feel butterflies for your current love, or jam with friends or by yourself to uplift your mood, Taylor has a song (or multiple) for you to choose from throughout these albums.
As I have always been a fan of Taylor Swift, I have to say that I am more of a fan of her newer albums, Folklore, Evermore, and Midnights. I find it hard to choose a favorite out of ten albums; however, if I had to choose, my favorite Taylor Swift song at the moment would be Midnight Rain. To start with, it for sure has the catchy rhythm and lyrics – but, I enjoy the message of the song, which describes letting go of someone who was good for you as you were not in same headspace and were searching for other things at that current moment.
I’m not quite sure who could not love listening to Adele, especially those who enjoy the deeper lyrics and meanings behind an artist’s songs. Adele released two phenomenal albums during the 2010s, 21 and 25, that left most listeners needing a tissue, bottle of wine, or just some alone time in general. Adele had several hits from these two albums – some to include Rolling in the Deep, Set Fire to the Rain, Rumour Has It, Someone Like You, Hello, and Send My Love (To Your New Lover).
Just like other artists, I find it difficult to choose a “favorite” song from Adele. However, two of my top picks would include Hello and Easy On Me. Hello can be listened to from two different perspectives. The first being from the perspective of an old lover, and the second being from the perspective of one’s inner child.
Either way, the lyrics will hit you right in the heart – but, if you haven’t listened to the song from the view of your inner child, do it. Just make sure there’s some tissue nearby. Easy On Me gave me the same feelings as Hello as Adele sings about previous life experiences, and honestly, the vocals from Adele will just place you in an emotional state without you even asking.
Halsey released her debut album, Badlands, in 2015 and her second album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, in 2017, which both provided pop music fans with some hit songs that contained an alternative pop and electropop vibe. Starting with Badlands, fans (including myself) enjoyed Ghost, Hold Me Down, and Gasoline while Hopeless Fountain Kingdom gave us one of her biggest hits Bad At Love. Halsey’s music is sure to provide listeners with deeper, more meaningful lyrics while also giving a little twist to pop music with her vocals.
My favorite song of Halsey’s would have to be You Should Be Sad as it is a true banger for anyone who has ever experienced heartbreak and all the pain, anger, and overall rage that can come with it. The emotional lyrics not only describe all these feelings, but also make listeners feel as if they are gaining a sense of their power back after the relationship. Speaking of great bangers following a breakup, check out Halsey’s live SNL performance of her hit single Without Me where she brings out an even more artistic, emotional side of herself.
Carrie Underwood may have already been a hot star before 2010, but she sure did continue to shine throughout the 2010. Releasing three albums during this time, Carrie continued providing fans with ongoing hits in Blown Away, Story Teller, and Cry Pretty. As with her previous work, Carrie had several hits stem from these albums, including Good Girl, Good in Goodbye, Dirty Laundry, Blown Away, Church Bells, and Cry Pretty. In more than just her songs, Carrie draws listeners in with her touching vocals that she is always sure to bring each time she makes an appearance on stage.
My favorite song from Carrie Underwood would have to be Cry Pretty. Following a scary fall that caused hospitalization and 40 stitches to her facial area, Carrie came back strong as ever to perform her new single at the time, Cry Pretty, and left everyone teary-eyed and filled with emotions. This song serves as an anthem for anyone struggling to put on a mask to cover up the challenges they may be facing at that very moment. Grab some tissues and watch the clip below from Carrie’s emotional come-back performance at the ACM awards below.
Another country female star who was a huge hit throughout the 2010s would be Miranda Lambert as she released four solo albums, along with three albums in her band, Pistol Annies. Within her music, listeners are sure to hear her fiery, country side in songs, such as Mama’s Broken Heart, Little Red Wagon, and Somethin’ Bad. However, Miranda also brings out a less fiery side in some of her hits, such as Tin Man and Vice where we get to hear deeper, more emotional lyrics from her.
My forever favorite song by Miranda Lambert is Vice. Throughout this song, the lyrics describe one self-reflecting and gaining self-awareness of one’s own toxic and unhealthy patterns when it comes to interpersonal relationships. For those who may have a history or current pattern of running to things that probably should avoid during challenging times, this is an anthem for you.
Starting off with her debut album, Yours Truly, Ariana Grande was a darling addition to the pop music industry throughout the 2010s. In addition to her first album, Ariana released four albums following her initial work and made sure to hit the charts with each of them. Throughout these albums, my personal favorites to jam to, cry to, or just simply enjoy include the following: The Way, Problem, Dangerous Woman, Side to Aide, God is a woman, breathin, and no tears left to cry.
Following multiple traumatic experiences, including the bombing at her Manchester concert and death of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, Ariana showed the world the amount of strength she gained through it all as she released thank u, next in 2019. While the title track of this album was for sure a banger to all those needing a break-up hit song, this album shows a more vulnerable and fragile side to Ariana in songs, such as ghostin and needy.
My favorite song by Ariana Grande over the last few years comes from her thank u, next album and is titled needy. While having catchy lyrics to sing along to, the song also offers lyrics that express a “neediness” to receive emotional support from a partner – in doing so, I think that Ariana portrayed the meaning of the song beautifully and allowed listeners to feel okay with needing and asking for support in relationships.
Hitting the charts as soon as her debut album, Animal, was released in 2010, Kesha was nothing short of a popstar throughout this time period. Bringing in four albums during this time, she offered pop music fans ongoing hits to jam to with their friends. Some of her biggest hits that arose from these albums were Tik Tok, Blah Blah Blah, We R Who We R, Blow, Cannibal, and Die Young. If you needed a song to instantly uplift your mood, Kesha was your girl.
However, while known for her various upbeat songs, my favorite song of Kesha’s continues to be one that is quite different than the others. In 2017, Kesha released Praying, a single on her newest album, Rainbow, at the time. In this song, Kesha gave her fans and listeners around the world a change of tone as this heart-felt survivor anthem served as her enormous “Screw you” to Dr. Luke, who was allegedly abusive and controlling towards Kesha.
Lana Del Rey
Following the hit of her Video Games music video in 2011, Lana Del Rey sparked her breakthrough in music. Between 2012 and 2019, Lana released multiple albums and hit singles that formed a rather large fan base for herself. Although sometimes included in the pop music world, Lana really gives her fans and music listeners vibes of indie rock in her songs – a nice artist to listen to as you’re strolling along in the car with or without others.
Some of her best hits in the 2010s include Video Games, National Anthem, Radio, Summertime Sadness, Young and Beautiful, Cherry, Venice Bitch, Norman fucking Rockwell. My favorite Lana song would have to be Radio. Overall, the song gives off a catchy vibe and is a banger to sing along to.
Another great addition to the female pop world during the 2010s was Selena Gomez. While her overall albums may have not received a large amount of recognition, she was able to hit charts with songs, such as Come & Get It, Hands To Myself, and Same Old Love. While not released during the 2010s, my all-time favorite Selena Gomez song is Lose You To Love Me.
Throughout this song, Selena shares heart-wrenching, tear-jerking lyrics that describe the immense pain one must sometimes feel when leaving behind a relationship that was deeply desired. However, the overall message of this song describes the necessity of leaving said relationship as one must close some doors to be able to open future doors.
Entering the music industry at a young age, Billie Eilish hit the mainstream music world following the performance and online release of Ocean Eyes in 2017. Between 2017 and 2019, Billie went on to release several additional hits in her 2019 album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?. Some of her hits that were able to rack up Grammy awards included bad guy, you should see me in a crown, when the party’s over, and all the good girls go to hell. While upholding a spot in pop music, Billie also gives off a dark, indie, emo, and alternative pop vibe to her music while allowing listeners to deeply feel each set of lyrics that her songs offer.
While not one of her biggest hits, my favorite song from Billie Eilish is Hostage, which was released in 2017. What makes this my favorite song is not just the different, yet immaculate vocals, but the intense and dark lyrics of the song and how Billie chose to describe such a profound desire for one’s lover.
In 2010, Nicki Minaj released her debut album, Pink Friday, and it did not take long for Hip-Hop and Rap music lovers to fall straight in love with her. Nicki quickly received and earned the name “Queen of Rap” as she provided fans with nonstop hit singles, outstanding performances, and overall bangers to just turn the volume up and be free. A few of her best hits from these albums will include Roman’s Revenge, Super Bass, Moment 4 Life, Fly, Feeling Myself, Anaconda, Bed of Lies, Pills N Potions, and Only.
My favorite song by Nicki Minaj is Fly. When listening to the lyrics of this song, Nicki always puts me in my feelings with the deeper lyrics in each of the verses; however, I always enjoy the uplifting, warrior-like lyrics that can be sung in the chorus – specifically, “I came to win, to survive, to prosper, to rise, to fly.”
Less than a decade following Nicki Minaj’s breakthrough, the Hip-Hop and Rap world gained an additional star – Cardi B. In 2018, Cardi released her well-known album, Invasion of Privacy, and never turned back. Through her album and collaborations with other artists, Cardi B became what some would consider Nicki Minaj’s arch revival. Nonetheless, both are amazing artists who have much to offer the music industry.
Some of Cardi’s greatest hits throughout the 2010s include the following: Bodak Yellow, Best Life, I Like It, Money, Press, and WAP. One thing that fans all across the world love most about Cardi is her persistent care-free, bluntly honest, cheerful, and positive attitude that she brings through her music and overall character.
My favorite song from Cardi B would have to be Best Life. I have the best memories that I will forever cherish of being in my early 20’s and singing along to this song while being 100% carefree with old friends – and truly living our BEST lives.
While not a bigger star, Kehlani is an artist who I discovered and found amazing in the last few years of the 2010s. Although she is featured in other artists’ songs that are more well-known, Kehlani had a few of her own bangers that came from her SweetSexySavage album that was released in 2017 – a couple to include CRZY and Distraction. However, you may recognize her raspy voice from collaborating with other artists in songs, such as Playinwitme by KYLE, Nights Like This by Ty Dolla $ign, or Ring by Cardi B.
My favorite song of Kehlani’s is not included in any of her own personal hits or collaborations with other artists and is titled The Letter. In this song, listeners are able to hear a more personal and emotional version of Kehlani as the song highlights the experience of yearning for the mother-daughter relationship that every girl dreams of – all while questioning oneself and if one played any role in never receiving the nurturing love that mothers are supposed to provide their daughters with.
Each artist mentioned above definitely deserves a listen. These women provided the music industry with exceptional work throughout the 2010s, and some have continued to do so throughout the 2020s. I hope you will have learned more about these female singers of the 2010s and maybe even discovered a new artist to rock out to.
This article was written by Meagan and edited by Michael.