Most Anticipated Albums of 2021: The definition of pop has changed quite a bit throughout the years, perhaps more than any other genre. Although pop and previously popular genres such as R&B suffered from something of a slump several years ago, they’re back in a major way, thanks to rising talents with their own musical twists.
Now, pop leans into adult contemporary (Adele), alternative (Billie Eilish), R&B (Justin Bieber), K-pop (BTS), and beyond. The biggest names in the field that are likely going to drop albums this year represent all the different styles of pop the masses love, and their music will surely brighten 2021.
A healthy mix of legends and newcomers are set to make 2021 one of the best years in a long time for music. Here’s a look at the most anticipated albums coming in 2021.
MOST ANTICIPATED ALBUMS –
Billie Eilish – TBA
Teen sensation Billie Eilish first made a name for herself with her debut EP Don’t Smile at Me and then completely took over the world with her full-length album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, which swept the Grammys about a year ago in historic fashion. The artist is known for some of the darkest and hard-hitting songs being released in recent years. Her song ‘ All Good Girls Go To Hell ‘ stirred up quite a bit of controversy.
Since then, the artist has dropped four songs, and many assume that at least three of them—“Everything I Wanted,” “My Future” and the latest drop “Therefore I Am”—stand a good shot at being featured on her next album. If that ends up being the case, the set has already produced three top 10 smashes, making it one of the most successful pop projects of 2021, even before it has a name.
BTS – TBA
Although it’s barely been 3 months since BTS last released an album, they are already dropping hints for the next one that’s expected in 2021. Honestly, looking at how quickly they churn out new full-lengths, there’s plenty of reason to believe the South Korean superstars will give their ARMY of followers two sets this year. BTS is almost certain to earn another No. 1 on the Billboard 200 when they do share something, and they could collect at least another top 10 hits, if not one more chart-topper on the Hot 100. Their English single, Dynamite, was the ONLY single to sell out one MILLION copies in the U.S. in 2020.
Their new projects always introduce new tones and genres, as well as theories. Armys are already trying to piece together little hints from recent videos and interviews to get an insight into the highly anticipated album.
Adele – TBA
Adele’s albums are always welcome and it looks like 2021 will see the powerhouse finally release her fourth album. The singer let slip at a wedding that her latest full-length album was coming in September 2020, but then coronavirus happened and everything changed. If she was getting ready for a fall release, it’s reasonable to expect she’ll be able to share it at some point in 2021, perhaps when the vaccine has reached enough people, as quarantining seems to be the reason for holding onto the project.
“Everyone expected a sequel to ’25’ before now, as the possibilities for six successive numerical titles came and went.” Adele’s next release, no matter what it ends up being titled, is Variety’s most anticipated album of the year. https://t.co/p7yK8S0WFK pic.twitter.com/Ldy6HA4hjV
— Variety (@Variety) January 11, 2021
Ed Sheeran – TBA
British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran surprised his followers just before Christmas with an early gift: a new single titled “Afterglow.” The song is slowly working its way up charts all around the world, and it has now become a proper hit, especially in his home country. The track could be a standalone tune to keep fans happy as he enjoys being a new dad, or, perhaps more likely, it’s the first taste of a forthcoming album. If that’s the case, 2021 could wind up belonging to Sheeran, as his projects are always massive.
Jonas Brothers – TBA
When the Jonas Brothers made their triumphant return in 2019, fans turned their comeback single “Sucker” into their first No. 1 smash and sent the album it was featured on, Happiness Begins, to the peak position on the Billboard 200 as well. Since then, they’ve doled out a handful of tracks, and considering the fact that two of them became top 40 wins on the Hot 100 (“What a Man Gotta Do” and “X” with Karol G), it’s very possible that a full-length isn’t far behind.
Justin Bieber – TBA
Five years passed between Bieber’s two most recent albums, Purpose, and Changes, but it looks like the pop star doesn’t intend to wait that long before dropping another full-length. After spinning his last single off of Changes, Bieber scored another No. 1 alongside Ariana Grande on “Stuck With U,” which was originally intended to be featured on a coronavirus charity album…which sadly never materialized.
His latest solo single “Anyone” is headed for a lofty debut on next week’s Hot 100. It’s not clear which tracks will appear on his next album and which will be saved for other projects, but Bieber is certainly keeping busy.
Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over The Country Club
Originally scheduled for a September 2020 release, Lana Del Rey’s Chemtrails Over The Country Club was one of many full-lengths that were pushed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The set doesn’t have a new date, but the singer has revealed it is coming this year, and two singles—”Let Me Love You Like a Woman” and the title track—have already arrived.
Beyoncé – TBA
It’s hard to believe that Beyoncé’s last solo traditional album Lemonade was released in 2016, so she is long overdue for another. In the years since that title rocked the world, she has dropped a live set, worked hard on the soundtrack to the new Lion King film, and released a joint record with Jay-Z as The Carters…but on her own, it’s been somewhat quiet.
In 2020 Bey did score another No. 1 alongside Megan Thee Stallion and a top 40 smash with her solo cut “Black Parade,” but it doesn’t seem likely they will be present on her next album…which just means there’s even more music to look forward to.
— Mike Adam (@MikeAdamOnAir) January 10, 2021
Rihanna – TBA
People (myself included) have been suggesting that Rihanna’s new album is coming soon for years now, and 2021 could finally see the set see the light of day…or it could come and go without new tunes. The untitled full-length is reportedly going to feature quite a bit of dancehall and will be inspired by her Caribbean roots, but nobody has heard anything yet, even if RiRi keeps talking about how it’s on the way. It’s possible that if Rihanna does drop the album, it might just become the most talked-about album of 2021.
SZA – TBA
SZA established herself as one of the most exciting new voices in R&B several years ago when she released her debut album Ctrl. Since then, she’s mostly teamed up with other musicians on their singles, and fans have been waiting patiently for another album from the somewhat elusive talent.
Recently, SZA has shared two solo singles—”Hit Different” with Ty Dolla $ign and her own “Good Days”—and both have risen into the top 40 on the Hot 100 without issue, showing just how great the appetite is for new music. Another full-length could help her reach new heights, both commercially and artistically.
Several other artists may be planning to drop an album of their own too, such as Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, and Drake.
— NMCaviar (@nmcaviar) January 9, 2021
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