2022 Year In Review: The Biggest Music Moments

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2022 was an interesting time in the world of music.

There really wasn’t a “Song of the year,” at that we’ve previously had. There was no “Gangnam Style,” or Pharrell’s “Happy,” that people would hear so much that it would make you nauseous.

It also was the first significant return of bands since the pandemic shut down the live event industry for years. For many major markets, it seemed like there was a concert every single night of the week as artists and bands scrambled to try and recoup lost money and do what they love to do again.

This past year also saw the music industry and some artists colliding headfirst into the political, financial and technological world, much of it led by TikTok’s influence in the music realm.

From sad moments like the passing of one of the best rock drummers to ever hit a snare, to a one-time rap superstar losing his mind and throwing his career away with anti-Semitic statements, we’ll take a look back at the music that was of 2022.

So kick back, crack a beer and throw on your Spotify as you jam out to some of these artists that we’ll reflect on.

Taylor Swift dominated the music world in 2022. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

TAYLOR SWIFT DOMINATES

2022 will go down as the year that Taylor Swift solidified herself into music history. The impact of her #1 selling new album “Midnights,” became a social media and viral sensation.

For the first time in Billboard history, Swift had all the Top 10 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Taylor Swift literally had 10 songs that were bigger than any other songs in the world at the time and had them all chart the week after her album came out. That’s unheard of.

This past year transcended Taylor Swift from being a popular artist into an international superstar.

How do we know this? Just look at the global hysteria after Ticketmaster botched the on sale of her upcoming tour.

TICKETMASTER WAS A LOSER OF THE YEAR

One of the biggest stories of the past year in the music world and beyond happened just a few months ago when Ticketmaster absolutely screwed up the Taylor Swift presale.

When time came for a limited amount of pre-approved fans to have an opportunity to purchase tickets for Swift’s upcoming Eras Tour, crap hit the fan.

Blaming an “unexpected high demand” of people wanting Swift tickets, the Ticketmaster website crashed. There were virtual lines that lasted for hours only for fans to then get booted and many of the presale passwords didn’t even work.

The result was a public relations disaster which I covered multiple times here on OutKick.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Ticketmaster in the new year. Congress has called for investigations and further insight into what went wrong – with some like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling their business relationship with Live Nation a monopoly. Additionally, we’ll see if some bands opt out from working with Ticketmaster due to the bad optics.

Something tells me Ticketmaster will also be one of the major stories in 2023 too.

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins passed away this past year due to an unknown heart condition and drugs that were also found in his system. Photo by JAVIER TORRES/AFP via Getty Images)

FOO FIGHTERS DRUMMER TAYLOR HAWKINS PASSED AWAY

Despite all the highs of 2022, there were definitely some low and terrible moments as well.

One of those was the unexpected passing of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. The announcement shook the music world as Hawkins was known as one of the best drummers of all time – especially in the rock world.

Two tribute concerts were held to honor Taylor’s legacy – one in London and one in California. The result? Some of the best living musicians and songwriters playing music to honor their friend, the Foo Fighters, fans and family. Everyone from Queen to Paul McCartney performed before the Foo Fighters emotionally played a set for their longtime drummer.

The concert brought one of the most viral music moments of the past year – when Hawkins’ son came out and played drums with the band and absolutely crushed it.

COUNTRY MUSIC WORLD MOURNS THE LOSS OF NAOMI JUDD

Country music also lost one of its’ iconic stars, after Naomi Judd tragically passed away from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Her death coming just a few weeks after she and daughter Wynonna appeared on the CMT Music Awards for the duo’s first live performance in over two decades.

Naomi died the day before her and her daughter were set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

EMO MUSIC’S NOT DEAD

This past year will definitely be known as the return of emo music for a whole generation of fans that grew up wearing skinny jeans and Vans sneakers in the early 2000’s.

Yes, this past year we saw the return of many pop punk bands that sang some of the most melodic (and at times annoying) choruses that one can’t help singalong to when they hear it today.

Bands like Paramore, Yellowcard, The Academy Is, Midtown and more reunited for the first time in years.

My Chemical Romance officially returned and set off an absolute frenzy as they sold out their entire U.S. arena tour.

One of the biggest moments for the pop punk scene however had to be when hundreds of thousands of people descended upon Las Vegas for When We Were Young Festival. It featured bands like Paramore, Jimmy Eat World, Avril Lavigne, My Chemical Romance and many more.

As someone who went to multiple dates of the festival, I can attest that the emo’s were so damn emo throughout the shows. We were just jamming out and singing all the songs that were the soundtrack to our generation. It was a damn PARTY.

And if THAT wasn’t enough for the emo revival… this past year we also saw the return of Blink-182 with original co-singer and guitarist Tom Delonge, who has spent the last decade chasing aliens (literally)

TikTok continued its rise to prominence across the music industry. (Photo Illustration by Stanislav Kogiku/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

TIKTOK RUNS THE MUSIC WORLD

Continuding its’ trend in recent years, TikTok once again became the go to destination for people to discover new music. The controversial app solidified itself as one of the most important ways for bands and artists to release new music – and most importantly, get people talking about it.

One thing we also saw this past year was TikTok bringing back old songs to a whole new generation of listeners who had never heard them before.

Suddenly bands that had been around for years were having songs on the Billboard main charts again. The correlation between the social media app and music and pop culture and being a trendsetter definitely was prevalent throughout the year.

However, with TIkTok facing much more scrutiny including from our federal government and rumors about a possible ban of the app here in America, the future is uncertain. If the app goes away, it would cause absolute chaos across the music industry and beyond.

AND OF COURSE, KANYE WEST…

If we’re going to talk about the past year in music, we have to talk about the absolute disaster that was Kanye West.

Kanye, who now goes by “Ye” was able to piss off everyone this year – offending and saying some of the most repulsive things ever, including praising Nazis. Eventually even his long time supporters weren’t able to defend him or want to be associated with him anymore.

The one-time star rapper and songwriter completely ruined his career this past year. He went from being a wildcard that people would pay attention to “just to see what he’s going to do or say next,” to now being a pariah.

His anti-Semitic rants were not only deeply offensive, but his reluctance to admit any wrongdoing has made him indefensible.

In a matter of just a few weeks in 2022, Kanye managed to destroy everything he worked so hard for.

WHAT WILL 2023 BRING?

2023 will showcase some of the biggest names in music releasing new music. We already know of new albums coming out from the likes of Shania Twain, Pink, Paramore, The Smashing Pumpkins, Kelly Clarkson, Ed Sheeran, Metallica, Selena Gomez, Peter Gabriel and even Jennifer Lopez!

I expect country music to continue to crossover into both the pop-centric and rock world. Artists like Jelly Roll and Kane Brown are rocking out with electric guitars and more bands will follow suit.

However one of the biggest stories to keep an eye on will be the music industry’s reliance on TikTok. What would actually happen if the social media platform does shut down? The seismic shift would affect everyone from the DIY artist at home all the way up to the executive suites in Times Square. It really would be chaos – likening it to the end of Napster during the mp3 boom.

One thing’s for certain however. You can expect 2023 to continue to have artists cheating on their marriage, musicians publicly bickering on social media with each other, Ticketmaster to continue to the most hated service on the planet and all sorts of other drama.

Roll the windows down and get ready for it. I can’t wait.

Make sure to follow and tweet me @TheGunzShow and let me know what your favorite music stories were from the past year

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.

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