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2015 was a big year for music, but it was the ladies that really took the cake when it came to making the best pop records. From Adele to Grimes to Ryn Weaver, the women of the music industry made sure that the pop scene was no longer dominated by a boys’ club. While we prepare ourselves for the records of 2016 (will Rihanna ever release her’s?!), see which women ruled pop in 2015 below.
1. Carly Rae Jepsen
Forget if you were pro or anti “Call Me Maybe,” it’s hard to deny that Carly made a huge mark in the pop world this year. Carly might have actually made the best damn pop album of 2015. Although she was snubbed for a Grammy this year, she’s won an honorary one in our hearts.
It was refreshing to see such an outspoken, dynamic talent breakout this year. Halsey garnered a cult-like following for her brutally honest lyrics and openness about sexuality, mental illness and fame. Her debut BADLANDS is one record you don’t want to sleep on.
One of the most talked-about artists of the year was Grimes—her record was an innovative California, sun-soaked pop opus that showed off Claire Boucher’s talent for nonsensical lyrics and on-point production. We’re pretty sure she even converted non-Grimes fans with Art Angels.
4. Ryn Weaver
Ryn Weaver’s debut album The Fool was one of the most anticipated debuts back in 2014. While it’s not up for any Grammy’s, Weaver’s falsetto hooks and raw songwriting wooed us. We can’t wait to see what music she puts out next.
5. Selena Gomez
2015 was the year that Selena Gomez found her voice. Her latest record Revival balances heartfelt ballads with pop bangers. Though we were really jazzed for Demi Lovato’s record, it was Gomez’s that won us over this year.
6. Seinabo Sey
The three year wait was worth it for Seinabo Sey fans. Her much-anticipated debut Pretend features R&B-infused pop gems accompanied by incredibly soulful vocals. Sweden still has the best pop exports around.
7. Ellie Goulding
While Ellie Goulding toyed with electronica and folk music over the years, Delirium is the first purely pop record she’s released. She tackles sexuality and love gracefully, and just makes us want more.
After 5 years of waiting, we were finally able to say “hello” once again to Queen Adele. With 25, Adele returns with songs of heartbreak, nostalgia for lost love, and something new, resolution.
9. Alessia Cara
At 19-years-old, Alessia Cara created the anthemic pop song for the in-betweeners. Her debut features her giant vocals and soulful pop melodies. It’s a record that’s close to our hearts.
10. Jess Glynne
Brit-soul singer Jess Glynne may have surfaced as the vocalist on Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be,” but on her debut record I Cry When I Laugh, Jess stands solidly on her own. When we listen to her gorgeous vocals, we can’t help but be reminded of Amy Winehouse.