Many Americans don’t know the names of the country’s most popular bands over the past several years. The most successful bands are the most famous of all time, they assume. Many of the best-selling bands did begin their runs years ago. Among those that have done the best in terms of album sales are the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles and Pink Floyd.
Another reason people assume older bands are wildly successful is that bands that have been around for decades continue to tour. The Rolling Stones have been on the road since the early 1960s. Mick Jagger was born in 1943.
However, the past decade has produced some remarkably successful bands. Rap, indie rock, electronic, country and all sorts of combinations of them have dominated the charts over the past 10 years. Big trends included the return of traditional instruments like mandolin and banjo in indie rock by the likes of Mumford and Sons and Vance Joy and the meteoric rise of K-pop and reggaeton on the world stage. Meanwhile, rap music became the most listened to genre in the United States.
To determine which band has had the most success over the past decade, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on chart performance, certified album and single sales, monthly Spotify listeners and Wikipedia pageviews.
Many of the musicians we considered got their start in previous decades but had big moments in the past 10 years. Some groups, like Blink-182 and Paramore, have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Others had a couple massive hit songs that were enough to land them on this list. Big names like One Direction and the Jonas Brothers had their moment in the sun, but the former is now on indefinite hiatus and the latter broke up in 2013, before reuniting in 2019 and releasing a song that became their first No. 1 Billboard single.
The data considered were for the period between August 2011 and September 2021. An inverted ranking of a band’s performance on the Billboard Hot 100 (giving a song at position No. 100 for one week one point, a song at position No. 99 two points, and so on up to a song at position No. 1 worth 100 points) was computed and given full weight. A band’s total certified U.S. album and single sales came from the Recording Industry Association of America and were each given half weight. Average monthly Spotify listener count and daily Wikipedia pageview count came from music data platform Chartmetric and were given full weight. Only bands with at least three songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the past 10 years were included.
The most successful band of the past 10 years is Imagine Dragons. Here are the details:
- Billboard Hot 100 performance in the past 10 years: 16 songs, 446 weeks
- Most successful single of the past 10 years: Radioactive
- Certified unit sales in the past 10 years: 5 million albums, 32 million singles
- Monthly Spotify listeners: 39.5 million
- Daily Wikipedia pageviews: 3,233