In 2021, heartbreak reigned supreme (at least in the world of music). It all started only a week into the year, when an artist by the name of Olivia Rodrigo dropped “Driver’s License.” The piano ballad—which spoke of suburban malaise and first flames—had a certain pull that resonated with everyone from Gen Z teens who had never been behind the wheel to millennials who remembered a time before aux cords. It was a winning formula too—the song shot to number one on the charts and shattered Spotify records, making Rodrigo the youngest artist to ever debut atop the chart. And the trend only picked up steam from there.
Along with Rodrigo’s heartache, last year saw the return of beloved stars like Adele and Kacey Musgraves, who publicly sang about their divorces for the first time, releasing short films and Oprah interviews that telecasted their stories to millions. Taylor Swift released a ten-minute version of one of her most acclaimed breakup songs and sent it to number one. Billie Eilish said she was “happier than ever” without her boyfriend and TikTok users turned it into a trend.
However, while the last twelve months have been defined by breakup songs, 2022 will certainly cause a shift in the music industry. It won't necessarily bring the end of tearful tunes and breakup anthems, but these songs are bound to take a new shape. In a world that is desperate to have some fun again (and one that experts claim will be soon be like a new-age Roaring ’20s), prepare yourself for our 2022 prediction: Artists will be crafting songs for our return to the dance floor (even if we don't actually physically make it there quite yet).