10 Artists That Will Still Matter in 30 Years

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Yep: Odd Future.
One of the most interesting discussions we heard at the SF MusicTech Summit yesterday was about which artists of today will still matter -- will be remembered and talked about and referred to -- in 30 years. The question was originally raised by NPR critic Ann Powers on Twitter, expanded on here, and it came up yesterday on a panel of four middle-aged white guys and one middle-aged black woman who works for a major label.

Their answers included Dave Matthews Band, the Shins, Radiohead, My Morning Jacket, and Beck. Which, ugh. Radiohead is obvious, but the rest of these predictions seem both outdated (read: old) and also a little off. Everything rests on your definition of "matter" of course -- as of 2012, various interested parties haven't yet forgotten Donnie Osmond, on one hand, or the Normal on the other. (And Powers, for what it's worth, originally just asked about pop stars.) But the spirit of the question seems to be which artists of today will have an impact that's still remembered three decades from now. Here are 10 recent artists we think will do that. It's not a complete list, but it's a start.

First, five obvious ones that aren't Radiohead:

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5. Daft Punk
Coachella '06 -- or any of the stops on the band's Alive 2007 tour -- will be remembered as one of the main events that lured a generation of young Americans into the clutches of European-style dance music. The current EDM boom is sure to fade eventually, but Daft Punk's legacy won't.

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4. Taylor Swift
Total packages like Swift don't come around that often. By 2042, the novelty of Swift's young age will have gone, but she'll be 52 years old, probably still putting out compact country-pop tunes about the latest jerk to break her heart.

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3. Kanye West
We often remember the heroes, but no one forgets the villains. Especially when their list of megahits is as long as Yeezy's.

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2. Jay-Z
From the streets to Carnegie Hall, no rapper has ascended to the mainstream consciousness of America like Jay-Z. As the assimilator-in-chief, Hova's place in history is assured.

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1. Lady Gaga
Duh. If people aren't still getting down to the "Bad Romance" video in 2042, it'll be because the oceans have drowned us all. Your kid will probably go to retro-cool Lady Gaga club nights in Shanghai, or whatever megalopolis they spend their 20s in.

And now for some less obvious predictions:

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13 comments
nospam
nospam

Daft Punk? Taylor Swift? Kayne West? Jay-Z? Lady Gaga?

What the hell are you smoking?

jmanley92
jmanley92

none of these people matter now...i mean, seriously???

John LaForgia
John LaForgia

As much as I hate to admit it, I think Lady Gaga is the ONLY ONE on that list that HAS a chance. =/ I won't say who's bad or good on there (different strokes for different folks, and all), but I think she might be remembered just for so out there (even if Madonna did it first...and Bjork...and Cindy Lauper...).

philipthemholes
philipthemholes

Okay, after seeing page 2, I know you have the worst taste in the world. Probably not the person who should be predicting what will succeed in the future.

philipthemholes
philipthemholes

Jay Z, GAga and Kanye? Who the fuck writes this trash?

inakjosh
inakjosh

Do you seriously just post articles like this to piss REAL music fans off? To say Jay-Z or Lady Gaga are legends? moron

Victoria Savage
Victoria Savage

I could never get the image of her wearing raw meat out of my mind. No way.

SolwaveBand
SolwaveBand

@SFAllShookDown interesting list... T-swift may run out of 3 chord variations by then

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