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16 Pop Albums We Need To Hear in 2016

These are the pop projects that simply must happen this year, from Ariana to Nick to Gaga to Sky. Let’s make it happen, guys!

1 / 16

Rihanna, 'ANTI'

ANTI is coming; we have no idea when, but it’s coming. We also have no idea if it will feature all three previously released singles—“FourFiveSeconds,” “Bitch Better Have My Money” and “American Oxygen”—or none of them. What we do know is that the ANTI world tour is kicking off on Feb. 26.

2 / 16

Fifth Harmony

“We really worked very, very hard on this album, and we wanted to make sure it was perfect, especially coming after Reflection,” Camila Cabello told Fuse in  November. The best way to ensure success in pop music? Hire Max Martin, who worked with the girl group for the first time on #5H2.

3 / 16


Pure Heroine was one of the best debuts of 2013, and Lorde topped the Hot 100 on her first try, with “Royals.” Aside from guesting on a Disclosure single, the New Zealand teen was pretty quiet in 2015… but seems to be in for a huge 2016.

4 / 16

Zayn Malik

After splitting with One Direction and signing with RCA Records, hopes are high for Zayn’s first solo shot, expected to be released in the first half of the year. An R&B-leaning sound is also in the cards, per Malik’s revealing Fader cover story.

5 / 16

Sky Ferreira, 'Masochism'

“I've been working on it the whole time & in 2016 you will hear it,” Sky Ferreira recently wrote of her new music on Instagram. That’s great, because Night Time, My Time was an essential listen, and we need to hear more from this boundary-pushing artist.

6 / 16

Tegan and Sara

Last month, Tegan and Sara announced that they had finished recording the follow-up to 2013’s wondrous Heartthrob, which will likely continue down the pop rabbit hole the long-running sister duo fell down last time around. No release date yet, but it couldn’t come soon enough.

7 / 16

Ariana Grande, 'Moonlight'

Five. That’s how many Top 20 hits Ariana Grande’s sophomore LP, My Everything, spawned. Moonlight, its follow-up, already has one under its belt, with “Focus.” How many more can Grande score? We’re not sure, but we can’t wait to find out.

8 / 16

Gwen Stefani

Gwen’s third studio album will presumably arrive, at long last, in 2016, after a false start with the singles “Baby Don’t Lie” and “Spark The Fire.” Perhaps the recent single “Used To Love You” will spark the real fire for this long-awaited project to see the light of day.

9 / 16

Sia, 'This Is Acting' (1/29)

The follow-up to 1000 Forms of Fear is a concept album featuring songs that Sia wrote for other artists but ended up keeping for her own use. “Alive,” originally designed for Adele, is the lead single; meanwhile, “Reaper” was co-written and co-produced by Kanye West.

10 / 16

Lady Gaga

Gaga’s been recording new solo music in between partnering with Intel, mulling a Cheek To Cheek sequel and snagging a Golden Globe nomination for American Horror Story: Hotel. Three years removed from ARTPOP, it’s high time for the LG comeback.

11 / 16

Britney Spears

“Working hard and hardly working...new album...wheeeee!” Brit tweeted in November, excitedly updating fans on #B9. The pop princess has been busy in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t quiet the anticipation for some new music.

12 / 16

Nick Jonas

The former JoBro broke out with his solo singles “Jealous” and “Chains,” and “Levels” promises big things for his next full-length. Hopefully we’ll have some new music by the time his summer tour with Demi Lovato kicks off.

13 / 16


JoJo told us last month that she’s “essentially wrapping things up” on her long-awaited third album, which will be her first on Atlantic Records. Jo previewed her updated sound with three singles (or a “tringle” for the cool kids) last summer.

14 / 16

Christina Aguilera

Is the follow-up to 2012’s Lotus imminent? Aguilera has been rumored to be working with producers like Pharrell Williams and Harmony Samuels, on a project that will restore her magnificent voice to the pop landscape.

15 / 16

Katy Perry

It’s been almost a year since Katy Perry’s eye-popping Super Bowl performance, and only a holiday song, “Every Day is a Holiday,” came out in 2015. Perhaps this is the year that Prism receives the colorful follow-up it deserves.

16 / 16


In 2014, the Swedish pop star released Do It Again with Röyksopp; in 2015, she released Love Is Free with La Bagatelle Magique. In 2016, could we get… a Robyn solo album, her first since 2010’s Body Talk? If so, we’ll be dancing on our own (and forever).

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Photo of the day

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Chance the Rapper and Iman dance at KENZO x H&M Launch Event Directed By Jean-Paul Goude' at Pier

Oct. 20: Fashion Party

Is there anyone busier than Chance The Rapper these days? Attending fancy State Dinners at the White House with Dad, starring in the best Kit-Kat commercial we’ve ever seen, partying with Beyoncé, and now dancing the night away with the one-and-only Iman! At the KENZO X H&M fashion event Chance rubbed elbows with not only Iman, but with Lupita Nyong’o, Rosario Dawson and Halsey as well. Both Chance and Iman are ambassadors for the KENZO x H&M campaign.