15 moments that defined music in 2015

2015. It’s been a blast, really.

The year has not disappointed in terms of big music stories, whether it was full-on musical feuds, unlikely presidential candidates or potential heists featuring Bill Murray.

Here’s hoping we get more of the bizarre in the next 12 months.

We look back on some of the biggest moments in music from 2015.

1. Sam Smith borrowed from Tom Petty

After 2014 saw Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke feel the wrath of Marvin Gaye’s family for floating a little too close to ‘Got to Give it Up’ with their hit single ‘Blurred Lines’, January saw the turn of British ballad man Sam Smith to face accusations of song-theft. Smith was accused of copying a melody on ‘Stay With Me’ from Tom Petty’s 1989 track ‘I Won’t Back Down’.

YouTuber ‘envanligfjant’ went on to put together a handy mix to point out those melodic similarities, with Smith eventually conceding that it was a ‘complete coincidence’ and giving the Heartbreaker a song-writing credit.

2. Madonna learned about ‘no capes’ the hard way

Oh Madge, did you never watch The Incredibles?

3. The Tidal launch was a cringe-fest

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Despite lining up pop music’s version of The Avengers, the announcement of Jay-Z’s subscription streaming service was not quite as smooth as hoped. There was Calvin Harris being beamed in via Skype, some awkward exchanges between Madonna and DeadMau5 and then the fact that nobody actually knows anybody who signed up.

4. The Apple Music launch was way more fun

The Apple nerds proved that technology really is the new rock n’ roll, during the announcement of Apple Music at their latest digital summit. There were high-fives, Ric Flair ‘woos’ and an appearance from Drake in a retro ’90s Apple employee jacket (frankly, the most fire piece of clothing of the year).

5. Kanye West headlined Glastonbury (and the fall-out was huge)

Kanye West, Glastonbury

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Remember when Kanye West was announced as the Glasto headliner and even your Nan had an opinion on it? The hip-hop star’s place on the Pyramid Stage caused thousands of Courteeners fans to frantically sign an e-petition asking for him to be removed from the bill. Everyone piled in on Yeezy – from Slipknot to The Who.

But the controversial headline act went ahead with his show, complete with stage run-ins and huge lighting rigs, despite the whining of some attendees – and the verdict on whether West’s performance was a triumph or trash is still open to debate (hint: it was f******g brilliant).

6. Dave Grohl built a throne

After taking a dramatic fall at gig in Sweden and breaking his leg, you could forgive Dave Grohl for deciding to call it a day on his future dates. Not our Dave. Once the nicest man in rock n’ roll had his leg suitably plastered, he continued to perform with the Foo Fighters whilst on a specially built throne of guitars. Speaking to an audience in Washington D.C, Grohl admitted that the idea of the throne came to him ‘high as a kite’ in hospital. Strong accessory work.

7. Billy Corgan really didn’t enjoy Disneyland

Billy Corgan Disneyland

Corgan really wasn’t messing when he wrote about ‘infinite sadness’. As his trip to Disneyland pictured above proves. 

8. Morrissey released a novel about a haunted relay team


It’s been a suitably tough year for Steven Patrick Morrissey. After claiming to have played his ‘last ever’ live shows in the UK following ongoing disputes with his record company, the indie Godfather turned his hand to literature with his first work of fiction, Life of the Lost. Unfortunately, the story of a 1970s American relay team who anger an evil spirit didn’t go on to be receive the plaudits that Moz would have hoped, even picking up the Bad Sex Award for his lines on ‘giggling snowballs of full-figured copulation’.

9. Paul Daniels starred in a music video

Okay, so maybe the pint-sized magician’s cameo in the video for Swim Deep’s bright and poppy ‘Namaste’ wasn’t quite up there with the launch of Apple Music… but it was definitely one of our favourites. If this isn’t enough to get Daniels a spot back on prime-time TV, then we don’t know what is.

10. Drake reinvented Dad Dancing

It’s hard to argue against Drake being the biggest story of the year. Not only did the Toronto artist’s feud with Meek Mill become of the biggest hip-hop feuds in recent hip-hop history (drive-by shootings well and truly replaced by online memes) but the release of the music video for ‘Hotline Bling’ saw parodies galore of Drake’s finest dance moves.

11. Adele released 25, ‘ripped off’ everyone

With the song police already on high alert this year following Sam Smith and Tom Petty locking horns over a melody from 30 years ago, many were looking for the next artist attempting to swindle some tunes.

With Adele apparently being the biggest artist in the world right now, following her new album 25 smashing all previous sales records and selling out European and US tours in a matter of minutes – the Essex-born singer was accused of ripping off Tom Waits, Lionel Richie and a Kurdish guy from the Seventies all in one album. Erm, we didn’t agree with any of the accusations.

12. Wu-Tang Clan sold their ‘two million dollar’ album

wu-tang clan album

The concept of a one-off Wu-Tang album being sold for millions of dollars was described as “fucking stupid” – and that was by someone who featured on it.

It turned out that the record, which apparently won’t be released to the public for another 88 years, had been purchased by pharmaceutical CEO and world’s most hated man Martin Shkreli, much to the disappointment and anger of many Wu fans.

After briefly having our hopes lifted by a fake contractual clause, which would allow the Clan and Bill Murray to steal the album back in an elaborate heist, the news that Shrkeli was arrested by the FBI gave many hope that Once Upon A Time In Shaolin may find itself in better hands again soon.

13. Prince announced, postponed, then cancelled his tour

The UK as a whole nearly imploded following the news that His Royal Purpleness had a number of intimate shows planned for Glasgow, London and Birmingham. After briefly postponing ticket sales following complaints of online touts, Prince then cancelled the tour altogether in a fairly cryptic fashion. No Purple Christmas for us this year.

14. Eagles of Death Metal delivered an inspiring message of hope after the Bataclan attacks


Following the news of the horrific attacks in Paris. Eagles of Death Metal released a statement of solidarity with the people of France ending with ““Vive la musique, vive la liberté, vive la France, and vive EODM”.

The band members also went back to the scene to pay their respects, appeared live on stage in the French Capital with U2 and have arranged a rescheduled Parisian tour date – truly crowning them the heroes of 2015.

15. Frank Ocean didn’t release anything

Frank Ocean’s new album was due out in July. July came and went. 2015 came and went. Still no album.

How you gonna play us, Frank?

What was your biggest music moment of 2015? Let us know on Twitter at @WOW247music or comment on our Facebook page