Main Street Recommends


By Published On: December 1st, 2023

Every year, we’re gifted with a variety of new music. New singles, new albums, re-releases, reunion tours … you name it, we got it this year. Aside from a bunch of new stuff to listen to, we also lost plenty of talented individuals who changed the music industry in ways that are hard to articulate. Here are some of music’s most memorable moments (in my humble opinion) throughout 2023. 


The year kicked off to a solid start. Miley Cyrus released her first single since 2021, “Flowers,” which went on to break multiple Spotify records, including the most-streamed song in one week. U2 announced the release of its new album Songs of Surrender, a 40-track album of re-imagined and re-worked versions of their most iconic songs. 2021 Eurovision Song Contest winners and Italian rock band Måneskin released its the studio album, Rush! It was the band’s “debut international album,” with 14 of the songs written and sung in English and three in Italian. 


Paramore released its first studio album in six years, This is Why. The 65th Grammy Awards took place in Los Angeles, CA, where Beyoncé and Maverick City Music took home the most awards. At the Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, AZ, Chris Stapleton performed the National Anthem, Sheryl Lee Ralph performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and Rihanna performed the halftime show. 


Taylor Swift began her record-breaking Eras tour in March, and the select Swifties who were able to get tickets rejoiced, while the majority cried and cursed ticket-selling websites for price-gouging. The tour has taken the cake for being the highest-grossing solo tour in a single year. Continuing her journey of re-recording her entire discography, she released Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) in July and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) in October. 

Also in March, Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks officially launched their “Two Icons, One Night” tour in Inglewood, CA. The nine-date tour spanned the United States, with stops in Nashville, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Minneapolis, among others. 


Harry Belafonte passed away at the age of 96. Perhaps best known for songs like “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and “Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora),” Belafonte was credited with introducing calypso music, a style of Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago, to international audiences in the 1950s and 1960s. Over the course of his life, he won three Grammy Awards, an Emmy, a Tony, and an Oscar, making him one of the few performers to be a part of the esteemed EGOT category. He was also a Kennedy Center Honoree and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1994. 


Rock and roll powerhouse Tina Turner passed away in May at her home in Switzerland. After suffering from a variety of illnesses in her later years, including high blood pressure, kidney failure, and intestinal cancer, she passed at the age of 83. During her tenure as a musician, she sold more than 100 million records worldwide, received 12 Grammy Awards, and was the first Black artist and first woman to grace the cover of Rolling Stone. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, with Ike Turner in 1991 and as a solo artist in 2021, and was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and Woman of the Year award in 2005.


The Foo Fighters released But Here We Are, its first album following the unexpected loss of drummer Taylor Hawkins in March of 2022. Dave Grohl performed and recorded all of the album’s drum tracks – his first drumming credit on a Foo Fighters album since 2005. Naturally, the major theme of the album is dealing with grief, which Dave Grohl suffered in a double-whammy in 2022 with the loss of Taylor and Grohl’s his mother, Virginia. The album is not only a poignant and emotional journey through the band’s grief, but it’s also one of the Foo’s strongest albums to date, despite the Taylor Hawkins-sized missing piece of the puzzle. The Foo’s website states that the album, “marks the band’s return after a year of staggering losses, personal introspection, and bittersweet remembrances … But Here We Are is the sound of brothers finding refuge in the music that brought them together in the first place 28 years ago, a process that was as therapeutic as it was about a continuation of life.” 

Billy Joel announced an end to his historic and iconic monthly Madison Square Garden residency in New York City, with the final show taking place in July of 2024. The residency spanned the course of ten years, and Joel said that he’s “kinda flabbergasted that it did last as long as it did,” during a press conference. “My team tells me that we could continue to sell tickets, but ten years, 150 shows – all right already!” 


New York icon and jazz singer Tony Bennett passed away in July at the age of 96. Over the course of his life he won 20 Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Primetime Emmy Awards. He was also named a Kennedy Center Honoree and founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens. He sold more than 50 million records worldwide and broke the record for the longest run of a top-10 album on the Billboard 200 chart. His first record was in 1962, and his last, Love for Sale, was released in collaboration with Lady Gaga in 2021. With this release, he also broke the Guinness Book of World Record for the oldest person to release an album of new material at 95 years old. 


Irish musician Hozier released his third studio album, Unreal Unearth. In an interview with Rolling Stone UK, he said that he wrote much of the album during the pandemic and that it was his way of making sense of that chaos. Hozier said the album was inspired by Dante’s Inferno, which he was reading at the time. In the interview, he stated, “there’s a subtle element and I wanted to be light and playful with it. The album can be taken as a collection of songs, but also as a little bit of a journey. It starts with a descent, and I’ve arranged the songs according to their themes into nine circles, just playfully reflecting Dante’s nine circles then an ascent at the end.” Unreal Unearth also features Hozier writing and singing in the Irish language for the first time on an album. 


Margaritaville icon Jimmy Buffett passed away in his Sag Harbor, Long Island home in September at the age of 76 from complications of Merkel-cell carcinoma. Known for his tropical rock music, Buffett’s songs promoted enjoying life and following your heart. Eight of his albums are certified gold, nine are certified platinum or multi-platinum, and in total, he sold over 20 million albums. 


The Rolling Stones released their first studio album since 2005, Hackney Diamonds. The album is the band’s first following the death of drummer, Charlie Watts, in 2021. Watts received a drumming credit for the work he did on the album prior to his death. Hackney Diamonds features guest appearances from Elton John, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, and Stevie Wonder, and some critics have rated it the Rolling Stones’ best album in decades. 


Dolly Parton released her first ever rock album Rockstar in November, following her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022. Parton initially declined her nomination for induction, stating, “I don’t feel that I have earned that right. I really do not want votes to be split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out.” 

She later accepted the nomination, and at the induction, noted that, “If I’m gonna be in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, I’m gonna have to earn it.” The album is 30 tracks and features legends like Richie Sambora, John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks, and Joan Jett, among many, many others. 


On December 2, KISS will conclude its End of the Road world tour, with the final performance after 50 years as a band taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  

As they say, all good things must come to an end. Now we can look forward to all of the music that 2024 will bring us. •