2011 Innovators

Though aesthetic and philosophical shifts in popular music are not easily quantifiable, they're also not arbitrary. Great music movements happen when the right talent finds inspiration at just the right time and place. In essence, it strikes like lightning, and every year a handful of artists align themselves with the zeitgeist. We've zeroed in on five candidates who meet this criterion. They're not alone, but each of them formed and implemented a singular vision that has forever altered the course of music. Google celebrates their accomplishments in 2011, and look forward to hearing how they continue to redefine music. – Sam Chennault, Google Music


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