Traditionally, the fourth quarter of every year has been when the biggest musicians release their highly-anticipated albums, the ones they’ve been hyping for weeks, or usually months. This is because labels were betting on shoppers in big box retailers like Target
While sales no longer dictate the music industry like they used to, the last three months of the year are still often packed with high-profile launches. In 2021, it looks like women are set to rule the period with some of the most exciting debuts of the year, all of which are sure to be successful…and if there’s room, a few men may join in on the fun as well.
Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett – Love For Sale
One of the first major releases of the fourth quarter this year comes from the powerful team of Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. The two crooners are back with a second collection of standards titled Love For Sale, and sadly, this will reportedly be Bennett’s last proper album. The musician is now 95 and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so his recording career has apparently come to an end. The singers scored a No. 1 album several years back with Cheek to Cheek and even won a Grammy for the set, so expect this Cole Porter-focused project to perform well.
Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor’s Version)
Last year, Taylor Swift announced an ambitious project: to re-record her first six albums, all in an effort to regain some control over the music that made her a star, as the masters to the half-dozen titles have changed hands. She began the rollout earlier in 2021 with Fearless (Taylor’s Version), which went right to No. 1 and which might vault back to the summit in a few days. In mid-November (one week earlier than she initially imagined), Swift will drop the second of the six titles, Red (Taylor’s Version), which she hasn’t started promoting yet. The set will almost surely open atop the Billboard 200 as well, granting the singer-songwriter her tenth champion.
Adele – 30
Neither the singer herself nor her record label have confirmed the title or release date, but one thing is certain: Adele is coming. Mysterious billboards began popping up recently with just the number 30 on them, and the British superstar changed her website and social media imagery for the first time in years. She’s long overdue for a record, and she even hinted it was coming before Covid, so there’s a great chance Adele’s fourth proper full-length arrives before the end of 2021.
Also, Swift recently shifted the release date for Red (Taylor’s Version), moving it up one week. She didn’t share a real answer as to why, and the rumor is that she didn’t want to compete with Adele for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200.
There’s still plenty of time for a number of musicians to announce albums before 2022 comes around, and many of those who have new music coming or who have already begun rolling out singles from a forthcoming title are also females. Cardi B, Camila Cabello, Lizzo and even Beyoncé might drop projects, though none have confirmed anything just yet. Male-fronted acts like Coldplay and Young Thug are also planning on delivering studio efforts in October, and BTS is due for a new release of some kind as well.