New acts like Nirvana changed the way people listened to rock music, while established stars like Madonna had the biggest hits of their careers. Boy bands and divas dominated the pop and dance charts, while East and West Coast rappers gave hip-hop a newfound sense of urgency.
Mariah Carey had more No.1 hits than anyone else during that decade. Other artists who dominated the charts included Janet Jackson, Boyz II Men, Whitney Houston, and TLC.
At the beginning of the 90s, Seattle birthed the grunge movement, which melded punk and hard rock, producing such influential bands as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.
As the decade progressed, grunge was absorbed into the broader, radio-friendly “alternative rock” genre, then gave way to aggro-rock and nu-metal bands like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park at the end of the decade.
Fatboy Slim and the Chemical Brothers rejuvenated electronica, Shania Twain and Garth Brooks spurred a resurgence in the popularity of country music, and Jay-Z and Tupac Shakur brought new life to hip-hop.