Man, this was a chaotic year. In turbulent times, pop music is something we can usually rely on for escapism and jollity. But in 2017, some of the genre’s leading ladies — Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, and Kesha — weathered their own difficult storms that played out in front of our eyes. As we watched each woman cope with their own tragedies, we also saw each one come out the other side and emerge even stronger than before.
As the end of this year draws near, let’s look back on how these three superstars were beacons of resilience and survival in 2017, against all odds.
After a tumultuous 2016 — during which she canceled her Revival Tour and checked into rehab to focus on her mental health — fans were hoping Selena Gomez would reemerge stronger than ever this year. In many ways, she did — she created some of the best music of her career for which she’s finally getting her due as a Serious Artist. But the 25-year-old also suffered a difficult health scare that kept her out of the spotlight — while also proving her a true survivor.
Ariana Fights Back
This year, Ariana Grande’s name was at the center of one of the worst terror attacks in history. On May 22, the pop star’s Dangerous Woman Tour came to an abrupt halt when a suicide bomber set off an explosion after her concert at Manchester Arena. Twenty-two people were killed, and over 500 more were injured, many of them young concertgoers and parents.
Kesha Breaks Free
Five years after her last album, Warrior, and three years since she became embroiled in a legal battle with her longtime producer Dr. Luke, Kesha returned in 2017 with a comeback album for the ages. Rainbow is an impassioned response to the singer’s battle with a legal system that has left her besieged, but it’s also a powerful pop opus that was well worth the wait.