As far as new albums go, 2016 was a stellar year that gave us releases from Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Drake, Britney Spears, and Rihanna, just to name a few. Even with those mammoth releases from today’s pop titans, though, we can’t help but mourn what could’ve been. Because for every Frank Ocean who graced us with a long-awaited project, there was a Tinashe who left us high and dry.
The following 12 artists were expected to release new albums in 2016 but never did ... so we’re kindly putting them on blast in the hopes that they come through this year. And if they don’t, well, we’ll just keep listening to Lemonade on repeat.
As of today (January 4), 1,195 days have gone by since Haim dropped their debut album, Days Are Gone. Since then, the sisters have kept busy by collaborating with Calvin Harris, hosting their own Beats 1 radio show, and guesting on BFF Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour. All the while, anticipation for their sophomore effort has been sky-high, especially after they debuted a pair of new songs in concert. Finally, Haim revealed in December that their next LP will arrive in summer ’17, and that fans should expect the unexpected. Such teases, those three.
Technically, Tinashe did give us an album last year ... but it wasn’t the one we were expecting. Back in September 2015, the R&B princess released a trippy album trailer for her sophomore LP, Joyride. Over the following 14 months, however, the project was plagued by a series of false starts and delays, and we never heard anything more than a few one-off singles. Finally, in November, Tinashe dropped a digital album called Nightride, which she says is part of a double album that will be completed when Joyride drops next year. And the wait continues.
There were four long years between Paramore’s third album, Brand New Eyes, and 2013’s self-titled LP, and it looks like we’ll be waiting at least that long for album No. 5. The band’s status seemed a little shaky after bassist Jeremy Davis left in December 2015, but just a month later, lead singer Hayley Williams revealed that Paramore were hard at work on their fifth album. They shared a mysterious tweet in October with the hashtag #pmorealbum5, leaving fans hopeful that the project would arrive before the end of the year. Looks like 2017 will have to do instead.
Ever the crafty businesswoman, Taylor operates on a routine-as-fuck album release cycle. Beginning with her eponymous debut album in October 2006, she’s held to a strict two-year clip between albums. Her last LP, 1989, dropped in October 2014, so she was on schedule for another project this year ... but 2016 ultimately came and went without #TS6. Not that we can really blame her — she earned some downtime after wrapping her massive 1989 tour and weathering a rough few months in the public eye (*cough* Kim and Kanye *cough*). Tay did come through at the tail end of the year when she and Zayn dropped their steamy Fifty Shades Darker collab, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.” But if 2017 also comes and goes without her next album, prepare to feel the wrath of Swifties everywhere.
Iggy Iggs revealed the title of her second album, Digital Distortion, way back in October 2015, and followed up with buzz track “Azillion” and lead single “Team.” And then ... nada. The Aussie rapper kept busy with a gig as a judge on X Factor Australia, and then took some personal time after her split from fiancé Nick Young. Digital Distortion’s planned July release came and went, and Iggy said she was delaying the project until early 2017.
The G.O.O.D. Music boss has been teasing his King Push album for a while now, which follows 2015’s Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude. After its planned April 2016 release date came and went, Pusha told Billboard it would arrive “by the end of the year. I’m looking for fall.” In the meantime, he held fans over with the Jay Z–featuring single “Drug Dealers Anonymous” and with “H.G.T.V.” As you’ve probably guessed, King Push still hasn’t arrived, but he’s clearly unperturbed about the delay. “It’s no biggie,” he said. “Everybody knows when my album drops, it’s always the rap album of the year, anyway.” Noted, P.
The New Zealander deliberately took some time off after her heralded 2013 debut album, Pure Heroine. Over the past year and a half, though, she’s been teasing the shit out of her hotly anticipated sophomore effort. In May 2015, she wrote a lengthy Tumblr post about Robyn’s influence on her new record, and then in August she revealed that she’s “in the production stage.” She announced in January 2016 that she has her new album title picked out, so all signs point to new Lorde music coming soon. We think. We hope.
Lupe Fiasco had planned to drop three new albums in 2016, but he came through with exactly zero. Not only did he scrap the trilogy, but he’s apparently done with rap for good — the Chicago MC announced earlier this month that he’s “officially not releasing any more music.” This isn’t the first time Lupe’s threatened retirement, so who knows if he’ll stick to it.
Many Christina fans thought her return to The Voice would coincide with new music, and she definitely helped stoke those rumors. In June, the veteran diva unleashed the powerful single “Change” and revealed in an interview with Ryan Seacrest that her new album would be out “by the end of the year.” That fall, she told Today that she was “accumulating ideas” for a follow-up to 2012’s Lotus, and for a Spanish-language album. She also mentioned that she was working on new music with fellow Voice judge Pharrell ... but her new tunes have yet to reach our ears. Is she all talk and no game, or will Xtina finally return in 2017? Jury’s still out, but at least Kylie Jenner’s keeping her legacy alive.
Damon Albarn’s animated outfit hasn’t released new music since 2011’s The Fall. Albarn told The Sydney Morning Herald three years ago that new tunes would arrive in 2016, and he echoed that promise a year later in an interview with Rolling Stone. But last June, Gorillaz artistic collaborator Jamie Hewlett said new music wouldn’t arrive until 2017, explaining that the album is “really fucking special” and “can’t be rushed.” In the meantime, they’ll just keep teasing the hell out of it.
Sky Ferreira was slated to kick off her Mascohism era in August 2015 with the single “Guardian,” but its release was delayed because of “health issues.” After a series of additional setbacks, she kicked off 2016 with an Instagram post that read, “I refuse to put out something that isn’t honest.” Thankfully, fans recently got an update when Ferreira covered Playboy and revealed that the mag spread serves as “the first introduction to #Masochism (visually).” Sounds like we’ll be hearing (and seeing) more from her soon.
At a press conference in Singapore in May 2015, Katy Perry’s manager said the singer planned to release her next album “by 2016.” It was sort of a vague statement — did he mean by the beginning of 2016 or by the end? In any case, the year came and went without an album, but KP did deliver a self-empowering new anthem, “Rise,” in conjunction with the Olympics. Besides that, she mostly just frolicked around the world with Orlando Bloom and shared some silly (but promising) updates from the studio. So it looks like that Prism follow-up isn’t an illusion after all.