The Best Music Moments of 2018

2018 has been quite the treat for music lovers so as the year draws to a close, we thought we'd summarize some of the highlights the past 12 months.

And the winner is...

The year kicked off with the much-anticipated Grammy Awards in January. Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar were the big winners of the night, collecting 11 awards between them. And there were some incredible live performances as well – not least Kesha's powerful rendition of her song "Praying." The 2019 nominations have just been announced and it's shaping up to be another great show.

I'd like to thank the Academy

The awards season continued with March's 90th Academy Awards. Collecting music-centric Oscars were Alexandre Desplat, who won Best Original Score for The Shape of Water, and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (of Frozen fame) for their song "Remember Me" from Coco, which collected the gong for Best Original Song.

Rockin' and a rollin'

April saw Bon Jovi get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame alongside soul legend Nina Simone, plus Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, The Cars and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The 2019 inductees have just been announced as well, which includes a solid roster of talent: Def Leppard, Janet Jackson, Radiohead, Roxy Music, Stevie Nicks, The Cure and The Zombies.

A busy year for the Rocket Man

Another music legend received the star treatment with some of the biggest names in music joining forces for Elton John: I'm Still Standing – A GRAMMY Salute, a tribute concert to The Rocket Man himself. The concert featured performances of Elton John classics by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga and Shawn Mendes among others.

The 71-year-old also recently kicked off his 300-night retirement tour. Yes, you read correctly: 300 nights! Sir Elton also featured in UK-based retailer John Lewis' annual Christmas spot with "Your Song."

Royal wedding bells were ringing

Speaking of Elton John, we shouldn't forget to mention that he performed at the lunchtime reception of the biggest wedding of the year – none other than the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The Royal Wedding also featured a tear-jerking gospel rendition of Ben E. King's classic "Stand By Me," performed by the Kingdom Choir.

Long live the Queen of Soul

As with any year in music, there are always sad moments to reflect upon, and none greater than the passing of Aretha Franklin in August. It's hard to articulate just how much impact the Queen of Soul had on the music industry, but she left us with an incredible legacy of hits and a voice that will always remembered as one of the very finest in popular music.

Eagles fly to new heights

Also in August, it was confirmed by the Recording Industry Association of America that the Eagles' album Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 had sold 38 million copies, usurping Michael Jackson's Thriller as the best-selling album of all time. Speaking of which, Michael Jackson's nearly 14-minute "Thriller" video celebrated its 35th anniversary and it still stands up today as one of the best music videos ever made.

100 years of Bernstein

That's not all for August either, as the 25th of the month marked the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein at 100, the worldwide centennial celebration of the hugely influential composer and conductor, officially began in August 2017 and continues through to August 2019.

EGOT it goin' on

The 70th Emmy Awards show took place in September – and it was a notable event for Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, and John Legend, whose awards for their contributions to Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert saw them earn EGOT status. Which, in case you're wondering, means they are in the exclusive club of people who have won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. Hats off!

Movie musicals take center stage

While the genre has been around for several decades, movie musicals seem to get bigger and better every year. Of course, The Greatest Showman continued its popularity from 2017 with the DVD and digital release in April, but 2018 has had some blockbusters of its own as well.

July saw the release of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – the follow-up to the 2008 film Mamma Mia! – featuring an all-star cast and a plethora of hits from the Swedish pop sensation ABBA.

Fast forward to October with the release of A Star Is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The soundtrack debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and five songs from the soundtrack enjoyed Billboard Hot 100 success to boot.

Bohemian Rhapsody, the story of Queen, followed shortly afterwards. The Freddie Mercury biopic proved to be a box-office hit and reminded us just how impressive Queen's back-catalog really is.

And as the most magical time of the year approaches, Disney is giving us an extra sprinkling of fairy dust just in time for Christmas with the release of Mary Poppins Returns. The soundtrack was released two weeks in advance, and believe us when we say it's a triumph.

A new global home for premium sheet music

While all of this excitement has been taking place in the music world, we've been busier than ever. We brought our global community together under one roof with the unification of our two websites and we launched our increasingly-popular PASS sheet music subscription worldwide. And, of course, we continue to add hundreds of new sheet music titles every week.

And that's a wrap

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from your friends at Sheet Music Direct!

Explore the best sheet music of 2018 from pop, movies & TV, Broadway, Christian and more, available to download and play instantly. Powered by Hal Leonard, the world's largest sheet music publisher.

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