Lauryn Hill takes top spot in Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums, beating ‘Thriller,’ ‘Abbey Road’

Lauryn Hill takes top spot in Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums, beating ‘Thriller,’ ‘Abbey Road’

Apple Music closed out its 100 Best Albums of all time list Wednesday with the top spot going to “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”

Lauryn Hill’s 1998 solo project beat out Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” The Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” and Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life,” among others.

Meanwhile “What’s Going On” is the top album in Rolling Stone’s 500 best album list, which places Hill’s “Miseducation” at No. 10.

“Unlike other lists we wanted it to reflect albums that really had an impact on the music artists are making today and that these be hand-selected by the most passionate people on Earth,” Scott Plagenhoef, Apple Music’s global head of music programming, told USA TODAY.

Hip-hop was the most represented genre on the list, with 22 albums making the cut. Soul and R&B came in second with 19 albums placing, followed by rock and alternative, tied at 15 albums from each. Reggae, country and Latin albums each had one, with Bad Bunny apparently the only Latino to make the list (“Un Verano Sin Ti” at No. 76).

Plagenhoef said that contributors were told to look backwards and consider the impact of the albums under consideration.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see a large number of artists − Sade, Janet Jackson, Björk, A Tribe Called Quest, Steely Dan, Erykah Badu, Portishead, and many more − who instinctively feel more relevant today actually and quantitatively place higher on this list than expected,” Plagenhoef said.

Here are the top 10 in Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums list.

Apple Music 100 Best Albums top 10

  • 10: “Lemonade” – Beyoncé
  • 9: “Nevermind” – Nirvana
  • 8: “Back to Black” – Amy Winehouse
  • 7: “good kid, m.A.A.d city (Deluxe Version)” – Kendrick Lamar
  • 6: “Songs in the Key of Life” – Stevie Wonder
  • 5: “Blonde” – Frank Ocean
  • 4: “Purple Rain” – Prince
  • 3: “Abbey Road” – The Beatles
  • 2: “Thriller” – Michael Jackson
  • 1: “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” – Lauryn Hill

What is the Apple 100 Best Albums list?

In a news release, Apple said that the list was chosen by a committee that included artists, Apple Music employees, and industry insiders, and that it is a “love letter to the records that have shaped the world we live and listen in.” The California-based company said that it did not factor in streaming statistics when compiling the list.

The release of the top 10 was accompanied by a roundtable discussion between artists Nile Rodgers and Maggie Rogers, Apple Music’s global creative director Zane Lowe and radio personality Ebro Darden.

Programming based on the list will continue for another week on Apple Radio.

See the rest of the list

Apple Music 100 Best Albums: Adele, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Fleetwood Mac feature on first half of top-20

Apple Music 100 Best Albums: Kanye West, Billie Eilish and the Beatles highlight Nos. 30-21

Apple Music 100 Best Albums: Beyoncé, Radiohead and Carole King feature in entries 40-31

Apple Music 100 Best Albums: Drake, Outkast, U2 in top half with entries 50-41

Apple Music 100 Best Albums: Nile Rodgers calls ‘Thriller’ best album as list hits halfway mark

Apple Music 100 Best Albums: Tupac, Metallica, Jimi Hendrix included in entries 70-61

Apple Music 100 Best Albums: Elton John, SZA and Bad Bunny land in entries 80-71

Apple Music 100 Best Albums: AC/DC, Lady Gaga part of Nos. 90-81

Apple Music 100 Best Albums: See the first albums that made the cut.

Related Articles