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  • Aerosmith: In 1979, at the peak of their drug use and in the middle of recording a record, guitarist Joe Perry left the band. The following two albums were disappointing musically and commercially (the second one in particular, as the other original guitarist left too). They soon reunited, moving from Columbia Records to Geffen Records. While Done with Mirrors did not make much impact, 1987's Permanent Vacation and a team-up with popular rap group Run–D.M.C. on a remake of their old song "Walk This Way" brought them back to the spotlight, and the follow-up Pump is widely considered one of their best albums. By 1993, Aerosmith was popular enough to get their own video games, Quest for Fame and Revolution X. It wasn't until 1998 that Aerosmith finally topped the Hot 100 with the ballad "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing", from the movie Armageddon. While they've never had a big hit since then, they're still considered rock music royalty.
  • John Anderson had a decent string of Country Music hits in the first half of The '80s, including the #1 hits "Wild and Blue", "Swingin'" (which was also a pop crossover), and "Black Sheep". But after that, his momentum began slipping: his next two albums produced only one Top 10 hit ("She Sure Got Away with My Heart") between them, one single ("You Can't Keep a Good Memory Down") flopped so badly that it was never put on an album, and while "Honky Tonk Crowd" briefly returned him to the Top 10 in 1986, his next singles underperformed so badly that he left Warner (Bros.) Records. He spent the rest of The '80s largely below the top 40, with almost nothing to show for his next three albums (two for MCA Nashville and one for Capitol Records), and reached his nadir in 1990 when his second Capitol single "Tryin' to Make a Livin' on the Road" didn't even chart. Finally, in 1991, he signed with the newly-established BNA Records, and while "Who Got Our Love" only made it to #67, "Straight Tequila Night" went on to become his first chart-topper in nine years. The album containing that song, 1992's Seminole Wind, became his best-selling, with three more Top 10 hits to boot (including the title track, one of his Signature Songs), and his 1993 followup Solid Ground was also successful off the #1 hit "Money in the Bank" before his momentum dropped off again by 1995.
  • Rick Astley was a massively popular pop act in the 1980s, only to get sick of Executive Meddling and leave his record label. He then did a dramatic shift and doing soul in the early 1990s (which he stated is the kind of music he always wanted to make in the beginning). Despite scoring another hit with 1991's "Cry for Help", Astley's career stalled shortly thereafter and he retired from the music industry in 1993. Fast forward to 2007, when his signature song "Never Gonna Give You Up" reached the internet as the Rickroll and quickly hit critical mass, exploding even beyond the scope of the internet, Rick Astley started to get back in gear. He then reached a level of popularity not seen since his peak in the late 1980s, and released his first single in many years, making him probably the first musician to have his career solely resurrected by the power of the internet. His appearance at the 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade didn't hurt either. In 2016, his album 50 debuted on top of the British charts, becoming his first #1 album back home since Whenever You Need Somebody.

  • Gary Barlow was, for the first half of the '90s, the lead singer and songwriter of Take That, one of the biggest Boy Bands in the world (though not in America). He even managed to get some critical acclaim for his work, most notably winning three Ivor Novello awards for the songs "Pray" and "Back For Good", as well as being songwriter of the year in 1994. When Take That broke up, he was widely tipped to be the Breakup Breakout and go on to a strong solo career. Barlow did have some initial success, but then quickly got overshadowed by the success of his former bandmate Robbie Williams, who had left the band a year before the split proper under less than amicable circumstances. Barlow's second solo album proved a disastrous flop and led to him being dropped by his record label, after which he was widely mocked and ridiculed, labelled a talentless hack both by the press and by Williams, who, by his own admission, was still enormously, personally bitter towards Barlow. Barlow underwent a Creator Breakdown that saw him sink into depression, withdraw from public life, and gain massive amounts of weight as a result of stress eating. Barlow did eventually manage to reform a career as a behind-the-scenes songwriter and producer, but his star was very much dead. Then in 2006, a greatest hits album and TV documentary in honour of the tenth anniversary of Take That's split proved a surprising success and shifted the public's perception of Barlow, mostly by making everyone feel really bad for the poor guy. This led to the band reforming and releasing a new album, which went to #1 on the British charts, as did its first two singles "Patience" and "Shine". It helped that Barlow had lost the weight and was now widely considered better-looking than he'd ever been in his Boy Band days. Since then, Barlow has been performing with Take That and racked up an enormous number of hits, alongside doing charity work and the like, and is frequently called a national treasurenote . He also managed to repair his relationship with Williams, who rejoined the band in 2010 before leaving again in 2014 — but on good terms this time. Barlow was even chosen to organise the concert for HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, as well as compose a commemorative song for the occasion alongside Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, for which he was given a OBE.note  In 2013, he released his first solo album in over a decade, which, while getting mixed to negative reviews, was a major commercial success, going to number #2 on the British album charts. He's also won two more Ivor Norvellos.
  • Dave Bassett was a fairly prolific songwriter who got his start writing hits for Shinedown, including their pop crossover "Second Chance". Unfortunately, the electronic-music explosion that killed mainstream rock happened shortly afterwards, and Bassett's profile vanished. Then in 2015, he wrote Rachel Platten's "Fight Song," which not only became his first crossover hit in six years but became an even bigger hit than "Second Chance" was. He continued to strike gold a few months later with Elle King's "Ex's and Oh's". Unfortunately, the songs' success came at the expense of his popularity on rock radio. Shinedown started to use him less and avoid using his songs as singles. Pop Evil continued their association with him, although they're largely criticized for being "commercial".
  • The Beach Boys have gone through this at least four times.
    • They were one of the biggest bands of The '60s, coming about as close to surpassing The Beatles in popularity as a band could at the time. But after their groundbreaking 1967 album Smile was never released, coupled with Brian Wilson's notorious reclusion and drug abuse, they faded into obscurity, continuing to make music but failing to penetrate the charts as they once had. In 1974, they released a greatest hits album, Endless Summer, which went triple platinum and made the band a hot item again, leading to sold-out concerts for many years after that.
    • But as time went on, as a string of terrible/bizarre albums was released, and their beloved drummer Dennis Wilson drowned, this success faded as the group went into the '80s. However, they found themselves becoming suddenly successful again when they released their 1988 hit "Kokomo", from the Cocktail soundtrack, which gave the group a #1 record for the first time in decades.
    • The band's third noteworthy spurt of popularity came with the 1993 release of the Good Vibrations: 30 Years of The Beach Boys box set, which yielded their most successful tour in 13 years.
    • Their last came in 2012, when the group's first new album in twenty years, That's Why God Made the Radio, met with critical acclaim, as did the ensuing 50th anniversary tour.
    • Brian Wilson himself went through a similar cycle. In the '60s, he was on top of the world as a singer, songwriter, and producer, but as his mental state fractured and his dream project Smile failed to be, he spent the latter half the decade holed up in his room, while the rest of the band produced albums. But then in the '70s, as the band was becoming popular again, he was called back into the studio to produce albums in order to complement the band's new touring success, as well as being called back onto the stage, with a big "Brian Is Back" campaign. Unfortunately, this mostly produced mediocre material, worsening his mental state. Then in the late '80s, his manipulative therapist/life coach Eugene Landy tried to invoke this trope with a string of Brian Wilson solo albums, but these failed to attract much attention. It wasn't until the late '90s/early 2000s that Brian's career really resurrected itself, first with an acclaimed live tour of Pet Sounds, and then with a move that nobody saw coming: a completed, re-recorded version of Smile, that, for the longest time, was the highest-rated album on Metacritic. He's been fairly well with himself ever since.
  • The Bellamy Brothers, a country-pop duo from Florida, made it big in 1976 with their smash hit "Let Your Love Flow". The song was a #1 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the AC charts, with enough crossover airplay on country radio to reach #21. It also reached #1 or Top 10 in several other countries. For the next three years, the Bellamys struggled to get another hit and seemed relegated to One-Hit Wonder-dom. Then in 1979, the Bellamys got their first chart-topper at country radio with "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me", which was also a multi-national crossover. While they never had any more crossover success, "Beautiful Body" was the start of a very fruitful string of country hits that lasted through 1990, amassing ten #1 hits and several more Top 10s.
  • The Black Eyed Peas became a definitive pop-rap act in the mid-2000s with the album "Elephunk" & hit singles such as "Where Is The Love?" and "Let's Get It Started". They continued to have growing levels of commercial success with their next 3 albums: 2005's "Monkey Business", 2009's "The E.N.D., and 2010's "The Beginning". Unfortunately, by the complete turn of the decade, BEP were starting to get viewed as old news and went on an extended hiatus. A comeback was attempted minus Fergie in 2018, to very little fanfare. Then came 2020, when the song "Ritmo", featuring J. Balvin, from the Bad Boysfor Life soundtrack became a slow-burner hit, giving BEP their first significant hit single in many years.
  • Justin Bieber exploded onto the scene in 2009/2010 thanks to homegrown YouTube and Twitter popularity. He quickly became the most dominating Teen Idol of a generation, snagging up five #1 albums in only three years and rapidly growing a fanbase ("Beliebers") that would become a social media juggernaut. Unfortunately, he was near-universally hated outside of his teenage girl demographic. As people continued to wish death upon his career and create career-destroying propaganda, he just got more unstoppable by the day... that was, until the spring of 2012 when a large chunk of his demographic quickly deserted him in favor of red-hot British/Irish boy band One Direction. Bieber spent most of 2012 watching his career get thrashed by 1D, and his fandom continually was cannibalized by that of the boy band's day by day. Between his sudden popularity plunge and breakup with Selena Gomez, Bieber's behavior took a turn for the worse, getting into scandal after scandal and quickly becoming a pop-culture pariah, as 1D continued to stand tall over his dying career. In 2015, Justin Bieber got his act together, and people decided to give him another chance after his song "Where Are U Now" with Skrillex and Diplo became an unexpected hit and eventually won a Grammy. That August, he released "What Do You Mean?", which debuted on top of the Hot 100, becoming the first #1 hit in his career. 1D and Bieber released their albums on November 13, 2015; with Bieber's Purpose snapping One Direction's streak of #1 albums and becoming the best-reviewed and biggest-selling album of his career. Purpose produced two more #1 singles, "Sorry" and "Love Yourself", proving that Bieber had won back the crowd and was bigger than ever, as he later debuted several more featured tracks (including "Despacito", the most played YouTube video of all time) within the Top 10. Meanwhile, One Direction has gone on an indefinite hiatus, its members pursuing solo projects.
  • Big & Rich were one of the biggest Country Music success stories of 2004 when they took the genre by storm, coming from seemingly nowhere with their novelty hit "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)". At the time, they were heralded as a breath of fresh air, taking hard rock and rap influences into their music and blending them with colorful lyrics and quirky stage personae. They also championed other artists in their songwriter clique, the MuzikMafia, most notably Gretchen Wilson and Cowboy Troy. Co-founder John Rich (who was originally a member of Lonestar, and had made a failed attempt at a solo career between leaving them and founding Big & Rich with Big Kenny) co-wrote and produced for a wide variety of acts at this time, including Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Jason Aldean. "Save a Horse" came to be one of the defining country hits of the first decade of the 21st century. Despite their initial success, the novelty wore off fast, to the point that most of the MuzikMafia's successive output came to be criticized as weak and forced. For quite a while, it looked like Big & Rich would be derided as a flash in the pan and a One-Hit Wonder for "Save a Horse" (even though it only got to #11 and the Black Sheep Hit ballad "Lost in This Moment" became their only #1 hit in 2007). But then came their 2014 album Gravity, released independently after their tenure with Warner (Bros.) Records ended. While the album hasn't exactly lit up the sales charts, it has been well-received for focusing entirely on ballads (which have always been a strong suit of theirs, a fact that many have forgotten in the wake of their novelties). It has also produced big hits in "Look at You" and "Run Away with You"
  • Binary Finary was best known for the trance anthem "1998", but they split up due to irreconcilable differences between members. However, Matt Laws and Stuart Matheson revived the act in 2006 with the download-only album The Lost Tracks, a compilation of songs written during their eight-year sabbatical.
  • blink-182 was one of the biggest rock bands in the world from the late '90s to the mid-'00s, and are credited, together with Green Day and The Offspring, for launching Pop Punk into the mainstream. On alternative radio, they were royalty, scoring hit-after-hit such as "Dammit", "What's My Age Again?", "All the Small Things" (which became an inescapable pop hit in 2000), "Adam's Song", "Man Overboard", and "I Miss You", among others. However, in 2005 they went on a hiatus due to both Creative Differences between Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker against Tom DeLonge and their excessive touring getting in the way of spending time with their families. They reformed in 2009 and released their sixth album Neighborhoods in 2011. While it did respectably, the album and its songs quickly faded out of public consciousness, due to both its Genre Shift alienating many older fans and continued infighting between DeLonge and the rest of the band. This culminated with DeLonge leaving again. After that, many assumed they were done for good. However, that wasn't the case. Instead, they got Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba to join the band as an official member in the place of DeLonge, and they began working on their seventh album California, released in July 2016. It was practically an overnight success. The lead single "Bored to Death" became their third #1 on alternative, and their first in over ten years. As a bonus, it was also their first-ever hit on mainstream rock, peaking at #6 on that chart. The album itself debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and went gold, a rare feat for a full-fledged rock band in the 2010s and doubly so for a pop-punk band. It also became their first chart-topper across The Pond, hitting #1 in the UK. Afterwards, they embarked on an arena-sized tour with fellow pop-punk bands A Day to Remember and The All-American Rejects. With the band now fully unified, they have proven that they can still remain relevant over a decade-and-a-half after they first hit the scene, and are showing no signs of going back.
  • David Bowie experienced this twice in a row during his career.
    • The first instance came after a controversial series of interviews in 1975 and 1976, when Bowie, jacked out of his mind on cocaine and Lost in Character as the Thin White Duke, advocated for a fascist Britain on live TV with himself as dictator. Realizing just how bad his drug addiction had become, he retreated to Berlin, where he spent the rest of the decade rehabilitating and releasing three experimental albums, to a mostly mixed reception (though this "Berlin trilogy" would later go on to be Vindicated by History). After that, he managed to reclaim his footing with 1980's Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), which essentially served as his reflection on and an apology for all the mayhem that encompassed his life throughout the bulk of the previous decade. Then in 1983 came Let's Dance, which would go on to become his highest-selling album and cause his fame to skyrocket as a result of its more mainstream-oriented sound.
    • However, this is where he fell again. Having experienced a massive Newbie Boom and feeling pressured to deliver a follow-up to Let's Dance ASAP, a writer's block-addled Bowie and Iggy Pop (but mostly Iggy) hastily slapped together Tonight in 1984, which managed to sell quite decently but was widely regarded as being pretty bad. The rest of the '80s would be no better, with Bowie becoming a point of ridicule for the Ho Yay-laden Mick Jagger duet "Dancing in the Street", the incredibly campy (but later Vindicated by History) box office bomb Labyrinth, and the even more disastrous reception of 1987's Never Let Me Down, Bowie's failed attempt at returning to rock (though that album also sold pretty well). Fed up with all of this, Bowie decided to switch over to hard rock from 1988 to 1992 via the group Tin Machine, of which only three albums were released to mixed reception. However, the experience from Tin Machine and some encouraging words from bandmate Reeves Gabrels, who told Bowie to focus on producing songs for himself rather than for any particular audience, laid the groundwork for his 1993 house rock album Black Tie White Noise. The album was not only a commercial success, but it was a decent critical darling as well, kickstarting a major Renaissance for Bowie. From that point onwards, with his career back on track, he would devote the rest of his career exploring a variety of other genres (such as industrial rock with Outside and drum & bass with Earthling) before finally settling into art rock in the 2000s, with most of his albums continuing to earn heaps of both pounds and praise. By the time he ultimately met his end in January 2016, Bowie had finally returned to the level of acclaim that had studded his star in the early '70s.
  • Breaking Benjamin was one of the more popular Hard Rock bands in the 2000s, scoring major rock hits with "Breath", "The Diary of Jane", and "I Will Not Bow". Soon after "I Will Not Bow" became their only Top-40 pop hit in 2009, lead singer Ben Burnley put the band on hiatus because of personal illnesses caused by his alcoholism. In the interim, Hollywood Records released a greatest hits album, after former band members Aaron Fink and Mark Klepaski granted the label permission to remix "Blow Me Away" without Burnley's permission. By 2013, everyone except Burnley had left the band, and it looked like Breaking Benjamin was gone for good. They reformed in 2014 after Burnley had settled and won a lawsuit against his former bandmates, allowing him to keep the band name. He then recruited four new band members, which didn't really make major news at the time. It wasn't until 2015 that Breaking Benjamin put out their first original music in six years. That single was "Failure", which was anything but its namesake. The song cracked the Hot 100, which is extremely rare for a Hard Rock song in The New '10s and topped the Mainstream Rock charts for nine weeks. That song's success was enough for Breaking Benjamin's album Dark Before Dawn to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 (becoming the first album by an Alternative Metal band to hit the top since Staind in 2005; beating such contemporaries as Three Days Grace, Shinedown, Seether, and Papa Roach to the top — it didn't hurt that Breaking Benjamin is a much more acclaimed band), and in fall 2015, the RIAA gave the band seven gold and/or platinum certifications. Dark Before Dawn went gold in 2017, fueled by three #1 rock hits.
  • Brooks & Dunn were the Country Music duo of The '90s, with a fantastic run from 1991-1999: their first four singles all went to #1, all of their albums to date had been certified multi-platinum, and they dominated every duo award from the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association. But then in 1999, they released Tight Rope, which barely made gold, only had one hit and was widely considered their weakest effort due to canned production and weak song choices. B & D had sunk so low that in 2000, the CMA awarded Duo of the Year to Montgomery Gentry, who were still on their first album and hadn't yet had anything peak higher than #5. Much later on, Kix Brooks would reveal that he and Ronnie Dunn were very close to splitting up over the album's failure. But in 2001, a record exec suggested that they record "Ain't Nothing 'bout You". The song, released that year, was a six-week #1 smash, their biggest crossover hit, and the biggest country hit of the year. Fans and critics felt that the duo had come back stronger than ever with its corresponding album, Steers & Stripes, and the new-found success revitalized them enough to stay together for another ten years before retiring in 2011.
  • James Brown had achieved reasonable success in the 1960s and '70s, only to more or less stall out by the end of the decade. He was a huge star in the black community, but nowhere near as big in the white community. His appearance — all five minutes of it — in The Blues Brothers brought him to the attention of a white audience and won him many new white fans, revitalizing his career. In the '80s, he played to larger and more racially-mixed crowds than he ever had before, and by the end of the '90s, he was pop music royalty.

  • Caramell was all but forgotten until the Caramelldansen Vid meme in 2008, seven years after the album and song were originally released. They subsequently recorded English, German, and Japanese versions of the song, in addition to making an official music video based on the animation. In 2011 they renamed themselves the Caramellagirls and released a new single titled "Boogie Bam Dance", their first all-new material in nearly ten years.
  • Mariah Carey was one of the biggest pop stars of the '90s, only to suffer a nervous breakdown in 2001, coupled with a disastrous turn in the box office flop Glitter and a series of bizarre media appearances (that culminated in an appearance on MTV's Total Request Live where she served ice cream to the audience, followed by a bout of hospitalization for "dehydration"). She was dropped from her record label and attempted a comeback in 2002, but she didn't have success until the release of 2005's The Emancipation of Mimi and her role in the critically acclaimed film Precious in 2009.
  • Johnny Cash, unlikely as it may now seem, once battled a number of personal and professional problems that led to his career floundering in the '80s. Having established himself as "The Man in Black" with several hit albums, live performances at prisons, and work in film and television, Cash relapsed back into addiction in 1983, which kept him from performing and writing music for several years. Coupled with Columbia Records ending its 28-year association with Cash in 1986 (and an unsuccessful run with Mercury Records into the very early '90s), it seemed as though Cash's career was over. However, he reignited his career by teaming up with producer Rick Rubin and releasing the American Recordings series of albums (which included covers of popular songs and collaborations with other popular artists) beginning in 1994, which led to critical and commercial acclaim and popularity with audiences who weren't traditionally interested in Country Music. Cash would go on to win a Grammy Award in 1994 and release several more albums — even after his death, the 2006 release of American V: A Hundred Highways reached the #1 spot on the Billboard 200.
  • The Chainsmokers scored a massive memetic hit in 2014 with their #16 hit "#SELFIE". Through sheer novelty, the song became a viral hit, despite widely being seen as one of the most annoying EDM songs ever made. After "#SELFIE" finished its run, they promptly faded back into obscurity as a quintessential 2010s One-Hit Wonder. Well, for a little while at least. The following year, they released "Roses", featuring guest vocals from little-known singer Rozes. Over time, the kind of dirty EDM ballad grew in popularity and then exploded in 2016. That year, "Roses" reached #6, or rather, ten spaces higher than their original hit, became the biggest EDM crossover of the year (so far), and established itself as being bigger than "#SELFIE" ever was. "Roses" proved that The Chainsmokers weren't just a one-off novelty act, rather a DJ duo set to become one of the biggest EDM stars in the industry. Their next single, "Don't Let Me Down", even cracked the Top 5, and "Closer" went to number one and stayed there for twelve weeks.
  • Chelsea Grin was once a promising young upstart in deathcore and, along with Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, and Emmure, helped usher in the "scene" era of the deathcore genre that went strong from 2009 to 2014. By the mid-2010s, however, the band began a steady slide in popularity due to both a pair of polarizing albums and frontman Alex Koehler's out-of-control drinking problems, rapidly deteriorating voice, and live performances that had gone from dodgy to consistently terrible. When Dan Jones and Jake Harmon left in 2017, people began to assume that the band's days were numbered. This all changed in early 2018 when the departure of Koehler and the induction of Lorna Shore vocalist Tom Barber was announced, along with the posting of "Dead Rose", a new track with Barber. The track was almost universally praised as one of their best in years, and while Eternal Nightmare wound up being at least somewhat polarizing due to its Nu Metal elements, it was nonetheless seen as the band starting to get back on track. The real resurrection came when the band began touring on the album, as Barber's performances were consistently praised, and their live numbers skyrocketed to their best yet after years of steadily declining attendances.
  • Cher has had numerous career ups and downs and has gone through at least two resurrections. The first one came in the 1980s, when she gained notice for her acting in movies like Silkwood and Moonstruck, the latter netting her an Academy Award for Best Actress. She also scored her first Top 40 hits since 1979's "Take Me Home" late in the decade, with songs like "I Found Someone" and "If I Could Turn Back Time". Her career hit a downturn after the early 1990s, but in 1999 she achieved a second career resurrection after recording the #1 hit "Believe", with her use of a vocoder on that song becoming a seminal influence on 2000s pop music.
  • Eric Clapton:
    • He was one of the most influential guitarists of The '60s, as a member of The Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Blind Faith, Cream, and Derek and the Dominos. His self-titled debut was released in 1970 to success and critical acclaim, but a massive heroin habit put Clapton into hiding for a few years. An intervention by his friend Pete Townshend led to the all-star, well-received Rainbow Concert, and after rehabilitation, Clapton released the very successful and critically acclaimed 1974 comeback album 461 Ocean Boulevard, scoring a #1 hit with a cover of Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff" from Marley's album Burnin'.
    • After a period of middling, laid-back, country-flavored solo albums in the late 1970s and early 1990s, he had another comeback with Behind The Sun in 1984, an album of adult contemporary, modern pop-rock co-produced by Phil Collins. An appearance at Live Aid, followed by 1986's best-selling August and the acclaimed 1988 boxed set retrospective Crossroads, along with high-energy tours, brought Clapton back and made an MTV star out of the veteran.
    • A newly sober Eric received another comeback after channeling his grief over his son Conor's tragic death through the acoustic ballad, "Tears in Heaven", first released in studio form for the movie Rush (1991), then performed on MTV Unplugged, a well-received, #1 soundtrack album to his performance on the series, in 1993.
  • Kelly Clarkson. Hot on the heels of her 2004 album Breakaway, which went on to become one of the defining pop albums of the 2000s, she released the more abrasive and far less commercial "My December" in 2007. The album alienated a significant portion of her fan base (especially her older fans), and thus, Clarkson was written off by many as a has-been. Her 2009 follow-up All I Ever Wanted was mostly a return to the lighter pop of Breakaway, and although sales for that album still fell short of the 1 million mark in the US, it re-established her as a major force in the pop music world, with its lead single, "My Life Would Suck Without You", becoming a massive hit. Her comeback was solidified through her 2011 album Stronger, which was both a critical and commercial success, spawning several hugely successful singles and fully bringing her career back on track.
  • Alice Cooper defined Shock Rock and bizarre stage acts in the first half of the 1970s. But alcoholism, coupled with his signature style going out of fashion, resulting in a Dork Age for the rest of the decade, which lasted right through the early 1980s. While he had a handful of hit singles in the late 1970s, all of them were soft pop ballads instead of his usual heavier fare, and the popularity of that material caused him to lose his controversial reputation. By the mid-1980s, he had kicked the booze habit, picked up an infinitely healthier golf habit, and made his comeback with 1986's Constrictor, followed by the wildly successful Trash. Since then, he's diversified his interests and continues to record music.
  • Billy Ray Cyrus was a big star in the country music scene in the early nineties, with his debut album spawning breakout hit "Achy Breaky Heart" and his follow-up album debuting at #1 on the country charts, but by the early 2000s, he seemed largely washed up after a pair of Christian albums that failed to make an impact and his acting career didn't seem to be going anywhere. That changed after he played a Captain Ersatz of himself, Robbie Ray Stewart, in his daughter Miley's hit Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. This led to his first Top 5 hit of the 2000s, "Ready, Set, Don't Go" (a duet with Miley that was her first Top 5), and in 2019 his collaboration with Lil Nas X, "Old Town Road", became the longest-running #1 hit in the Billboard Hot 100 history. Not bad for a formerly washed-up artist in a genre often derided by the mainstream.
  • Miley Cyrus would go on to experience this herself. After first appearing in a role in her father's series Doc, she landed the aforementioned Star-Making Role as the title character of Hannah Montana. Despite some controversies which strained her image as an all-American, clean-cut teen idol, she was one of the biggest stars in pop, both in her Hannah persona and later under her own name. She adopted a more adult image in 2010 with her album Can't Be Tamed, which suffered slower sales. Her films LOL and So Undercover tanked, causing her to retire from acting, and this was followed by yet another scandal in which she sniffed a bong of salvia on a New Orleans street in a leaked video. After a low profile year, she departed Disney-based Hollywood Records for RCA, got a blonde-dyed pixie haircut, and broke up with longtime boyfriend Liam Hemsworth, her co-star in the film The Last Song after a yearlong engagement. She released the New Sound Album Bangerz in 2013, a more adult album with hip-hop influences and Explicit Lyrics. She promoted the album with a notorious performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards (teddy bear costume, dancing in lingerie, twerking on Robin Thicke, tongue sticking out). Interest skyrocketed with the "new Miley", and Bangerz became a best-seller.
    • However, many fans quickly grew tired of her antics surrounding the release of Bangerz, and she then largely disappeared from the spotlight for a few years. Her 2015 album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz was released to stream for free on SoundCloud, and received mixed reviews. But in 2016, she took a gig as a judge on The Voice and rekindled her relationship with Hemsworth, and her 2017 single "Malibu" (about her relationship with Hemsworth) has been praised for its stripped-down production, marking her return to the top 40.

  • Daft Punk were one of the most popular bands in the world during the Y2K era. Hits such as "Around the World" and "One More Time" were huge hits everywhere they charted (except in the United States), and their first two albums, 1997's Homework and 2001's Discovery earned them loads of praise, even though in the latter case it took a while for it to accumulate. Their third album, 2005's Human After All, didn't do very well, meeting a critical and fan backlash for being Darker and Edgier and more simplistic than Discovery, and it absolutely bombed in the US. Then, in 2010, they made a comeback when they recorded the soundtrack to TRON: Legacy. While the film got mixed reviews, the soundtrack was one consistent point of praise, and it proved to be their first top 40 album in the US. Then, in 2013, they released their first non-soundtrack album in eight years, the disco-influenced Random Access Memories, and it topped the charts everywhere, including the United States, and even held on top of the charts for its second week. Its lead single became their biggest hit ever and has finally brought Daft Punk not only to the Hot 100's top 40, but to #2, along with Grammys for Record and Album of the Year.
  • Craig David: The British R&B singer became popular in the Turn of the Millennium with hits such as "Fill Me In" and "7 Days", in addition to massively successful albums like 2000's Born to Do It and 2002's Slicker Than Your Average. While his following two albums, 2005's The Story Goes... and 2007's Trust Me, were moderately successful, his popularity waned at the beginning of The New '10s after the lacklustre reception of his 2010 Cover Album Signed Sealed Delivered. As a result, he focused on other projects such as collaborating with several artists and as a radio presenter. That soon changed in 2015, when he collaborated with Big Narstie for the song "When the Bassline Drops", which ultimately became his most successful single since 2007 and led to a well-received Revisiting the Roots album Following My Intuition, which marked his comeback and became his first UK number-one album since his debut when it was released in September 2016. His single "I Know You" (featuring Bastille) from the following 2018 album The Time Is Now (which also became a successful hit) became his highest-charted hit since 2005, proving that Following My Intuition wasn't just a fluke.
  • Def Leppard have had several "comebacks" from the various personal tragedies that have defied the band.
    • After finding middling success with their first two albums, 1980's On Through the Night and 1981's High and Dry, they were sought out by legendary producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange who "dragged them kicking and screaming" through recording 1983's Pyromania. Three songs, "Photograph", "Rock of Ages", and "Foolin'", became top 40 singles in the US. However, during the band's hiatus, drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car crash. The band toiled, refusing to fire Allen in the interim (despite the seeming Foregone Conclusion). However, Allen discovered that he could keep time with songs on the radio with his feet and designed a rig to allow him to use his left foot to keep drumming. The band then released Hysteria in 1987, which might have been their last album if it didn't sell well. Though fairly successful at first, it hadn't generated the sales Def Leppard needed until they released the single "Pour Some Sugar on Me" (which would become their Signature Song), spiking record sales almost overnight, moving seven million units in under a week.
    • While recording Hysteria's follow-up, guitarist Steve Clark's addiction struggles became worse. Clarke took a six-month leave of absence from the band to try and clean up, but he died from an accidental overdose on January 8, 1991. Def Leppard hired ex-Dio guitarist Vivian Campbell and released the 1992 album Adrenalize, spawning several Top 40 singles including "Let's Get Rocked", "(Stand Up) Kick Love into Motion", and "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad". The album went to #1 in several countries.
    • Leading into the recording of 1996's Slang, guitarist Phil Collen went through a divorce, bassist Rick Savage's was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy and lost his father, Rick Allen was arrested for spousal abuse, and lead singer Joe Elliott was arrested for assault. They also split from producer Mutt Lange and embarked on a completely different recording process for the forthcoming album. Slang would feature less production in favor of a more organic sound. "We'd got so sick of recording the old way. We didn't want to do it anymore. We wanted the music to be more personalized and let the character of the individuals to come out," explains Rick Savage. However, the album flopped in the US (but did well in Britain) failing to achieve platinum status for the first time of any Leppard album. The band reunited with Lange to record 1999's Euphoria, whose lead single "Promises" re-ignited fans' faith in the band and went to #1, and the album followed suit. Since then, Def Leppard has enjoyed good success for a band their age, including a successful long-term Vegas show.
  • Former Mis Teeq member Alesha Dixon's solo career was a flop until she won Strictly Come Dancing.
  • Hilary Duff was among the most popular teen idols of the early 2000s, thanks to the Disney Channel Kid Com Lizzie McGuire, a successful singing career, and roles in movies like the Cheaper by the Dozen series, The Perfect Man, and Raise Your Voice. As she opted for darker roles in independent such as According to Greta and What Goes Up, box office sales declined and reviews were mixed at best. After taking a break from the industry (aside from appearances in Gossip Girl and the ABC Family movie Beauty and the Briefcase) and winding down her pop career in 2008, she married hockey player Mike Comrie (they've since separated, but are still close), had a baby, Luca Cruz Comrie, and she slowly began to pick up her career. She's since, as of 2014, had a comeback single with "Chasing The Sun" and a role in her first TV series since Lizzie, Younger.
  • Bob Dylan was very popular in The '60s and maintained this until the mid-'70s, but by the end of the decade he had basically lost his fans (what little he had left) with his Christian albums. Saved, released in 1980, is often considered to be Dylan's worst album (other than Dylan). Because of the backlash against him, had a rather low profile in The '80s and in the early Nineties apart from his participation in The Traveling Wilburys. Then came an album called Time Out of Mind, which was released to glowing reviews and won the Grammy for Album of the Year, restoring his place in the league of rock gods. All of his studio albums since Time out of Mind have not just reached, but debuted in the top ten of the Billboard album charts.

  • Eagles, having disbanded in 1980, enjoyed a notable reunion in 1994. One of the catalysts was the 1993 album Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles, which had various Country Music artists covering Eagles songs. In particular, Travis Tritt asked for the original lineup to make a cameo in his video for "Take It Easy". In 1994, the Eagles reunited for the Hell Freezes Over tour, also made into a highly successful live album which even produced a #1 hit in "Love Will Keep Us Alive". They had a second resurgence in 2007 with the double album Long Road Out of Eden, whose lead single "How Long" won them their first Grammy since 1979.
  • Eminem, hot off the success of three of the biggest albums of the Y2K era, had a major downfall right after — a near-fatal addiction to prescription drugs, the murder of his best friend Proof, and an album (2004's Encore) that is widely called out as his worst. His "first" comeback was supposed to be 2009's Relapse, but he still had issues he was working out, and the album received a mixed reception. But what was originally going to be a sequel to Relapse turned into the aptly-named Recovery in 2010, in which Eminem toned down or outright cut out a lot of aspects that had dragged his previous albums down (weird accents, skits, bathroom humor), actually apologized for his last two albums, and delivered some top-notch rapping. The general consciousness was that it was a great return to the days of The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show, and that Eminem was back. After the disappointment of 2017's Revival, Eminem revived his career with 2018's Kamikaze and the non-album track "Killshot".
  • British techno group Empirion, following a two-decade hiatus due to Bob Glennie succumbing to brain cancer, made an unexpected comeback in 2018 with the I Am Electronic/Red Noise EP, followed by the 2019 album Resume.

  • Fleetwood Mac:
    • The group became one of the biggest bands in the world with the album Rumours in 1977 and dominated the charts for the next decade. In 1987, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham left, and the band pursued a bland adult contemporary sound, to a massive drop-off in sales. 1990's Behind the Mask only went to #18 on the Billboard charts and went gold, a far cry from the band's multi-platinum albums in the past. Then Stevie Nicks left in the early '90s. The classic lineup did reunite for the inauguration of Bill Clinton (who had used "Don't Stop" as a campaign song) in 1993, only to go through even more lineup changes and commercial failure. 1995's Time fared even worse than Behind the Mask did — it didn't even make the Billboard charts. It looked like the band was truly finished until the Rumours-era lineup finally came together for the live album The Dance in 1997, which hit the #1 spot on the Billboard charts. The subsequent tour was massively successful, filling arenas across the U.S. Fleetwood Mac continues to mount successful tours and release albums to this day.
    • The Dance was also a comeback for Stevie Nicks as a performer, after the failure of her Street Angel album and ridicule for her Klonopin-induced weight gain. She vowed never to go on stage again unless she lost weight. She did, and The Dance also restored her to rock royalty. She's been a successful solo performer since then while still a member of Fleetwood Mac.
    • The Dance wasn't the first time Fleetwood Mac managed to pull this off. In the late '60s, Fleetwood Mac was the hottest band in the British blues scene but suffered the departure of several of its founding members: Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and Danny Kirwan in the early '70s. The band eventually reinvented itself as a Californian pop-rock band, but not after a long awkward phase. The band suffered even more setbacks in the first half of the '70s, including a bizarre incident where their former manager claimed the rights to the band's name and sent out a fake "Fleetwood Mac" on tour. Finally, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks came on the scene in 1975 and the band's Self-Titled Album turned Fleetwood Mac into one of the decade's hottest acts.
  • For Luis Fonsi, the global smash hit "Despacito" was his breakthrough outside the Spanish-speaking world, but in the world of Latin music, it was this. Before "Despacito", he had been a former superstar, especially in his native Puerto Rico, but by that point, he had not had a major hit since the late 2000s. Since then, he hasn't looked back.

  • Judy Garland was a Former Child Star under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, known for The Wizard of Oz, headlining movie musicals like Easter Parade, Meet Me in St. Louis, and For Me And My Gal, and starring in a succession of films with Mickey Rooney (including the hit Andy Hardy series). She had also branched into an equally successful singing career at the same time. However, erratic behavior caused by mental illness and addictions to alcohol and prescription pills (begun when Garland was filming Oz when the studio recommended she take diet pills to lose weight) culminated in multiple suicide attempts, which led to her being fired by MGM by 1950 and labeled a has-been. She slowly returned to the spotlight via stage performances, and a role in the Warner Bros. 1954 remake of A Star Is Born followed, with the help of her second husband/manager Sid Luft, leading to the famous 1961 Judy At Carnegie Hall concerts, captured on a best-selling, Grammy Award-winning two-record set album. A short-lived TV variety show followed, and Judy had a new wave of popularity in the early 1960s.
  • Green Day's 2000 album Warning almost killed the band. While it's since been Vindicated by History for its songwriting, at the time its Lighter and Softer tone and more experimental sound (influenced by Folk Music, Surf Rock, and Ska Punk) put off a lot of their Pop Punk fans and caused it to badly underperform in sales, only going gold whereas their last three albums went at least double platinum. Between that and the 2001 Greatest Hits Album International Superhits!, which they outright called "an invitation to midlife crisis", the band's members wondered whether or not they should just hang it up. Instead, they made the 2004 album American Idiot, which became their first number one album, put them right back on the rock map, and cemented their status as pop-punk legends. As of now, it's behind only 1994's Dookie as their highest-selling album and a contender with it for the title of Green Day's defining album.
  • David Guetta was easily the biggest EDM artist of the early 2010s. By 2012, however, Americans were getting tired of his poppy sound and moved to more the hardcore stylings of Calvin Harris, Zedd, and Avicii. Thereafter, Guetta hit a dry spell in the U.S. although he remained popular in Europe. By 2015, Harris and Zedd were dependent on big-name guest stars and Avicii's career was cannibalized by one monster hit (and Mark Ronson had the misfortune of being hit from both sides). With an opening in the market, Guetta revamped his sound and teamed up with Nicki Minaj for "Hey Mama", the biggest hit he had in 3 years.

  • George Harrison found it hard to sustain a solo career by the early 1980s, after having started the previous decade by releasing the best-selling triple-length 1970 album All Things Must Pass and organizing The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. A tour of America marked by laryngitis and audiences puzzled by the appearance of Ravi Shankar as opening act did not help matters, nor his increased piousness in Eastern religion. A brief comeback occurred with his 1981 ode to John Lennon, "All Those Years Ago" (featuring Paul McCartney, his wife Linda, and Ringo Starr), but he semi-retired by 1982 to produce films and race cars; he decided he did not relate to the sounds of the '80s or to pressures on the industry for more commercial music. A meeting with Electric Light Orchestra leader Jeff Lynne led Harrison to produce a new album in 1987, Cloud Nine, that combined Harrison's more traditionalist roots with light amounts of modern production values, and backing by the likes of Ringo Starr, Elton John, and Eric Clapton. He became a superstar again, helped by the #1 single "Got My Mind Set On You" (an obscure, Covered Up '50s rockabilly number written by Rudy Clark) and a tongue-in-cheek video. Harrison stayed a star until his death in 2001, forming The Traveling Wilburys with Lynne, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison, and briefly reunited with The Beatles in 1995.
  • Roger Hodgson was a founding member of the progressive rock band Supertramp, penning many of the band's most enduring hits, including "The Logical Song", "Dreamer", "Give a Little Bit", "School", "Breakfast in America", and "Take the Long Way Home". His keening tenor voice was a trademark of the group's sound, along with his songs exploring spirituality and man's search for identity. He left the band in 1983 to start a family and get away from the trappings of fame. Hodgson started a solo career in 1984 with the Supertramp-like In The Eye Of The Storm, followed by the more Synth-Pop-oriented Hai Hai in 1987. An accident later in 1987 where Hodgson fell out of a hammock, injuring both his wrists, led to his doctors believing Roger would not be able to play music again. After years of spiritual and physical therapy, Hodgson returned to the spotlight with a live album, Rites Of Passage, in 1996. A studio album in 2000, Open The Door, returned Hodgson to his prog roots, winning critical, but limited financial success. (The album was only distributed overseas.) After occasional live performances through the next decade, a divorce, and a spiritual rebirth, Hodgson took to the road by 2006, performing self-financed intimate shows accompanied only by Canadian saxophonist/keyboardist Aaron MacDonald An acclaimed live DVD, Take The Long Way Home, was released the same year. He had performed at the Concert For Diana in 2007, performed with Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band, has a strong online presence, and has appeared on Canadian Idol with ex-Styx singer Dennis DeYoung.
  • Randy Houser had a successful debut album in 2009 titled Anything Goes, which produced hits in its title track and "Boots On". But lead singles to what would've been his second album stalled out at the lower regions of the charts, and when that album (Call Me Cadillac) was released, it made no noise at all. It also didn't help that his label, Universal South, was undergoing a merger with Toby Keith's Show Dog label, thus spreading its resources thin and losing both him and nearly every other artist on the label in the shuffle. He left that label in favor of Broken Bow, where he quickly had his first two #1 hits in "How Country Feels" and "Runnin' Outta Moonlight", both of which sold platinum as well and earned him critical praise for blending traditional country with a modern edge. Two more Top 5 hits followed from his first Broken Bow album, also titled How Country Feels. In 2016, he had his third #1 hit with "We Went" from his second Broken Bow album, Fired Up. Despite this single meeting Follow-Up Failure, he had a resurgence in critical acclaim with his 2019 album Magnolia.

  • Elton John has had several comebacks:
    • He was perhaps the hottest star of The '70s, with a streak of hit albums, singles, and tours, dominant radio airplay, and a constant high profile in the media bordering on Teen Idol status, partially due to his goofy costumes and silly glasses. However, a Rolling Stone magazine article in 1976 outed him, reducing his fanbase in Middle America, and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin took a prolonged hiatus from working with him. A string of middling albums, a reduced public profile, a change of labels, and poor sales followed. With some Executive Meddling, Elton hired Taupin full-time, reunited his classic-era backing band, and produced a high-quality album, Too Low For Zero, in 1983, combining his classic melodicism and Eighties production techniques/synthesizers. Hit singles and videos for "I'm Still Standing" and "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" got major airplay on early MTV, and Elton was a star again.
    • One further Career Resurrection occurred when, after a couple of failed studio albums, Elton reunited with Bernie Taupin for the aptly titled Reg Strikes Back in 1988, became sober in 1990, toned down his costumes/glasses, and went from Camp Gay to Straight Gay with a hair weave and Versace suits. This was motivated by a highly public feud over false allegations made against him by The Sun which Elton eventually won, forcing the tabloid to apologise. He also gained a new audience by writing songs for The Lion King (1994), and sent up his more diva-like tendencies with the reality TV movie Tantrums and Tiaras. "Candle In The Wind 1997", though written in tragic circumstances with Princess Diana's death, was one of the best selling singles of all time, increasing his profile (though it would lead to inevitable Hype Backlash).
    • Another Elton comeback occurred in 2001. He changed to a more stripped-down, organic sound in albums like Songs From the West Coast and Peachtree Road, reminiscent of his classic period, and he has success in Las Vegas with The Red Piano. The Union, a duets album with Leon Russell released in 2011, got Elton his strongest sales since 1976's Blue Moves, and his best reviews since that time.
      • The video for "I Want Love", the single from the Songs From the West Coast album that heralded Elton's third comeback period, interestingly enough featured a newly sober Robert Downey Jr. lip-syncing to Elton's recording. The performance was acclaimed and helped both Elton's career and Robert's.
  • The Jonas Brothers, comprised of the brothers Nick, Joe, and Kevin, were hugely popular in the late 2000s, playing to large arenas and getting their own show on the Disney Channel. Eventually, of course, their fans moved on to newer teen pop idols, and the band broke up in 2013 amidst Creative Differences and faltering ticket sales, seemingly destined to become an obscure punchline remembered mainly for their association with the squeaky-clean "purity culture" of the 2000s. Within a few years, however...
    • Nick Jonas, the Face of the Band, went solo in 2014 and surprised everyone with a more mature sound, scoring a few big hits with "Jealous", "Close", and "Chains" while landing supporting roles in Scream Queens (2015), Kingdom, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
    • Joe Jonas also found success independently from the band thanks to his band DNCE, who scored a top 10 hit with "Cake by the Ocean" in 2015. Although DNCE has yet to score a successful follow-up, it has at least helped him from escaping the shadow of his band.
    • Eventually, the group as a whole pulled this off in 2019, when they announced their reunion and released their comeback single "Sucker", which debuted at #1 on the Hot 100 and was a megahit internationally. Their fifth album, Happiness Begins, followed suit upon release, and along with a well-received documentary and tour and several successful follow-up singles to boot, the JoBros have quickly gone from being viewed as just another flash-in-the-pan teen pop act to re-establishing their status in the pop music world.

  • Toby Keith has had two of these:
    • After a bit of a decline in the late '90s, he reached his nadir in 1998 when "If a Man Answers" became his first single not to hit Top 40. After getting frustrated with Creative Differences at Mercury Records, who had rejected several tracks he had submitted to them, he moved to DreamWorks Records. His first DreamWorks single, "When Love Fades", flopped too. But, at his insistence it was pulled for "How Do You Like Me Now?!", a song that Mercury had previously rejected. After a slow start, "How Do You Like Me Now?!" became his biggest hit and the top country song of 2000. This song led to his hottest streak of album sales and single success, which carried on for the most part until DreamWorks Records closed in 2005.
    • His momentum once again went on a slow decline once he founded his own label (Show Dog, which later merged with Universal South to become Show Dog-Universal), with more and more singles failing to reach Top 10. However, Keith had a brief resurgence and his biggest crossover ever in 2011-2012 with the viral hit "Red Solo Cup". The song was originally just an album cut for which he made a music video, but after said video caught fire, the song was shipped as a single, ultimately becoming a crossover smash and his best-selling digital single to date. However, this revival was short-lived, and he has all but fallen off the radar since.
  • The Kinks, led by brothers Ray and Dave Davies, were an influential band of The British Invasion in the mid-1960s, and arguably the inventors of hard rock and Brit-Pop. Unfortunately, the band's in-fighting led to a five-year ban from American stages, and, isolated from much of American culture, they subsequently channeled their energies to writing concept albums with very British themes. They started a comeback in 1970 with hits like "Lola" note , "Apeman", and "Celluloid Heroes", but a series of very English, music-hall and pantomime-influenced rock opera/stage musicals such as Soap Opera and the two-act Preservation series alienated audiences and were slow sellers. They bounced back after signing with Arista Records, on the condition that the Kinks would produce no concept albums or rock musicals. The late-1970s albums Sleepwalker, Misfits, and Low Budget combined their hard-rock roots with New Wave Music and Arena Rock elements, catchy songs, and polished productions, and became critically acclaimed and strong sellers and they continued their success in The '80s with hits like "Destroyer" and "Come Dancing". Interestingly enough, a live version of Lola from 1980 became one of their biggest hits of the time.
  • Korn, the creators of Nu Metal, spent nearly ten years on top of the rock world. Unfortunately, people started to get tired of them as their nu-metal sound devolved into generic alternative metal. 2010's Korn III was a throwback to their roots, but it didn't click with audiences. Then came The Path of Totality, their even more polarizing dubstep album. Their big comeback came in 2013 with The Paradigm Shift, which brought back their old guitarist Brian "Head" Welch, and had the dubstep elements still present but downplayed. As a result, Korn scored their first top 5 hits since 2007, including their first-ever #1 on the mainstream rock charts with "Never Never".

  • Lady Gaga's 2013 album Artpop was a far cry from the success of The Fame and Born This Way, criticized as a self-indulgent Flanderization of her persona that, by that point, no longer seemed so shocking, and she swiftly faded out of the mainstream music scene. After a few years away from the limelight doing smaller projects (most notably a collaboration with Tony Bennett), the release of the much more personal Joanne in late 2016 brought her a much warmer reception and debuted at #1. Her profile was further restored by a widely-praised Super Bowl halftime performance, which helped her score her biggest radio hit in years with the ballad "Million Reasons". Her career kept on rising with the critically and financially successful A Star Is Born (2018), which gave Gaga her first #1 single in years ("Shallow", a duet with Bradley Cooper).
  • As detailed in the Music page for Creator Killers, "The Killer" Jerry Lee Lewis had a swift descent from rock 'n' roll superstardom to disgrace when it was confirmed he was married to his 13-year-old first cousin (once removed), Myra Gale Brown. After almost a decade and a couple of lukewarm comeback attempts, Lewis became a big star again in 1968, albeit in the world of country music. He's since returned to rock 'n' roll, been the subject of a critically-acclaimed biopic in the early '90s, and still performs concerts up to this day, even in his 80s.
  • LL Cool J was rejected by the rap community as a Sell-Out for 1987's Bigger and Deffer and 1989's Walking With a Panther, and so he enlisted Marley Marl as producer and came back in a big way in 1990 with Mama Said Knock You Out, even if the famous title track's opening line is actually "Don't call it a comeback! I've been here for years!". He also included the song "Cheesy Rat Blues", which hilariously mocked his career derailment and how people didn't like him anymore.
  • Demi Lovato was one of the top stars of the Disney Channel in the late 2000s, thanks to lead roles in the Camp Rock series of movies, her own Kid Com Sonny with a Chance, and a successful Idol Singer career. Although her history as a childhood bullying victim was well known, she had secretly fallen into bulimia, self-harm, and fits of "self-medication" during the height of her stardom, which led to an infamous meltdown in which she began having vocal problems on her 2010 Camp Rock tour, then physically attacked a personal assistant in her dressing room after the assistant confronted her about her demons. Family and friends intervened, and she went into rehab (where she was diagnosed as bipolar and given medication) to get better (she spent New Year's Eve in the rehab center, much to her sadness). Rehabilitated a year later, she left her sitcom and completed her Unbroken album, releasing singles such as the empowerment anthem "Skyscraper" and catchy dancefloor hit "Give Your Heart a Break", arguably the biggest hit of her career. An inspirational documentary for MTV, "Stay Strong", documented her downfall and recovery. She later joined the judges' panel of The X Factor US, and completed and released a new album for May 2013, the self-titled Demi.

  • Marilyn Manson was more or less exiled from the American rock mainstream after the Columbine massacre in 1999, which brought the band under heavy fire from Moral Guardians who felt that their music had turned Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold into killers. For a time, the music was still good enough that the diehard fans stuck by their side (in fact, many fans will rank 2000's Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) as a good candidate for their best album), and their European fanbase was unaffected... until their 2007 album Eat Me, Drink Me heralded the beginning of a Dork Age. Written after Manson (the eponymous frontman) divorced his wife Dita Von Teese, and after Johnny 5 and Madonna Wayne Gacy both left the band on bad terms with him, the result came across to many fans as a wangsty mid-life crisis, and with it, the "most evil band in America" became a walking punchline. Their next two albums failed to pull them out of the rut, and Manson's attempt to make a movie about Lewis Carroll fell into Development Hell. In the mid-2010s, however, Manson began a charm offensive in the media, taking roles on shows like Once Upon a Time, Sons of Anarchy, and Salem and appearing as a guest on a slew of talk shows, while the band's 2015 album The Pale Emperor brought the band the best reviews it had seen in over a decade. Having put their Dork Age behind them, they're now elder statesmen of Industrial Metal and Goth Rock.
  • Meat Loaf lost his voice after the enormous success of 1977's Bat Out of Hell, and then fell out with songwriter Jim Steinman, which stymied the success of his second album. Going through drug addiction, bankruptcy, and a string of moderately to poorly received albums, he reunited with Steinman in 1993 to record Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, an album frequently credited as facilitating one of the greatest comebacks in popular music history.
  • Scotty McCreery won the 10th season of American Idol when he was only 17. While his first two albums were modest commercial successes, their singles didn't exactly light up the charts, with his best hits only barely making Top 20. He intended to release a third album, but when its lead single "Southern Belle" (a song that many derided as not fitting his established style, and which McCreery himself apparently didn't like) fell outside the top 40, Mercury Records dropped him. It looked for sure as if McCreery's singing career was over before he was even old enough to drink legally, and he was not heard from again for years. But in late 2017, he independently released the song "Five More Minutes", which went viral thanks to his still-active fanbase and became the first song to make the Mediabase country singles charts without being promoted by a record label. Seeing a hit in the making, the newly-established Thirty Tigers label picked the song up for official release, causing it to progress naturally to #1 on the country music charts in the first quarter of 2018, thus becoming his biggest radio hit to date. The corresponding album on Thirty Tigers was released soon afterward, to largely positive reviews. And just to prove that "Five More Minutes" was no fluke, followup single "This Is It" was a hit as well.
  • The Monkees were instantly successful — tellingly, the first single, "Last Train to Clarksville", started climbing the charts before the TV series went on the air — and the "4 insane boys" soon found themselves second only to The Beatles in popularity. Still, musical director Don Kirshner rarely let them play on their records (or write their own songs) — which was kept secret until the frustrated band revealed it to the media, losing some credibility in the process. The hits continued for a while, even after the Monkees gave up their TV series after its second season. However, the group's 1968 film Head, a surreal, deliberately plotless Deconstruction of the band's journey through the Show Business meat grinder, was a flop (although it's become a Cult Classic). Eventually, their record sales dropped, and Peter Tork left, followed by Michael Nesmith. In 1969, Saturday morning reruns of the TV series got good ratings, which led to Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones doing Changes, a return to the bubblegum pop of the early albums. However, the songs on Changes were not as catchy or distinctive as the ones on the band's early albums. Changes didn't chart, and that was the end of the Monkees. The four ex-members went on with their lives... until 1986, when MTV began celebrating the Monkees' 20th anniversary by rerunning their TV series. The reruns got great ratings, and suddenly the Monkees were a viable proposition again. The band had a top 20 hit with a new single ("That Was Then, This Is Now", which featured only Dolenz and Tork), started playing reunion concerts, and recorded a new album, 1987's Pool It! (which featured Dolenz, Tork, and Jones). Then, for the band's 30th anniversary in 1996, Nesmith returned for the album Justus, the only Monkees album that had no outside writers, musicians, or producers. They then went their separate ways until 2011, when Dolenz, Tork, and Jones had a hugely successful 45th anniversary concert tour. After Jones died in 2012, Nesmith joined the other surviving Monkees for tours in 2012 and 2013.

  • Nas released a debut album (Illmatic) that is widely regarded as one of the greatest rap albums of all time, but didn't sell very well initially. This caused him to change his style to appeal to a wider audience and sell more copies (partly due to Executive Meddling). His next album, 1996's It Was Written, was less "Nasty Nas the street poet" and more "Nas Escobar the drug dealer", and his two albums in 1999, I Am... and Nastradamus, were more poppy and radio-friendly. It's universally agreed that Nastradamus is his worst album, and many accused Nas of selling out — most notably Jay-Z, who dissed him for going from "Nasty Nas to Esco-Trash" on his song Takeover. Nas responded to this criticism with 2001's Stillmatic (more precisely in the brutal diss track Ether), an album in which he both returned to his Illmatic roots and defended his status as one of rap's greatest emcees. Critics loved it, as did listeners, and Nas' following albums have all met similar success. For example, the Lost Tapes compilation was critically acclaimed, was loved by fans and some songs are even considered to be on par with Illmatic.

  • Ozzy Osbourne has experienced several over the course of his career. He helped pioneer heavy metal music as the frontman of Black Sabbath, but years of drug abuse, financial fumbles, and creative strife led to him being kicked out of the band in 1979. After this, he hit rock bottom, moved into a hotel room, and went on a massive drug binge. The daughter of Sabbath's manager, Sharon Arden, took pity on him and helped him assemble a solo career that rocketed him to stardom. Eventually, it all started to come down again, this time due to Moral Guardians, rampant drug abuse, and more of a glam sound and image. He recovered by hiring guitarist Zakk Wylde, revamping his sound, and taming his behaviour, culminating in the release of his hit ballad, "Mama, I'm Coming Home". He briefly retired after, and when he returned to music in the mid-'90s, the scene had changed. He was viewed as a dinosaur who didn't fit with modern crowds and styles, so much so that Lollapalooza turned him down. He responded by founding Ozzfest, his own heavy metal festival. This comeback peaked with a highly successful reunion with Sabbath.
    • When Black Sabbath fired Ozzy in 1979, they too were at rock bottom, with poor album sales and a lack of focus. When Ronnie James Dio joined the group as Ozzy's replacement, they gained new life through the 1980s. Things petered out by the mid-'90s, but they came full circle by rejoining with Ozzy for a massively successful reunion. And when that started dying down, they joined back with Dio for another huge success, bringing new exposure to the often neglected post-Ozzy era. And when Dio died, they reunited with Ozzy once more and finally recorded the long-awaited reunion album, bringing things full circle... again.

  • Panic! at the Disco debuted hot with one of the defining Emo-pop hits of the 2000s, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies". The band's second album, 2008's Pretty. Odd., took their sound in a radically different and polarizing direction towards psychedelic Beatles-style rock, and members of the band steadily left due to Creative Differences until only Brendon Urie remained. While the band retained a strong core fanbase, it seemed likely that the band would remain a One-Hit Wonder in the eyes of the general public until over a decade after their debut, when the second single from the band's sixth album, "High Hopes", unexpectedly picked up traction on Top 40 radio, surpassing "I Write Sins" #7 peak by climbing to #4 on the Hot 100. Urie subsequently was featured on the lead single for Taylor Swift's next album, "Me!", which reached an even higher peak, and then the band's own follow-up single, "Hey Look Ma, I Made It" also reached the top 20, seemingly securing their return to mass popularity.
  • While Pink Floyd has always been popular, they weren't heard from much for a majority of the '80s following their insanely expensive 1980-81 tour supporting The Wall and the release of their polarizing 1983 album The Final Cut, considered by many to be a Roger Waters album in all but name. Waters left shortly after and Gilmour told him that they would continue, leading to Waters' infamous lawsuit trying to stop Gilmour from continuing to make music under the "Pink Floyd" name. The lawsuit was settled in time for the release of their 1987 album A Momentary Lapse of Reason. The album, while receiving mixed reviews from fans and critics for its weaker lyrics, horribly dated '80s production, and the fact it was not a Concept Album, was a huge commercial success and the band scored a big radio and MTV hit with the song "Learning to Fly", exposing the band to a new generation of fans in the process. The tour supporting the album was only supposed to be a quick 11-week tour, but it ended up lasting for over two years, becoming the highest-grossing tour of the 1980s by any musical act. Their next album, 1994's The Division Bell, sounding more like a true Floyd album compared to the previous one (which was essentially a David Gilmour solo album in all but name), was also a big hit and supported by high grossing stadium tour as well. The album also marked the reinstatement of keyboardist Richard Wright as a full band member (compared to his session work on the album before) after Waters fired him in 1979. Ironically, it was their last studio album for 20 years and the last to feature Wright before his death in 2008.
    • Roger Waters was done with Pink Floyd by 1983 and released the introspective, moody solo album The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking a year later. A Pros And Cons tour, with help from Eric Clapton as guest guitarist (he had played on the album), was scarcely attended, and the reunited lineup of Pink Floyd featuring guitarist David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason, and returning keyboardist Richard Wright became successful in the late 1980s and mid-1990s. Waters considered the band a "spent force" and felt the band should call it a day, right before the lawsuit. The commercial failure of Waters' solo albums, rows of empty seats at concerts, and his feud with the rest of the band severely damaged his professional reputation, while Pink Floyd mounted a massively successful comeback. But with favorable reviews for 1992's Amused to Death comparing it to Pink Floyd's classic albums and Gilmour's Floyd inactive since 1995, Waters returned to touring in 1999, expertly performing Pink Floyd and solo works to strong audiences. Subsequent solo tours with Waters and his band performing The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall further raised his popularity, and a much more relaxed attitude towards fans, the media, and his Floyd bandmates erased his Insufferable Genius Control Freak stigma in the press. His renewed friendships and occasional musical and personal reunions with Gilmour, Mason, and Wright over the years also helped his image.
  • P.O.D. was one of the hottest bands in America in 2002 thanks to the smash hit album Satellite. Unfortunately, their popularity dipped as Rap Rock began to die. Ten years later, they had a huge comeback with Murdered Love, which gave them their biggest hit in years with "Lost in Forever". P.O.D. were not crossing over like they used to, but at least they found a way to fit into the new environment.
  • Mike Posner had a massive hit in 2010 with "Cooler Than Me". His follow-ups "Please Don't Go" and "Bow Chicka Wow Wow" both cracked the Top 40 and went platinum, but were quickly forgotten. RCA Records then shelved his next two albums, and the closest he came to the top was co-writing #2 hits for Justin Bieber and Maroon Five. He faded back into obscurity and was seen by the public as a defining example of a 2010s One-Hit Wonder for his debut single. Then, in 2015, he released "I Took a Pill in Ibiza", which gained massive attention due to both an EDM remix and its self-deprecating lyrics that told a truthful story. It became his second Top 10 hit in the United States after six years and his first-ever Top 5 hit in the country, rivaling "Roses" as the biggest EDM crossover of the year (before the Chainsmokers' next two songs eclipsed them), and became his first #1 hit in several countries, including the United Kingdom.
  • Elvis Presley began as the "King of Rock and Roll" in The '50s, sustaining his success in The '60s after a stint in the Army with hit singles and movies. However, the declining quality of his formulaic rock musicals kept Elvis from being seen as a serious actor, and the soundtracks were increasingly hokey and detached from his early rock spirit. Elvis bounced back via his 1968 comeback special, Elvis, showing Presley as lean, mean, and back in touch with his rock sound via the impromptu proto-"Unplugged" concert section. A concert film in 1973, Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite, cemented his popularity. Though his health declined spectacularly in the mid-'70s, he continued to have hit singles and albums and a residency in Las Vegas and attracted concert crowds for the rest of his life.
  • Prince was probably the funk act of The '80s. Receiving immense critical and commercial success for his role as a leading innovator in the "Minneapolis sound", his fame and fortune reached heights directly comparable to that of Michael Jackson around the same time, ultimately culminating in his beloved 1987 double album Sign '☮' the Times. However, the Troubled Production of the album would sow the seeds for Prince's downfall in the following decade. Executive Meddling forced him to cut down what was supposed to be a triple album, and while it's generally agreed that this was for the better, it heavily soured relations between Prince and Warner (Bros.) Records. This poor relationship would grow even worse in The '90s, when Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable "Love Symbol", publicly feuded with Warner Bros. over the terms of his contract, and attempted to fulfill his end of said contract as soon as possible by churning out quick & dirty album after quick & dirty album for the next several years. This led to his popularity waning very quickly, with only the most devoted of fans sticking with him for more than a decade. By the end of the decade, he was only known among mainstream audiences for the fact that press outlets had to refer to him by the cumbersome and easily snarked moniker of "The Artist Formerly Known as 'Prince'". Prince's contract with Warner Bros. finally ended in 1996, and their trademark on his given name expired in 2000, leading him to revert back to it after seven years (said trademark is what prompted the adopting of the "Love Symbol" moniker in the first place); he would finally make his comeback with 2004's Musicology, which peaked at number 5 on multiple countries' album charts. With a few exceptions, his following albums would continue to be critical and commercial successes, and by the time he died in 2016, it was generally agreed that Prince had managed to reclaim his footing both commercially and artistically.

  • Queen had been a highly successful band in The '70s, but by The '80s they were largely seen as old and washed up, and their reputation had taken multiple body blows: the poor reception of their 1982 album Hot Space (a disco-driven pop rock album that heavily contrasted the band's typical Glam Rock sound and was released during the height of the anti-disco backlash in the United States), the American controversy over the music video for "I Want to Break Free", and, perhaps most significantly, the band being duped into playing in South Africa during a UN-led cultural boycott against the nation in protest of apartheid. Then Live Aid happened. In 1985, among one of the largest collections of rock bands ever, Queen gave a show-stopping twenty-minute performance that is widely regarded as the single greatest live performance in modern music history, with frontman Freddie Mercury at numerous points unprecedentedly getting the 72,000 people in the non-Queen audience to clap and sing along in perfect unison. This shocking comeback revitalized interest in the band that has continued to this day, an interest that only became larger with Mercury's untimely death six years later (which, in combination with the "Bohemian Rhapsody" bit in Wayne's World the following year, finally restored Queen's American popularity as well).

  • Robyn attained a few hit singles as a teen pop singer in the late '90s, then fell off the radar for about nine years, before returning with "With Every Heartbeat" in 2007. She now does old-school Synth-Pop, in contrast with her former style.
  • Kenny Rogers had slowly been slipping since the end of The '80s, as the Popularity Polynomial of Country Music shifted back from more pop-styled country such as his to a more traditional sound brought on by then-rising stars such as Randy Travis. After hitting #1 in 1987 with the Ronnie Milsap duet "Make No Mistake, She's Mine", he was dropped by RCA Records, and had virtually no success with his next four major-label albums all on divisions of Warner (Bros.) Records. He spent most of The '90s hopping around various indie labels, with such diminishing returns that he stopped charting entirely by 1991, except for a guest appearance on Wynonna Judd's 1997 Christmas release "Mary, Did You Know?" By 1999, he had settled with founding his own label, Dreamcatcher Records; his first album for his own label, She Rides Wild Horses, provided two hits in "The Greatest" and "Buy Me a Rose", the latter going to #1 and helping the album to go platinum. While his later Dreamcatcher releases were not as successful, he did manage enough momentum to once again sign with a major label (Capitol) in 2005 for Water & Bridges, which produced the semi-hit "I Can't Unlove You". He had another resurgence in 2013 when he returned to Warner for You Can't Make Old Friends, which was a commercial success despite a near-total lack of airplay.
  • Rush: In 1996, they released Test for Echo, widely considered by fans to be their worst album. In 1997, drummer/lyricist Neil Peart's teenage daughter died in a car accident, and then in '98, his wife died of cancer. For a few years, it seemed as if Rush was done until they got back together to record their 2002 album, the amazing Vapor Trails.

  • Sash!, famous for the 1997 dancefloor filler "Encore une Fois" among others, took a 10-year hiatus between their S4 Sash! and Life is a Beach albums.
  • Scooter somehow managed to get a UK Number 1 album in 2008 with Jumping All Over The World, despite not having anything released in the UK since about 2003. This can be largely attributed to their successful Clubland appearances. Unfortunately, this proved to be a fluke, and their next album Under The Radar Over The Top flopped in the UK, making it unlikely future material will be released there.
  • Jimmy Scott, know for his unusual high and sensitive singing voice due to Kallmann syndrome, experienced success in the 1940s and 1950s, but his career faltered in the early 1960s. He slid into obscurity before a comeback in the 1990s, most prominently due to his appearance as a guest star on the TV series Twin Peaks, the associated film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and as a backup singer on Lou Reed's Magic and Loss album.
  • Bob Seger reached his peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s with his hit albums Night Moves (1976), Stranger in Town (1978), and Against the Wind (1980). His subsequent '80s albums The Distance (1982) and Like A Rock (1986) weren't quite as big, but still sold well and had a few hit singles, with the title track of the latter being famously used on Chevrolet commercials for quite some time. It wasn't until the 1990s that it was evident that Seger's star was fading. His voice was shot and his then-new albums The Fire Inside (1991) and It's a Mystery (1995) were poorly-received and didn't sell well. Seger stepped away from music in the late '90s to focus on his family life and didn't release another album of entirely new material until Face the Promise in 2006 (where he finally got the hang of singing with his new voice), which was #2 on the US Billboard's Top Rock Albums and had people talking about him again.
  • Blake Shelton had an inconsistent track record for many years, and often struggled to get more than one big hit off an album, with his debut smash "Austin" (five-week stay at #1 on the country charts, #18 on the pop charts) casting a huge shadow. After neither of the singles from his fourth album, 2007's Pure BS, performed well, the album was re-released with a cover of Michael Bublé's "Home" that went all the way to #1. Although the next album, 2008's Startin' Fires, produced another #1 in "She Wouldn't Be Gone", the next single fizzled out and the album sold terribly. So he decided that he would start releasing EPs; while these themselves didn't light up the sales charts, the three singles from his two EPs (the Trace Adkins duet "Hillbilly Bone", "All About Tonight", and "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking") all went to #1 within the course of a year. This provided him with enough momentum for him to return to full albums, with the next three in the cycle (2011's Red River Blue, 2013's Based on a True Story..., and 2016's Bringing Back the Sunshine) all becoming smashes and maintaining a massive streak of #1 hits on the country charts (from "Hillbilly Bone" to "Came Here to Forget" in 2016, he hit #1 seventeen times in a row, one of the longest streaks achieved by any country artist ever). Even better, he managed to outpeak "Austin" twice on the pop charts, with "Honey Bee" and "Boys 'Round Here", which are also tied with "God Gave Me You" as his best-selling digital singles. Also helping was his gig as a coach on The Voice (started in 2011), which exposed him to a wider and more diverse audience.
  • Sonique was originally a member of the acid house group S-Express in the late '80s/early '90s, but retreated to the shadows for almost a decade, after which she returned with the solo hit "It Feels So Good" in 2000.
  • Britney Spears, one of the biggest pop stars in the world between 1999 and 2004, saw her career fly off the rails from 2004 to 2008 in one of the defining examples of a Creator Breakdown. Highlights include: a 55-hour Vegas marriage to a childhood friend, her turbulent relationship with Kevin Federline, shaving her head, the cancelled Original Doll album, delivering a critically-thrashed performance at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards (which spawned the "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!" meme from Chris Crocker), and finally, the court putting her into conservatorship of her father. However, the release of the album Circus in late 2008, combined with a reduced profile in the tabloids, has turned her career and reputation around, giving her some of her first hit singles since her days as a Teen Idol. And two hits from her album Femme Fatale prove that Circus wasn't just a fluke.
  • Dusty Springfield was huge during The '60s, and is considered one of the icons of "blue-eyed soul" with her landmark 1969 album Dusty in Memphis. However, due to personal troubles stemming from anxiety, alcoholism, and tabloids prying into her personal life (including her bisexuality), she had a career slump throughout the 1970s and '80s until Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys asked her to collaborate with them on "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" The song was a hit and revived her career and reputation in the general public's eye until her death in 1999.
  • The UK dance-pop group Steps infamously split up due to personal differences in 2001, but reunited a decade later.
  • Cat Stevens did this three times:
    • 1970's Mona Bone Jakon. After a lukewarm career in his teens and a long period of health problems, he figuratively and literally started Growing the Beard.
    • 1977's Izitso. The merely moderate success of 1975's Numbers (#13) following the successes of his previous five albums almost became a Creator Killer for him, but Izitso peaked at #7 on the Hot 200. He only made one more album after that before going on a long hiatus, but that had less to do with any career downturn and more to do with him converting to Islam.
    • 2006's An Other Cup. This was his first album since 1978's Back to Earth and marked his return to popular music as Yusuf Islam.

  • Teena Marie was one of the most popular R&B artists of the '80s, reportedly becoming the most successful white act in the history of Motown and still attaining mainstream success after a Label Hop to Epic Records with hit singles like "Lovergirl" and "Ooo La La La". However, Teena parted ways with Epic as a result of Creative Differences with the label during the creation of her 1990 album Ivory. She attempted an indie comeback in 1994 by founding her own label, Sarai Records, where she released her next album Passion Play, but in an era before music distribution on the Internet was possible, she struggled to find sufficient distribution for the album, causing Passion Play to come and go without many of her fans even knowing of its existence. Although she recorded a second album independently, Black Rain, Teena decided to hold back its release and secure a major-label deal in order to prevent replicating what happened with Passion Play; she eventually scored a deal with Cash Money Records in 2002, and the first album she released on the label, 2004's La Doña, ended up becoming the highest-charting album of her three-decade career, while its lead single "Still in Love" became her first top 40 hit on the R&B charts since 1990 and her first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1988, and it is now regarded as one of her most iconic songs. The final two albums she released before her death, 2006's Sapphire on Cash Money and 2009's Congo Square on Stax Records, were also met with commercial success and critical acclaim.
  • Thrice were a critically adored band that began as a Hardcore Punk outfit before branching out into Post-Hardcore, Emo, Progressive Rock, Alternative Rock, Indie Rock, Folk, Blues, New Age, Post-Rock, and just about anything else. Then, they disbanded for five years, before returning in 2016 with To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere, their highest-charting album to date.
  • Tanya Tucker was only 13 when she had her first hit single, "Delta Dawn", in 1972. She continued to have hits throughout The '70s, including six #1 hits and a Top 40 pop crossover with "Lizzie and the Rainman". But come The '80s, the pressures of stardom had hit her hard: she was drinking heavily and using cocaine, and had romantic entanglements with Glen Campbell. During the first few years of the decade, she was hopping from label to label, and having almost no success at radio, other than "Can I See You Tonight" in 1980. But after a three-year absence from the charts, she came back cleaned up and re-focused in 1986 on Capitol Records with "One Love at a Time". That song got her back on track, and in the 11 years she spent on Capitol, she scored a boatload of Top 10 hits, four more #1 hits, and four gold and two platinum albums.
  • Tina Turner with her 1984 Private Dancer album.
  • Train had hits in the late 1990s with "Meet Virginia", "Drops of Jupiter", and "Calling All Angels", but were pretty quiet after that, and in a few years, they were only remembered for "Drops of Jupiter". The massive crossover "Hey, Soul Sister" in 2009 finally got Train back on track. Their 2012 album was a hit as well.

  • U2 was one of the biggest rock acts of the 1980s with plenty of chart-topping hits. But they eventually endured a Dork Age in the 1990s with their album Pop and another album they didn't even release under the U2 name. A few years later, though, they came back in a huge way with 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind, whose leadoff single "Beautiful Day" got them the most airplay they'd had in years, and re-cemented their role as rock royalty.

  • Van Halen was considered one of the biggest bands of The '80s, with a huge multi-platinum debut and a string of successful follow-ups, including the spectacular 1984. Lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen was one of the seminal players of that decade's shred movement. In 1985, Van Halen replaced lead singer David Lee Roth after a bitter and public divorce and didn't skip a beat when they brought in former Montrose vocalist Sammy Hagar, who managed to catapult them to an even greater height of stardom. While many fans of Roth see "Van Hagar" as the band's Sell-Out period, this era produced four #1 albums: 1986's 5150, 1988's OU812, 1991's For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and 1995's Balance. Then, another messy and public divorce with a lead singer saw Hagar leave the band in 1996. They tried to regroup in 1998 with Van Halen III with former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone, which flopped despite producing a #1 rock hit in "Without You". From there, Eddie's personal life went to Hell; he divorced from longtime spouse Valerie Bertinelli, was in and out of rehab for drinking and drug problems, and had a bout with cancer. The band released a compilation album which kept their name relevant and charted at #3 in 2004, but the band further suffered from the departure of founding bassist Michael Anthony, who joined Hagar's touring band, and later his supergroup Chickenfoot with Joe Satriani and Chad Smith. The band also did not show up for its induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 (Hagar and Anthony were the only members who showed up and played a few Van Halen songs with guest artists). Eddie emerged from rehab in early 2010 alcohol and cancer-free and rumors surfaced that the band, now with Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass, was writing with founding singer David Lee Roth. In February 2012, the band released A Different Kind of Truth, their first studio album in 14 years. The album shot up to #2 on the charts and received rave reviews, and the band embarked on a successful tour in support of the album.
  • Giuseppe Verdi with Otello in 1887. Following the success of Aida in 1871, the aging Verdi spent a good fifteen years in virtual retirement, only writing two major works, a string quartet, and a requiem upon the death of the Milanese poet Alessandro Manzoni, and revising an earlier opera, Simon Boccanegra, in that time frame. But it was Otello that truly brought him back.

  • Richard Wagner had his career nearly destroyed by the Revolutions of 1848, by which time he had completed the opera Lohengrin, which premiered in 1850. Tristan und Isolde in 1865 brought him back to the world of op- uh, the music-drama.
  • Steve Wariner had a fairly consistent streak as a country hitmaker from 1981 to 1993, but he hit a dry spell after that. However, a few artists ended up recording songs that he wrote, most notably Clint Black ("Nothin' but the Taillights"), Garth Brooks ("Longneck Bottle", which also featured Wariner on lead guitar and background vocals), and Bryan White ("One Small Miracle"). He also got a duet vocal on One-Hit Wonder Anita Cochran's late 1997-early 1998 hit "What If I Said", and some stations even played these four songs in dedicated blocks. Their success led to him signing with Capitol Records in 1997, and he had three more Top 10 hits off his next two albums (1998's Burnin' the Roadhouse Down and 1999's Two Teardrops), plus a Top 5 guest spot on Black's 2000 hit "Been There" and a co-writer credit on Keith Urban's 2001 hit "Where the Blacktop Ends" before the hits dried out again.
  • Weezer was one of the few acts to experience a resurrection solely through the power of the internet. In late 2017, a young fan created a Twitter account called @weezerafrica with the goal of convincing Weezer to cover "Africa" by Toto. After months of the campaign spreading around social media, Weezer responded, although first with a cover of "Rosanna", before releasing "Africa" days later. The "Africa" cover went on to become Weezer's biggest hit in many years, hitting the Billboard Hot 100, crossing over to pop radio (rare achievements for a veteran rock band in the late 2010s), and becoming their first #1 on alternative radio in the 2010s. With the one-two punch of the surprise all-covers "Teal Album" & the long-awaited "Black Album" in 2019, as well as being announced as part of the lineup for the Hella Mega tour alongside Green Day and Fall Out Boy, It seems they won't be looking back anytime soon.
  • Pharrell Williams, as one-half of the Neptunes, was one of the defining producers of the early 2000s, scoring number one hits with Britney Spears and Snoop Dogg and grabbing critical acclaim for his work with Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z. Come 2006, and the lack of success generated by his solo album In My Mind diminished his profile; the most notable work he did for a while was the soundtrack for Despicable Me, and mostly worked as a producer-for-hire. Then 2013 happened. He collaborated with Daft Punk for their critical and commercial darling Random Access Memories (which also resurrected that band's career), and scored the two hottest songs of the summer: "Get Lucky" with Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers, and the controversial "Blurred Lines" with Robin Thicke and T.I.. Then he pulled out another international hit with "Happy", which also scored an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. His work co-producing Miley Cyrus' New Sound Album Bangerz gained him more exposure and acclaim. He had a very impressive year.
  • Charlie Wilson was the lead singer of The Gap Band, which was at its peak in the late '70s and early '80s, recording such R&B classics as "Outstanding", "Oops Upside Your Head", "Early In The Morning", and "You Dropped A Bomb On Me". However, by the late '80s, he was heavily involved in alcohol and cocaine. He hit his lowest point in 1993 when he was living on the streets of Los Angeles. He ended up going to rehab but found that many record labels wouldn't give him a chance after he got out. R. Kelly and Snoop Dogg would, however, and by 2005 he released his first solo single, "Charlie, Last Name Wilson". He has been nominated for four Grammys since his comeback and is hailed by many as one of the best Contemporary R&B singers.
  • Wiz Khalifa was the hottest new rapper of 2011, whose song "Black & Yellow" became a very rare #1 hit in a time where rap songs didn't gain enough crossover appeal to hit #1 (unless they were mixed with EDM, pop, or R&B). He continued to remain relevant through hit collaborations with the likes of Snoop Dogg ("Young, Wild, and Free") and Maroon 5 ("Payphone"). But by 2015, his hype died down as he was being overshadowed by the likes of Kendrick Lamar and J Cole. His second and third albums didn't sell nearly as well as his first, and he proved unable to score another major hit. That year, he recorded "See You Again" for the movie Furious 7. Khalifa had previously provided a song for the Fast 6 soundtrack, "We Own It", which was red-hot for a week after the movie came out thanks to his and 2 Chainz' fanbases buying it off iTunes, but it quickly plummeted off afterwards. Expectations for "See You Again" were the same, especially given that it was more of a pop song than his signature rap style and that his collaborator, Charlie Puth, was almost completely unknown at the time. Then the film came out, and the song suddenly struck a chord with listeners. The song's message about death connected with audiences, especially considering it was recorded in memory of the film's late star Paul Walker. After seeing the movie's emotional ending scene, audiences rushed to buy it on iTunes, and thanks to strong word-of-mouth it quickly caught on with the general public. It shot to #1 just two weeks after the movie came out, dethroning Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars's seemingly immovable megahit "Uptown Funk!" off the top spot after 14 weeks on its way to its own lengthy 12-week stay on top, and re-established Wiz Khalifa as a hip-hop megastar. The most surprising part about it is that despite Furious 7 having been an enormous blockbuster, the song turned out to be even bigger, as it became a bonafide pop-cultural phenomenon; thanks to perfect mid-spring timing, Again was easily repurposed into a graduation anthem (thanks in no small part to lines like "we've come a long way from where we began"). Needless to say, Khalifa's career was back on track.

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic went through one of these at the turn of The '90s. Following the failure of the UHF soundtrack and Michael Jackson politely declining him permission to parody "Black or White" as "Snack All Night", Al was at a crossroads in his career. Then an idea presented himself when Nirvana took off with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", inspiring Al to write "Smells Like Nirvana". This song reignited his career after that downturn, earning him another Top 40 pop hit and praise from Kurt Cobain himself. Al has been mostly on track ever since, scoring his sole Top 10 single with "White & Nerdy" and his first #1 album Mandatory Fun in the new millennium.
  • Yes was one of the most successful Progressive Rock groups of The '70s. By the end of the decade, however, the failure of the controversial, patchy 1978 album Tormato, a seismic line-up shift incorporating The Buggles for the 1980 followup album Drama, and prog-rock going out of fashion in general led to a drop in popularity and the breakup of the band in 1981. 1982 saw a new lineup co-led by South African guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Trevor Rabin and original singer Jon Anderson, which produced a groundbreaking, state-of-the-art prog-pop style for the multi-platinum 1983 album 90125 and the #1 hit "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (aided by an eye-catching music video directed by famed graphic artist Storm Thorgerson), revitalizing the band in The '80s. AllMusic's review of the album called it "a stunning self-reinvention by a band that many had given up for dead."


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