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May 23, 2024
(Updated on
May 23, 2024

Exploring Excellence: Apple Music's Selection of the Top 10 Albums from its Best 100

Apple Music celebrates the pinnacle of musical achievement with the launch of its 100 Best Albums compilation. Unveiled on May 13th through a press release, the company outlined its plan to celebrate the top 100 albums over a span of 10 days. 

Each day, 10 albums will be unveiled, accompanied by the launch of a fresh 100 Best microsite, exclusive content, dedicated Apple Music Radio episodes, and myriad additional surprises. The climax of the countdown will occur on May 22, with a special broadcast radio segment revealing Apple Music’s top 10 albums of all time.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash 

Behind-the-Scenes of Apple Music 100 Best Albums List

The list serves as an editorial declaration, completely separate from streaming statistics on Apple Music. In Apple's press release, they describe it as "a love letter to the records that have shaped the world music lovers live and listen in." This sentiment embodies a heartfelt tribute to the albums that have profoundly impacted the cherished musical landscape embraced by enthusiasts globally.

It's a compilation of the 100 Best Albums of all time, a joyous roster featuring the pinnacle recordings ever produced. Apple Music’s team of specialists meticulously curates this list in conjunction with a handpicked assembly of artists such as Maren Morris, Pharrell Williams, J Balvin, Charli XCX, Mark Hoppus, Honey Dijon, and Nia Archives. Additionally, it includes contributions from songwriters, producers, and seasoned industry experts.

Photo by Apple on Apple Newsroom 

The Countdown Broken Down 

To commemorate the occasion, Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden of Apple Music engaged in a special roundtable discussion with iconic record producer, writer, and performer Nile Rodgers, along with Grammy-nominated artist and producer Maggie Rogers. This exclusive broadcast, reflecting on the list, will be globally aired on Apple Music on May 22.

The Top Album 

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill claimed the top spot among all 100 albums. Upon learning of this honour, Lauryn Hill expressed to Apple Music, "While this is an accolade for me, it's a testament to a rich, profound narrative that involves countless individuals, significant sacrifices, ample time, and a collective outpouring of love."

Photo by Apple on Apple Newsroom 

Lauryn Hill’s debut solo studio album in 1998 was a seismic event, offering a raw, profound glimpse into both her personal journey and the spirit of the era itself. Her unparalleled talent continues to resonate across generations. While many artists strive for a cohesive masterpiece to shape culture, Hill achieved this with her debut alone.

Experts (Lowe, Darden, Rodgers and Rogers)  who participated in a roundtable discussion agree that the album remains timeless, with its relevance and freshness enduring through the years. It serves as a source of inspiration for emerging artists, becoming ingrained in their artistic DNA.

Lauryn Hill's ability to weave her community, friends, and family into the album creates an intimate, expansive listening experience. It effortlessly blends elements of R&B, hip-hop, and themes of independence and empowerment, making it a quintessential representation of popular music over the last two decades. Ultimately, the album's personal touch, encompassing various musical elements and themes, is what secured its position as the number one choice. Lauryn Hill's talent and the album's enduring impact are universally acknowledged.

Top 10 of Apple Music’s 100 best Albums are listed below: 

10. Lemonade – Beyoncé

9. Nevermind – Nirvana

8. Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

7. Good Kid, m.A.A.d City (Deluxe Version) – Kendrick Lamar

6. Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder

5. Blonde – Frank Ocean

4. Purple Rain – Prince & The Revolution

3. Abbey Road – The Beatles

2. Thriller – Michael Jackson

1. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill


Hip-hop emerged as the predominant genre on the list, boasting 22 albums among the selections. Following closely behind, soul and R&B secured second place with 19 albums featured, while Rock and Alternative shared the third spot with 15 albums each. Additionally, the list included one reggae, country, and Latin album each, with Bad Bunny standing out as the sole Latino artist represented with "Un Verano Sin Ti" at No. 76. 

Photo Александр Трубицын on Pexels 

More Additions From Apple Music 

As an enchanting addition for music lovers, the Apple Music team's specialists have curated 100 audio vignettes, skillfully narrating the tales behind each album. These vignettes provide insightful context on their significance and ranking on the list. Expertly edited by award-winning audio editors, they serve as captivating auditory companions to Apple Music’s distinguished collection of the 100 Best Albums. You can enjoy listening to them on Apple Podcasts.