Music Madness: Periscope Staff Picks Face Off in Music Based Bracket

DRUM ROLL PLEASE: Periscopes own March Madness based competition with a musical theme. The bracket captures the staffs favorite musicians and bands, putting them against one another.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE: Periscope’s own March Madness based competition with a musical theme. The bracket captures the staff’s favorite musicians and bands, putting them against one another.
Myana Brown
The Idea

Last year for March Madness, the CHS Periscope staff pitted local Carlisle restaurants against one another in a viewership based March Madness Bracket. This year, the staff decided to stray from local roots and covered more of a wider-scale topic– musical artists. As a staff, we collected lists of everyone’s favorite bands and singers, ultimately narrowing it down to 50 groups or individuals based on genres. Each division of the bracket is dedicated to a specific genre, one to popstars, one for R&B/Hip-Hop/Rap, one for rock, and one for miscellaneous/chaos. Below is a list of each artist or band in its respective division of the bracket, with a little getting to know the artist information alongside a small playlist to sample their stylings. 

Pop Music

Taylor Swift is an American singer/songwriter who started her career in 2005 when she released her debut country album Taylor Swift. Since then, she entered the pop music scene when she released 1989. This past year, Swift released her 10th album, Midnights, and then embarked on the highest grossing tour of all time. Going on tour with over 150 shows, her “Eras Tour” was some of the biggest music news of 2023 and ultimately increased her popularity even more. Ranked number 1 in the world on Spotify, Taylor Swift has garnered countless awards and nominations for both her original albums and her recreations. Swift’s music is lyrically beautiful and often tells impactful stories that move the hearts of her listeners, while other songs are just catchy and great for dancing.

Olivia Rodrigo, similar to other young pop-artists, started her career on Disney. Co-starring in Bizzaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, she created hits like “All I want” and “1 step forward, 3 steps back.” After leaving Disney, her song “drivers license” made her a household name, especially after being performed by the cast of SNL in a skit. She is the youngest artist in Hot 100 to debut three hits, and both of her albums, SOUR and GUTS, have been well-received, with SOUR going triple platinum and GUTS being nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys. She has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, and most recently, she wrote a song for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

Sabrina Carpenter is a newer pop star and is still ascending in fame. She started off acting in small roles and then eventually made appearances on popular Disney shows, and even ended up playing a lead in “Girl Meets World.” Her explosion of popularity is partly from drama between her and pop-sensation, Olivia Rodrigo. She performs concerts, singing her hits like “Feather” and a crowd-favorite, “Nonsense.” She released her first album in 2015 and her most recent one, Fruitcake, in 2023. Currently, she is working with Taylor Swift, singing as a guest on the international Eras Tours.

Harry Styles is one of the most iconic pop artists of this decade. In 2010, the hit British-pop band One Direction formed with Styles as a vocalist after a long run on the television series, The X Factor. The band split in 2016 after becoming the world’s largest boy band since The Beatles, prompting him to release his first self-titled solo album in 2017. This pop-rock album was met with adoration among critics and fans, herding his fanbase from 1D over to his solo career. His next two albums were immensely popular with his 2022 record even winning the top accolade of the night, “Album of the Year,” at the 2023 Grammy Awards. His hit songs “Watermelon Sugar” and “As It Was” have been non-stop radio hits since their releases, asserting Styles’ place as a pop icon. 

Selena Gomez rose to fame as a child actress for roles in popular kids TV shows like Barney and Friends and Wizards of Waverly Place. Her music journey began when she signed with Hollywood Records in 2008 and formed her own band, Selena Gomez and the Scene. Her band had a couple of successful albums including Kiss and Tell and A Year Without Rain. After splitting up from her band to focus on her solo career, Gomez has remained successful in acting, singing, and even business with her own cosmetic line, Rare Beauty. Throughout her career, she has been awarded several Teen Choice Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and People’s Choice Awards among other accolades. Gomez continues to release music with her newest hit, “Love On,” which was released in February, 2024. 

Ariana Grande made her debut in 2013 with her album Yours Truly, which later went on to place on the US Billboard 200. To date, Grande has released seven studio albums including her newest release Eternal Sunshine. Over the years she has accumulated one Brit Award, two Grammy Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards, nine MTV Video Music Awards, and 35 Guinness World Records. Grande is known for her impressive whistle tones, her four octave range, and her singing technique. Today, she works on her two businesses, R.E.M Beauty and her fragrance line. 

Beyoncé is a songwriter, singer and businesswoman who became famous in the trio Destiny’s Child. After award winning work with Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé went on to sell 200 million records worldwide as a solo artist, Beyoncé is one of the best selling music artists of all time accumulating 32 grammys. “Queen Bee” has released seven studio albums, five live albums, three compilation albums, five EPs, one soundtrack album for the live action Lion King, and two karaoke albums. Her discography ranges from R&B, soul, pop, hip-hop, rap, funk, and recently 2 country inspired songs, 16 CARRIAGES and TEXAS HOLD EM’. Beyoncé gained recognition from her ability to mix multiple genres and keep the same flow throughout her songs. Her impeccable lyrics are also something to note when listening to her songs. Beyoncé continues to prove that she can do it all by releasing a hair care brand, Cécred alongside her mother, Tina Knowles. She recently announced the release of her eighth studio album, Cowboy Carter.

Dua Lipa debuted on June 2nd, 2017 with a self titled album. Her first UK number one single was “New Rules” and her sophomore album (2020) peaked number one on the UK music charts. The English-Albanian singer won seven Brit Awards, three Grammys, and one NME Award. Lipa is known for her pop disco genres and her recognizable raspy voice. Lipa has recently announced the release of her new album Radical Optimism set to be out in May of 2024. She has also starred in the 2024 spy action movie, Argyle.


Kendrick Lamar is a world renowned rapper from the Compton, who released his first album Section.80 in 2011, followed by good kid, m.A.A.d city, To Pimp A Butterfly, DAMN, and most recently Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. He is best known for his introspective lyrics, social critiques, and his great flows. He has also won 17 GRAMMYs and been nominated 50 times at the award show. Most notably, Lamar took home a Pulitzer Prize for DAMN, and remains the only rapper to even win the award. 

Drake is a Canadian rapper, singer/songwriter, among some of the best selling music artists, with over 170 millions records sold. In addition to his impressive record sales, Drake also boasts the most number one singles in the following categories: R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Songs, and Rhythmic Airplay charts. Safe to say he has always been well loved, however Drake’s most recent album For All The Dogs  caused a major surge in his popularity, one of his most popular songs on the album “IDGAF” reaching over 338 million listens on Spotify along with 84 million monthly listeners. Drake had also been awarded 5 Grammy’s in his time in the music industry, with 55 nominations.  

The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer. One of the most streamed artists on Spotify, The Weeknd debuted in 2011 with his EP “House of Balloons” and from then on made several notable albums such as After Hours, Starboy, Dawn FM and more. He has also won many awards including 4 Grammys, 20 Billboard Music Awards, 22 Juno Awards, 6 American Music Awards, 2 MTV Video Music awards, and a Latin Grammy Award. Earlier this year, The Weeknd teased fans about the release of an album to come later in 2024. 

Doja Cat’s unique sound, songwriting skills, and vocal range have made her intensely popular in the past few years. She skyrocketed to internet fame in 2018 when her parody song “MOOO!” quickly became an online meme. With this newfound popularity, she released her second studio album Hot Pink. On this album, her song “Say So” became all the rave because of a viral TikTok dance that accompanied the song. In the years following, she has been nominated for, and won, a plethora of awards including “New Artist of The Year” in 2020 at the American Music Awards. Her fourth studio album Scarlet was released in September of 2023 and was met with positive reception among critics and fans. 

Frank Ocean is a very well-known artist with many hit songs including “Pink + White” and “Thinkin Bout You.” His first step to fame was in 2010 after joining the hip-hop group Oddfuture. He has also worked with other artists including Calvin Harris and Tyler The Creator. He has won multiple Grammys for both his solo pieces and group work. He has unfortunately been on hiatus since 2020, but fans still rave over his previous works.

Mac Miller is an American rapper best known for his album Swimming. His first full length album was released in 2011 and quickly reached a number one spot. He is known for his hit songs “Love Lost” and “Cinderella”. At the 2010 Pittsburgh Hip Hop Awards, he won ‘21 & Under of the Year’ and ‘Best Hip Hop Video’. He sadly passed away a few years ago, yet he continues to gain fans every day. 

Tyler the Creator made a mixtape called “Bastard” which led to his first record deal in 2009. Then after his release of his single, “Yonkers,” he would release his first album Goblin.Tyler the creator would go on to win a multitude of awards like, “Best Hip Hop Album” (Call Me if You Get Lost and IGOR), Hip Hop best live performer, and best new artist (Yonkers). His performances are known to be invigorating and passionate. Tyler hasn’t released anything recently, but his controversial lyrics and his defiant attitude draws in a crowd of loyal and diverse fans.

SZA is an American singer/songwriter who has put out only two studio albums (Ctrl and SOS) but has still quickly become a female R&B staple. With 72.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and one of her most popular songs, “Kill Bill”, reaching 1.7 billion listens on Spotify. SZA has also released multiple self-released Ep’s  “See.SZA Run.” and “S”. SZA has numerous collaborations with other icons in the genre as well, such as Drake, Travis Scott, and Kendrick Lamar. She has also climbed her way up multiple charts such as the Top-Ten on the US Independent Albums chart, and become the second longest R&B album by a female artist on Bill 200. Over her shorter music career, she has acquired 4 Grammy awards and more, along with 177 nominations for awards.


The Beatles was the rock band that set the standard for modern pop music and stardom from Liverpool, England. Their career lasted roughly ten years, starting in 1960, and their music has had a lasting effect on rock, pop, country, and R&B. Members include: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, and the four of them are considered the most influential band of all time. Some of their most popular songs include, “Here Comes the Sun”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, and “Twist and Shout,” released in the 1960s-70s, yet still played often today.  

Formed in London, 1962, The Rolling Stones were one of the most popular and influential bands of their time, with songs influencing rock music still to this day. The original members include Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts. Their most played song, “Paint It, Black”, released in 1966 has been streamed more than a billion times, and is one of the oldest songs to reach a billion listens on Spotify. 

Fleetwood Mac is a  British-American rock band formed in 1967 who went on to be one of the most famous bands of all time. After gaining their popularity in 1975 due to their addition of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, they released popular hits such as “Dreams,” “The Chain,” “Landslide,” “Silver Springs,” and “Everywhere.” Fleetwood Mac has won two Grammys, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received the Brit Award, and many more notable accomplishments throughout their music career. As of now, the band is assumed to be broken up, considering the death of Christine McVie and their final tour occurring in 2018. 

David Bowie was an English singer-songwriter with a career spanning over fifty years, covering genres like rock, pop, soul, and ambient. His innovative experimentations with performance and sound from the 1970s established Bowie as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, shaping trends in music today. Bowie has 71 awards out of 186 nominations for his artistic achievements. Unfortunately, on January 10, 2016, David Bowie passed away from liver cancer, leaving behind one of the most impressive catalogs of pop music.

Formed in Sacramento, California in 1988, Deftones have had a tumultuous music career spanning three platinum albums— Adrenaline (1995), Around the Fur (1997), and White Pony (2000)— and multiple Grammy awards. The quintet’s experimental style and all around success has cemented Deftones as an influential, trailblazing presence in the alternative music scene. In 2018, the band curated, launched, presented, and headlined their very own festival, Dia De Los Deftones featuring an eclectic lineup including Future, CHVRCHES, Megan Thee Stallion, and more. In early 2021, the band’s bassist, Sergio Vega, parted ways with Deftones after a disagreement about his role as the technical “temporary bassist” after founding member, Chi Cheng, was involved in a traffic collision.

The Foo Fighters were founded by Dave Grohl, former drummer of Nirvana, in 1994. Now the lineup consists of many other faces, including Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, and Josh Freese. Dabbling mostly in alternative rock, the band has produced 11 studio albums, a musical docuseries called Sonic Highways, and won countless awards. Their most recent album, But Here We Are, focuses largely on themes of grief spurred by longtime drummer Taylor Hawkins’ death in 2022. 

Queen’s rise to fame came from their insanely good music and their showmanship on stage. Their frontman, Freddie Mercury, boasted one-of-a-kind vocal performances, and a performance persona that attracted fans worldwide. This made people fall in love with their music allowing for their induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Queen’s greatest songs are “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Somebody to Love,” “Who Wants to Live Forever,” and “Under Pressure.” The band  was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. After decades of success, frontman Freddie Mercury died of AIDS.

Nirvana is an American rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. Despite having quite a short musical career due to the tragic passing of Kurt Cobain, they managed to become one the most influential grunge acts of all time. They released their breakthrough album Nevermind in 1991 which garnered them a massive fanbase that continues to grow despite the band disbanding in 1994. They also released a live album with MTV Unplugged which is considered one of the best live albums to ever be produced/performed of all time. 


Tim McGraw climbed the music charts in the early 90s with his country appeal. His second album, Not a Moment Too Soon, proved successful on the Billboard Charts and earned him album of the year from the American Country Music Awards. Part of his success stems from connections after meeting his famous father, baseball legend Tug McGraw. The younger McGraw has songs about love, life, and the comfort of home. He has won three Grammy Awards, earning his first one from a collaboration with his wife, Faith Hill. Along with Grammys, McGraw has received People’s Choice Awards, Country Music Association Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and others for his country hits. Not only has he shown success in singing, but the singer has also picked up acting. He appears in supporting roles as well as starred in the Yellowstone prequel, 1883. The singer is currently on his Standing Room Only Tour. 

Zach Bryan is an American rising country singer who has gained popularity from his newest album American Heartbreak. He won his first Grammy for “I Remember Everything,” a duet with country singer Kacey Musgraves. Bryan has won 4 awards from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards. He has brought country music back to life by catering to a younger generation and also keeping the country vibe. He is now going on his The Quittin Time Tour throughout 2024. 

Aretha Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Signed to Columbia Records in 1960 just after turning 18, Franklin had occasional R&B hits but never truly soared to stardom. She left Columbia for Atlantic Records in 1966 and blew up after her first single “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You).” Throughout the late 1960s, Franklin was considered one of the biggest international stars in all of pop, with many seeing her as a symbol of Black America itself at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Rolling Stone has twice named her the greatest singer of all time, with global sales of over 75 million records.  

Frank Sinatra, an American icon, was discovered by Harry James in 1939. His solo career followed shortly after that in the early 40s, quickly faltering due to controversies, but he was able to gain popularity again by appearing on the big screen in movie musicals. His work in From Here to Eternity earned him an Oscar for best supporting actor. After a decade of highs and lows, Sinatra signed on to Capitol Records in 1953, releasing some of his best music yet including 1958 album Come Fly With Me. In 1960, Sinatra founded Reprise Records, producing more successes such as “Strangers in the Night,” “My Way,” and “That’s Life.” The legend has received several Grammys and Academy Awards throughout his career. Sinatra passed away in 1998 from a heart attack.  

The Smiths were an English band formed in Manchester in 1982. Their indie style and creative lyricism contributed to their admiration, and even today they have some kind of renaissance with a newer generation. Their debut single “Hand in Glove” led to a spark in popularity, and since then, they have won multiple NME awards throughout their prime. Their lead guitarist Johnny Marr was also awarded NME Genius. Some of their hit albums like The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead, and Hatful Of Hollow are still streamed heavily today. While the band is no longer together, their influence on the music industry still sticks with artists around the world.  

Radiohead is an experimental rock band originating from England and formed in 1985. Their first single debut “Creep” was released in 1993 and reached critical acclaim almost immediately. Some notable albums by Radiohead include OK Computer, Kid A, In Rainbows, and The Bends. OK Computer was released in 1997 and is considered one of the most innovative albums of the 90s, going five times platinum in the U.K. and two times platinum in the United States. They have sold over 30 Million records and are considered one of the greatest bands of our time. 

Phoebe Bridgers is an alternative artist who got her big break at the South by Southwest Festival in 2017. Her songwriting talents and soothingly beautiful voice have led to her popularity across the indie-pop scene. Her debut album, Stranger in the Alps, blew up with the two most popular singles “Motion Sickness” and “Scott Street”. Her success continues to increase with her recent releases and role in the supergroup trio boygenius with Lucy Dacus and Julian Baker. She has also opened for popstar Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour and continues to tour with boygenius. 

Noah Kahan, recognized as one of the best upcoming indie-folk artists, is an American singer/songwriter who signed to Republic Records in 2017. His breakthrough single “Hurt Somebody” reached gold status in the US and charted internationally. Along with his latest album release, Stick Season, which earned a 2023 Grammy Award nomination, he has become popular with other songs including “Dial Drunk” featuring Post Malone. Overall, his blend of country, folk, indie, and pop elements have created his signature sound and garnered millions of fans across the world.

How to Vote?

To be a part of our March Madness competition, be sure to follow @CHSPeriscope on Instagram. Voting is taking place on our Instagram Stories starting March 26, 2024. Stay tuned to find out who the ultimate musician or band is.

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