The year is almost over.

And you know what that means, don’t you? Time for lists. Lists of the best albums. Lists of the best concerts. Reflective lists looking back at the past year (and the decade, too) to spur some conversation.

I was thinking about what a great musical year it’s been, and these are some of the musical stories that made the biggest mark.

Some are local. Some are national. Some are a bit of both.

What was your favorite musical moment? Reach out on social media and tell me about it.


Pop star Lizzo performs at Maha Festival at Stinson Park on Aug. 17, 2019.

Lizzo blew up, and we got to see her in Omaha

I remember when Lizzo was announced as the headliner of Maha Music Festival, and people were going, “Lizzo who?” As I said at the time, it was a prescient choice. She had a huge year that saw her music go everywhere. She helped sell out Maha. And she capped it all off with eight Grammy nominations. Not bad.

‘Old Town Road’ was, simply put, a big thing

A sort of goof-off song from Lil Nas X absolutely exploded and became a record-breaking song, sitting atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for a total of 19 weeks. And it made Billy Ray Cyrus relevant again, so that’s also something.

Taylor Swift’s music rights became an ongoing story

Too bad for Taylor, because she released a good new album, “Lover,” in 2019, but most people were more focused on the rights to her past music, which were sold to Scooter Braun. She promised to rerecord all of her old music. She said her old label was also stopping her from performing at the American Music Awards. It far overshadowed her actual music.

Eric Church

Eric Church plays at CHI Health Center Omaha on Jan. 18. "If I'm gonna start my tour anywhere, I'm gonna do it in Omaha, Nebraska," Church said.

Eric Church kicked off his tour in Omaha

The “Double Down” tour had two nights in each town, and each one was pretty different. Anyway, it was epic, and it was pretty cool he started it here. “If I’m gonna start my tour anywhere, I’m gonna do it in Omaha, Nebraska,” Church said.

A local guy played the Super Bowl’s halftime show

Maroon 5 headlined the annual midgame spectacle, and guitarist James Valentine (a Lincoln guy) was there shredding. It was a pretty good show.

Omaha’s Memorial Park concert was called off

Then it was back on again. After some difficulty finding a corporate sponsor, an anonymous donor stepped forward to help sponsor the popular annual event. Eventually, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul and Chris Issak co-headlined the show. It was cool.

Omaha Performing Arts

A rendering of Omaha Performing Arts' planned live music venue. The project will cost $109 million and won't be finished for a few years.

A new music venue was announced for downtown Omaha

A major development project will kick off soon: Omaha Performing Arts announced its plans for new music venue. The cost? $109 million. Construction won’t be finished for a few years.

Justin Timberlake donated to flood relief efforts in Nebraska

Look, JT’s concert here was great. But one of the more memorable moments was when he stopped to tell the sold-out audience at CHI Health Center that he’d be throwing some cash to help out people in need. He’s a swell man.

The Woodstock anniversary concert didn’t happen

This year marked the iconic Woodstock festival’s 50th anniversary. It would have been a great time to make a salute to the fest (especially considering past efforts didn’t quite do it well), but plans fell apart when a suitable site couldn’t be found. It’s too bad, too. How many of the artists who played the original concert will be available when the next major anniversary rolls around?

Ryan Adams was accused of sexual misconduct

A lauded and popular singer-songwriter and producer, Adams was accused by several women (including ex-wife Mandy Moore) of unwanted sexual advances and emotional abuse.