Death dominated the musical landscape in 2016. We lost too many big and important names — David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Prince and Leonard Cohen, to name a few. Bowie and Cohen released terrific albums shortly before they died. In 2016, working with just his voice and piano, Prince gave his most extraordinary Twin Cities concert since his 1984 Purple Rain Tour. But the year really belonged to another mononym, Beyoncé. Her “Lemonade” album defined how to create and market an adventurous, diverse album in 2016 (complete with a DVD movie featuring a video for every song), and her Formation World Tour, which played at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, defined how to stage a purposeful and wow-inducing stadium concert.

Best albums

1. “Lemonade,” Beyoncé

2. “Coloring Book,” Chance the Rapper

3. “Blackstar,” David Bowie

4. “You Want It Darker,” Leonard Cohen

5. “Stranger to Stranger,” Paul Simon

6. “Sea of Noise,” St. Paul & the Broken Bones

7. “The Ghosts of Highway 20,” Lucinda Williams

8. “The Weight of These Wings,” Miranda Lambert

9. “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” Sturgill Simpson

10. “American Band,” Drive-by Truckers

Best concerts

Most unforgettable: Prince, Jan. 21 first show, Paisley Park

Most spectacular: Beyoncé, May 23, TCF Bank Stadium

Still the greatest: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Feb. 29, Xcel Energy Center

Best one-show tour: Metallica, Aug. 20, U.S. Bank Stadium

Still challenges himself after all these years: Paul Simon, June 14, Orpheum Theatre

Best salve after the election: Tedeschi Trucks Band, Nov. 11, Orpheum

He was who we thought he was, finally: Jesse Johnson, Dec. 2, First Avenue

Best in-the-moment performance: Adele, July 5, Xcel Energy Center

Best three-peat: Lisa Fischer, March 7, July 3 and Nov. 6, Dakota Jazz Club

Best newcomer: (Tie) King, Feb. 12, Icehouse; Kandace Springs, Aug. 18, Dakota