1. 'N Sync rides the wave. The boy band caps an unrivaled run of prosperity for the music industry by selling 2.4 million copies of its 2000 album "No Strings Attached" in a single week.
2. Radiohead's "Kid A" leaks. Despite hitting the Internet months before release, the album debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard chart anyway, with computer-savvy fans leading the charge.
3. Metallica sues Napster. The band files suit in April 2000 and brings the wrath of the music industry down on peer-to-peer file sharing. The move didn't exactly endear the band to music consumers, and online backlash came swiftly. Napster filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and now exists as a paid, subscription-based service.
4. Kelly Clarkson tops Justin Guarini. In winning the first "American Idol," she helps ignite the most popular mainstream music industry franchise of the decade.
5. Festivals jump-start touring. After a false start in 1999 followed by years of inactivity, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival re-launches in 2002 in California. In Tennessee, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival debuts. The two events kick off a decade of major destination festivals, including Lollapalooza and Pitchfork in Chicago, and help rejuvenate the touring business.
6. Apple opens its digital media store iTunes. It is the music industry's most successful response to the file-sharing crisis.
7. Recording industry cracks down. In 2003, the Recording Industry Association of America opens a lengthy campaign to sue consumers accused of sharing copyrighted digital songs. Most consumers avoid trial by paying a $3,000 fine.
8. The Arcade Fire catches fire. An obscure Canadian band, the Arcade Fire, hits big with its 2004 debut, "Funeral," fueled by massive Internet buzz fed primarily by e-zine Pitchfork. The next year, the Web site begins curating its own festival, and a host of indie-rock bands would enjoy unprecedented mainstream attention.
9. File-sharers pay. Culminating four years of lawsuits against file-sharing consumers, a jury awards the music industry $222,000 in the infringement trial of Jammie Thomas-Rasset, who is accused of making 24 copyrighted songs available on her home computer. The award is increased to $1.92 million in a retrial the next year.
10. Live Nation and Ticketmaster join forces. The industry giants in 2009 announce plans to merge the nation's largest concert promoter and ticketing company. Despite major concerns about a monopoly that could send ticket prices spiraling even higher, the merger is still in play as the decade ends.