Beyoncé and Jay-Z
Here's the good news: Both members of the Carter family killed it on the road this summer (though only one of them wore a gold bodysuit on stage). But on record, Blue Ivy's parents struggled. Following an unprecedented build up to his new album Magna Carta Holy Grail that included a lucrative exclusivity deal with Samsung, Jay-Z sounded untethered and hopelessly dense for the first time in his career. It scored at the cash register, though its sales were blunted by the pre-release platinum plaque he scored after Samsung bought a million copies to give away. If it wasn't going to be a good album, Magna Carta should have at least been a great event. But it's a non-starter either way. At least Jay's recording career is in better shape than his wife's: Beyoncé floated a handful of singles, most of which were associated with ads for Pepsi and H&M. But nothing stuck, and her forthcoming fifth solo joint still doesn't have a release date despite the fact that she reportedly has more than enough material in the can. Both Jay and Bey are cultural institutions, but as recording artists, they spent the season flailing.