We lost one of the greatest voices of all time, while ridiculing a new one when Lana Del Rey emerged nervously on SNL. Adele proved that quality music still sells and Christina Aguilera illustrated that same theory later in the year when her album flopped. We became obsessed with learning to dance Gangam Style, while trying to get "Call Me Maybe" out of our heads. Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj fought for cameras promoting the new season of American Idol, while Britney Spears unenthusiastically coached her "teens" on The X Factor. Bubblegum pop returned with acts like Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and new boyband One Direction topping the charts, while radio over played indie-pop tunes "We Are Young" and "Somebody That You Used To Know." And Carrie Underwood 'blew us away' with her stunning vocals, while Taylor Swift turned the charts 'Red'.
Yes, it was a year to remember and as it comes to a close it's time to countdown the best of what 2012 had to offer.
Artists of the Year
- Maroon 5 - It may have been 2002 when these pop rockers first impacted the charts, but the tenth anniversary of their first record was their biggest year yet. The band, along with Adam's The Voice coach Christina Aguilera, had the world learning how to "move like Jagger" with over 8.5 million copies of the single sold, naming "Moves Like Jagger" one of the best selling singles of all time. Their fourth album Overexposed also delivered hits "Payphone" and the band's longest running #1 single "One More Night."
- Mumford & Sons - The indie folk band released their sophomore record Babel, which debuted at #1 and was the second biggest-selling debut of the year.
- Lana Del Rey - Despite her over-discussed nervous performance on SNL, Del Rey was the one of the most talked about new artists in history and her debut album Born To Die debuted at #1 in eleven countries and her face was plastered all over ads for H&M and Jaguar.
Best Songs of the Year
- Fun. "We Are Young" - Fun. was easily one of the best breakout bands of the year and their debut single had all the makings of a pop classic. Assisting in their Grammy nominations, the single's anthemic hook had me from the very first listen. Even after its over-play on radio, the song remains the best of the year.
- Lana Del Rey "Video Games" - One of the most gorgeous melodies on radio, this track went from indie sensation to mainstream gold making Lana one of the most promising new talents in music.
- Kelly Clarkson "Stronger" - It's no surprise to my readers that Clarkson makes my list. Not only was "Stronger" one of the most massive songs of the year, it was Kelly's biggest to date (yep, not even "Since U Been Gone" beat it). The song topped twenty-nine international charts.
- Five Knives - Recently signed to Red Bull Records, these electronic punk rockers are my pick for most promising act of 2013. If my prediction is correct, next year people will learn to "strike like a cobra, move like Geisha," along with frontwoman Anna Worstell, to their anthemic "Take My Picture."
- Mikky Ekko - Featured on Rihanna's new single "Stay", this Nashville indie rocker will be making waves in the new year.
- Ed Sheeran - Already a phenomenon, 2013 will be even bigger for him as he hits the road opening for Taylor Swift on her world wide tour.
**Honorable mentions: The CO, Marié Digby & Tyler Bryant and the Shakedowns all had a nice showing in the polls and have big plans for the new year.