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Top 10 Songs of 2011
From Lady Gaga’s Born this Way to Britney Spears’ comeback album Femme Fatale, and Jay-Z and Kanye’s collaboration on Watch the Throne, 2011 has been a great year for music. Not only was this a big year for comebacks, but it was the year of big collaborations with some of the most unexpected pairings (Bieber and Kanye). We compiled our ten favorite singles you’ve cried, partied and sang along to this year.
1. I Wanna Go by Britney Spears
Britney has never sounded better after bouncing back from her mediocre 2007 Circus release. Taking a more electronic, dance-heavy direction, Britney succeeded with her club beats, I Wanna Go and Till the World Ends. The song may have been the third single off Femme Fatale, but by September, it amassed over 1.1. million digital downloads.
2. How to Love by Lil Wayne
Most people know Lil Wayne for his slick rhymes on 6 Foot 7 Foot and John, but the successful summer jam How to Love showed us a softer side to the rap king. Weezy reinvented himself, trading in his fast-paced tracks for a mellower acoustic beat. The result ended up a heart-felt ballad, helping Weezy win over fans who may typically skip rap music.
3. Born This Way by Lady Gaga
After a year of dressing as everything from a mermaid to a man, Lady Gaga stripped down in Born This Way, to show us it’s all right to embrace your own skin. Inspired by Madonna’s Express Yourself, Born This Way is Gaga’s most empowering single yet. The single sold 448,000 digital downloads in three days giving Gaga the most downloads in a week by any female artist. Unlike Judas and Bad Romance, this retro-80s flashback track showcases Gaga’s range and continuous evolution as an artist.
4. Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO
In 2009, most people would hear LMFAO and think of a text-based acronym. Now, the name brings images of shuffling, afros and a man in a box costume. This year, LMFAO taught everyone how to party rock and even inspired some Forever 21 kicks. Their catchy electro beat sold over 4,000,000 digital downloads in the U.S. The song has become so popular, even the Chipmunks have a cover. Talk about some major shuffling.
5. Otis by Kanye West and Jay Z
When news broke of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s album collaboration, it sounded like a blessing from the rap gods and each track has left us wanting more. Sampling Otis Reading’s Try a Little Tenderness, the track is fresh, original and unlike anything ever done before. The duo spared no expense, hiring Spike Jonez to direct their video and featuring a cameo from comedian Aziz Ansari. We’re wondering how many collaboration albums this one will inspire next year.
6. Take Care by Rihanna and Drake
Love him or hate him, Drake’s had a pretty good year. Sure his chart topping singles like I’m On One to Headlines are worth a listen, but Take Care may be the best collaboration yet and can only be a sign of more to come.
7. E.T. by Katy Perry
Mrs. Russell Brand had many chart-topping successes this year. Sure we could have picked Last Friday Night or The One that Got Away, but no Katy Perry track stands out in our minds like E.T. The fourth single off of Perry’s third studio album made history by selling over 300,000 digital copies for four consecutive weeks. Although some complained the video was a Lady Gaga rip off, at least we got great “E.T.” makeup tutorials on YouTube out of it.
8. Rolling in The Deep by Adele
Britain gave us a lot of good things this year—The X Factor, a royal wedding and Adele. Rolling in the Deep was probably the best break-up song of the year (aside from Someone Like You). Unlike most singles this year, Adele brought back the blues-retro vibe Amy Winehouse pioneered. The song was nominated for seven MTV video music awards and Adele took home three. Here’s hoping Adele wins big at the Grammys next year!
9. Without You by David Guetta ft. Usher
There’s a reason David Guetta collaborates with the big dogs. Every track on his summer release, Nothing but the Beat, delivers strong. Although the slower of the bunch, but not by much, the single brings Usher back into the spotlight after his successful OMG tour last year. It’s also a faster paced love song without too much electronic influence.
10. We Found Love by Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris
We’ll forgive Rihanna for the carrot top earlier this year since she delivered a plethora of hits, from naughty-yet-delicious S&M to the toned down California King Bed. Teaming up with Scottish music producer Calvin Harris, this electro-pop single became so successful it allowed Rihanna to become one of the only artists in history to have at least 11 number-one singles. We can’t wait for more singles from her new album Talk That Talk.