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Top Songs of 2012

Justin Bieber Pink Rihanna Taylor Swift Bruno Mars
Jason Kempin / Kevin Winter / Simone Joyner / Christopher Polk / Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

Are you guys ready for the top songs of 2012? Pop artists have been insanely busy dropping new material this year, and it's been a tough decision, but we've managed to narrow down the list to 10 of 2012's best tracks.

So far this year, Rihanna's standout hit has been 'Diamonds,' while Pink has blows us away with her vocal performance on 'Try.' Additionally, we've seen some great new material from Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, plus many more. Check out our full list of the Top Songs of 2012 below!


Rihanna Diamonds
10

'Diamonds'

Rihanna
 
 

For her first 'Unapologetic' single Rihanna puts on one of the most sparkling vocal shows of her entire career. She sings about falling in love with her Bajan accent on full display, sticking the hook "shine bright like a diamond" into our brains like a wad of bubblegum. Given the passion with which she sings, 'Diamonds' is obviously a track that holds a lot of meaning for Rihanna -- note her infamous past and now present with Chris Brown -- which is especially interesting considering songwriter Sia and producers Benny Blanco and StarGate are the true brains behind this powerful, electropop gem.

 
Maroon 5 One More Night
9

'One More Night'

Maroon 5
 
 

While 'Moves Like Jagger' took over in 2011, Maroon 5's 2012 chart-topping hit has been 'One More Night,' the second single off of 'Overexposed.' With Adam Levine's always on-point falsetto at the forefront of the groovy reggae beat, 'One More Night' is classic Maroon 5 with a pleasantly funky twist. The back-and-forth, combative tone of the vocals reflects the conflicted nature of the lyrics, and we bet our Black Friday savings that the "ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh" hook (did we get all of them?) and singsong chorus will have you bumping this track well into the new year.

 
Pink Try
8

'Try'

Pink
 
 

While 'Blow Me (One Last Kiss)' saw Pink showing off her loveably sassy attitude, her second single off of 'The Truth About Love' allows her gripping, raw vocals to really take flight. This rock-inspired song builds as Pink's voice grows and grows, from the soft and sweet notes in the intro all the way up to her beautifully intense belting on the chorus. The lyrics also contain a strong and tangible message for listeners who are struggling in personal relationships, and Pink's incredible choreographed video makes the song Top Song of 2012 that much more memorable.

 
Kelly Clarkson Stronger
7

'Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)'

Kelly Clarkson
 
 

Coming in at No. 7 on our Top Songs of 2012 recap (so far) is Kelly Clarkson with her upbeat and inspiring single 'Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You).' It's clear that Clarkson wants all of her fans to feel empowered: Her vocals feel like a rush of adrenaline on this post-breakup song as she sings, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger / stand a little taller / Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone." Like 'Since U Been Gone,' this track is a liberating anthem for anybody who comes out of a breakup with a tougher skin.

 
Justin Bieber Boyfriend
6

'Boyfriend'

Justin Bieber
 
 

Justin is all grown up on his 2012 track 'Boyfriend,' which is definitely one of Bieber's best songs to date. With a clear Justin Timberlake influence (this song sounds like it could've been considered as a potential 'FutureSex/LoveSounds' track), the Biebs gets his "swaggie" on with a whispery rap intro before heading into the falsetto range on the incredibly catchy, R&B-twinged verses. Bieber also lays down a smooth chorus that has fans all over the world swooning as he sexily sings, "If I was your boyfriend, never let you go / Keep you on my arm girl, you'd never be alone."

 
One Direction Live While Were Young
5

'Live While We're Young'

One Direction
 
 

Ugh, when will One Direction stop being so awesome? Hopefully never. The British-Irish quintet stole our hearts in 2012 with a variety of top songs, but they're end-of-summer smash 'Live While We're Young' really had us going gaga for Liam, Louis, Harry, Zayn and Niall. The adorable Brits are at the top of their quintessential boy band game, singing about going "crazy, crazy, crazy" till sunrise and getting some while they're in their prime over an uptempo blend of hand claps, guitar and synth. They also sample the Clash classic 'Should I Stay or Should I Go Now,' showing that these fellas aren't afraid of throwing a little bit of punk into their pop.

 
Taylor Swift We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
4

'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'

Taylor Swift
 
 

While 'Red' is full of potential hits, Taylor Swift's lead single gives a great overall look at how she's grown musically. Swift delicately tip-toes outside her country roots with this upbeat breakup anthem that dares even the most anti-Swift listeners to sing along. Over a lighthearted bubblegum beat with some electro incorporations, Swift dishes on the roller coaster ride that is an on-again, off-again relationship -- even her up-and-down vocal style in the "Ooh, ooh, ooh-oh-oh" hook reflect the nature of the topic. There's no question --it's one of her sassiest, most singable and catchy tunes ever.

 
Bruno Mars Locked Out of Heaven
3

'Locked Out of Heaven'

Bruno Mars
 
 

Bruno Mars is delivering a much-needed dose of funk with 'Locked Out of Heaven,' No. 3 on our Top Songs of 2012. Along with his usual songwriting partners, Mr. Mars recruited Mark Ronson for co-production and writing credits on this Police-esque, R&B jam -- Mars' voice even takes on a very Sting-like sound at certain points. It's got a little bit of soul, some rock 'n' roll, atiny bit of reggae, and whole lot of Bruno's smooth vocals and on-point instrumentation. Ronson also injects his trademark retro sound and the track shows tremendous growth for Mars, as he builds upon his already outstanding sound while delivering some bedroom-ready lyricism.

 
Adele Skyfall
2

'Skyfall'

Adele
 
 

After racking up almost every Grammy award in February, Adele flew under the radar for most of 2012. Then, news broke she would be recording the theme song for the newest 007 flick 'Skyfall,' and we could hardly wait to hear what she had in store. Of course, the new mom didn't disappoint with the film's title track, which sits at No. 2 on our Top Songs of 2012. We can't imagine anyone else aside from the flawless Adele warbling the sultry, smoky lyrics to the swelling, symphonic tune, co-written by Adele and her collaborator Paul Epworth. The '21' chart-topper's vocals also have a sly and mysterious air about them, just like James Bond himself.

 
Kesha Die Young
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
1

'Die Young'

Kesha
 
 

All year long, Kesha has been teasing that her upcoming album 'Warrior' holds her greatest work to date -- she's backing up these claims with her lead single and the strongest release of 2012 thus far, 'Die Young.' Kesha teamed up with her old friends Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco to produce the track, and she also recruited fun. frontman Nate Ruess to help co-write 'Die Young.' The uptempo, electropop anthem has that "party on" vibe that screams Kesha, as she sing-raps through the saucy verses while belting it during the epic sing-along chorus. 'Die Young' is an irresistible, dancey, retro-inspired piece of pop perfection, topping our list of the best songs of 2012.

 

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