If you want to hear the state of the art in Britney Spears' music, look no further than "Till the World Ends." She simply takes over the dance floor here, and the "Oh Oh Oh" chorus is simply sublime. It was also the occasion for a star powered remix featuring Nicki Minaj and Ke$ha.
Jennifer Lopez is back, with a bit of help from American Idol, and she knows how to kick off a party. Pitbull delivers an intoxicating rap as well. Few party songs this year were appealing to a wider audience than Jennifer Lopez' sweet, slightly exotic sounding comeback hit.
Tinie Tempah crossed the Atlantic after a stellar debut year at home in the UK in 2010 with this huge, uplifting anthem. His staccato delivery contrasts with the smooth vocals of American singer Eric Turner. It is a truly exciting introduction to one of pop's top new young talents.
All of "Headlines" has a feeling of nervous urgency. Drake doesn't blow us away with a massive hook here. Instead he focuses everything on his tales of the ups and downs of being a star in a fashion that is mesmerizing. "Headlines" clearly focuses our attention on Drake's unique delivery that lands somewhere between rapping and singing.
There is a melancholy air about "Just Can't Get Enough" that is difficult to shake. The song is a showcase for Fergie's vocals, and it might remind you just what an impressive solo artist she can be. Black Eyed Peas proved here they do not need to be in uptempo party mode to deliver a truly memorable pop song.
Here Selena Gomez stealthily delivered one of the true pop gems of the year. Just like the lyrics state, it is very tempting to keep hitting repeat when listening to this song. The beat structure is hypnotic, and Selena Gomez is one of the most talented young singers in pop.
Initially many may have seen "Moves Like Jagger" as simply an effort to cash in on the rising popularity of Maroon 5's Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera from their appearance on the hit TV show The Voice. However, soon the song's real charms sink in, and you realize this song combines breezy pop energy with alluring sex appeal in a way that is all its own. "Moves Like Jagger" topped pop singles charts around the world and has sold nearly four million copies in the US alone.
The hook here is massive. The lyrics are not safe for work, but "Ni**as In Paris" just might stick in your head for days. The spoken word interlude here provided one of the year's laugh out loud moments in pop music. Jay-Z and Kanye West joining forces do take us to a different place than either can go alone.
Taylor Swift knew it would be a hit and encouraged its release as a single. Soon we all found out how special "Super Bass" is. The candy coated rapid fire, humor-filled raps are intoxicating. Along the way Nicki Minaj set new standards for the success of female rappers on the pop chart.