This powerful mix of pop, folk, and more than a bit of soul anthem introduced mainstream pop audiences in the US to Florence and the Machine when she delivered a stunning live performance of the song at the MTV Video Music Awards. It returned to the charts again later in the year after a showstopping Glee performance of "Dog Days Are Over."
The audacity of the title and lyrics made "F**k You!" an instant viral hit when it first appeared on YouTube. When the dust settled a bit this song co-written by Bruno Mars and his team the Smeezingtons made it clear it is one of the most cleverly constructed pop songs of the year with an irresistible classic Motown influence.
This plaintive painful ballad was one of the biggest country crossover hits in recent memory. It is reminiscent of classic 70s pop with highly memorable emotional lyrics. The song climbed to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as hitting #1 on the adult pop, adult contemporary and country charts.
Two massive talents made their pop mainstream debut on this single and it went straight to #1. Rapper B.o.B. and pop songwriter, producer and vocalist Bruno Mars are a magical recording pair. The sweet result of their collaboration sounds close to pop hip hop perfection.
This song could be at least somewhat autobiographical for both Eminem and Rihanna. "Love the Way You Lie" movingly addresses the issue of domestic violence from the point of view of both people involved. As expected with such a sensitive topic, the song generated controversy. This is one of the most daring mainstream pop hits of the year.
"Runaway" is a stunningly beautiful Kanye West song dedicated to a "toast for the douchebags." The piano figure that serves as the song's center is positively haunting. The release of the single was accompanied by an epic 35 minute video that incorporated additional music from Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album.