These were the songs that we listened to, hummed to, bought and downloaded, used as ringtones and sang in karaoke bars the past year. They were the most played songs on the radio, the most downloaded in iTunes, the most sold in record bars. Here is a list of the top 10 Billboard songs for 2012.
1. Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye featuring Kimbra
Gotye, a singer and songwriter with Belgian and Australian roots wrote this song. It also featured Kimbra, a singer and guitarist who hail from New Zealand. It is included in Gotye’s third album entitled “Making Mirrors.” It was actually released in the middle of 2011, but its popularity extended all the way to 2012. It included samples from the 1967 song of Luiz Bonfa called “Seville.” Critics acclaimed the song and declared Gotye as coming from the same musical tree that bore Sting and Bon Iver. It is one of the best-selling digital singles of all time. it has sold more than 10 million copies around the world, reaching the top 10 in more than 30 countries and topping the charts in 23, including the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.
2. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
Musically and lyrically, the song probably could already stand on its own merits. It received a further push when people from all over the world started lipsynching to the song, recording it on video and uploading it to YouTube. Even famous celebrities like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez made a video using the song. “Call Me Maybe” was written by Carly Rae Jepsen and Tavish Crowe as a folk ditty but was modified to a pop song after some production tweaking by Josh Ramsay. It is a pop track with dance and disco influences. It sang about a girl experiencing love at first sight and hoping for a call from the guy.
3. We Are Young – Fun. featuring Janelle Monae
It first attracted attention in the online world. The song, however, burst into the limelight after it was covered in the popular television show “Glee.” It was then used in a Chevrolet Sonic commercial during the Super Bowl. It soon became a hit, registering more than 300,000 digital sales in seven consecutive weeks, thus, tying the record of Eminem’s 2010 hit “Love the Way You Lie.” The Recording Industry Association of America has certified the song to be five-times platinum.
4. Payphone – Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa
It was the lead single from the fourth studio album by Maroon 5 entitled “Overexposed.” Adam Levine, Benny Blanco, Ammar Malik, Dan Omelio, Shellback and Wiz Khalifa wrote it. The song talked about a deteriorating romantic relationship and the regret that will come out of it. it has a catchy melody that made the song a radio favorite. Critics, however, questioned the necessity of Khalifa’s rap part, even as they praised Levine’s soulful singing and the song’s full arrangement.
5. Lights – Ellie Goulding
This was a sleeper hit if there ever was one. It was originally released in the middle of 2011 and spent 15 months floating around the charts. In August 2012, it peaked at number two after more than a year in the market. Ellie Goulding, Richard Stannard and Ash Howes wrote the song, taking inspiration from Goulding’s fear of the dark when she was still a child. It has been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, recording sales of more than three million downloads in the United States alone.
6. Glad You Came – The Wanted
The boy bands are back. “Glad You Came” is a song by The Wanted, a British-Irish boy band. Steve Mac, Wayne Hector and Ed Drewett wrote this song that was the second single released from the band’s second album entitled “Battleground.” The song has a soft beginning but it gets catchier as it goes along. It was also covered on “Glee” and it became the highest chart entry for a British boy band. It peaked at number three, beating the old record of Take That which only reached number seven back in 1995 with “Back for Good.”
7. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
The song is an uptempo pop song that has become an anthem for empowerment and recovery. It was inspired by the quote from Friedrich Nietzsche that states “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” It hit the top of the charts, taking the number one spot for three non-consecutive weeks. It also reached number one in Billboard’s Hot Dance, Adult Pop, Pop and Adult Contemporary charts. It became a worldwide hit for the former “American Idol” winner.
8. We Found Love – Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris
This is a dance, pop and electro house song with elements of techno and Europop music. It hit the top of the Billboard charts, staying at number one for 10 non-consecutive weeks. It surpassed the song “Umbrella” as Rihanna’s longest number one song. Rihanna’s vocal performance on the song was widely praised, though critics questioned the lightness and sparseness of the lyrics.
9. Starships – Nicki Minaj
This is a fun, carefree and party song written by Nicki Minaj, Nadir Khayat, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub and Wayne Hector. It made Billboard chart history when it debuted in the top 10 of the charts and stayed there for seven straight weeks. Its highest position was number five and reached triple platinum status after garnering sales of over three million.
10. What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction
The song is from the British-Irish boy band called One Direction and it is the best-selling song by a boy band in digital history. It sold three million copies in the United States, peaking at number four in the Billboard charts. It has a catchy hook and is generally complimented for its pop sensibility and appeal to the younger audience. It is the first single from the band’s debut album called “Up All Night.”