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10 Best R&B Songs of 2012

The Top 10 R&B Songs of 2012 on AOL Radio features many favorites such as Rihanna and Beyonce. Additionally, this was a big year for Chris Brown, who is featured in several songs on this countdown. Yet, can breakthrough artists like Frank Ocean knock off Brown for the best song on the countdown? See where these artists landed on our countdown and view the entire top ten below, as chosen by AOL Radio R&B listeners.
10
'Don't Judge Me'
Chris Brown
2012 has been another busy year for Chris Brown, who makes his first of a few appearances on this countdown at #10 with 'Don't Judge Me.' This song, clearly addressed to his critics, was the fifth single off Brown's album, 'Fortune.' He specifically addresses his past mistakes in his relationships, most likely referring, at least in-part, to Rihanna.
RCA
09
'Right By My Side'
Nicki Minaj (feat. Chris Brown)
'Right By My Side' is the second single released from Nicki Minaj off her successful album, 'Pink Friday: Roman Unloaded.' This up-tempo single is the first time Brown and Minaj collaborated. Minaj spends most of the song singing, rather than rapping and the hit is a nice change-up for the pop star.
Young Money
08
'Love on Top'
Beyonce
'Love on Top' is the fourth single off Beyonce's 2011 album, '4.' The up-tempo dance anthem resembles 1980s pop music and was inspired by Etta James. Beyonce proves that her vocals are stronger than most, as she sings a catchy tune about a man who is perfect for her. "I can feel the sun whenever you're near. Every time you touch me I just melt away."
Columbia
07
'Tonight (Best You Ever Had)'
John Legend (feat. Ludacris)
John Legend teamed up with Ludacris on this single off the movie soundtrack for 'Think Like a Man.' The mid-tempo single features Legend at his soulful best, behind a strong synthetic beat. Ludacris adds in a hip-hop verse, but Legend steals the show. Legend is reportedly working on a new album and it's likely the R&B star will be featured on many more collaborations to come.
Epic
06
'Strip'
Chris Brown (feat. Kevin McCall)
'Strip' was co-written by Kevin McCall and Chris Brown as a lead, buzz single off of Brown's album 'Fortune.' McCall adds in his own rhymes in this explosive tune about complimenting a stripper. The synth-heavy tune was a top 40 hit and lands here at #6.
RCA
05
'Heart Attack'
Trey Songz
'Heart Attack' was released by Trey Songz as the first single off his August album, 'Chapter V.' The single is one of Songz's deepest and angriest, which differes from some of his bigger hits like, 'Bottoms Up.' Filled with profanity, Songz emphasizes the tremendous pain love has brought him. Fellow R&B star, Kelly Rowland, is featured as Songz's love interest in the songs music video.
Atlantic
04
'Diamonds'
Rihanna
It's been another huge year musically for Rihanna, who was featured in Drake's chart-topping single 'Take Care,' and released 'Birthday Cake,' among other hits. 'Diamonds' is another pop ballad from the Barbadian pop star and is a soft and inspiring tune. Rihanna sings positively about love and her voice stands out, despite a large amount of drums and synthesizers. "Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy, you and I, you and I."
Def Jam
03
'Thinkin' Bout You'
Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean's debut album 'Channel Orange' is generally considered one of the best albums of 2012. The lead single, 'Thinkin Bout You,' was co-written by Ocean about a heartbreaking relationship that's out of reach and the subsequent turmoil. The ballad shows off Ocean's strong vocal range, in which he shows brilliant range through maintaining a higher sound through some of the lyrics. The song is nominated for 'Record of the Year' at the Grammys and 'Channel Orange' is nominated for 'Album of the Year.'
Def Jam
02
'Adorn'
Miguel
Miguel's career has really taken off since the release of 'Adorn.' Released as the first single from the singer's second studio album 'Kaleidoscope Dream,' 'Adorn' topped the R&B charts and became one of the biggest mainstream hits of 2012. Miguel wrote and produced the electo-soul song entirely on his own and has gained tremendous accolades for it. The song is nominated for three Grammys including 'Song of the Year.' It just misses our top spot on this countdown, however, coming in at #2 of 2012.
RCA
01
'Climax'
Usher
Usher added yet another impressive soulful hit to his career with the 2012 release of 'Climax.' The slow jam describes the turning point, or climax of the signer's relationships and was released as the lead single off 'Looking 4 Myself.' Usher's emotions come through well in the tune. He sings "I've fallen somehow, feet off the ground. Love is the cloud that keeps raining down." The single became a top ten hit in many countries and topped the US R&B charts. It's no surprise it lands #1 on our list of the top R&B songs of 2012.
RCA


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