The top 10 songs of 2012 on AOL Radio feature some of your favorite artists, including a few breakout ones that took over the radio this year. It's been another huge year for Katy Perry, who topped the charts alongside other pop icons, including Taylor Swift. fun. and Gotye had two of the biggest hits this year and earned instant fame. But is that enough to top other superstars, like Kelly Clarkson who topped our mid-year list with 'Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)?' Find out below where these songs landed and what else made our list of the Best Songs of 2012 based on our listeners' ratings:
'What Makes You Beautiful'
As part of the boy band resurrection, One Direction broke out this past year with their hit 'What Makes You Beautiful.' The British-Irish boy band came together following the seventh season of the British reality show The X Factor. The single, released in the United States in February 2012, quickly rose up the US charts and captured the hearts of teens everywhere. The band has already released their second studio album 'Take Me Home' which hit number one in many countries all over the world.
'Glad You Came'
This dance-pop hit came from another British-Irish boy band, The Wanted. The Wanted had already seen success overseas, but 'Glad You Came' made them an instant hit in America. The single is about getting people to party, and it does just that with its catchy beat and appealing vocals.
'We Are Young'
Arguably the best alternative song in years, 'We Are Young' was a huge cross-over hit for indie rockers fun. The power ballad gained popularity after appearing on an episode of Glee and then during a Super Bowl commercial. Lead Singer Nate Reuss said the lyrics were inspired by his "worst drinking night of all time." The song peaked at #1 on the Hot 100 and helped 'Some Nights' become one of the most sold albums of 2012.
Fueld by Ramen
'Somebody That I Used to Know'
Singer-songwriter Gotye also hit it big with his indie pop ballad 'Somebody That I Used to Know.' As the perfect break-up song, the single gained great recognition and topped many different charts. The hit features Kimbra and was modestly recorded at Gotye's parent's house. Gotye is the first Australian artist to have a number one American hit since Savage Garden.
'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'
Taylor Swift had another big year, releasing her successful album 'Red' in October. The lead single off that album is 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,' a perfect bubblegum pop song about an ex-lover. Remarkably, it's the first song in Swift's career to top the Billboard Hot 100 charts. An alternate version was recorded for country radio stations, featuring a different instrumental arrangement. Yet, this version is catchy enough to land at number six on our countdown.
'Want U Back'
Cher Lloyd jumped from a finalist of The X Factor to a pop sensation with her third single off her debut album. However, 'Want U Back' was the first single released in America as Lloyd hoped to gain popularity in the "tough American market." It worked. Her bold, outspoken personality shines through here, blending elements of hip-hop and pop together for a great, explosive dance beat.
Hip-hop star Nicki Minaj had perhaps her biggest hit yet with 'Starships.' The song is more pop-like than some of her other hits, but features her trademark rapid vocals. What stands out, however, is the catchy chorus and the club vibe the song creates. The song was the lead single off her highly successful second studio album 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded' and peaked in the top five of the Hot 100.
'Part of Me'
It was another successful year for Katy Perry, who released 'Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection' which included this new single 'Part of Me.' The dance-pop song is rumored to be about her ex-boyfriend Travis McCoy, as the song was originally left off her original 'Teenage Dream' album which was released in 2010. The lyrics are bold and aggressive, yet as catchy as her other hit singles. The anthem impressively debuted at number one on the Billboard 100 and remained a radio favorite for many months.
'Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)'
Kelly Clarkson released 'Stronger,' the title track of her fifth studio album. The single has an incredible catchy hook and has been frequently compared to 'Since U Been Gone.' The upbeat-pop rock song is another great post-breakup track from Clarkson, who is filled with a strong, emotional and empowering voice. The radio-friendly hook was backed up nicely by a pulsating beat, featuring an electric guitar. Not surprisingly, the song topped the charts, but falls just short of number one on our countdown.
'Call Me Maybe'
Carly Rae Jepsen
2012 was a good year for Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen. 'Call Me Maybe' is the perfect example of a stuck-in-your-head tune that remained stuck on the radio for several months. Jepsen first gained fame on the set of Canadian Idol, and earned monumental success with her first international album 'Kiss.' The disco-influenced 'Call Me Maybe' reached number one in 14 different countries, including the United States. No song was catchier this year and it's no surprise that 'Call Me Maybe' takes home the number one spot as the best song of 2012.