dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

This Beyonce Post On Her BeyHive Stans Is Some Funny Shit

Everyone's favorite wig-snatcher Pop Trash Mike did this in-depth look at Beyonce's stans — called Inside The BeyHive — on Idolator for me, and it's the funniest thing I've read online so far this year.

A few highlights:

Not only do the Beys have their own unique lexicon (more about that later), their sting is legendary. A run in with the BeyHive reportedly made one Little Monster delete his Twitter and beg Lady Gaga for a ride in the Born Brave Bus to recover.


Matthew (@BeyoncesHubby), 20, from Fort Washington, New York, takes a slightly different approach: “When extremely irritating people come for Beyonce, I politely ask them to kill themselves.


“When Wendy Williams’ oak-tree-lookin’ ass said Beyonce was illiterate, I dragged her until the bark fell off,” brags Jabari.

Do yourself a favor and go read. Now.


US Chart Roundup: A Rant About Pink's Try," Plus Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" Drops

After owning the same car for nearly 10 years, the stereo has finally decided to give up the ghost, leaving me with the radio as the only option for listening to music while cruising around town. You remember radio, right? Well, if you need reminding, or an update, allow me: it's still the go-to destination for when you want to hear the same seven or eight songs played endlessly throughout the day.

And so, at this point, I have no idea how Pink's "Try" isn't #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (This week it's up to #11.) Now, granted, way back in October when the music video for "Try" premiered, I noted the following: "I've come to realize that the pop world would really suck without Pink in it. 'Try' is a far better single choice than 'Blow Me (One Last Kiss)'..." But after being beat down for the past week by this particular mid-tempo number – it truly is playing on all formats around the clock — I don't really believe the world would suck so much without this song in it.

I'm afraid Pink has truly entered the land of Safe Song Choices. Gone is the zest of "Just Like A Pill," the spunk of "Don't Let Me Get Me" and the edge of "U + Ur Hand." Now it's all by-the-numbers stuff about blowing kisses and trying. It's as if Pink's management sat her down after Try This flopped 10 years ago and said, look, do you want to continue being the bad-ass chick of pop and working with rock producers or do you want to have actual hits?

Not the most timely assessment, I know. But cut me some slack; I've got "Try" ringing in my ears and I don't know how to make it stop.

Where were we? Oh, right — Calvin Harris and Florence Welch's "Sweet Nothing" is up to #14 on the Hot 100, making it the Scottish DJ's second-highest chart position (as lead artist) in the US, following the #12 peak of "Feels So Close" last year. 

Just above Calvin, Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" plummets from #4 to #13. Similarly, JT's latest dropped from #3 to #12 in the UK, after initial excitement for his first new material in over six years gave way to mediocre reviews of the retro-sounding Timbaland jam.

Meanwhile, Ke$ha's "C'mon" climbs to #28, Olly Murs' "Troublemaker" makes a big leap to #65 in its second week on the chart and Pitbull (ugh) and Christina Aguilera's (hmmmm) "Feel This Moment" debuts at #99.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Thrift Shop" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz *2 weeks*
2. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
3. "Ho Hey" - The Lumineers
4. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift
5. "Scream & Shout" - will.i.am & Britney Spears
6. "Don't You Worry Child" - Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin
7. "Beauty And A Beat" - Justin Bieber feat. Nicki Minaj
8. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
9. "Home" - Phillip Phillips
10. "F**ckin Problems" - A$AP Rocky, Drake, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Here" Is Syron's New Video

If you somehow made Rihanna's "What's My Name" scissor Cover Drive's "Twilight," then had Robyn swing by and bounce up and down on top while listening to Madonna's "I'll Remember" through an '80s-style ghetto blaster perched on her shoulder, the result would surely be Syron's "Here."

You remember this British up-and-comer — she placed at #5 on Chart Rigger's 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2012 roundup last month, via her feature on Tensnake's "Mainline."

And here is the video for "Here":


Ellie Goulding's "Explosions" Video Will Put You To Sleep For Real

This Ellie Goulding video for "Explosions" played twice and I still can't remember what happens in it. Probably because I keep texting and checking emails after the first three seconds. Enjoy!


I Finally Like Capital Cities' "Safe And Sound" After All This Time

I first heard Los Angeles duo Captial Cities' song "Safe And Sound" about a million years ago when I visited my friend Alex in Austin. He played it for me and I said it sounded like New Order circa 1985.

But when I heard it on the radio for the first time this week, something clicked, and it didn't sound so derivative. It just sounded kind of joyous.

Here's the music video from, as I said, a million years ago (basically, 2011):

The band's five-track self-titled EP is available on iTunes.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Ducks (And Jessie Ware)

Following Flo Rida's annoying success with "I Cry," which was reworked from Bingo Players' European dance hit "Cry (Just A Little)," and US 1.5-hit wonders Far East Movement's continued chart entries in the UK, it somehow makes a tiny bit of sense that BP and FM would team up together.

And so their joint single "Get Up (Rattle)," the one with the video featuring the cute ducks, tops the UK chart this week. (The song itself is a remix of BP's previous offering "Rattle.") It's all so very exciting.

At any rate, "Get Up (Rattle)" now has the distinction of being the first single released in the UK in 2013 to top the chart.

Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake's "comeback" single "Suit & Tie" has the dishonor of dropping from its #3 debut position last week to #12, while Jessie Ware's "If You're Never Gonna Move" enters at #54 — ironically the same position it landed at when it made an appearance last year as "110%" (before the title was re-worked due to copyright/sample issues).

The UK Top 10:

1. "Get Up (Rattle)" - Bingo Players feat. Far East Movement *1 week*
2. "Scream And Shout" - will.i.am feat. Britney Spears
3. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift
4. "Stay" - Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
5. "Drinking From The Bottle" - Calvin Harris feat. Tinie Tempah
6. "Animal" - Conor Maynard feat. Animal
7. "My Life" - 50 Cent feat. Eminem & Adam Levine
8. "Clown" - Emeli Sande
9. "Impossible" - James Arthur
10. "Don't Stop The Party" - Pitbull feat. TJR

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" Is Proving To Be A Grower

After jumping from #84 to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" has become his first Top 10 single from an actual Justin Timberlake album (the upcoming The 20/20 Experience, out March 19) since "Summer Love" reached #6 in 2007. His next two FutureSex/LoveSounds singles, "LoveStoned" and "Until The End Of Time," each peaked at #17.

After that, Timberlake also featured on 50 Cent's "Ayo Technology" (#5 in fall 2007), Madonna's "4 Minutes" (#4 in spring 2008), T.I.'s "Dead And Gone" (#2 in early 2009) and Ciara's "Love Sex Magic" (#10, also in early 2009). Awww — poor CiCi.

JT's most recent significant hit before "Suit & Tie" was Timbaland's "Carry Out" off Shock Value II, which made it to #11 early on in 2010.

I have to admit, "Suit & Tie" did nothing for me when it premiered two weeks ago, and it's nowhere near as brilliant as anything on his previous album. But it's since gotten under my skin a bit. Above is the lyric video, which, as a visual presentation, is far better than the song itself.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Thrift Shop" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz *1 week*
2. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
3. "Ho Hey" - The Lumineers
4. "Suit & Tie" - Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z
5. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift
6. "Scream & Shout" - will.i.am & Britney Spears
7. "Don't You Worry Child" - Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin
8. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
9. "Beauty And A Beat" -Justin Bieber feat. Nicki Minaj
10. "Home" - Phillip Phillips

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" Doesn't Quite Make It To #1...Or #2

The day where a new 50 Cent single ("My Life," #2 on the UK chart) debuts higher than a Justin Timberlake single ("Suit & Tie," #3) is a sad day indeed. But, hey — at least "Suit & Tie" went to #1 in Denmark and South Korea, right?

The UK Top 10:

1. "Scream And Shout" - will.i.am feat. Britney Spears *2 weeks*
2. "My Life" - 50 Cent feat. Eminem & Adam Levine *new*
3. "Suit & Tie" - Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z *new*
4. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift
5. "Stay" - Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
6. "Drinking From The Bottle" - Calvin Harris feat. Tinie Tempah
7. "Impossible" - James Arthur
8. "Don't Stop The Party" - Pitbull feat. TJR
9. "Kiss You" - One Direction
10. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Kesha Career Death Watch

Maroon 5's "One More Night" finally takes a tumble out of the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 this week, which allows Swedish House Mafia's John Martin-featuring smash "Don't You Worry Child" to breeze in at #7.

The song, as you know, landed on Chart Rigger's 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2012 list, and recently the kids of the PS22 Chorus performed a cover of "Don't You Worry Child" with Ithacappella, Ithaca College's men's chorus.

Awww. Brings a tear to the eye, doesn't it? You heartless broads.

Elsewhere, Pink's "Try" — inescapable on radio at the moment — is up to #12, while Calvin Harris and Florence Welch's "Sweet Nothing" becomes the Scottish DJ's fourth Top 20 hit in the States by climbing to #20.

Kelly Clarkson's "Catch My Breath" also continues its slow slog up the chart, this week making it to #23. I don't know — it seems that even when her singles don't crack the Top 10, you still hear them played nonstop for years after in elevators, doctor's offices and grocery stores. Kelly's getting her royalty cash, one way or another.

Meanwhile, checking in with Ke$ha Career Death Watch this week: "C'mon," the glitter-addicted diva's second single off Warrior, is up 17 positions to #48, while the album itself plunges from #29 to #46 on the Top 200 in only its sixth week on the chart.

Maybe she just didn't incorporate enough Illuminati iconography into her last five vidoes/photo shoots/single covers?

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars *6 weeks*
2. "Thrift Shop" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz
3. "Ho Hey" - The Lumineers
4. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift
5. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
6. "Scream & Shout" - will.i.am & Britney Spears
7. "Don't You Worry Child" - Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin
8. "Beauty And A Beat" -Justin Bieber feat. Nicki Minaj
9. "Home" - Phillip Phillips
10. "I Cry" - Flo Rida

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jessie Ware's US EP 'If You're Never Gonna Move' Released Today

Tonight UK phenom Jessie Ware performs live at Washington DC's 9:30 Club before moving on to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It's all part of a small promotional tour behind her new five-track US EP If You're Never Gonna Move (out today on iTunes).

The quick rundown: Jessie had my favorite album of 2012, Devotion, which was released overseas and briefly available on US iTunes before it was announced she'd be getting a proper US push via Cherrytree/Interscope in 2013.

I had the LP on Idolator's 10 Best Albums Of 2012 list last month, where I noted that "in the era of Adele, we can use a singer who not only brings a slight bit of retro-soul class, but also a touch of Sade-like sensitivity and Air-esque mystery. Of course, none of these comparisons are to detract from this Brit’s own unique artistry."

Anyway, her US EP contains title track "If You're Never Gonna Move," which is the same song as Devotion's "110%," though it had to be altered due to a legal issue with the sample of Big Punisher's "Dream Shatter." Also included is a cover of Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do For Love," originally a bonus track on the album for its UK iTunes release last year.

Overall, a nice appetizer before Devotion arrives on these shores.


Monday, January 14, 2013

It's Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" Vs. Destiny's Child's "Nuclear"

The world waited six years and stayed up till midnight for this shit?

I much prefer Destiny's Child's early-'90s-sounding new reunion single "Nuclear."

Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" was pretty underwhelming when it came out, too, though the parent album wound up being pretty rad. Here's hoping history repeats itself?

He wrote the following on his official site:

Back in June of last year, I quietly started working on what is now, my next journey with that thing I love called MUSIC.

The inspiration for this really came out of the blue and to be honest, I didn't expect anything out of it. I just went into the studio and started playing around with some sounds and songs. It was probably the best time I've had in my career... Just creating with no rules and/or end goal in mind and really enjoying the process.

What I came up with is something I couldn't be more excited about! It is full of inspiration that I grew up listening to and some newfound muses that I've discovered along the way.

I'm calling it "The 20/20 Experience," and it's coming out this year.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: David Bowie "Where Are We Now?" Finds A Top 10 Destination

David Bowie's surprise return single "Where Are We Now?", off the upcoming The Next Day (out March 12), makes a significant dent in the UK chart this week by debuting at #6 — his first Top 10 single since "Jump They Say" reached #9 exactly 20 years ago.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Scream And Shout" - will.i.am feat. Britney Spears *1 week*
2. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift
3. "Impossible" - James Arthur
4. "Stay" - Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
5. "Drinking From The Bottle" - Calvin Harris feat. Tinie Tempah
6. "Where Are We Now" - David Bowie *new*
7. "Don't Stop The Party" - Pitbull feat. TJR
8. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
9. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
10. "Troublemaker" - Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida

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Friday, January 11, 2013

It's Ke$ha's "C'mon" Video

Pop kidz, it's time to face facts: Ke$ha's sophomore LP Warrior has flopped harder than a salad on Christina Aguilera's dining room table. In only its fourth week on the Billboard 200 album chart, $'s latest was languishing at #63. True, this week it jumped back up to #29, but that' only because of an iTunes sale the week prior, which slashed the album's price to $7.99.

At any rate, without any sounding of a horn or throwing of a ticker tape parade — because RCA apparently must be bouncing fucks from their Care account over this project — the video for Ke$ha's second Warrior single "C'mon" premiered today.

It's the usual (save for Ke$ha looking rather Gaga-esque with that long blonde wig): she hops in a van full of animals after quitting her shitty diner job, winds up partying in a trailer home, goes to a convenience store and causes havoc before turning the joint into a dance club.

On the plus side for Ke$ha, career-wise, "C'mon" moved up 32 positions on the Hot 100 this week to #65, and I actually heard it on KIIS-FM yesterday. So there is that.


Justin Timberlake Is "Ready," Announces New Music Or Something

Funny, I was just listening to FutureSex/LoveSongs last weekend, thinking, this surely can't be the last we'll hear of Justin Timberlake, musically.

Well, behold, world — it's time to start ramming Barbie Doll legs up yourselves in rapture! Timberstud posted the following video yesterday where he rambles a bit before finally standing in front of a studio mic and announcing, "I'm ready."

First David Bowie and Destiny's Child. Now Justin Timberlake, whose last album was released nearly six-and-a-half years ago. Something new of his, in some shape or other, is expected to premiere this coming Monday.


New Destiny's Child Song "Nuclear" To Appear On 'Love Songs' Compilation

As a nice cash-in just ahead of Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime performance in February, Sony's Legacy Recordings will release Destiny's Child - Love Songs on January 29, a “career-spanning collection of the most sensual and romantic recordings” from Destiny's Child that is “comprised mainly of romantic gems recorded between 1997 and 2004.”

But, tacked on as the last track is brand new song "Nuclear" — the first new Destiny's Child song recorded in nine years. Pharrell Williams (eyeroll) produced and co-wrote with DC member Michelle Williams (!), James Fauntleroy and Lonny Bereal.

Looking forward to hearing this new jam, but if it's half as ratchet as the cover art of this compilation, well, that will pretty much be destiny unfulfilled.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Adele Receives Oscar Nod For "Skyfall"

This morning when nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards were announced, Adele was one of the lucky recipients, for her title track to James Bond film Skyfall (which she co-wrote with Paul Epworth).

She's up against other songs from Life Of Pi, Chasing Ice, Ted and Les Miserables, but, come on — you know professional awards collector Adele has this in the bag.


US Chart Roundup: Will.i.am & Britney Spears Scream & Shout Their Way Into The Top 10

Who is still downloading/streaming/requesting/programming Bruno Mars' "Locked Out Of Heaven" enough to keep it at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week? All of America, apparently. Good job, United States.

Will.i.am finally lands one of his wretched solo attempts at music in the Top 10 for the first time, after a litany of flops that saw him pairing up with the likes of Eva Simons, Jennifer Lopez and Nicki Minaj. This time around it's Britney Spears who gives him the boost, with their atrocious single "Scream & Shout," which is up to #8. It's also Wigney's first Top 10 single since "I Wanna Go" reached #7 in summer 2011.

Further down the chart, songs like Swedish House Mafia's "Don't You Worry Child" that dropped last week after the holidays see a rebound. That's one's up to #11, while Calvin Harris and Florence Welch's "Sweet Nothing" turns course and makes a big jump from #40 to #24. Kelly Clarkson's "Catch My Breath" also moves up, six positions to #30.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars *5 weeks*
2. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
3. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift
4. "Ho Hey" - The Lumineers
5. "Thrift Shop" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz
6. "Home" - Phillip Phillips
7. "Beauty And A Beat" -Justin Bieber feat. Nicki Minaj
8. "Scream & Shout" - will.i.am & Britney Spears
9. "One More Night" - Maroon 5
10. "I Cry" - Flo Rida

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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

David Bowie's "Where Are We Now?" & 'The Next Day': The Return Of The Thin White Duke

Changesonebowie was an instrumental album in my upbringing, thanks to my dearly departed dad, and I was thrilled/shocked to learn that David Bowie is back with a new single and video, the wistful "Where Are We Now?" (a nostalgic look back at his time in the latter part of the '70s recording his Berlin Trilogy in Germany's capital city).

The song is up for grabs on iTunes as part of a pre-order for Bowie's upcoming 24th studio album The Next Day (out March 12). The cover of the LP is basically the cover of his 1977 album "Heroes" with a white block over Bowie's face brandishing the title.

Longtime Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti produced The Next Day, which has 14 tracks on the regular version and 17 on the deluxe:

1. “The Next Day”
2. “Dirty Boys”
3. “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”
4. “Love Is Lost”
5. “Where Are We Now?”
6. “Valentine’s Day”
7. “If You Can See Me”
8. “I’d Rather Be High”
9. “Boss of Me”
10. “Dancing Out in Space”
11. “How Does the Grass Grow”
12. “(You Will) Set the World on Fire”
13. “You Feel So Lonely You Could Die”
14. “Heat”
15. “So She” (bonus)
16. “I’ll Take You There” (bonus)
17. “Plan” (bonus)

By the way, three David Bowie albums that will save your life at some point, if you choose to let them: Young Americans, Station To Station and "Heroes". No lie.


My Conor Maynard & JoJo Interviews

Conor Maynard's debut album Contrast was released in the US today, while JoJo's second mixtape Agápē was made available for free download last month. I recently interviewed both for Idolator, and you can catch the write-ups below:

Conor Maynard
JoJo on Agápē
JoJo on her favorite albums of 2012 

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Monday, January 07, 2013

One Direction's "Kiss You" Video: The 10 Most Fucking Annoying Screen Grabs

There go my ovaries!


Hurts: Here's A New Picture Of The Duo

I like this photo of Hurts. I just wish their lead Exile single "Miracle" didn't sound like such a Coldplay leftover.


Sunday, January 06, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: James Arthur Is Still Popular For Some Reason

Yep, this garbage is still #1. And according to the Official Charts Company, X Factor winner James Arthur's cover of Shontelle's "Impossible" has sold nearly 1 million copies in four weeks. Gold stars all around, UK!

The UK Top 10:

1. "Impossible" - James Arthur *3 weeks*
2. "Scream And Shout" - will.i.am feat. Britney Spears
3. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
4. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
5. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift
6. "Troublemaker" - Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida
7. "Stay" - Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
8. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
9. "Don't You Worry Child" - Swedish House Mafia
10. "Beneath Your Beautiful" - Labrinth feat. Emeli Sande

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Friday, January 04, 2013

Hurts' New Single "Miracle" Sounds Like Coldplay

Sometimes you sit and listen to a new song, and you're all, wait, this sounds like an old song. This is one of those times. Para-para-paradise. Cause's I'm looking for a miracle. Cause I'm looking for a miracle. (Throw in a dash of "Princess Of China" while you're at it.)

Can we go back to the "All I Want For Christmas Is New Year's Day" sound, Hurts?

New album Exile out March 11.


Thursday, January 03, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Ke$ha's Career Is Dying Young

In the week following Christmas, when iTunes gift cards were used at full force — thus propelling older singles like PSY's "Gangnam Style" back into the Top 10 and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" back into the Top 40 (up to #27 from #43)  — several songs take a plunge.

First up is Swedish House Mafia's "Don't You Worry Child," which drops from its peak of #11 to #15. Pink's "Try" also dips from #13 to #18, while Kelly Clarkson's "Catch My Breath" falls six positions to #36 and Calvin Harris and Florence Welch's "Sweet Nothing" drops 14 spots to #40.

Meanwhile, One Direction's dull as shit "Little Things" is up to #33, making the dirge their fourth Top 40 hit in the States, following "What Makes You Beautiful" (#4), "One Thing" (#39) and "Live While We're Young" (#3).

On a final note, waaaaaay down the chart, Ke$ha's second Warrior single "C'mon" squeaks up to #97. Unfortunately, the album itself is languishing at #46 in its fourth week on the Top 200.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars *4 weeks*
2. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift
3. "Diamonds" - Rihanna 
4. "Ho Hey" - The Lumineers
5. "Beauty And A Beat" -Justin Bieber feat. Nicki Minaj
6. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
7. "Die Young" - Ke$ha
8. "One More Night" - Maroon 5
9. "Home" - Phillip Phillips
10. "Thrift Shop" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz

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