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Royals (song)

“Royals” is a song by New Zealand singer Lorde from her debut extended play album, The Love Club EP (2012). It was later included on her debut studio album, Pure Heroine (2013). “Royals” was characterised as art pop and electropop. Written by Lorde and Joel Little and produced by the latter, the song lyrically disapproves of the luxurious lifestyle of contemporary artists.

“Royals” was released on 3 June 2013 as Lorde’s debut single. The song received acclaim from music critics, who praised its minimal production and lyrics. It experienced international commercial success, peaking atop the record charts of many countries including Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. In the United States, the single spent nine weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. In doing so, Lorde became the first New Zealand solo act to top the Hot 100, as well as the youngest artist to achieve a number-one single since 1987. As of November 2014, the single has sold 10 million copies worldwide.[1]

Lorde performed “Royals” on numerous television shows, including Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and the 2013 New Zealand Music Awards. Two music videos for “Royals” were directed by Joel Kefali: an international version and a US version. The song was listed as one of the best songs of 2013 by publications including Rolling Stone, Time and Spin. “Royals” also won numerous awards, including the Grammy Award for Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and the APRA Silver Scroll Award. A live mashup with Disclosure and AlunaGeorge’s song “White Noise” at the 2014 BRIT Awards was released as a charity single in 2014. In the media, it is regarded to be an anthem for the “Millennial” generation.[2][3][4]

Wrecking Ball (Miley Cyrus song)

“Wrecking Ball” is a song recorded by American singer Miley Cyrus for her fourth studio album Bangerz (2013). It was released on August 25, 2013, by RCA Records as the album’s second single. The song was written by MoZella, Stephan Moccio, Sacha Skarbek, Kiyanu Kim,[2] Lukasz Gottwald, and Henry Russell Walter;[3] production was helmed by the last two. “Wrecking Ball” is a pop ballad which lyrically discusses the deterioration of a relationship.

“Wrecking Ball” received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who appreciated its lyrical content and overall production. It debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at number fifty, and later became Cyrus’ first number-one single in the United States after the release of its controversial music video; it retained the peak position during the following week. Nine weeks later, the track returned to number one, and consequently had the largest gap between number-one sittings in Billboard Hot 100 history. As of January 2014, “Wrecking Ball” has sold three million copies in the United States. Internationally, the song charted strongly; it topped the charts in Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom, and charted in the top ten throughout much of Europe and Oceania.

An accompanying music video for “Wrecking Ball” was released on September 9, 2013. It featured close-up scenes of Cyrus tearfully singing, reminiscent of the clip for “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O’Connor, interspersed with footage of a nude Cyrus swinging on a wrecking ball. Critics were divided in their opinions of the music video, feeling that it was more provocative than the clip for her previous single “We Can’t Stop”. “Wrecking Ball” previously held the Vevo record for the most views in the first 24 hours after its release with 19.3 million views. At the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards, Cyrus took home the award for Best Video and the award for Video of the Year at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. Adding to the video’s success, Cyrus won the award for World’s Best Video at the 2014 World Music Awards in Monte Carlo. Cyrus has performed “Wrecking Ball” during several live performances, including the iHeartRadio Music Festival and an episode of Saturday Night Live.

Roar (song)

“Roar” is a song by American singer Katy Perry for her fourth studio album, Prism (2013). It was released as the lead single from the record on August 10, 2013. Perry co-wrote the song with Bonnie McKee and its producers Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and Cirkut. It is a pop song containing elements of arena rock and lyrics centering on standing up for oneself and self-empowerment.

“Roar” received generally mixed reviews from music critics; many appreciated its overall production, while others felt that its lyrical content contained “clichés”. The song was a commercial success, becoming Perry’s eighth non-consecutive number one song on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and also topping charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. It also reached the top five in most international charts, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Switzerland.

To promote the song, Perry performed under the Brooklyn Bridge at the closing ceremony of the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, on The X Factor Australia, at the Sydney Opera House in late October 2013, and on the German TV show Schlag den Raab. Grady Hall and Mark Kudsi directed the song’s music video, which features Perry trying to adapt to the jungle where she survived a plane crash, and taming a tiger. It garnered generally mixed reviews from music critics. “Roar” was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. The song topped the charts in 14 countries and sold 9.9 million units (combined sales and track-equivalent streams) globally according to the IFPI.

Blurred Lines

“Blurred Lines” is a single written and performed by American recording artists Robin Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell Williams. Produced by Pharrell, it serves as the lead single from Thicke’s album of the same name. It was released on March 26, 2013 through Pharrell’s label Star Trak Recordings.[2] Recorded in 2012, the song was primarily inspired by the Marvin Gaye song “Got to Give It Up”, and apart from T.I.’s rap was entirely the work of Williams.[3][4][5] However, Thicke clearly laid claim to writing credits on the track according to a Reuters article.[6] The song became the subject of a bitter legal dispute with the family of Gaye and Bridgeport Music as to whether the song infringed copyrights to “Got to Give It Up”. Thicke and Williams were found liable for copyright infringement by a federal jury in March 2015, and Gaye was awarded posthumous songwriting credit based on the royalties pledged to his estate.[7]

The song’s music video was released in two versions, with one featuring models Emily Ratajkowski, Jessi M’Bengue, and Elle Evans being topless, while the other censored nudity. The uncut version of the video was at one time removed from YouTube for violating the site’s terms of service regarding nudity; it was later restored, but with an age restriction. The song’s lyrics and music video have proven controversial with some groups, with claims that it is misogynistic and promotes date rape. This has led to the song being banned at universities and other institutions in the United Kingdom and prompted a rebuttal from Thicke.

“Blurred Lines” was an immense success worldwide, peaking at number one in at least 25 countries and becoming the number one song of 2013 in several of them. It became Thicke’s first, T.I.’s fourth, and Pharrell’s third number-one single in the US, where it was also the longest running number one single of 2013. The song subsequently became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with sales of 14.8 million,[8] simultaneously breaking the record for the largest radio audience in history.[9] The single was nominated for two Grammys at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.[10] The song has been parodied and covered numerous times.

Can’t Hold Us

“Can’t Hold Us” is a song written and performed by American hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and singer Ray Dalton, released on January 16, 2013 as the second single from the duo’s debut studio album The Heist (2012).

The song became a sleeper hit and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making it their second number-one hit in the United States.[1] It is also their third consecutive number-one single in Australia. The music video was nominated for Best Music Video at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in 2014.[2] The song was also listed as “The Most-Streamed Song of 2013” by Spotify.[2]

Just Give Me a Reason

“Just Give Me a Reason” is a song recorded by American singer and songwriter Pink, featuring fun.’s lead singer Nate Ruess. The song was chosen as the third single from Pink’s sixth studio album, The Truth About Love (2012). Jeff Bhasker assisted the artists in writing the song and is also the producer. “Just Give Me a Reason” is a pop ballad about the desire to hold on to a relationship even when it appears to be breaking down.[1] It starts off with a simple melody played on the piano, as Pink starts to sing the first verse and chorus, the latter of which introduces drum machines and bass. Ruess then sings the second verse, and the rest of the song is sung as a duet. The song ends with a piano solo, similar to the intro. It has a duration of four minutes and two seconds.

The song received critical acclaim, with many critics deeming the song as the best track within the album. Prior to its release, the song charted in many regions due to strong digital sales, which was the reason for its release. The song attained worldwide success, topping the charts in twenty-one countries including the United States, Austria, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Iceland, Ireland, Lebanon, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, Sweden, as well as peaking within the top five in more than ten countries as United Kingdom, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Israel, Norway, Switzerland and Spain. In the US, it became Pink’s fourth number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became her third number-one on the Billboard Digital Songs chart after “So What” (2008) and “Fuckin’ Perfect” (2010).[2] “Just Give Me a Reason” has sold more than 4 million digital downloads in the United States.[3]

“Just Give Me a Reason” has won the Billboard Mid-Year Award for Favorite Hot 100 No. Single.[4] “Just Give Me a Reason” garnered two Grammy Award nominations for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Song of the Year at the 2014 Grammy Awards, where Pink and Nate Ruess performed the song after a trapeze-accompanied rendition of “Try.”

The music video for “Just Give Me a Reason” featured Nate Ruess as well as Pink’s husband, motocross racer Carey Hart, in a romantic setting which resembles an artificial marsh. The video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Collaboration in 2013.

When I Was Your Man

“When I Was Your Man” is a song recorded by American singer and songwriter Bruno Mars for his second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox (2012). Atlantic Records released the song as the third promotional single and as the second official single, taken from the album, to mainstream radio in the United States on January 15, 2013. “When I Was Your Man” was written by Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine and Andrew Wyatt; with Mars, Lawrence and Levine credited for composing the song as well.

The pop song is an emotional piano ballad with lyrics describing the heartbreak and regret Mars felt from letting his lover get away, and his expressed hope that her new man will give her all the love and attention that he failed to provide. It features Mars singing and a piano accompaniment as the sole instrumentation. “When I Was Your Man” received mostly positive reviews from music critics, who generally praised Mars’ vocal prowess; calling it a “vulnerable and emotional ballad”. The song won “Favorite Hit” at the 2013 Premios Juventud and was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. “When I Was Your Man” topped the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and reached the top ten on the singles chart of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea and the United Kingdom. It was certified quadruple-platinum in Australia and in the US; while in Canada, it was certified six times platinum. “When I Was Your Man” was the worlds eighth best selling digital single of 2013, with sales of 8.3 million copies; joining an elite group of the best-selling singles worldwide.

Cameron Duddy and Mars directed the ballad’s accompanying music video. It portrays Mars as a “lonely balladeer” who sits at his piano donned in a pair of sunglasses while setting a half-full glass of whiskey atop it. Critics resoundingly complimented the simplicity of the video’s production. The song has been covered by artists, including Mike Ward, who released a studio version of the song after he performed it on The Voice UK. Ward’s cover peaked at number 60 in the UK Singles Chart. “When I Was Your Man” was also added to the soundtrack of the Brazilian soap opera Amor à Vida. Mars performed the song on The Moonshine Jungle Tour (2013–14).

Harlem Shake (song)

“Harlem Shake” is a song recorded by American DJ and producer Baauer. It was released as his debut single on May 22, 2012, by Mad Decent imprint label Jeffree’s. The uptempo song incorporates a mechanical bassline, Dutch house synth riffs, a dance music drop, and samples of growling-lion sounds. It also samples Plastic Little’s 2001 song “Miller Time”, specifically the vocal “then do the Harlem shake”, which is an allusion to the dance of the same name. Baauer added a variety of peculiar sounds to the song so that it would stand out.

The single did not begin to sell significantly until February 2013, when a YouTube video set to its music developed into an Internet meme of the same name. The media response to the meme helped increase the single’s sales, as it charted at number one for five consecutive weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100. It also reached number three in the United Kingdom and number one in both Australia and New Zealand. During the song’s chart run, Billboard enacted a policy that included video streams as a component of their charts.

“Harlem Shake” was well received by music critics, who viewed it as an appealing dance track, although some felt that it was more of a novelty song. After the song became a hit, Mad Decent label head Diplo reached an agreement with the artists of the song’s samples, which had not been contractually cleared before its release. However, according to Baauer, he has not received any of the money the song made because of the legal issues from not having properly cleared the samples. American rapper Azealia Banks released a remix to “Harlem Shake” on her SoundCloud page, which was subsequently removed at Baauer’s request and led to a dispute between the two.

Thrift Shop

“Thrift Shop” is a song by American hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. It was released on August 27, 2012 as Macklemore’s eighth career single and the fourth single from their debut studio album The Heist (2012). It features vocals from Wanz. The song was composed to show Macklemore’s esteem for thrift shops and saving money, opposing the flaunting of expensive items many rappers display. Music reviewers praised the song for its humorous lyrics and social critique. It was released in the United Kingdom in January 2013.

Despite being released on Macklemore’s independent label with distribution by the Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA), a Warner Music Group Company, the single was a sleeper hit. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since sold over 7 million copies in the US alone. The song also reached number one in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. A music video was released to accompany the song’s release on August 29, 2012. The video has garnered more than 960 million views on YouTube. In 2014, the single won two Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song.[1]

Locked Out of Heaven

“Locked Out of Heaven” is a song by American singer Bruno Mars from his second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox (2012). It was released as the lead single from the album on October 1, 2012. The song was written by Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine of The Smeezingtons, and produced by Mark Ronson, Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie and The Smeezingtons. “Locked Out of Heaven” is a reggae rock song influenced by new wave and funk. The song’s lyrics are about the rapturous feelings brought about by a relationship infused with positive emotion as well as euphoria from sex.

“Locked Out of Heaven” was well received by most critics, some of whom complimented Mars’ different musical direction, his vocals were praised, being called “smooth” and “sweet,” while its sound was lauded, with the song being called “interesting” and a “musical evolution”. While some critics noted influences from various bands, Mars stated that The Police were the ones who influenced him the most to write the song. The single charted inside the top ten in over twenty countries, including the United States, where it became Mars’ fourth number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, where it spent six consecutive weeks and topped the Canadian Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks. “Locked Out of Heaven” was certified six-tuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Due to the certifications, “Locked out of Heaven” was able to join an elite group of the best-selling singles worldwide.

The song’s music video was shot by director Cameron Duddy and by Mars, and depicts Mars and his bandmates leisurely engaging in activities such as smoking, drinking and playing games. The singer performed “Locked Out of Heaven” on television shows such as Saturday Night Live and The X Factor and included it on The Moonshine Jungle Tour and at his Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show set list. The song won several awards and received three Grammy nominations. The song has been covered by various recording artists, including Leona Lewis and Bastille.

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