Turning a pop corner on another brilliant year


2012 was a year of comebacks, re-issues, stars working it on the social networks – and lots of crazy love, writes AILBHE MALONE

FITTINGLY for a year that ends with the same digit as it begins, 2012’s been a year of comebacks and re-issues. The number one album at the end of January 2012 was exactly the same as the year before it – Adele’s omnipresent 21. Lana del Rey waited less than a year to re-issue her debut album, albeit in an extended edition, and Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream promo continued with the release of the Complete Confection.

Madonna became MDNA. No Doubt re-banded, as did Girls Aloud and Sugababes 1.0. EDM was the buzzword, and the Guettification of the charts continued – sadfacers at the back, forget ye not that Dave the Rave also gave us Falling to Pieces with Sia. A dubstep interlude became as ubiquitous as a key change in the middle eight: what Britney had lead us into with Hold It Against Me in 2011 was cemented by Taylor Swift’s performance of I Knew You Were Trouble at the American Music Awards.

2012 was a year when stars put the “work” into social networking. Gaga released no new music (although she did chuck out a perfume, an album title, a remix and a custom-made social network), but through her Twitter presence announced various short films, and her new album title, Artpop. Rihanna did her work for her, releasing her seventh consecutive album in as many years, and became the First Lady of Instagram. Madonna dipped an ill-advised toe into Twitter – an online QA around her new album revealed that her favourite European city was Gdansk, apparently. Meanwhile, Beyoncé killed it on Tumblr, flawlessly posting pictures of her glamorous life. Sample photo: Jay-Z pushing a glowing B on a swing. Shakira’s Tumblr was less ritzy, but equally sweet, showing Shaki’s growing baby bump.

In affairs of the heart, Katy Perry opened the year with a divorce, and relived the break up all summer through the big screen- in 3D. Luckily, her fans helped her through the pain. She tweeted: “I am so grateful for all the love and support I’ve had from people around the world. You guys have made my heart happy again.”

Justin Bieber turned 18, but his grand romance with Selena Gomez took a turn for the worse after an alleged indiscretion with a Victoria’s Secret model, and the pair are seeing out the year single. Taylor Swift’s love-life was a manuscript more illuminated than the Book of Kells. A summer romance with a Kennedy turned to naught, although Swift is now rumoured to be dating One Direction hair-flicker Harry Styles.

The year belonged to another member of One Direction, though. All hail the Prince of Mullingar, Niall Horan! Horan kept coy about his romance with über-babe Demi Lovato all year, with both sides firmly denying any smooching and Niall telling a radio station in September that “me and Demi, we’re just really good friends. Shes been doing well.”

Nialler had bigger fish to fry though. From taking to Twitter to announce his intent to swim for Ireland in the Olympics (“watchin the heats of the swimmin on the telly! Just wana be like phelps”), to making the most of his leftovers (a piece of toast, half-chewed by Horan, sold for £65,000 in Australia in April this year), Niall certainly earned his keep.

Let’s get serious for a second though. Shout-out to the girls who stood up for themselves in 2012. Whether it was Frankie Saturdays opening up about her depression and subsequent hospital stay in 2011, explaining in a Glamour magazine interview that “I felt that I was worthless, that I was ugly, that I didnt deserve anything.”

Or what about Demi Lovato speaking out about her eating disorder, telling American TV’s Katie Couric, “I believe that I was born with it, and that it was just gonna be there. It runs in my family and it’s just there.”

And who can forget Tulisa’s incredible piece to camera after her sex tape was leaked. Filmed on a grainy webcam, she sits at her kitchen table, and blasts her ex.“When you share an intimate moment with someone you love, that you care about and trust, you never imagine that at any point it will be shared with the rest of the UK or people around the world. Its a pretty tough time for me, but I don’t feel I should be the one to take the heat for it.”

In true Pop Corner style, let’s finish up by talking tracks. Our top five of the year goes like this:

1. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen

2.Wildest Moments – Jessie Ware

3.Oblivion – Grimes

4. Boyfriend – Justin Bieber

5. Diamonds – Rihanna

It appears uncertainty was 2012’s dominant theme. All of our top five linger on the conditional, from Bieber’s Boyfriend to Jepsen’s infamous Call Me Maybe. Jessie Ware is realistic when it comes to a relationship’s troughs, but relishes its peaks – just as Rihanna does in the Sia-penned Diamonds. Grimes’s call that she will “wait forever” echoes through the top five. Love is complicated, and this is crazy, each one sings. But all the same, here’s their number. So call them maybe.

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