2012 was a transformative year in the music industry, especially within the realm of pop music. The year saw the rise of several iconic songs that not only dominated the charts but also left a lasting impact on the pop music landscape. Let’s take a nostalgic journey through the top 10 pop songs from 2012.
Top 10 Pop Songs from 2012
The year 2012 marked a dynamic period in the music industry, witnessing the intersection of various genres and the emergence of new talents.
Pop music, as always, played a pivotal role in shaping cultural trends and influencing a global audience. The songs from 2012 not only reflected the pulse of the time but also set the stage for the evolution of pop in the years to come.
- “Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen
- “Somebody That I Used to Know” – Gotye ft. Kimbra
- “We Are Young” – fun. ft. Janelle Monáe
- “Payphone” – Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa
- “Lights” – Ellie Goulding
- “Wide Awake” – Katy Perry
- “Gangnam Style” – PSY
- “Starships” – Nicki Minaj
- “What Makes You Beautiful” – One Direction
- “Titanium” – David Guetta ft. Sia
Let’s talk about each of these great songs in more detail now.
1. “Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen
“Call Me Maybe” wasn’t just a song; it was a rocket that propelled Carly Rae Jepsen into the stratosphere of stardom. The infectious energy of the track showcased not only Jepsen’s vocal prowess but also her innate ability to create tunes that resonate with a global audience.
What elevated “Call Me Maybe” from a catchy tune to a global sensation was its relatable lyrics. Jepsen captured the essence of a fleeting romantic encounter, a theme universally understood. This relatability turned the song into more than just music; it became a shared experience for listeners around the world, further solidifying its place in pop culture.
The impact of “Call Me Maybe” transcended traditional music boundaries. The song sparked a wave of creativity, leading to countless viral lip-sync videos that flooded social media platforms. Jepsen’s lyrics became a canvas for fans to express themselves, turning the song into a cultural phenomenon that echoed in every corner of the internet.
2. “Somebody That I Used to Know” – Gotye ft. Kimbra
“Somebody That I Used to Know” stands out as more than just a breakup anthem; it’s a poignant exploration of the complexities that accompany fading relationships. Gotye and Kimbra’s collaboration delves deep into the emotional landscape of heartbreak, resonating with listeners on a personal level.
The song’s uniqueness lies in the haunting vocals of Gotye and the soulful contribution of Kimbra. Their collaboration goes beyond the conventional pop duet, creating a musical masterpiece that captures the raw emotions of a relationship in decline. Kimbra’s soulful verses add depth to the narrative, making it a standout in the pop music repertoire.
The success of “Somebody That I Used to Know” didn’t just end with chart performance; it became a trailblazer, paving the way for artists to experiment with unconventional themes and sounds. This groundbreaking approach challenged the established norms of pop music, encouraging artists to explore more profound and introspective themes in their work.
3. “We Are Young” – fun. ft. Janelle Monáe
Fun. and Janelle Monáe’s collaboration on “We Are Young” transcends being just another pop song; it’s an anthem of empowerment. The track resonates with listeners seeking solace and strength, offering a musical refuge for those navigating the complexities of life. The anthemic quality of the song provides a rallying cry for the youth, encouraging them to embrace resilience.
“We Are Young” is not merely a collection of catchy melodies; its themes of youth, resilience, and camaraderie strike a chord with a generation facing the challenges of adulthood. The lyrics capture the spirit of overcoming obstacles, creating a sense of unity among listeners who find solace in the shared experience of navigating life’s uncertainties.
The song’s success goes beyond its chart-topping achievements. “We Are Young” became a symbol of unity, showcasing the power of collaborative storytelling in music. The ability of fun. and Janelle Monáe to create a piece that resonates universally speaks to the strength of music as a unifying force, bringing people together through shared emotions and experiences.
4. “Payphone” – Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa
“Payphone” marked a significant departure in Maroon 5’s musical journey, signaling a shift towards a more eclectic sound by seamlessly incorporating elements of both pop and hip-hop. This musical evolution set the stage for a dynamic and diverse chapter in the band’s career.
Wiz Khalifa’s inclusion in “Payphone” added a layer of dynamism with his rap verses, creating a fusion that resonated with a broad spectrum of music enthusiasts. The collaboration not only showcased Maroon 5’s willingness to experiment but also highlighted the genre-blending potential that could captivate a diverse audience.
The song’s poignant lyrics, coupled with its commercial success, solidified “Payphone” as a standout entry in the pop music landscape of 2012. It became more than just a chart-topping hit; it became a memorable piece of Maroon 5’s repertoire that left an indelible mark on the musical landscape of the time.
5. “Lights” – Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding’s rise to fame was undeniably propelled by her ethereal vocals and a distinctive sound, with “Lights” standing out as a defining track in her discography. The electro-pop masterpiece showcased Goulding’s ability to seamlessly blend genres, creating a sound that resonated with a diverse audience.
“Lights” not only dominated the charts but played a pivotal role in popularizing the electro-pop genre. Its infectious beats and Goulding’s mesmerizing voice contributed to its enduring popularity, influencing subsequent artists and leaving an indelible mark on the music scene.
6. “Wide Awake” – Katy Perry
“Wide Awake” marked a pivotal moment in Katy Perry’s artistic evolution, showcasing a more introspective and mature side of the pop icon. The song delved into themes of personal growth and self-discovery, resonating with audiences navigating life’s challenges.
The emotional depth of the lyrics, coupled with Perry’s powerful vocals, turned “Wide Awake” into a poignant anthem. Its success on both charts and among critics emphasized Perry’s ability to connect with audiences on a profound level, solidifying her status as a versatile and influential artist in the pop music landscape.
7. “Gangnam Style” – PSY
PSY’s “Gangnam Style” became a bona fide global phenomenon, transcending language barriers with its infectious dance moves and catchy tune. The unprecedented virality of its music video on the internet contributed to the song’s immense success, making it a cultural touchstone and a symbol of pop culture in 2012.
Beyond its immediate success, “Gangnam Style” played a crucial role in introducing K-pop to a global audience. PSY’s unique approach and the song’s universal appeal marked a significant moment in the genre’s international recognition, paving the way for more Korean artists to make a global impact.
8. “Starships” – Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” showcased her versatility as an artist by seamlessly blending hip-hop and pop elements. The infectious dance-pop elements of the song contributed to its commercial success, solidifying Minaj’s position as a pop icon.
“Starships” not only dominated the charts but also sparked discussions within the music industry. Its bold choices and eclectic sound added an extra layer of intrigue to its place in pop music history, further establishing Nicki Minaj as a trailblazer in the evolving landscape of contemporary pop.
9. “What Makes You Beautiful” – One Direction
“One Direction” burst onto the music scene with “What Makes You Beautiful,” capturing the hearts of fans globally and marking the beginning of their phenomenal success. The song’s infectious energy and positive vibes resonated with a youthful audience, establishing One Direction as a powerhouse in the pop genre.
The dedicated fandom that emerged around One Direction propelled their global success beyond just chart performance. It solidified their status as one of the most influential pop acts of the decade, showcasing the profound impact they had on the cultural landscape.
10. “Titanium” – David Guetta ft. Sia
“Titanium” stands as a testament to David Guetta’s prowess in electronic music production, with Sia’s distinctive vocals adding a powerful and emotive layer to the track. Sia’s contribution elevated “Titanium” to new heights, making it a standout collaboration in both artists’ repertoires.
The collaborative success of “Titanium” extended beyond chart performance. Its enduring popularity highlighted the strength of well-executed collaborations in the pop music landscape, proving that when two musical forces align, the result can resonate with audiences across genres, becoming a timeless piece in the musical mosaic.
As we reflect on these iconic songs from 2012, it’s evident that each track brought something unique to the table, contributing to a year that will forever be remembered in the history of pop music. The diversity of sounds and themes in these songs highlights the dynamic nature of pop music, showcasing its ability to resonate with a wide range of listeners.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this article recapping the top 10 pop songs from 2012.