In 2013, these ladies ruled the pop music scene…
The Nickelodeon star has had quite the year with her release of album Yours Truly. Don’t judge me, but I’m on the verge of 24 and I LOVE this album. The woman’s got pipes and has been compared to the original diva, Mariah Carey, on several occasions. The album’s first single The Way featuring Mac Miller is an adorable, catchy-as-hell, feel-good song perfect for rolling down the windows and screaming along to at the top of your lungs.
After a four year hiatus, Lily came out with a deliciously sarcastic and danceable response to Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines and society, at large. The video is reminiscent of Thicke’s Blurred Lines, which has been criticized for excusing rape culture. While Robin Thicke’s video shamelessly (and pathetically) displays the words “ROBIN THICKE HAS A BIG DICK” in bold, red lettering, Allen’s video features the words—prepare for it—“LILY ALLEN HAS A BAGGY PUSSY” in silver balloons while thick, scantily-clad curvy dancers twerk their asses alongside an uncoordinated Allen. Take that, douchebags. The song’s hook “forget your balls and grow a pair of tits” is a refreshing step in the right direction for bringing sexist double-standards in the music industry to light. The song was popular on feminist social media platforms and even regarded by some as the Feminist Theme Song of 2013. Way fucking cool.
With her release of Royals, Lorde was a total breath of fresh air for a genre already so muddied-down with cliché love songs and an obsession with hyper-consumerism. Lorde enters the pop scene and kindly reminds us with her bluesy-vocals that she quite frankly doesn’t give a fuck. Lorde keeps it real and reminds her audience that the vast majority of us can’t relate to the gold-teeth-Grey-Goose-trippin’-in-the-bathroom- lifestyle so often portrayed in pop music—and that life is pretty damn good anyway. Pretty cool statement from the sixteen year old New-Zealandite, who also reportedly turned down the opportunity to tour with Katy Perry. You stick to your guns, Lorde.
Katy Perry’s Roar is the perfect “fuck you, I’m better off without you” theme song to sum up any post-breakup epiphany ever, and it’s catchy as hell. Her album Prism performed exceptionally well, debuting at the top of the US Billboard Top 200. The theme of self-empowerment doesn’t stop with Roar, but is present throughout the album, as well. So we don’t get to party like a California girl with Katy this year (dammit). At least we get to see a deeper and more mature side of the artist.
So I might be a bit biased about this one, you know, as the self-proclaimed founder of the Church of Gaga and all, but the release of Artpop this year was yet another successful example of Gaga’s incredible range as an artist. The album features a collection of the usual dancey-pop-electro tunes we’ve come to expect from Gaga (perfect for dancing in your thong seashell bikini to), along with a fresh mix of powerful and sexy feminist-R&B married with some catwalk-inspiring ballads fit for the drag stage. A challenging feat to pull off, yet Gaga may be the only contender fit to do it. The album takes the listener on a fun and sexy journey where a little lesbian sexploration is A-OK. Not feeling it? Just take a listen to Sexxx Dreams and G.U.Y. (an abbreviation for “girl under you”) and try to resist the urge to rip your panties off.
2013 was a crazy year for this Disney alumni. In what felt like seconds, Miley migrated from Disney regular to full-on popstar by way of Xtina circa 2002. Dirrrty! By upping the cray-factor, twerking her ass, and dry-humping the shit out of a foam-finger, Miley shed her good-girl Disney image and shot herself straight into stardom and right into that number 2 spot on the Billboard Top 100. A desperate move? Possibly—but a smart one, nonetheless. I’ve got a strong hunch that each of these “breakdowns” and poor outfit choices are all just small parts of a meticulously-calculated get-rich-quick-plan…and it’s all working. Miley stormed the pop scene like a wrecking ball (get it?) and made herself into a regular household name. Like it or not, this lady doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
First things first, can we just relive that Superbowl XLVII performance for a second? FLAWLESS. Beyonce brought the thunder and pretty much turned that “football game” into the Beyonce Show. But the Queen wasn’t done there. Oh no. Without ANY prior promotion, Queen B took a crazy risk and dropped her self-titled, top secret visual album (Can you say #YOLO?) Not to worry, the album was a massive commercial success regardless, selling over one million copies within six days of its release worldwide. No fucks given, Bey obviously knew exactly what she was doing as she trumped each of the other ladies on this list in terms of sales. How cool is that? The album and accompanying videos are beautifully crafted and feature much darker, deeper themes and powerful feminist discourse not previously seen from Beyonce (check out “Flawless”…the feminist mantra of the century). The album even features a track with lyrics by baby Blue Ivy. How fucking adorable.