*“Ego”, Beyonce from the album I Am… Sasha Fierce-- “Ego”, Beyonce says, is about , “someone being very confident and having this swagger when they walk and when they talk, and that being one of the reasons why I'm attracted to them." The fifth single off her acclaimed CD, “Ego” gives praise to the old school R&B song that exposes the real voice complete with imperfections and limitations. The video, shot in black and white like “Single Ladies”, “If I Were a Boy”, and “Diva is very much like the premise of the “Single Ladies” video, B. dancing in a leotard with two back up dancers. Who could tire of that? The song is also up for best Rap/ Sung collaboration at the Grammy’s (for the remix version with her and Kanye West).
My Fave Line from the Song: It's on baby, let's get lost/ You don't need to call into work 'cause you're the boss For real, want you to show me how you feel/ I consider myself lucky, that's a big deal
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 39
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs: 3
Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbnPkK76Ask
*“Empire State of Mind”, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys from the album The Blueprint 3-- It has topped just about every chart, been featured in movie trailers (Sex and the City 2), at Yankee’s at bats (namely Derek Jeter), on Gossip Girl (cause it takes place where else, NYC), and it is the new anthem for New York. “Empire State of Mind” exceeded the expectations of just about everyone and became Jay’s first #1 hit as a lead artist on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The song was originally supposed to be recorded with Nas but due to scheduling conflicts Jay-Z called on friend Alicia Keys, and the rest, as they say, is history.
My Fave Line from the Song: Jay-Z: Yeah I'm out that Brooklyn./ Now I'm down in Tribeca./ Right next to DeNiro/ But I'll be hood forever/ I'm the new Sinatra/ And since I made it here/ I can make it anywhere/ (Yeah they love me everywhere)
Alicia Keys: New York!!!!/ Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,/ There's nothing you can’t do,/Now you're in New York!!!/ These streets will make you feel brand new,/ the lights will inspire you,/ Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 1
U.S. Billboard Rap Songs: 1
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs: 1
Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UjsXo9l6I8
*“Fifteen”, Taylor Swift from the album Fearless-- James Reed of The Boston Globe wrote that “Fearless’” most interesting songs are the ones Swift wrote alone. You can practically see the lyrics for “Fifteen” scribbled in a diary, chronicling Swift’s freshman year in high school.” I couldn’t agree more. “Fifteen” is a positive song about the innocence of youth, how a young woman should never sell herself short and believe in who she is. Incidentally, the song is based on a true story about Swift supporting her best friend Abigail Anderson after she gets her heart broken by a fickle boy. Swift says that she sings the song as a sort of advice to other young women; if this is true, Swift sings it with such conviction that I would listen anytime.
My Fave Line from the Song: Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday/ but I realized some bigger dreams of mine/ and Abigail gave everything she had to a boy/ who changed his mind and we both cried
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs: 7
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 23
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs: 11
Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb-K2tXWK4w
*“Give It Up To Me”, Shakira from the album She Wolf-- The song was originally to be recorded with Timbaland and Shakira for Tim’s CD, but he was first replaced by Flo Rida, and then Lil Wayne expressed interest in the record, and so Shakira decided to record and release the song with him (I should mention the song was still produced by Timbaland) . “Give It Up To Me” shows a new side of Shakira; she is always sexy, flirtatious, but her Latin flavor is infused with a hip hop style that takes everyone by surprise.
My Fave Line from the Song: What you give is exactly what you receive/ So put me in a cage and lock me away and I'll play the games that you want me to play/ You can have it all/ Anything you want you can make it yours
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 29
Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXQXs3Lr0UA
*“Halo”, Beyonce from the album I Am Sasha…Fierce-- The other song involved in the “Already Gone” controversy (see “Already Gone” in Part 1). “Halo” was co written by Evan Bogart and Ryan Tedder; It is currently nominated for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at this year’s Grammy Awards. The song, sung in Beyonce’s lower register, was first offered to Leona Lewis who did not have the time to record it. The video features actor Michael Ealy as B’s love interest and has bright sunlit scenes throughout it. What I really love about the song is just how beautiful she sings it, and how lovely the words are; it really is a classic power ballad.
My Fave Line from the Song: Everywhere I'm looking now/ I'm surrounded by your embrace/ Baby I can see your halo/ You know you're my saving grace
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 5
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play: 1
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/ Hip-Hop Songs: 16
U.S. Billboard Pop 100: 3
Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnVUHWCynig
*“Happy”, Leona Lewis from the album Echo-- Music is most touching when delivered in the right way; Leona Lewis hits “Happy” out of the park and truly solidifies her “diva” status. “Happy” is the child of Leona Lewis, Evan Bogart, and Ryan Tedder who say that they did not want to try and copy anything that she did before (i.e. “Bleeding Love”). Music critic, Nick Levine of the Digital Spy went as far as to call, “her vocal run from 2.39-2.44 the most incredible five seconds of singing we’ve heard all year,” and I have to say that after listening to the song he may just be right. The song is somber in parts, yet the message it delivers is so uplifting; Victoria’s Secret even used the remix version of the song for their fashion show this past December. What could be better than beautiful, intelligent, lingerie models walking down a runway to your song?
My Fave Line from the Song: So what if it hurts me?/ So what if I break down?/ So what if this world just throws me off the edge?/ My feet run out of ground/ I gotta find my place/ I wanna hear my sound/ Don’t care about all the pain in front of me/ I just wanna be happy/ Happy.
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 31
U.S. Billboard Hot Gospel Songs: 26
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs: 32
Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSTYgeor9k8
*“I Gotta Feeling”, The Black Eyed Peas from the album The E.N.D.-- Produced by French House DJ David Guetta; “I Gotta Feeling” is the feel good song that I would not have expected to go to number one but it did. The song is nominated at this year’s Grammy’s for Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. This is what will.I.am thinks about the song:
this song is dedicated to everyone who is getting ready to go out...
its the song to listen to when you drive to the club or party...
its the song to listen to after a long day or week at work...
its the song to that makes me wanna throw my stress away...
Honestly all of those statements are true.
My Fave Line from the Song: I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night/ That tonight’s gonna be a good night/ That tonight’s gonna be a good good night
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 1
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs: 1
Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19rG2CHvCQY
*“Love Game”, Lady Gaga from the album The Fame-- The story behind “Love Game”, as told to Rolling Stone by Lady Gaga, “ I was at a nightclub, and I had quite a sexual crush on somebody, and I said to them, 'I wanna ride on your disco stick'. The next day, I was in the studio, and I wrote the song in about four minutes.” The song’s video was so provocative that it was banned in some countries; there are similarities with Michael Jackson’s “Bad” video. It is believed that Jackson wanted to work with Lady Gaga in the months leading up to his death.
My Fave Line from the Song: Let's play a love game,/ Play a love game/ Do you want love or you want fame?/ Are you in the game?/ Dans le love game?
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 5
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs: 1
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs: 1
Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cnv7uKYcJo
*“Love, Sex, Magic”, Ciara and Justin Timberlake from the album Fantasy Ride-- It was one of the first songs that I thought of when I was making my list even though it was released at the beginning of last year. The video was so sexy, and it confirmed my belief that any project that Justin Timberlake works on turns out to be a success (Rihanna’s “Cold Case Love” penned by Timberlake will be on this list next year). Ciara saw working with Timberlake as an opportunity to make her record better, so much so that the song is nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the Grammy’s. The pair definitely had vocal chemistry, one critic said, “Ciara purrs, and Timberlake more than rises to the occasion”.
My Fave Line from the Song: Justin: I ain’t goin stop you if you wanna grab my neck/ Talk sexy to me like that/ Just do what I taught you, girl/ When I give you my heat and I need you to push it right back
Ciara: Baby, show me, show me/ What’s your favorite trick that you wanna use on me/ And I’ll volunteer
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 10
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs: 10
Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raB8z_tXq7A
*“Meet Me Halfway”, The Black Eyed Peas from the album The E.N.D.-- Fergie told the British newspaper the Daily Mail that she thought of Madonna in 1985 and her Like A Virgin tour; she wanted to take on Madonna’s persona in the song in honor of her. The song is about as close to a ballad as the Peas will get and Fergie’s vocals are beautiful and sincere.
My Fave Line from the Song: Meet me halfway, right at the borderline/ That's where I'm gonna wait, for you/ I'll be lookin out, night an day/ Took my heart to the limit, and this is where I'll stay/ I can't go any further than this/ I want you so bad it's my only wish
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 7
Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=DrakeOfficial&annotation_id=annotation_129316&feature=iv