Best of 2013: Top 50 Songs

Tegan and Sara

2013 started with the surprise release of the first new David Bowie single in ten years and ended with the surprise release of the new album from Beyoncé.

In between, new albums from Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Katy Perry helped occupy pop music while hip-hop remained strong with Eminem, Drake and Jay-Z.

Robin Thicke, Kanye West and Miley Cyrus received most of the talk, with most of it on the negative end of the conversation, though a lot of it surprisingly constructive.

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Beyoncé has changed the game

Minutes before midnight Thursday night, Beyoncé released an entire new album exclusively to iTunes consisting of 14 songs, each with its own music video (plus several bonus videos), in a move that sets a new benchmark for pop music marketing and promotion – because prior to its release, nobody saw it coming.

The move has the potential to completely reset how album eras by major pop stars are promoted. In pop music, marketing and promotion are huge for albums, where the two to three months leading up to its release date is the most important period for the entire project. Interviews and performances are lined up, at least two singles are released, music videos, ad campaigns, partnerships and endorsements, an entire strategy planned in order to ensure the greatest chance at a successful project.

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