As we type this, tens of thousands of people are flocking to Times Square to bid adieu to the year 2013 and watch the Big Ball drop. Naturally, we’re feeling a bit nostalgic for the year that was, too, and looking back at the songs that defined the year. Unfortunately, as songs achieve critical mass in terms of popularity, that’s right about the same time that they begin entering the “overplayed” stage of their lifecycles. This list is dedicated to them.
Let’s get it straight: 2013 was a great year for new music. Even as the year opened with music critics lamenting the auto-tuned state of pop music and the slow death of the album as an art form, new and creative acts emerged from seemingly nowhere to revitalize the charts (and established acts reinvented themselves as musical vanguards).
2013 will be remembered as the year when a 16-year-old girl conquered the world from New Zealand, three rocking sisters from California lived up to their hype and a viral video from Sweden couldn’t get out of our heads. Oh, and it will also be remembered as the year of “new Miley.”
2013, like any other other year, had its ups and downs, surprises, snubs and WTF moments. But unlike any other year, every essential moment in 2013 was captured and preserved in GIF form. We no longer had to dig through YouTube to watch a 30-second ad before a 15-second video splice of an award show performance gone wrong. All we had to to was turn to Google and image search, “Miguel leg drop GIF.” Boom, the results were full of animated pictures showing you exactly what you wanted to see from the Billboard Music Awards.
So, let’s take a look back on this year in GIFs.
2013 will go down in history as the Year of Miley Cyrus! Miley spearheaded more than a “Movement” this year; she sparked a pop culture revolution. Whether she was shocking us on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards, pushing the envelope with Terry Richardson, or getting us to twerk all night in the music video for “We Can’t Stop,” one thing’s for sure: we never stopped talking about Miley.
There’s no doubt that 2013 was the year of the twerk. Partially thanks to Miley Cyrus, the dancing craze reached a new mass level prompting VH1′s own Mark Graham to write up the complete history of twerking and Oxford Dictionaries to add the word to its online database. (In case you’re curious; ”Twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.”) And as we close out the year, we thought it was important to look back on all the jams that made our booty clap, bounce, shake or whatever it was that you did to thrust your hips in a twerk-like manner.
Like Jay Z rapped on Magna Carter Holy Grail, “somewhereinamerica, Miley Cyrus is still twerkin’.”
Our favorite pop stars are one part singer, one part dancer, and one part style chameleon! The best in the biz are never afraid to mix it up a little bit and change their look in exciting new ways. Sometimes these changes pay of huge, leading to massive image improvements. And other times…well, the word “mistake” comes to mind.