Later this week, Billboard is expected to announce its tallies for the biggest hits of 2011. And what a year for music it's been. Remember all those big hits: "Like a G6," "We R Who We R," "Raise Your Glass," "Fuck You!" and "What's My Name?"
What's thatyou say the songs I just rattled off are kinda old? Like, 2010-old? You're absolutely right. But don't be surprised if these vintage hits feature prominently among the biggest Hot 100 hits of 2011.
Billboard's "chart year" runs from December 1 through November 30. Blame old-fashioned dead-tree production schedulesthey do this so they can announce the year-end victors before the holidays arrive and run the lists in a big, collectible magazine the size of small phone book. (Makes a great stocking stuffer. Seriously!)
The upshot of this skewed calendar: Take a good look at what's topping the Hot 100 right now. Hits like Rihanna's "We Found Love" (No. 1), LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" (No. 2), or Bruno Mars's fast-rising "It Will Rain" are going to feature conspicuously among the top Billboard hits... of 2012, next December. On the 2011 list, they won't be very prominent at all.
Even with its abundance of aging tracks, the 2011 list will still be worth poring over when Billboard drops it in a few days. Unlike the year-end album chartwhich is based on straight Soundscan sales totals, and whose victor is already a foregone conclusionthe formula of digital sales, radio airplay and online streaming that determines the weekly Hot 100 means year-end predictions require a lot more guesstimating. Which is more fun, anyway.
Let's run down, in alphabetical order, a baker's dozen of hits that are likely to figure prominently on Billboard's Top Hot 100 Songs of 2011. These are tracks likely to make the final Top 10 or at least the Top 20.More »