There was a lot to love in the world of pop music this year, but not everything that made 2013 excellent fell into the category of great tunes: While counting down our favorite songs of the year, the best EPs of 2013, and the records that we kept on heavy rotation, there was a surplus of other pop culture detritus that felt worth mentioning — even if you can’t buy any of it on iTunes.
What do we mean? Oh, y’know, the things that galvanized headlines and had us in stitches all year: The rise of a brand new Miley Cyrus, the Twitter movements to seek justice for pop songbirds Ke$ha and Christina Aguilera (respectively), innovative campaigns from Justin Bieber and Kanye West, and a whole lot of other stuff, too.
Head below to see everything Idolator editors loved in 2013 that didn’t make it onto any of our other lists.
The Reinvigoration of Christina Aguilera
The almighty Legendtina took a beating in 2012 with the underperformance of her opus Lotus, but lo and behold, if 2013 wasn’t Aguilera’s best year in a long minute: First off, there was the #JusticeForBionic movement, which saw the songstress’ underrated LP Bionic finally receiving the acclaim it deserved; after a rigorous diet of Sex For Breakfast, she returned to The Voice looking slimmer and more glam than ever; and she teamed up with A Great Big World on “Say Something” to give herself yet another major hit; and that feud with Lady Gaga was settled once and for all in a game-changing performance of “Do What U Want” that rendered the competition utterly and permanently irrelevant. If she stays on the upswing, there’s a good shot that 2014 will be better than ever for the pop diva. —SAM LANSKY