This week, it's all about the best of 2010 - my picks and yours.
Here are my favorite concerts, albums (and more) of the past 12 months. Please feel free to share your rankings in the comments section below or at firstname.lastname@example.org (please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.) and we'll print your e-mails next Friday.
Thank you for reading Chart Beat all this year and for always keeping such a careful, knowledgeable and passionate eye on Billboard charts.
Here's to a happy and healthy 2011 (Billboard's 117th year, and 71st charting the music industry)!
Favorite "American Idol" Performances
5, "The Boxer," Lee DeWyze
4, "Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)," Didi Benami
3, "Jealous Guy," Casey James
2, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," Haeley Vaughn
1, "Play With Fire," Didi Benami
When the 2010 contestants covered Rolling Stones songs, Benami won praise with her version of this obscure track. The original, released as a B-side, peaked at No. 96 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965.
Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, N.J., July 24
The venerable Tempe, Az. band mixed its classic '90s songbook - "Hey Jealousy," "Found Out About You," "Lost Horizons" - with tracks from its new album, "No Chocolate Cake." No one in the audience seemed to mind the sweltering heat in the venue that night and one young fan went home with a souvenir: lead singer Robin Wilson's tambourine.
Favorite Television Soundtrack
"Songs of the Sarah Silverman Program: From Our Rears to Your Ears!"
As well-written as "The Sarah Silverman Program" is, the show's original songs stand on their own on this endearing, offbeat album. Fellow Comedy Central star Demetri Martin's similar talents made for a funny network promo earlier this year.
Favorite '90s Remake
Lady Antebellum, "Learning to Fly"
The trio's clever reinvention of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' No. 1 Mainstream Rock track from 1991 as a ballad offsets the unforgiving reality that a song released that year will now be 20 years old.
Favorite Sports Anthem
Shakira, "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) [K-Mix]"
Shakira's catchy World Cup theme song made me forget that the Red Sox finished behind the Yankees, the Celtics lost the NBA Finals to the Lakers and the Bruins let a 3-0 playoff series lead slip away. (Almost made me forget ...)
Favorite New Holiday Songs
5, "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day," Wilson Phillips
4, "Your Holiday Song," Indigo Girls
3, "Oh Santa! All I Want for Christmas Is You (Holiday Mashup)," Mariah Carey
2, "All I Really Want for Christmas," "Family Guy" cast
1, "Deck the Rooftop," "Glee" cast
After just six weeks, the "Glee" cast's "The Music: the Christmas Album" has become the second-best-selling of its eight sets. At 910,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan, it trails only "Season One: the Music Volume 1" (1.1 million).
5, Michelle Branch, "Everything Comes and Goes" (EP)
4, Karmina, "Rewriting Chapter 2"
3, Gin Blossoms, "No Chocolate Cake"
2, Mary Chapin Carpenter, "The Age of Miracles"
1, Stars, "The Five Ghosts"
The two-time Juno Award nominees not only released my favorite album of the year, but Stars' single "Fixed" also finishes as my favorite song of 2010. Here's the band performing the melodic track from the set, which bowed in the top 10 on Billboard's Alternative and Independent Albums charts in July.
Happy new year!