A year of singles has come and gone, but when it came time for the Billboard.com staff to choose our 20 favorites we thought, fought and lobbied -- and most of all we listened. These 20 tunes cover the gamut from hip-hop (Nas, G.O.O.D. Music) and pop (Carly Rae Jepsen) to country (Love and Theft) and rock (Bruce Springsteen), but we all agree they're 2012's best.
|20|| "Feel So Close"
EDM wizard and "We Found Love" maestro stepped out on his own and scored.
|19|| "Bad Girls"
We're still waiting for that fourth full-length, but this whiz-bang one-off single almost made us forget the Super Bowl debacle... almost.
Standout from indie rockers' "Lonerism" album rumbles along with melodies that Paul McCartney would appreciate.
|17|| "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)"
After his "Libra Scale" misstep, Ne-Yo returned in full force with an ode to much-needed support (see: song title).
|16|| "You're The One"
U.K. pop auteur released a string of dazzle pop singles this year, none quite as fluttering as this synth-laden love song.
|15|| "Wrecking Ball"
The Boss soldiers on, fists clenched, and hollers "Bring on your wrecking ball!" For those who thought his last few albums underwhelmed, "Wrecking Ball" proved that the fire was back.
|14|| "Bye Baby"
A startlingly vivid portrayal of a dissolved marriage, with Nasty Nas lobbing both potshots and heartfelt memories at Kelis.
|13|| "Angel Eyes"
Love And Theft
In a year full of strong country singles, Love and Theft crafted a repeatedly enjoyable ode to a rebellious female heart.
|12|| "Wildest Moments"
For many people, "Wildest Moments" served as the ideal introduction to Jessie Ware, its thwacking drums and quivering emotion inviting listeners to dig deeper into this sublime new artist.
|11|| "The House That Heaven Built"
Japandroids' "Celebration Rock" album lives up to its title, and "Heaven" is the moment the duo graces the upper reaches of its ideals, one "Oh-OH-oh-oh-oh-oh" at a time.
text by Jason Lipshutz