"Just Give Me a Reason"
Songwriters: Jeff Bhasker, P!nk, Nate Ruess
Performers: P!nk featuring Nate Ruess
Publishers: EMI Blackwood Music, P!nk Inside Publishing, Way Above Music, Sony/ATV Songs, WB Music, FBR Music, Bearvon Music
From: The Truth About Love
Label: RCA Records
Billboard’s Woman of the Year got her fourth No. 1 single and one of the biggest hits of her 14-year career with power ballad “Just Give Me a Reason,” a duet with fun. lead singer Nate Ruess. Co-written by fun. producer/songwriter Jeff Bhasker, the track spent three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 and has sold 4.3 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. “Just Give Me a Reason”—which is also nominated for best pop duo/group performance—is P!nk’s second-biggest-selling digital song behind “So What,” which has sold 4.7 million.
"Locked Out of Heaven"
Songwriters: Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars
Performer: Bruno Mars
Publishers: Mars Force Songs, BMG Rights Management (U.S.), BMG, Roc Nation Music, Music Famamanem, EMI April Music, Toy Plane Music-Universal Music, Universal Music
From: Unorthodox Jukebox
Label: Atlantic Records
With numerous hits under their belts, Billboard’s Artist of the Year Bruno Mars and his songwriting partners the Smeezingtons (Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine) know when they’re onto a good song idea. “With ‘Locked Out of Heaven’ and its guitar riff, it was, ‘Man, there’s a good pocket on this song right now. Let’s keep going, let’s keep going,’” Mars told Billboard. Good thing they did: The lead single from Mars’ second album, Unorthodox Jukebox, was No. 1 for six weeks on the Hot 100 and has sold 4.4 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It’s also up for record of the year.
Songwriters: Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry, Henry Walter
Performer: Katy Perry
Publishers: When I’m Rich You’ll Be My Bitch, Kasz Money Publishing, MXM, Kobalt Songs Music Publishing, Bonnie McKee Music, Where Da Kasz At?, Songs of Pulse Recording, Oneirology Publishing, Prescription Songs
Label: Capitol Records
“You held me down but I got up/Already brushing off the dust,” Katy Perry sings in the defiant pre-chorus of “Roar,” the lead single from fourth album PRISM. “You hear my voice, you hear that sound/Like thunder, gonna shake the ground.” The uplifting survival anthem became the singer’s eighth No. 1 on the Hot 100, spending two weeks atop the chart. It’s sold 4 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. “Roar” is also vying for best pop solo performance.
Songwriters: Joel Little, Ella Yelich O’Connor
Publishers: Copyright Control, Sony/ATV (Little) & SONGS Music Publishing (O'Connor)
From: Pure Heroine
Living up to its name, “Royals” has ruled the charts in 2013. The debut single from 17-year-old New Zealander Lorde first entered Billboard’s Alternative chart the week of June 29. Two months later it hit No. 1 on the tally, becoming the first Alternative chart-topper from a lead solo female artist since 1996, and then made history again by staying atop the chart for seven weeks, the longest reign by a woman. (Alanis Morissette’s 1995 hit “You Oughta Know” topped the chart for five weeks.) The song didn’t stop there: It spent nine weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. “Royals” is also nominated for record of the year and best pop solo performance.
Songwriters: Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert, Ryan Lewis
Performers: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert
Publishers: Macklemore Publishing, Ryan Lewis Publishing
From: The Heist
Label: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis LLC
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ anti-homophobia anthem “Same Love” was the third radio single from the duo’s independently released full-length debut, The Heist. The track, co-written with singer/songwriter Mary Lambert, peaked at No. 11 on the Hot 100. “It’s talking about my sexuality and my religion,” Lambert told Billboard. “To have that resonate with people—and not just on a wide scale, with the pushing of gay marriage—but on a very personal, real level, with people talking to me about their experiences, that’s where it really hits home to me.”