celebrating the tunes that moved music lovers the most
"The A Team"
Songwriters: Ed Sheeran
Performers: Ed Sheeran
Publishers: Sony/ATV Music Publishing
"The A Team," about a heroin--addicted prostitute, is from English singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran's full-length debut, +, which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. In an April interview with Billboard, Sheeran revealed the song was inspired by a performance he did at a homeless shelter when he was 18 years old. "I wanted to write it kind of upbeat so you wouldn't know what it's about, because it's obviously a dark subject," he said.
Songwriters: Miguel Pimentel
From: Kaleidoscope Dream
Publishers: Art Dealer Chic
Label: Bystorm Entertainment/RCA Records
"These lips can't wait to taste your skin, baby/And these eyes can't wait to see your grin/Just let my love adorn you," Miguel sings on "Adorn," the sensual breakout hit from the R&B artist's highly acclaimed sophomore release, Kaleidoscope Dream. Written and produced by Miguel, the track spent four weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and went to No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100, his biggest hit on that tally. "Adorn" is also nominated for best R&B song and best R&B performance.
"Call Me Maybe"
Songwriters: Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen, Josh Ramsay
Performers: Carly Rae Jepsen
Publishers: Jepsen Music Publishing/Regular Monkey Productions/Crowe Music Publishing
Label: 604 Records/Schoolboy Records/Interscope
Billboard's 2012 Rising Star Carly Rae Jepsen, who in September released her highly anticipated U.S. debut album, Kiss, has experienced much success with her single "Call Me Maybe." The undeniably catchy song has sold 6.3 million singles, according to Nielsen SoundScan; spent nine weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100; and was named Billboard's 2012 Song of the Summer.
"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
Songwriters: Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin, Ali Tamposi
Performers: Kelly Clarkson
Publishers: Universal Music Publishing MGB Scandinavia, Perfect Storm Music Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Scandinavia, BMG Gold Songs, Kurstin Music, EMI April Music
Label: RCA/19 Recordings
Kelly Clarkson testifies on her fifth album, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Drawing inspiration from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, the self-empowering single "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. The album Stronger debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 987,000 copies.
"We Are Young"
Songwriters: Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost, Nate Ruess
Performers: fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
From: Some Nights
Publishers: WB Music, FBR Music, Bearvon Music, Rough Art, Shira Lee Lawrence Rick Music, Way Above Music, Sony/ATV Songs
Label: Fueled by Ramen
Fueled by Ramen founder John Janick (now Interscope Geffen A&M president/COO) predicted "We Are Young" would be a hit upon first hearing the song. He was right: It ruled the Hot 100 for six weeks. "It just felt like a massive record from the beginning," Janick told Billboard in March.