1."Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
This “Party Rock Anthem,” as the title insists, was the perfect party song and an easy summer hit. Its popularity was bigger than RedFoo’s hair, with appearances in box office winner 21 Jump Street, as well as Gossip Girl, 2 Broke Girls, and Parks and Recreation. It not only won Best Music at the MTV Movie Awards, but also Best Song at the Kids Choice Awards. Sadly, after the summer cooled off and their chart number dropped, LMFAO announced they’d be going on hiatus.
2. "Rolling in the Deep" - Adele
The one-woman powerhouse became an international success with this lovesick ballad. It spent seven weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 that summer and earned Adele the Grammys for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. “Rolling in the Deep” was said to have been inspired by her ex-boyfriend, an American tour bus driver. His loss was our gain. If you want to see the Billboard Studios rendition of "Rolling in the Deep" by The Piano Guys, give a click.
3. "Super Bass" - Nicki Minaj
“Super Bass” was the hit that made Nick Minaj a leading lady on the hip hop scene. It peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100. The music video leveraged Nicki's "eye-candy" approach to produce the most-watched video of 2011. Who could blame us for watching Minaj's irresistible parade of pastel-colored hair? She spread that Super Bass around performing it on the Billboard Music Awards, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve and even the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
4. "How To Love" - Lil Wayne
Who knew Young Weezy had a sensitive side? The rap star stripped down to acoustics for "How to Love," off his Tha Carter IV album. It was a tutorial we’re sure all then-teens appreciated, and his tough-love life lessons continued with the music video, which depicted a teen growing up to become an HIV-positive single mother stripper. Obviously, this all was before Wayne’s Sizzurp days.
5. "Tonight Tonight" - Hot Chelle Rae
There’s nothing like good, old radio-friendly pop-rock during the sunniest season. The Nashville-formed band landed their first (and only) hit about living life in the moment. “Tonight Tonight” was also a fun reminder that it was once considered stylish for guys to cover one eye with hair-straightened bangs.
Little did we know...
After 25 years and such epic giveaways, The Oprah Winfrey Show had its final farewell at the start of summer. Winfrey signed off by saying, "I won't say goodbye. I'll just say until we meet again." Thankfully, for those who were at a loss in the afternoons without her, she returned with a cable network only months later.