fun. is Billboard’s Top Rock Artist of 2012, the Black Keys claim the year’s top title on the Rock Songs chart and Mumford & Sons boast the No. 1 Rock Album for a second straight year, a year in which rock enjoyed impressive pop crossover success.
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fun. ranks atop Billboard’s year-end Top Rock Artist ranking fueled by the success of its breakout album Some Nights, the year’s No. 5 Rock Album. The trio’s set yielded the hits “We Are Young,” featuring Janelle Monae, and the title cut, which place at Nos. 8 and 13, respectively, on the year-end Rock Songs chart. The tracks scored notable pop accolades, reaching Nos. 1 (for six weeks) and 3, respectively, on the weekly Billboard Hot 100. “Young” is the Hot 100’s No. 3 song of 2012 and “Nights,” No. 14.
Coldplay, last year’s No. 3 Rock Artist, places at No. 2 for 2012, followed by Mumford & Sons, last year’s top Rock act, at No. 3; the Black Keys at No. 4, up from No. 7 a year ago; and newcomer Gotye at No. 5.
The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy” places atop the year-end Rock Songs recap, having ruled the weekly chart for 14 weeks. The duo also places at No. 5 with “Gold on the Ceiling.” The pair ranked at Nos. 8 and 11, respectively, last year, with “Tighten Up” and “Howlin’ for You.”
After scoring top Rock Song honors last year with “Rope,” Foo Fighters rank at No. 2 this year with “These Days.” Linkin Park’s “Burn It Down” (No. 3) and Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” featuring Kimbra (No. 4), round out the year-end Rock Songs top five.
The Belgian-born, Australian-raised Gotye exploded onto rock and pop circles this year with “Somebody.” Spurred by its video, which has racked 355 million YouTube views, the track ruled Alternative Songs for 12 weeks, the weekly Rock Songs chart for seven weeks and the Hot 100 for eight frames, as well as tallies including Pop Songs, Adult Pop Songs, Adult Contemporary and even Dance/Club Play Songs. As “Somebody” is the year’s No. 1 Hot 100 hit, 2012 marks the first year in which the top Hot 100 title reached No. 1 on Alternative Songs since 2002, when Nickelback’s 13-week Alternative Songs leader ranked as the Hot 100’s top title. (The year before, Lifehouse also claimed top Hot 100 honors with a former Alternative Songs No. 1, “Hanging By a Moment”).
Folk/rock quartet Mumford & Sons earn top Rock Album applause for a second consecutive year, although with a different leading title than last year. “Babel” is 2012’s No. 1 Rock Album, highlighted by a debut week of 600,000 copies sold (Oct. 13), marking the largest sales frame for a rock act since 2008. In 2011, the group topped the year-end Rock Albums survey with “Sigh No More.” The act is the first since Billboard began crowning a yearly top Rock Album in 2006 to manage back-to-back No. 1 rankings.
The Black Keys’ “El Camino,” featuring “Lonely” and “Gold,” is 2012’s No. 2 Rock Album, followed by Nickelback’s “Here and Now” (No. 3); Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto” (No. 4); and fun.’s “Some Nights.”