Ailbhe Malone gives a big shout-out to the girls who stood up for them­selves in 2012,

2012 was a year of come­backs, re-is­sues, stars work­ing it on the so­cial net­works – and lots of crazy love, writes Ailbhe Malone

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FRONT PAGE -

FIT­TINGLY for a year that ends with the same digit as it be­gins, 2012’s been a year of come­backs and re-is­sues. The num­ber one al­bum at the end of Jan­uary 2012 was ex­actly the same as the year be­fore it – Adele’s om­nipresent 21. Lana del Rey waited less than a year to re-is­sue her de­but al­bum, al­beit in an ex­tended edi­tion, and Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream promo con­tin­ued with the re­lease of the Com­plete Con­fec­tion.

Madonna be­came MDNA. No Doubt re-banded, as did Girls Aloud and Su­gababes 1.0. EDM was the buzz­word, and the Guet­ti­fi­ca­tion of the charts con­tin­ued – sad­fac­ers at the back, for­get ye not that Dave the Rave also gave us Fall­ing to Pieces with Sia. A dub­step in­ter­lude be­came as ubiq­ui­tous as a key change in the mid­dle eight: what Brit­ney had lead us into with Hold It Against Me in 2011 was ce­mented by Tay­lor Swift’s per­for­mance of I Knew You Were Trou­ble at the Amer­i­can Mu­sic Awards.

2012 was a year when stars put the “work” into so­cial net­work­ing. Gaga re­leased no new mu­sic (although she did chuck out a per­fume, an al­bum ti­tle, a remix and a cus­tom-made so­cial net­work), but through her Twit­ter pres­ence an­nounced var­i­ous short films, and her new al­bum ti­tle, Art­pop. Ri­hanna did her work for her, re­leas­ing her sev­enth con­sec­u­tive al­bum in as many years, and be­came the First Lady of Instagram. Madonna dipped an ill-ad­vised toe into Twit­ter – an on­line Q&A around her new al­bum re­vealed that her favourite Euro­pean city was Gdansk, ap­par­ently. Mean­while, Bey­oncé killed it on Tum­blr, flaw­lessly post­ing pic­tures of her glam­orous life. Sam­ple photo: Jay-Z push­ing a glow­ing B on a swing. Shakira’s Tum­blr was less ritzy, but equally sweet, show­ing Shaki’s grow­ing baby bump.

In af­fairs of the heart, Katy Perry opened the year with a di­vorce, and re­lived the break up all sum­mer through the big screen- in 3D. Luck­ily, her fans helped her through the pain. She tweeted: “I am so grate­ful for all the love and sup­port I’ve had from peo­ple around the world. You guys have made my heart happy again.”

Justin Bieber turned 18, but his grand ro­mance with Selena Gomez took a turn for the worse af­ter an al­leged in­dis­cre­tion with a Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret model, and the pair are see­ing out the year sin­gle. Tay­lor Swift’s love-life was a man­u­script more il­lu­mi­nated than the Book of Kells. A sum­mer ro­mance with a Kennedy turned to naught, although Swift is now ru­moured to be dat­ing One Di­rec­tion hair-flicker Harry Styles.

The year be­longed to an­other mem­ber of One Di­rec­tion, though. All hail the Prince of Mullingar, Niall Ho­ran! Ho­ran kept coy about his ro­mance with über-babe Demi Lo­vato all year, with both sides firmly deny­ing any smooching and Niall telling a ra­dio sta­tion in Septem­ber that “me and Demi, we’re just really good friends. She's been do­ing well.”

Nialler had big­ger fish to fry though. From tak­ing to Twit­ter to an­nounce his in­tent to swim for Ire­land in the Olympics (“watchin the heats of the swim­min on the telly! Just wana be like phelps”), to mak­ing the most of his leftovers (a piece of toast, half-chewed by Ho­ran, sold for £65,000 in Aus­tralia in April this year), Niall cer­tainly earned his keep.

Let’s get se­ri­ous for a sec­ond though. Shout-out to the girls who stood up for them­selves in 2012. Whether it was Frankie Satur­days open­ing up about her de­pres­sion and sub­se­quent hospi­tal stay in 2011, ex­plain­ing in a Glam­our mag­a­zine in­ter­view that “I felt that I was worth­less, that I was ugly, that I didn't de­serve any­thing.”

Or what about Demi Lo­vato speak­ing out about her eat­ing dis­or­der, telling Amer­i­can TV’s Katie Couric, “I be­lieve that I was born with it, and that it was just gonna be there. It runs in my fam­ily and it’s just there.”

And who can for­get Tulisa’s in­cred­i­ble piece to cam­era af­ter her sex tape was leaked. Filmed on a grainy we­b­cam, she sits at her kitchen ta­ble, and blasts her ex.“When you share an in­ti­mate moment with some­one you love, that you care about and trust, you never imag­ine that at any point it will be shared with the rest of the UK or peo­ple around the world. It's a pretty tough time for me, but I don’t feel I should be the one to take the heat for it.”

In true Pop Cor­ner style, let’s fin­ish up by talk­ing tracks. Our top five of the year goes like this: 1. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen 2. Wildest Mo­ments – Jessie Ware 3. Obliv­ion – Grimes 4. Boyfriend – Justin Bieber 5. Di­a­monds – Ri­hanna It ap­pears un­cer­tainty was 2012’s dom­i­nant theme. All of our top five linger on the con­di­tional, from Bieber’s [If I Was Your] Boyfriend to Jepsen’s in­fa­mous Call Me Maybe. Jessie Ware is real­is­tic when it comes to a re­la­tion­ship’s troughs, but rel­ishes its peaks – just as Ri­hanna does in the Si­a­penned Di­a­monds. Grimes’s call that she will “wait for­ever” echoes through the top five. Love is com­pli­cated, and this is crazy, each one sings. But all the same, here’s their num­ber. So call them maybe.

Lana Del Rey, Demi From top: One Di­rec­tion, Lo­vato opens up to Katie

Couric, Ri­hanna

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