I know we throw the word "iconic" around a lot in these parts, but summer 2014 gave us some truly i-con-ic moments in pop music history. Let's unpack the 33 greatest things the season blessed us with.
1.) Officially Confirmed Song Of The Summer
There's no denying it -- Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" featuring Charli XCX spent seven weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 this past season, and it held the #1 spot on Billboard's Songs Of The Summer chart every single week.
2.) Song That Should've Been Song Of The Summer
3.) Song That Was Literally A Song Of The Summer
4.) Best Live Performance
5.) Song You Were Singing In The Shower
6.) Best Way To ~*Express*~ Yourself
7.) The "I Love It" Memorial Award For American Lateness
With Sam Smith breaking out stateside this year with the release of his debut album, many U.S. residents only just discovered his Disclosure collab, "Latch," which came out in the U.K. in 2012 -- literally two years ago. (Same goes for Naughty Boy's "La La La" from 2013, on which Sam also features.) Do better, America!
8.) Most Overwhelming Album Release Day
June 17 saw the simultaneous release of Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence, Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour and Jennifer Lopez's A.K.A. -- plus new LPs from Linkin Park, Tiësto, David Gray and Deadmau5. Needless to say, that Tuesday was a lot to mentally/physically/emotionally/financially handle.
9.) Biggest Comeback
Shoutout to Hilary Duff and Azealia Banks, but this one's a tie between Sia and "Weird Al" Yankovic. The former switched gears from writing hits for Rihanna and Beyoncé to releasing one incredible one, "Chandelier," all on her own, and her sixth solo album, 1000 Forms Of Fear, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200.
The latter's seventh LP, Mandatory Fun, saw even greater chart success, and the parodies -- eight of which received video's during the week of release -- were some of the best in his (more than) thirty-year career. Both slayed, so give it up.
10.) A For Effort
Paula, Robin Thicke's seventh studio album dedicated to his estranged wife of the same name, debuted at #9 on the Billboard 200 with only 22,000 copies sold in its first week. In the U.K., those debut sales dropped to a mere 530. Oof.
11.) Best Cover
12.) Greatest Collaboration
From "Bang Bang," "Wiggle" and "Black Widow" to "Problem," "Dark Horse" and "Fancy," musical team-ups dominated the Billboard Hot 100 over the past three months. The same can be said about our summer tour schedule, which saw Beyoncé and Jay Z's On The Run Tour, Eminem and Rihanna's The Monster Tour and Drake Vs. Lil Wayne.
I've gotta name Bey and Jay's stadium tour the winner of this category, and it's not because a Beygent is holding a gun to my back as I type this. *blinks SOS in morse code*
13.) Biggest "YAAASSSS!"
14.) Most Consistently On The Beat
DJ Mustard! Oh, and he's also Most Consistently On All The Airwaves Ever thanks to his killer production on T.I.'s "No Mediocre" featuring Iggy Azalea, Kid Ink's "Show Me" featuring Chris Brown, Tinashe's "2 On" featuring Schoolboy Q, Jeremih's "Don't Tell 'Em" featuring YG and literally everything else on the radio right now.
15.) Least Likely To Turn Down
16.) Blue Ribbon For I CAN'T
5 Seconds Of Summer literally became household names by the end of this summer. YOU DID IT, 5SOS FAM. You did it.
17.) The Moment We All Collectively Lost Our Voices
I screamed so hard at the "Of course sometimes shit go down when there's a billion dollars on an elevator" line in Beyonce's surprise "Flawless" remix featuring Nicki Minaj.
18.) Biggest Surprise
Miley Cyrus dominated the post-VMA headlines, and it wasn't for something ~scandalous~ she did onstage. In lieu of accepting Video Of The Year herself, she sent Jesse Helt, a young man she'd met through an organization called My Friend's Place, to give an emotional speech on the state of homeless youth in Los Angeles.
19.) Greatest Use Of Celebrity
Many figures in music chose to use their influence to address the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, following the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Artists like Talib Kweli, Jeezy and J. Cole went down to the city to assist residents in person, Common held a moment of silence at the VMAs and Erykah Badu and many others voiced their solidarity over social media. J. Cole even wrote a song titled "Free," which he dedicated to Brown.
20.) Pop Feminist Honors
Another tie! Taylor Swift told The Guardian that she's "been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so" for a while, adding: "The way [feminism] was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men... It's not about that at all." And in case there was any question as to where Beyoncé stands in relation to the other-other "F" word, I present the following still from her VMA performance.
21.) Most Missed On Our Instagram Feed
22.) Go-To Summer Workout Plan
23.) Greatest Britney Moment
24.) Greatest Britney Moment Actually By Britney
The Vegas entertainer seriously got to work (bitch) on her social-media presence this summer! I mean, the Instagram videos! Remember "I'm bored"? What about "You can do it, baby!"? "Having a sh-tty day"? Amazing.
25.) Most Life-Changing Event I Didn't Witness
26.) Body Part That Owned The Summer
From Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" and Jason Derulo's "Wiggle" to Wiz Khalifa's "Ass Drop" and Jennifer Lopez's "Booty" featuring
Pitbull Iggy Azalea, summer '14 was, to quote Meghan Trainor, all about that bass.
27.) Celebrity Body Part That Owned The Summer
That would be Ariana Grande's high ponytail. Fallen strands of this cascading, zero-gravity marvel of follicular engineering are actually used to replace the worn-down strings on Stradivarius violins -- or so the legend goes.
28.) Celebrity Achievement In Wiggery
29.) Biggest WTF Of The Summer
30.) Biggest F.U.S.S.
31.) Least Prepared For Taylor Swift's New Album
32.) Most Mind-blowingly Dedicated Fandom
One Direction's fans launched coordinated hashtag campaigns seemingly every day this past summer, making everything from #LiamAppreciationDay to #HappyBirthdayTheo (that's Niall's baby nephew, FYI) trend worldwide. Clearly, this category belongs to the Directioners.
33.) Top ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Honors
So, FKA twigs and Robert Pattinson are apparently dating. Shrug emoticons for all!