It will be hard to top the pop-splosion that was 2012. What, with smash albums and singles from Psy, One Direction (two, in fact), Fun., Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, Carly Rae Jepsen, Pink and Taylor Swift, not to mention Adele's continued strong sales, it was a banner year for all things ear candy.
Don't sweat it, though, 2013 is already shaping up to be another big one, with new music on tap from Lady Gaga, The Wanted, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez.
Lady Gaga: We've been hearing about Gaga's plans for her third album for months now and all we know for sure is that there's a ton of material up for grabs. She recently said she's written 50 songs for ARTPOP, which includes her rapping debut on the oddball track "Cake." In fact, there's so many songs she's thinking of a two-disc set with one covering her "experimental" notions and the other one packed with more traditional, radio-friendly fare.
Mariah Carey: The ultimate diva is prepping for her debut on "American Idol," but we all know that celebrity judging gigs like hers are often just the first step to a career reboot. Manager and co-panelist Randy Jackson recently told Billboard that he's aiming for a tentative March release for Carey's as-yet-untitled 14th album, which was preceded by soft-landing single "Triumphant (Get 'Em)," featuring Meek Mill and Rick Ross. Jackson also promised that the traditionally light-touring singer is also planning a world outing in support of the album.
The Wanted: With rivals One Direction dropping two CDs in 2012, the Wanted have some ground to make up. That's why they plan to have their third effort in stores in early 2013. Member Tom Parker revealed in November that the quintet were already eight songs in, with more than 30 to choose from and another writing session scheduled for January.
Katy Perry: Considering Teenage Dream came out in summer 2010, Perry is due for a follow-up. She confirmed in November that she's working on her third major-label album with frequent collaborators Greg Wells and Bonnie McKee and hopes to have it out by summer. In April, she said she hoped the disc would be a "black box" of who she is, promising that it would be "real f---ing dark" given her painful divorce from Russell Brand.
Miley Cyrus: In between grinding with strippers onstage and adding to her tattoo collection, Cyrus has been working on her fourth album (tentatively titled Danger Zone) with producers including Pharrell and Hit-Boy and rapper Mac Miller. She promised a new single before 2012 was out, and told Us Magazine that she was "really proud" of the new album and that it is "my favorite thing I've done probably ever. It's all really different."
Britney Spears: Strangely, Spears did not take advantage of her slot on "X Factor" to push new music, but according to reports, she's been working on her eighth studio album with Grammy-award winning songwriter Elijah Blake, who promised to bring out an "unexpected" side of the pop diva. Just before New Year's, Spears tweeted an update, telling fans that she is, "Working hard. Collaborating with some new inspiring producers. Really focused on my music right now."
Jonas Brothers: It's been a while since the Jo Bros graced us with new music, and while we don't know much about their first collective effort since 2009's Lines, Vines and Trying Times, they did pull the curtain back on the fresh track "Wedding Bells" at an October concert in New York. What they have told us is that they're taking a whole new approach this time, writing all the songs themselves, with Nick producing and the brothers all playing instruments themselves.
Justin Bieber: JB will be back in racks on January 29 with an eight-track unplugged EP called Believe Acoustic. Bieber released the album's track listing on Friday and said he's hoping to give his fans a more "intimate" experience with his second acoustic effort.
Selena Gomez: Gomez is on track to follow 2011's When the Sun Goes Down in March. Details are scarce, but Selena has said she wants to expand her musical horizons and would love to get in the studio with the guys from Fun. and Taylor Swift. "By the time it comes out, I'll almost be 21, so I want to be able to — wow, that sounds really scary! I want it to be older," she told MTV News.
What pop albums are you most excited about in 2013? Let us know in comments below!