2013 was the year of YouTube and Beyoncé. Almost every music video below is delivered for free by YouTube. More importantly, 2013 solidified YouTube's place at the heart of the new music industry, from YouTubers to major pop stars, as a source of distribution, marketing and monetization. And Beyoncé. Beyoncé won the Christmas season with a late in the game iTunes release that provoked strong response. But many others made an impact as well as illustrated by these music videos from the best of 2013.
The "toppermost of the poppermost" is a phrase courtesy of John Lennon and what better way to identify such a thing than mashing together the top picks from the top lists of the year's top picks!
BEYONCÉ 14 songs . 17 videos
Musicians release projects directly to iTunes all the time but when it's a music video extravaganza by one of the greatest pop stars of our time it trumps earlier high points and already released top lists as well. "Beyoncé" is both a sales and critical success.
Beyoncé was also the most searched person in the U.S. on Bing in 2013.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Can't Hold Us ft. Ray Dalton
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis topped Rdio's Global Albums list with "The Heist" and Global Tracks with "Can't Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton)."
The "Get Lucky" Supercut
Kanye West - Black Skinhead (Live on SNL)
I found the above performance of "Black Skinhead" from "Yeezus" indicative of what Kanye's capable of when seriously exploring new territory far removed from the self-defeating behavior that overshadows his capabilities.
Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop
Though Miley Cyrus's surprisingly chaste "Wrecking Ball" took the top spot on VEVO's most viewed music videos for 2013, "We Can't Stop," which was no. 2, gives a fuller sense of her aesthetic and world view.
But the high point on camera may have been her MTV VMA appearance with Robin Thicke which propelled her briefly into the center of an ongoing multifaceted discussion by many women in the music industry that has been an important theme of the year. For this and so much more, MTV named her Artist of the Year
"miley cyrus" was also the top search on Yahoo.
G-DRAGON - COUP D'ETAT M/V
LORDE - Royals
This was a big year for Lorde and "Royals" was the lead single for her world debut. It was named Song of the Year by iTunes.
Florida Georgia Line - Cruise
Apparently Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" "set a record this year for most weeks at No. 1 on the country charts — in history."
It actually came out last year but a remix ft. Nelly helped boost it over the summer.
The Knife - A Tooth For An Eye from Shaking The Habitual
Harlem Shake (original army edition)
Harlem Shake videos dominated February and despite the phenomenon not getting much play in end of year lists, one video (shown above) out of many came in no. 2 on YouTube's Top Trending Videos for 2013.
Forget "The Fox" and the "Gentleman," "Harlem Shake" the phenomenon was the viral hit of 2013.
Other Lists Of Note:
NPR Music's 12 Favorite Music Videos Of 2013
Hype Machine's Zeitgeist 2013: Most-blogged Artists and Tracks of the Year
Alt.Latino's Favorite Songs, Albums And Artists Of 2013
Okayafrica’s Top 10 Music Videos of 2013
David Holmes's Best music of 2013 that wasn’t on Spotify
Complex's 50 Best Albums of 2013
American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums Of 2013
- iTunes Best of 2013: Justin Timberlake - Artist Of The Year, The Heist - Album Of The Year
- 2013 Top YouTube Videos: PSY Tops Music Videos, "The Fox" Leads Trends
- Rdio 2013: Cover Tracks, Top Global Releases and 2014 Artists To Watch
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is building a writing hub at Flux Research. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.