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Best and Worst 2012: Carly Rae Jepsen, Taylor Swift, and the other best singles of the year

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One encouraging trend that ran throughout 2012 was the egalitarian nature of hit singles. Whether you were a Joni Mitchell-loving Canadian Idol survivor, an Australian with a bruised ego, or a bunch of Florida emo survivors high on Queen, the music world fully embraced you as long as your inescapable earworms continuously delivered thrilling results.

Check out EW’s list of the 20 greatest singles of the year below (as they appear in the current issue of EW, which is on newsstands now), and be sure to check out this specially-curated VEVO playlist that takes you through the year that was one glorious pop hook at a time.

BEST

1. Carly Rae Jepsen, ”Call Me Maybe”
Before the countless YouTube lip dubs, the nine weeks at No. 1, and the 1,000th time you heard it at a BBQ, there was just a song: a purple-ink love letter with a tiny voice whispering about wishing wells and ripped jeans like it was a secret she wanted you to keep forever. It might have been the soundtrack of your summer, or you might’ve rolled your eyes at parties but then secretly put it on your workout mix. But every time it played, life sounded just a tiny bit different. Better maybe. Adam Markovitz READ FULL STORY

Grammy Nominations 2013: Your water cooler cheat sheet!

The Grammy nominations are in — and by now, we hope you’ve had time to do the following: Read the full list of major nominees, peruse Kyle Anderson’s take on the biggest snubs and surprises, and enjoy Scooter Braun’s Twitter tantrum.

But if all that’s not enough for you, we’ve cobbled together some interesting trends about this year’s crop of Grammy nominees — so even if you’re not a Grammys aficionado, you can pretend to be one around the office.

* The Best Album category this year is oddly rock-heavy With the notable exception of Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, the Best Album category is dominated by rock acts. But whereas the category (until very recently) used to feature the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, it’s now honoring a newer crop of rockers.

Or, as one of my co-workers put it, “It’s like the Grammy voters have replaced their old fogies with young fogies.” The inclusion of The Black Keys’ El Camino and Jack White’s Blunderbuss feels especially odd, since both of those acts’ previous albums were substantially better than those efforts. (Though the White Stripes’ excellent 2004 release Elephant did get a nod that year.) Add in Mumford & Sons’s Babel and fun.’s Some Nights, and you’ve got a very dude-ish, very guitar-heavy category. READ FULL STORY

Rick Ross and David Copperfield hang out on stage in Vegas -- VIDEO

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You know that thing when rappers shout out the name of a seemingly completely unrelated public figure in the middle of a verse, making you ponder how it would be to walk in on Robin Williams lecturing Jay-Z  about seizing the day in an empty English classroom or eavesdrop on the Lil Wayne-Bill Gates phone call wherein they discuss the finer points of exceeding baller status?

The Meek Mill-assisted Rick Ross track “Black Magic,” one of several standouts on Maybach Music Group’s recent compilation effort Self Made Vol. 2, has a hook that rhymes: “Poof! There go the car/Poof! there go the crib/Poof! A hundred mil, David Copperfield/David Copperfield, David Copperfield.”

You know where this is headed.

Rick Ross was performing in Las Vegas last night, and revealed in the midst of his set that he had a special guest waiting in the wings: “This is a mother—-in’ icon.  In his field, he the greatest that ever did it.  So, I want you to drop the music at the same time.  Drop the music, let’s go.”

And then, this happened:

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Mariah Carey is 'Triumphant' in her return: Hear a snippet of the new single

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So, things had been pretty quiet in Mariah-land recently, with the R&B diva understandably devoting much of her attention to the endless responsibilities thrust upon her as a new mother toridiculously good-looking twins.

But a quiet spring and summer look to be making way for a fall and winter filled with Mimi. On the heels of signing a whopping $18 million deal to join the judges’ panel of American Idol (more toys for #DemBabies–rejoice, everyone!), Carey has announced the release of her first new single in more than two years, “Triumphant (Get ‘Em).”

The track, which will serve as the lead single for her upcoming 14th studio album, is scheduled to hit the radio sometime today and will premiere on her website at  3:45 pm (ET). Tweeted Mariah about the Rick Ross and Meek Mill assisted tune, “I wrote TRIUMPHANT when I was going through a difficult time & it helped me get through it.  When u hear it, pay attention 2 the lyrics #WIN.”

Well, then–perk those ears up, people, as you listen to a 30 second preview of the song below. Any super-skilled listeners out there hear a grunt from you-know-who at the end?!

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Chris Brown's camp has reportedly given NYPD 'physical evidence' implicating Drake in bar fight

The bottle-throwing fight heard ’round the world is still raging on.

Last we left the back-and-forth over how and why (and if) Chris Brown and Drake got into a 4 a.m. bar brawl that resulted in Brown getting cut in the face, we’d been told by sources that A) Drake was not involved in the fight and B) Meek Mill was involved in the fight.

But twist! TMZ reports that Brown’s lawyer has apparently presented the NYPD with “physical evidence” which allegedly shows Drake was involved in the melee (also known in the rap world as snitching), while Brown himself spoke with detectives. He is being treated as “a witness and a victim,” cops told TMZ.

Drake’s camp is cooperating with police as well, but they’ve remained largely silent since releasing their Drake-absolving statement yesterday.

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