Leaving 2009 behind and entering 2010 marked a new decade in music. Could the new era and beyond excel what had been before? Could it really get bigger and better, or would it all get very, very ugly?

Pop’s greatest gals had a fantastic year in terms of No.1s with Katy Perry, Cheryl Cole, Alexandra Burke and Lady Gaga all hitting the top spot. Gaga continued her reign as Queen of Pop with yet another No. 1, ‘Bad Romance’, in January. She didn’t stop there – Gaga scooped Best Female, Best International Album for The Fame and Best Breakthrough at the Brit Awards in February, dedicating her performance to late fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

However that was nothing compared to the MTV Video Music Awards later in the year, where Gaga was nominated for a record-breaking 13 Awards and walked away with an impressive 8, bringing her VMA total to 11. Despite this the buzz surrounding her at the VMAs had less to do with her wins and more to do with her ‘shock frock’, consisting of a dress and hat made entirely out of meat. Gaga’s daring wardrobe decision whipped the paparazzi into a frenzy and outraged animal rights groups. She continued to shock and outrage with controversial promo videos for the singles ”Telephone’ featuring Beyonce and (and a No.1 in March) and ‘Alejandro’. Hit sitcom ‘Glee’ paid tribute with an episode featuring some of her biggest hits, broadcast in the US in May. Lady GaGa hasn’t only continued her reign at the top of the pop charts, but she has strived to set the bar for songs, videos, and outfits.

2010 looked set to be a big year for boy bands with the ever-growing popularity and success of JLS, the bravery of Boyzone soldiering on since the death of bandmate Stephen Gately last October and the glorious return of Westlife. However nobody could have predicted the return of Robbie to Take That. In July, the band announced that they would be a five-piece for the first time since 1995. The original Take That reconvened and released Progress in November, which went on to become the biggest selling album of 2010 and the second fastest selling album in British history just 24 days after it’s release. With a world tour booked and already sold-out for 2011, things look very rosy indeed for Take That – but for how long?

As always, the summer saw another glorious festival season, sprinkled with a mix of terrible lows and dizzying highs. Scotland’s mighty T In The Park saw some of music’s biggest names perform at Balado: Eminem, Muse, Florence + The Machine, Vampire Weekend, Kasabian and Madness amongst many others. Glastonbury may have been rain-free but clouds of disappointment plagued Worthy Farm when U2 were forced to pull out of their headlining slot due to Bono’s spinal injury. Reading/Leeds buzzed with excitement as thousands watched the return of The Libertines, and Download boasted a stellar line-up including AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine, and Aerosmith. However, it was Scotland’s very own Rockness which prevailed at this year’s festival awards, winning Best Line Up after Blondie, The Strokes, and Fatboy Slim took to the stage at 2010’s event. With Kasabian, Paolo Nutini, and the Chemical Brothers already signed up for 2011, it looks set to be another blinder up in Inverness.

Odd couples seemed to be the trend with pop’s most unlikely pairs collaborating on some of the year’s biggest hits. Alicia Keys and Jay Z paid homage to NYC with ‘Empire State Of Mind’, Eminem and Rihanna scored one of the year’s biggest No.1s with ‘I Love The Way You Lie’, Beyonce and Gaga teamed up for ‘Telephone’, B.O.B and Hayley Williams collaborated on ‘Airplanes’ and Dizzee Rascal and Florence Welch mashed on ‘You Got The Dirtee Love’ for this year’s Brit Awards.

Some of the best pop tracks topped the charts, and others proved that the British public will, in fact, buy anything. Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP tormented us with ‘We No Speak Americano’, lyaz squatted in our brains and refused to leave with ‘Replay’, and Olly Murs somehow sailed to the top spot with ‘Please Don’t Let Me Go’. 2010 saw some old and unusual songs revived with JLS sampling Sound Of Music’s ‘The Hills Are Alive’ in their No.1 hit ‘The Club Is Alive’, Black Eyed Peas reminding us that nobody puts Baby in the corner with their take on Dirty Dancing’s ‘Time Of My Life’ in their smash, ‘The Time (Dirty Bit)’, and Will.i.am dusted off The Buggles’ ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ on ‘Check It Out’.

Over the last 12 months we have seen outrageous dress sense, unlikely duos, monumental No.1s, impossible reunions and Cher Lloyd very nearly single-handedly destroying hip-hop. What will Gaga wear next? Will Robbie’s ego destroy Take That? Will The Killers return? Do we care if Girls Aloud split up? Will U2 finally play a festival? There’s only one way to find out, so take a deep breath and get ready for 2011!

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