The 12 Best Songs By Women 2012

CENTURY CITY, CA - DECEMBER 01:  Artist Rihanna launches 'Nude by Rihanna' at Macy's Westfield Century City on December 1, 20
CENTURY CITY, CA - DECEMBER 01: Artist Rihanna launches 'Nude by Rihanna' at Macy's Westfield Century City on December 1, 2012 in Century City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Though 2012 might have been the year of the boy band, women in music were making plenty of waves as well.

Female artists dominated the major music award shows. Adele won six Grammys, Album of the Year (and Best British Female Solo Artist) at the BRITs and Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist at the AMAs. Beyoncé and Katy Perry were nominated for four VMAs each –- next to Rihanna’s five nominations.

Here's our list of our 12 favorite songs released by women this year, ranging from feel-good car radio sing-along tunes to dance floor favorites to tracks made for headphones and downtime. Read through, then watch listen in the slideshow below.

“Diamonds” -- Rihanna
Rihanna's made headlines for increasingly unfortunate reasons this year, but her music is as solid as ever. The lead single from "Apologetic" reached number one in sixteen countries, and we're not tired of it yet.

Anything from "Girl On Fire" -- Alicia Keys
Though we're not sure that anything will live up to "Songs in A Minor," tracks from Keys' fifth studio album -- inspired by her recent marriage and giving birth to her son, Egypt -- are winning us over. Keys debuted the title track live at the 2012 VMAs, and it's set to be a big one.

"Stronger" -- Kelly Clarkson
This feel-good pop anthem is already a karaoke favorite... don't pretend you don't know the words.

"Die Young" -- Ke$ha
The tracks from Ke$ha's sophomore album have less auto-tune than we're used to, which is a good thing. This poppy celebration anthem has been stuck in everyone's heads since its debut at the end of October.

"Bel Air" -- Lana del Ray
Del Ray describes herself as a "self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra" -- whatever that means, we're into it.

Anything from "Red" -- Taylor Swift
Taylor had a bunch of big hits this year, including "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Sometimes we love them, sometimes we love-hate them, but they're played so often that it would be weird not to hear them -- and, yes, sing along a little.

"Good Girl" -- Carrie Underwood
Underwood debuted "Good Girl" live in Nashville in 2012, and is one of our favorite uptempo songs from her.

"Emmylou" -- First Aid Kit
First Aid Kit is composed of two Swedish sisters who released their second album, "The Lion's Roar," in January 2012. Country-inspired track "Emmylou" is filled with sweet, light harmonies.

"Primadonna" -- Marina and the Diamonds
Singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis toured with Coldplay in summer 2012 to promote her new album, "Electra Heart," filled with high-energy songs. We especially love watching this girl sing live -- talk about stage presence!

"Is Your Love Big Enough?" -- Lianne La Havas
We love the title track from up-and-coming singer Lianne La Havas's album "Is Your Love Big Enough?," which was named the iTunes 2012 Album of the Year.

"Wildest Moments" -- Jessie Ware
Clash magazine described Jessie Ware, another performer from across the pond, as "the missing link between Adele, SBTRKT and Sade."

"Forever" -- Haim
This trio of sisters from California (what's up with all the sister-bands this year?) are currently opening for Florence + the Machine on their UK and Ireland tour.

What would you add to our list? Comment below or tweet @HuffPostWomen!



2012: Best Songs By Women