I'm finished feeling guilty about these pleasures. In the past decade, there has been an emergence of female pop icons in the form of Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and many more. The majority of men are more than happy to dismiss these ladies as trash for fear of being branded a woman themselves, but I for one, am done hiding behind acceptable music taste. That's right, I'm coming out, coming clean, and it's about to get real detailed.
7. Disturbia- Rihanna
Perhaps the most dominant female force in music today, Rihanna hasn't slowed down since she arrived on the scene at the turn of the millennium, releasing her seventh album this year. I was tempted to include ''Stay'' on this list, the second single taken from her 2013 release, but for me Rihanna is at her best with pumping dance tunes such as ''Disturbia'', a electro-pop driven smash that saw the Barbadian superstar embrace her darker side.
6. Bad Romance- Lady Gaga
I could have picked any Gaga song here because truth be told I'm a huge fan. The American has transfixed audiences since her emergence on the scene with ''The Fame'' in 2008, which boasted such gems as ''Just Dance'', ''Pokerface'' and ''Papparazzi''. But my personal favourite came with ''Bad Romance'' taken from her sophomore effort, and it showcased Gaga in an experimental mood, as she dived into house/techno territory while retaining her pop roots with a pumping chorus.
5. Call Me Maybe- Carly Rae Jepsen
This synth pop dance tune was released last year to huge commercial success and surprisingly even some unexpected critical acclaim. It's almost unheard of for a number one in the charts to find success with music writers and reviewers too, but Carly Rae Jepsen broke these boundaries last summer simply because ''Call Me Maybe'' is one of the catchiest songs written in the history of man. Go ahead, listen to it and try not to sing along. I dare you. A universal favorite and one the finest singles of 2012 without a shadow of a doubt.
4. Halo- Beyonce
Beyonce's penchant for up tempo dance pop as seen on singles such as ''Crazy In Love'' and ''Sweet Dreams'' has seen her become the superstar she is today but for me, her finest moment came when she slowed things down with ''Halo'' on 2008's ''I Am... Sasha Fierce''. The R&B power ballad featured a powerful vocal performance and stunning production values alongside poignant lyrics, and was a major highlight of one of 2008's standout albums.
3. Everytime- Britney Spears
''Everytime'' finds a post-teen Britney in a contemplative and decidely dark mood with this emotional piano ballad proving that Spears is capable of real substance behind earlier dance classics such as ''Hit Me Baby One More Time'' and ''Crazy''. Later covered by Glen Hansard of The Frames (and my good friend Tomas Mulligan), ''Everytime'' is a truly moving tale of love gone wrong and Britney sells it spectacularly with a spellbinding performance both vocally and visually, in the hypnotic video single.
2. Love Story- Taylor Swift
America's sweetheart burst onto the scene in 2008 with her sophomore album Fearless. Taylor's debut featured a more folk-oriented sound than her second effort and didn't reveal the true potential of the country superstar which was exposed through her trademark blend of country music and mainstream pop in lead single ''Love Story'' (and the equally appealing ''You Belong With Me''), which immediately caught the attention of the American and European public through it's sweet, sincere and moving melody which details a relationship during Swift's youth that she compares to Shakespearean classic Romeo & Juliet.
1. Since U Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson
Carly Rae may have defied critics last year with ''Call Me Maybe'' as previously mentioned at number five on this list, but it was American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson who started the trend of acceptable pop greatness back in 2004 with ''Since U Been Gone'', my personal favorite of these pop classics. Clarkson's revenge ballad is a powerful, irresistible belter that was acclaimed by many critics to be among the best songs of the decade. The up tempo pop rock style of ''Since U Been Gone'' marked the beginning of an era for female songwriters that dominates the music charts today, and the reason that Clarkson's debut hit is so significant is the fact that it changed public perception of the traditional pop ballad. ''Since U Been Gone'' made it okay to like mainstream pop music again, and for that, Kelly Clarkson deserves another number one spot.