From Gotye to Kelly Clarkson, the Shins to Ne-Yo, many of the biggest pop artists performed on 'Saturday Night Live' this year. These were our 10 fave performances.
10. Jack White, March 3
The White Stripes frontman played the lead single from his first solo album, 'Blunderbuss,' a soulful rock duet with Ruby Amanfu about everyone's favorite interrupter: love.
9. Mumford & Sons, September 22
These guys dominated the charts this year. The day after the British folk band's 'Babel' was released, they stopped by SNL to play two songs from the the album, which has since been nominated for four Grammy Awards.
8. Rihanna, November 10
Rihanna performed her new song 'Diamonds,' on which she repeats “Shine bright like a diamond” many, many times. In order to appeal to the ever-expanding seapunk demographic, she employed a very cheap and silly stage design that made it seem as if she was floating around with dolphins and random symbols and palm trees.
7. Paul McCartney, December 15
People were very confused when it was announced that the Beatles' Paul McCartney was performing with the surviving members of Nirvana at the Hurricane Sandy Benefit last week at Madison Square Garden. And then he did it again a few days later on SNL. The song's called 'Cut Me Some Slack,' as if they knew from the outset people would be giving them a hard time about the collaboration.
6. One Direction, April 7
Everyone loves boy bands. Everyone! 'What Makes You Beautiful,' a song about how a girl is beautiful in virtue of her ignorance regarding her beauty, is one of the group's most sophisticated songs.
5. Bon Iver
Even if Bon Iver's music does nothing more to you than make you want to listen to Bruce Hornsby & The Range's debut album, that's not a bad thing.
4. Lana Del Ray, January 14
Everyone made fun of poor Lana after this performance because she didn't sound very good. But she provided great entertainment, and that's all that really matters on SNL.
3. Usher, May 12
When Usher hit those mind-bogglingly high notes on the Diplo-produced 'Climax,' hearts and minds instantly exploded.
2. fun., November 3
When fun. played SNL, singer Jack Antonoff's hair looked as if he'd just rolled out of a very expensive hair salon that tried to make him look like he'd just rolled out of bed. (The rest of the band looked very well groomed, too.) And they performed their emotional song 'Some Nights,' documenting the faux-tragedy of being a young person with too many invitations to very meaningful parties in important cities.
1. Frank Ocean, September 15
Two albums have been dominating critics' year-end lists this year: Kendrick Lamar's 'good kid, m.A.A.d. city,' and Frank Ocean's 'channel ORANGE.' A few months after Ocean dropped his album, he stopped by SNL to perform 'Thinkin' Bout You' and, with John Mayer playing guitar, 'Pyramids.' After Ocean sang about a pimp falling in love with an employee, Mayer delivered smooth bends while Ocean played video games.
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