Katy Perry

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Katy Perry started off 2011 on top of the pop world—in a semi-literal sense, given that her “Firework” was the year’s first chart-topper—and managed to stay there for the rest of the year. With a steady stream of record-breaking hit singles and accompanying videos, as well as a smash international tour, a huge award-show presence and even a blockbuster flick to her credit, the pop world was Katy’s candyland in 2011. She might not have the Idol-approved pipes of Adele, the artistic ambitions of Gaga or the sense of chic of Rihanna, but she might be the best pure pop star out right now, and don’t be surprised if when you think about early-’10s pop years down the road, it’s Katy’s name that pops up before any of the others. For those reasons, Katy is our #1 artist of the year. Read through our year-recapping slideshow to remind yourself why, and again, check out the the rest our Artist of the Year slideshows here.

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