“Hard” is a song recorded by Barbadian R&B recording artist, Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988), better known as simply Rihanna. The song was taken from her fourth studio albu, Rated R (2009), and features American rapper Jeezy. The song debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number eighty, and peaked at number eight seven weeks later for one week, becoming her thirteenth top-ten single and sixteenth top-twenty hit this decade; this re-tied her with Beyoncé Knowles as the female artist with the most top ten hits on the Hot 100 in the 2000–2009 decade. It also peaked at number one on the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart. The song’s accompanying music video was directed by Melina Matsoukas and shot in December 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The video carried the theme of “corture-military,” where Rihanna assumed the role of commanding an army, as well as showing her in multitude of different army inspired outfits. The song was performed for the first time at mentor Jay-Z’s concert at UCLA Pauley Pavilion, as well as the 2009 American Music Awards with the album’s promotional single, “Wait Your Turn”. The song was also included on the set list of the Last Girl on Earth Tour (2010–11) and the current Loud Tour (2011).
“Pray” is a song recorded by Canadian pop/R&B singer, songwriter and actor Justin Bieber, who also wrote the song. “Pray” is set in common time with a tempo of 80 beats per minute. It is composed in the key of B major with Bieber’s vocal range spanning from the low-note of F♯3 to the high-note of B4. The song follows in the chord progression of B/G♯–B/F♯–E–B. Present throughout the songs background is the use of violins and a choir, as well as guitar, string instruments, congas and a cajon. However it does make subtle use of synths and electronic sounds. Musically and lyrically, it is influenced by contemporary christian music, and has a gospel feel, while including standard pop and R&B. The song opens with Bieber singing, “And I pray” over a keyboard, while the songs chorus repeats one simple refrain, “I close my eyes and I can see a better day/ I close my eyes and pray.” In the lyrics, Bieber “recognizes the pain and suffering in the world” and then offers “a passive solution” through lines such as “Children are crying / soldiers are dying / Some people don’t have a home,” before compromising, “I know there’s sunshine beyond that rain / good times beyond that pain.” Vocally, Bieber’s vocals are sung in a lower key compared to previous singles.
The song “Next 2 You” is a song performed by American recording artist Chris Brown, included as a track on his fourth studio album, F.A.M.E., released on March 18, 2011. The song features Canadian singer Justin Bieber and was produced by Nasri Atweh and Adam Messinger of The Messengers, who wrote the song with Brown and Amber Streeter of American R&B girl group RichGirl. The song first appeared online on March 8, 2011. The song was one of two collaborations between Bieber and Brown in 2011, the other being a remix of “Up” from Bieber’s My World 2.0 album, which was included as a track on his Never Say Never – The Remixes set. In an interview with MTV News, Brown revealed that the duo recorded the “Up” remix first, and Brown wanted Bieber on his album after their first collaboration.
“Better Than Today” is a song recorded by Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue. The track was originally written and produced by Nerina Pallot and Andy Chatterley for Pallot’s 2009 extended play, Buckminster Fuller EP. It was re-recorded by Minogue in 2009, and received additional production by Stuart Price. The song was taken from Minogue’s eleventh studio album Aphrodite (2010). “Better Than Today” was released digitally in Minogue’s native Australia on 28 February 2011 and physically on 18 March 2011. It made its debut on the ARIA Singles Chart at number 55.This proved to be her third single to miss the top-fifty along with “Finer Feelings” (1992), which peaked at number 60, and “Get Outta My Way” (2010), which peaked at number 69. “Better Than Today” is a pop song that emulates other styles using guitars, synthesizers and drum programming.
“Undo It” is the title of the song written by Kara DioGuardi, Martin Frederiksen, Luke Laird and co-written and recorded by American country artist Carrie Underwood. It was made available to digital retailers on October 27, 2009, and was released as an official single on May 24, 2010. The song is the third single from Underwood’s third studio album, Play On. The music video for the song was directed by Chris Hicky. CMT premiered the video for “Undo It” on May 7, 2010. The video features shots of Underwood performing the song in concert along with shots of the background video played during the performance of the song in the Play On Tour.
The song “Mean” was solely written and performed by Taylor Swift, an American singer-songwriter. The song was taken from her third studio album, Speak Now. The song was produced by Nathan Chapman and Swift was first released as a promotional single on October 17, 2010 by the Big Machine Records. The song was later released as an official single on March 14, 2011. “Mean” became Swift’s thirteenth consecutive single to reach top ten on Hot Country Songs when it jumped from number 12 to number 9 on the week ending May 14, 2011. This achievement makes Swift as one of the two women (the other being Carrie Underwood) to begin their chart histories with as many consecutive top 10s dating to the survey’s 1944 launch. “Mean” was performed for the first time by Swift at the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 3, 2011.
The song “If I Were a Boy” is pop and R&B song recorded by Beyonce Knowles, an American R&B recording artist, actress and fashion designer. “If I Were a Boy” was written by BC Jean as well as Toby Gad and produced by Gad and Knowles. Jean wrote most of the song’s lyrics by taking inspiration from a bad break-up.Jean initially recorded her version of the song which was rejected by Jean’s record company. Knowles then recorded a new version for her third studio album, I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008). The song was released as the album’s lead single to U.S. radio on October 12, 2008 alongside “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”. “If I Were a Boy” is different from Knowles previous songs as the song is not a traditional R&B one. The lyrics of the song are a reference to an expression of sadness about misunderstanding between the genders and an indictment of the male side of relationships. The song stands as the only song on either disc of I Am… Sasha Fierce that Knowles did not co-write. Upon its release, “If I Were a Boy” was generally well-received by music critics who praised Knowles’ tormented performance, emotional and passionate vocals and called the song her best work to date.
“Smile” is the title of the song written and recorded by Canadian recording artist Avril Lavigne, taken as the second single from her fourth studio album Goodbye Lullaby. The song was produced by Max Martin and Shellback, the song is a pop punk track. “Smile” was released on 11 April 2011 to Australian radio stations and then on 17 May to U.S. radio as the second single. After officially being released as a single, “Smile” debuted on the Australian Singles Chart and New Zealand Singles Chart. In Australia, it debuted at number forty-two on 2 May 2011 and has peaked at number 25.The song has sold over 60,000 units of digital copies in the Australia. In New Zealand, the song debuted at thirty-three on 25 April 2011 and has peaked at number thirty. The song debuted at 94 on the US Billboard Hot 100 the charting week of July 16, 2011, rising to number sixty-eight in its fifth week. The song has sold over 170,000 units of digital copies in the USA.
Taio Cruz (born Jacob Taio Cruz on April 23, 1983) is a British singer-songwriter, record producer, occasional rapper, and entrepreneur who recorded an electropop, R&B and dance-pop song in titled “Break Your Heart”. The song serves as the lead single from his second studio album Rokstarr. It was written by Cruz and Fraser T. Smith and produced by Smith. It was first released in the UK on 20 September 2009, followed by a release in the United States and other markets on 2 February 2010. The official remix version features American rapper Ludacris; that version was the single released in North American countries. The song received mixed to positive reviews, critics commending its infectious sound, but noting that it was generic. The song peaked at number one in Canada, Switzerland, the UK and the United States, and also within the top ten of many other countries. The accompanying music video features several scenes of Cruz on escapades with different women, including a speedboat compared to classic Diddy and a club scene with Ludacris in the American version.
“Don’t Wanna Go Home” is the title of the song performed by American singer-songwriter, actor and dancer Jason Joel Desrouleaux (born September 21, 1989), better known by his stage name Jason Derülo. “Don’t Wanna Go Home” was written by Jason Derülo, and Chaz William and David Delazyn of production team The Fliptones.The latter duo also received production credits on the track. “Don’t Wanna Go Home” is an up-tempo dance song, deriving from electropop and dance-pop genres. A sample of “Show Me Love” by Robin S. runs throughout the song, while the chorus is partially constructed from lyrics of “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” by Harry Belafonte. “Don’t Wanna Go Home” serves as the lead single from Derülo’s upcoming second studio album, Future History. A thirty-four-second preview of the single premiered online on May 3, 2011. That same day, the cover art was also revealed. The song was sent to US contemporary hit radio on May 10, 2011. It was released for download on May 20, 2011 through the United States iTunes Store.