A performance at the Afghan National Institute of Music in November of 2010. Daniel Wilkinson/U.S. Embassy Kabul Afghanistan/flickr.com hide caption

itoggle caption Daniel Wilkinson/U.S. Embassy Kabul Afghanistan/flickr.com

Rihanna performing in Zurich last month. This year the pop star tried to move beyond the fallout from her very public encounter with domestic abuse by taking on the role of risk-taking erotic outlaw — she was still faulted as superficial. The Image Gate/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption The Image Gate/Getty Images

A statue of George Frideric Handel, posing with his Messiah transcript, at London's Westminster Abbey. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Korean pop group Girls' Generation pose on the red carpet to attend the MNET Asian Music Awards ceremony in Singapore in November. AFP/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption AFP/AFP/Getty Images