"Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO was one of the dozens of pop hits this year to use the same hammering disco beat. YouTube hide caption

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Tunisian rapper El Général's "The President of the Country" is an essential song of the Arab Spring. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Music Articles

Leaders Wanted: Protest Songs From The Arab Spring

Blogger Hani Almadhoun lists songs that were a huge part of the Arab Spring protests.

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Explore NPR Music's interactive memorial to the musicians, songwriters and producers who died in 2011. NPR hide caption

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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

Russian musician Noize MC Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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The Edge and Bono performing in June at the Oakland, Calif., stop of U2's 360˚ Tour — the most successful in history. Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images hide caption

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The Record

The Music Stories We Missed This Year

Ann Powers talks to Steve Inskeep about the musical stories we didn't cover in 2011.

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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

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

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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

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