10. Selena Gomez – Come and Get It
Despite its success, the Ester Dean-written single sounds like a horribly sung Rihanna knockoff. Selena’s vocals are also horrible (see 2:00), sounding like a tragic mix of Paris Hilton meets Ashanti.
9. Jennifer Lopez (feat. Pitbull) – Live It Up
I understand that there’s a market for everyone, but Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull’s duet is one of the worst songs either of them have ever released. The overuse of clichés matched with Pitbull’s opening verse makes for a big hot mess.
8. Kelly Rowland – Kisses Down Low
It’s sad that Kelly has to consistently rely on selling sex to sell records, because her vocals have improved greatly since her failed ‘Simply Deep’ and ‘Ms. Kelly’ days. “Kisses Down Low” is just too similar to her previous #sexsingles (“Motivation”, “Ice”) to be taken seriously.
7. J. Holiday – After We Fuck
J. Holiday hasn’t seen a hit Dream single since his debut effort “Bed” in 2008. He’s trying very hard (a la R. Kelly) to keep his sex-themed music relevant, but it’s just not modern enough to compete with R&B stars like Chris Brown and Usher.
6. Lady Gaga – Applause
Lady Gaga’s entire ‘ARTFLOP’ era has completely backfired – everything from fledgling album sales to a lack of 2014 Grammy nominations. The album’s first single “Applause” was released early to compete with Katy Perry’s “Roar”, and ended up flopping terribly in the process.
5. Bridgit Mendler – Ready Or Not
Disney star Bridgit Mendler made a huge mistake by attempting to sample the Fugees’ hit. Everything from the beat to the poorly sung chorus has a clear Lauryn Hill influence, but it’s execution is simply unforgivable.
4. Nicole Scherzinger – Boomerang
I have no doubt that Nicole Scherzinger’s vocals are being wasted on tracks that are beneath her. “Boomerang” is a really cheap attempt at being inspirational, and its chorus is so poorly done that it makes me forget that she’s a premier vocalist of our generation.
3. Robin Thicke (feat. T.I. and Pharrell) – Blurred Lines
Although it became a viral hit because of its NSFW video, the overall arrangement for Robin Thicke’s Grammy-nominated single was simply annoying. The fact that the song touched different age groups contributed to its massive radio domination, but Robin Thicke’s singing here leaves less to be desired.
2. K. Michelle – VSOP
I have to be completely – K. Michelle’s catalog is in the Webster dictionary under “oversinging” and the Debra Lewis “Very Special” sample is borderline offensive. The “his-tray” part is especially painful, but it gets much worse when the VH1 “reality star” adds extra ad-libs to the failed chorus (“his-tv-tray”). And the notes at the end (beginning at 2:50) are in the running for worst singing of the year.
1. Britney Spears – Work Bitch
I’ve long accepted the fact that we’ll never see the “Slave 4 U” Britney that once ruled pop, but her comeback effort “Work Bitch” is undoubtedly the worst first single she’s ever released. The over-obvious attempt to regain her gay fans, the cliché “work bitch” term fails miserably and the car name-drops (Maserati, Bugatti) are just silly. Britney doesn’t seem to be concerned that her career is dwindling right before her eyes, and singles like this just makes it feel she really needs a break from music.