In 2011, no one shined as brightly as Katy Perry. It's hard to think back on the past 12 months without getting one of her songs stuck in your head.
As MTV's Artist of the Year, Katy found success by unapologetically being herself. She sang about aliens, her foggy memories of house parties, lost love, true love, being yourself and everything in between. It's easy for fans to connect to Perry and her music: She's an open book. And in 2011, she turned a few more pages.
Riding high off the success of 2010's Teenage Dream, Perry didn't rest on her laurels. Instead, she set the bar even higher by hitting the road on the California Dreams Tour, where night after night, decked out in candy-colored clothes, she belted out her greatest hits and empowered her fans with tracks like "Firework." That anthem, originally released late last year, became so ubiquitous this year that it finds itself at #10 on MTV's Best Songs of 2011 list.