2011 Best Music Poll Winners


Cee Lo Green

national R&B

There was a time recently when R&B still had a foot in the fertile '50s and '60s. But as time has marched on, the genre has found it more and more difficult to keep hold of the old traditions and song forms. Rather than being all about slick moves and traditional harmonies, modern R&B stars must boil down the essence and present it to an audience that doesn't know the legends by heart. Cee Lo Green and Adele (and even Ms. Monáe, in her own outer-space way) know that finding the silver lining in heartbreak will always get toes tapping — as long as it's done with conviction and sincerity. There's no doubt that both are on display in last year's chart-topping "Fuck You," Cee Lo's ode to being on the losing end one time too many. Lots of pop songs charted last year with obscenities — the most egregious being the loathsome "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)" by Enrique Iglesias — whether bleeped out or rearranged. But what keeps people coming back to "Fuck You" is Green's indomitable spirit — the spunky determination in the face of adversity that is the hallmark of any R&B great of the past.

2. Adele
3. Janelle Monáe
4. Eli "Paperboy" Reed

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