Fiona Apple, Brandy, No Doubt, Alicia Keys, Pink, and more of our faves called it a comeback this year.
Everyone loves a comeback -- and this year, there were a whole lot of them. Whether recovering from shaky album sales and label drama, making their grand TV/film re-debut, or just finally ending their self-imposed hiatus, returning to the studio and getting back into the music scene after years (or even decades -- hi, No Doubt!), 2012 was a year of music comebacks by artists we welcomed with open arms -- and willing ears.
Check out some of Buzzworthy's absolute favorite comebacks of 2012 below, from Britney's transition to TV, to long-awaited records from R&B princesses like Alicia Keys, to a certain girl group reemerging on the stage of the Olympics to bring us a little girl power once again. Viva forever!
+ ALICIA KEYS: 2012 was a huge year for The Girl Who Was On Fire, and by that, I mean Alicia Keys. After popping up on 50 Cent's "New Day" with Dr. Dre earlier in the year, the multi-talented singer-songwriter performed at the VMAs back in September, and in November, she unveiled her latest studio album, Girl On Fire, which debuted at the top of the charts, continuing her (nearly) nonstop streak of No. 1 albums. Just recently, she premiered the video for "Brand New Me." Oh, and perhaps most important: She smized all over the place with Tyra Banks during a cameo appearance on "America's Next Top Model." Work!
+ BACKSTREET BOYS: This might be too easy, but... Backstreet's back! Again! After an extended hiatus from the group, original member Kevin Richardson announced that he was officially rejoining the iconic boy band in early 2012. Later in the year, the troupe announced that they would be heading into the studio to lay down vocals as a quintet for their upcoming eighth studio album -- their first together since 2005's Never Gone.The first taste of that reunited Backstreet magic came last month with "It's Christmas Time Again" (featuring Kevin!), but the true test will come when Backstreet's new album's released in early 2013.
+ BRANDY: After seemingly endless delays, setbacks and label struggles, Brandy came roaring back onto the charts in 2012 with her first studio release since 2008's Human. Packed with smooth, melodic jams -- including her Chris Brown collabo "Put It Down," as well as her Sean Garrett-penned follow-up "Wildest Dreams" -- Two Eleven landed Brandy yet another top 10 record and nearly universal critical acclaim. And when she wasn't too busy dominating the charts, she was busy stirring up drinks and drama on "The Game" as a bartender named Chardonnay.
+ BRITNEY SPEARS: Sure, Britney Spears didn't actually release any new music this year (although she did briefly find time to walk in the club and turn that s*** up as Britishney with will.i.am on "Scream & Shout"), yet the sensual seductress still managed to utterly dominate pop culture once again in 2012 with her highly publicized new position as a judge alongside Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid on "The X Factor," her first recurring appearance on a TV series since the good ol' days of the "Mickey Mouse Club" in the early '90s. From the very first episode on, The Holy Spearit proved herself a natural for the small screen, inspiring a nation with her endless GIF-worthy faces, constructive criticism, iconic dance moves and a stellar vocab. And proving time and time again each week why the legendary Miss Britney Spears is a true star.
+ CASSIE: We've had a Long Way 2 Go since we last heard from Cassie, but it finally happened: Six years after her self-titled debut dropped, the Queen of Icy-R&B dropped her sensual single "King of Hearts" back in February, the thumping, Ibiza-friendly lead single from her oft-delayed follow-up. Her oh-so-scandalous Rico Love-produced "Balcony" came months later in September, as she teamed up with Young Jeezy to get freaky in public on top of a slinky beat. And later on in the year, she teamed up with Miss Nicki Minaj (or to provide the monotone, militant chorus on Pink Friday Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up track, "The Boys." Now, with a mixtape on the way (Rock-A-Bye Baby), she might just be our Official Girl in 2013 after all.
+ CHRISTINA AGUILERA: What else will 2012 really be known for, if not the almighty return of the great Legendtina? Two years after the "Beautiful" belter unleashed her not-so-warmly received 2010 effort Bionic (don't worry -- it was just ahead of its time), Aguilera rose up against the haters like an unbreakable flower with her brand-new studio album, Lotus. Along with her wildly fun, NSFW Max Martin-produced strip 'n' strut anthem "Your Body," the fan-waving, bat-wielding queen of "The Voice" let there be love all around the world in 2012. By the time the year was over, I think we all already knew her name. SAY!
+ CIARA: Backbend enthusiast, "Work"-aholic, and professional One Woman Army Ciara might have gotten briefly sidelined in 2011 following poor reception of her last studio effort, Basic Instinct, but that didn't stop her from hustling even harder in 2012. After shifting over to Epic Records and heading into the studio with just about every pop hitmaker on the planet, the R&B-pop princess began pumping out buzz tracks in the latter half of the year, from the 2 Chainz collaboration, "Sweat" to "Sorry" to her latest single, the freestyle frenzied "Got Me Good," which saw her dancing across the desert with an aching back and her too-tight bra. Next year, she'll release her Epic Records debut--but in the meantime, can someone please get her fitted properly?
+ EVE: Plenty's changed in the female rap game since Eve first entered the scene in the late '90s, but in 2012, she officially returned to the spotlight. Nearly a decade after her last studio record, the Philly-born rapper is (at last) making a proper comeback in 2013 with her upcoming album, Lip Lock. To start getting those lips moving, she premiered her first teaser track, "She Bad Bad," back in October. And last month, she sat down with MTV's RapFix Live. For now, it's all just a taste of what's to come.
+ FIONA APPLE: One of music's most erratic, moody geniuses finally resurfaced this year for the first time since her (well, extraordinary!) Extraordinary Machine in 2005. The result? Her intensely personal, deeply jagged (and now Grammy-nominated!) fourth studio album, The Idler Wheel... (It's actually 23 words in total, but we'll save some room), which garnered overwhelmingly positive press and was named the best album of 2012 by Time magazine. The album also saw the singer-songstress traveling cross-country for a tour -- which ended abruptly for a sad reason -- making this one of Fiona Apple's most successful years yet.
Check out more of Buzzworthy's favorite musical comebacks of 2012 after the jump!