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It was the year Beyonce made history at Glastonbury, Rihanna upset an Ulster farmer and the Black Eyed Peas called it a day. Capital FM takes a look back at the 21 most read news stories of the year.
Adele captured the world's attention with her emotional performance of 'Someone Like You' at the BRIT Awards in London in February 2011. The live performance, which became a No.1 hit on the Vodafone Big Top 40 chart and was later transformed into the track's official video, significantly boosted sales of Adele's second studio album '21'. Watch the live performance, as well as a non-live music video for 'Someone Like You' - in which Adele strolls along a Paris riverbank dressed in black - below.
Not many people are surprised by Lady Gaga any more, and the 'Marry The Night' singer continued to shock when she arrived at the 2011 Grammy Awards in February inside a giant egg. The publicity stunt was intended to promote her latest album 'Born This Way', the overriding theme of which is embracing the real you and accepting yourself for who you are. The song, which Lady Gaga has performed from numerous eggs throughout the world since the Grammys, has been praised by the gay community and anti-bullying campaigners.
She'd only been there a week, but Cheryl Cole found herself sacked as a judge on the US version of The X Factor in May. The 'Parachute' singer has never revealed why she was given the boot, but reports have since suggested US TV bosses were unhappy with her Northern accent. The singer went into hiding following her abrupt departure, refusing to take calls from her former boss and mentor Simon Cowell (who confided in the world's press that he was worried she would never forgive him), and fuelling speculation she had reunited with ex-husband Ashley Cole. She wasn't seen again until London Fashion Week, where she emerged (sans Ashley) with a blonde beehive, though she did post a message for fans on her official site to reassure them she was well.
In the summer, it was confirmed that Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland had joined The X Factor panel as the replacement judges for Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole. Fellow newbie Gary Barlow completed the line-up alongside Louis Walsh. Tulisa's role hung in the balance after Cheryl was sacked from the US version of the show and fans demanded she returned to the UK show. However the 'Fight For This Love' singer turned down the offer and "nervous" Tulisa went on to eventually win the new series with her girl band Little Mix.
After proving a surprise booking with regular festival-goers, Beyonce delivered an unforgettable headline set at this year's Glastonbury Festival. As well as playing songs from her latest album '4', the star also delighted fans with tracks from her Destiny's Child days as the first female musician in history to headline the festival's iconic Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm. The 'Countdown' singer had attended the festival in 2008 as she watched from the side as husband Jay-Z headlined the event.
July saw the tragic news that Amy Winehouse had died. The 'Rehab' singer, who was just 27, was found dead at her home in Camden, London. Her death was followed by a private family funeral, during which her father Mitch announced plans to open The Amy Winehouse Foundation. A posthumous track, 'Our Day Will Come', has since raised money for the Foundation, which aims to support young people battling drink and drug problems. The infamous dress she wore on the cover of her 'Back To Black' album was also put up for auction this year to raise money for the same foundation.
J-Lo made the surprise announcement in August that she was to divorce her husband and father of her twin babies, Marc Anthony. The "amicable" separation occurred at a time when the couple had still been making public appearances together, including this one of them pictured at the final of American Idol. Jennifer Lopez has since been linked with the male model from her 'I'm Into You' music video. The singer broke down in tears at an awards show in Connecticut during a medley of her own love songs, and later explained that the lyrics had reminded her of her recent troubles. The couple are currently working on a new Latin reality talent show together called ¡Q'Viva!:The Chosen, which is due to air in 2012.
The 'Love On Top' star surprised the world when she announced that she was expecting her first baby with husband Jay-Z on stage a the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. Her pregnancy became the most talked about event of the year on Twitter and the occasional pictures of Beyonce's growing baby bump have appeared all over the media. See pictures of Beyonce as she blossoms throughout her pregnancy below. Picture: Splash
In September, Rihanna was asked to cover up by a farmer in Northern Ireland while filming the video for 'We Found Love' in his Ulster field. "Her behaviour was inappropriate," he said, referring to the singer's naked body. Rihanna obliged and put her top back on, but later stripped for another scene in the video, set in a Belfast flat. The video has since been hailed by critics and the song, produced by Calvin Harris, went on to become a Vodafone Big Top 40 No. 1. Watch the music video for 'We Found Love' below. Picture: Splash
At the beginning of October, the 'We Found Love' star surprised and delighted fans when she travelled to the O2 Arena in London by tube ahead of the first of her record-breaking ten-night run of 'Loud' shows at the venue. A host of fans then uploaded photos with the star (flanked by heavy security) on the London Underground through Twitter. See a collection of the best pictures below. Picture: Splash
Harry, Niall, Liam, Louis and Zayn revealed the artwork for their debut album 'Up All Night' via their official Twitter account. Eventually released in November, the album featured their singles 'What Makes You Beautiful', 'Gotta Be You' and 'One Thing', which One Direction performed live for the first time at Capital FM's 2011 Jingle Bell Ball.
Justin drove fans wild when he told Capital FM in October that he was working with Kanye West and Drake on his new album 'Believe'. "I'm working with a lot of cool people. I'm working with Kanye. Drake is going to work on the album with me," he said of the record which is due in Summer next year. The teen sensation has since released the Christmas album 'Under The Mistletoe', which features collaborations with Usher, Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey. Picture: PA Photos
In November, Conrad Murray, the doctor looking after Michael Jackson when he died, was jailed for four years for the star's involuntary manslaughter. The judge who delivered the sentence told the doctor that he had "abandoned his patient, who was trusting him". Michael Jackson died on the eve of his much anticipated comeback shows, which were due to take place over 50 nights at London's O2 Arena.
Katy Perry made US chart history when her latest single 'The One That Got Away' topped the US Billboard chart, making her the first artist in history to score six number one singles from the same album. Other songs included 'Teenage Dream', 'California Girl, 'Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)', 'E.T.' and 'Firework'.
2011 was the year that saw Black Eyed Peas announced plans to go on a hiatus. The band are apparently taking a break so they can work on their own projects, while it has been reported that Fergie is hoping to use the time to start a family with husband Josh Duhamel. Frontman Will.i.am has strongly denied the band are breaking up, saying the hiatus will be temporary. The group had played the half time show of the American Superbowl during the same year.
Ed Sheeran chose not to appear in another video in November – but for good reason. The solo star was played by friend and Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint in the video for his single 'Lego House', which saw the redheaded film star spoofing Ed. The 'The A Team' singer posted a picture of the pair on Twitter along with the message "Twins!". Watch the video below. Picture: Twitter
Jessie J made her first bid to break America with her performance of new song 'Domino' on The X Factor USA in November. The track features on an extended edition of her debut album 'Who You Are' and was also included during the star's headline performance at Capital FM's Jingle Bell Ball in December. Picture: Danny North
Just over twelve months after the release of her fifth album 'Loud', Rihanna was back again in November with her sixth solo record 'Talk That Talk'. The album, which has been described by the star as her best yet, features a special collaboration with Jay-Z , as well as the smash hit singles 'We Found Love' featuring Calvin Harris and 'You Da One'.
One Direction and JLS stole the show during this year's The X Factor live final when they collaborated on stage at London's Wembley Arena. The two groups performed a mash-up of their own hits – 'She Makes Me Wanna' and 'What Makes You Beautiful' - after previously hinting to Capital FM that they may record together in the future.
With the year drawing to a close, Lady Gaga began teasing her plans for 2012, and if the rumours are true, the 'Marry The Night' star could be set to tour for around two years in support of her latest album. In December, Lady Gaga said she was missing performing and is expected to announce details about her live comeback in the new year.
The crowds at the O2 Arena went crazy when Rihanna returned to the venue following her 'Loud' tour to headline the first of the 2011 Jingle Bell Ball shows. The singer opened with 'Only Girl (In The World)' and also performed 'Umbrella', 'California King Bed', 'What's My Name', ' S&M' and finished her energetic set with a rousing rendition of 'We Found Love', her 2011 single with Calvin Harris. Picture: PA Photos