Exclaim!'s Top 10 Newsmakers of 2011

Exclaim!'s Top 10 Newsmakers of 2011
Here at Exclaim!, we spend all day, every day reading, researching and writing about music in order to help you scratch that news itch. In 2011, like any year, the search for the stories kept bringing up certain names again and again, whether we wanted them to or not. Whether it was hyped-up new albums, high-profile collaborations, non-music-related controversies or awesome innovations, there were certain artists who dominated the headlines in 2011.

Looking back over the year that was, here are Exclaim!'s Top 10 Newsmakers of 2011. In the future, when we remember 2011, these are the acts we will think of as the ones who defined our year.

Exclaim!'s Top 10 Newsmakers of 2011:

10. The Flaming Lips

These Oklahoma psych rock veterans have been around for almost 30 years, but they just seem to keep getting more creative with age. This year brought some of the most bafflingly awesome developments in the band's career to date. From housing EPs inside of gummy skulls to writing 6- and 24-hour songs to concocting pieces for 12 iPhones, 2011 was an anything-goes free-for-all from the Flaming Lips. We can only hope that 2012 is half as good.

9. Lil Wayne

It was just another year in the life of Weezy. He released a long-delayed album, hinted at his imminent retirement, planned new recordings and landed in a heap of legal trouble. Clearly, Lil Wayne hasn't been squandering his time since getting out of jail last year. If we're taking bets, we're going to guess that those retirement comments were just a bluff and he'll keep on making headlines for a long time to come.

8. Radiohead

Anytime Radiohead release an album, the rock music world stops in its tracks. That happened again this year when Radiohead released The King of Limbs out of nowhere in February of this year. Add to that a remix series, a newspaper, and various solo endeavours from Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Phil Selway, and you've got another unforgettable year from the beloved band. Even if we never got The King of Limbs Part 2 like we were hoping, 2011 was still pretty awesome.