1. 1. Beyoncé “Beyoncé” (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia) An ambush that landed after last year’s tabulations, Beyoncé's tour de force — a lustrous showcase of soulful dominion, sleek production, sensual abandon and feminist agency, not always in that order — kept its relevance during a long year swollen with distractions. The singing, like the attitude, is phenomenally assured yet full of nuance; the message is complicated but clear. It’s high-wire pop that refuses to pander.
4. In Sex and the City, Miranda and Carrie frequent a place called Magnolia Bakery at 401 Bleeker Street. After the episodes aired, hordes of people had to investigate those cupcakes. Nothing can incur cupcake mania quite like Carrie Bradshaw can. Magnolia Bakery received a huge boost in sales and customers. In fact, they were so popular that they had to hire a "bouncer" of sorts. Not quite your typical club bouncer, this bouncer was friendly and very interested in the finer points of cupcakes.