2011 was a huge year for rock music but, like many before it, a lot of people were left asking ‘What is rock?’ With Ke$ha claiming that she’s going to bring rock back from the dead this year and the Glee Cast bringing rock classics back to masses, it looks like that’s going to continue well into 2012.

But who was really the most popular rock act of 2011? Last.fm’s Best of 2011 has the answer.

Yesterday, Last.fm announced their Best of 2011, a run down of the world’s most popular artists according to the service’s listeners. The results are taken from more than eleven billion track plays taken from more than 600 different music players and services, including Spotify, iTunes and even iPods and Xbox 360’s.

The US top five rock artists saw a surprisingly poor performance from Radiohead this year, as The King of Limbs debuted to a muted reception from fans and critics alike. Foo Fighters too will be disappointed that their album Wasting Light only made it to the fourth spot.

The Strokes fared better, taking Angles to third place on the chart and holding the top tracks spot occasionally last summer. They were beaten by a surprisingly strong showing from Incubus, whose If Not Now, When? saw a return to form from the group. They made it to number two on the US rock chart.

But – controversially – Avril Lavigne took the number one spot. Hugely popular, her album Goodbye Lullaby was certainly more a pop set than a rock collection, but she still saw a strong enough following from young rockers to take the top spot.

Surprisingly though, none of them made it as far as the US top five or the global top five. Find out how those charts shape up over at Last.fm’s Best of 2011.


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