No writers were harmed in the making of this list, but it’s worth mentioning that I nearly “put them paws” on an esteemed colleague who argued that Beyoncé belonged on his Most Anticipated Pop Albums — in the pleasant company of Selena Gomez and the JoBros — and not here alongside the architect of her megahit “Single Ladies” or, say, the opening act she hand-picked for her Revel run.

Yes, Queen Bey’s rule spans the globe, but she’s an R&B singer from her head to her Louboutins. That was never more clear than on her critically acclaimed last album, 4, which found Ms. Knowles bravely doing an about-face from the radio-ready formula of Sasha Fierce in favor of low-simmering heat like “1+1” and the Grammy-nominated “Love on Top.” Bey may not have burned up the charts but she helped renew our faith in soul music.

And it wasn’t just Beyoncé who went to bat for rhythm and blues. 2012 saw the genre waging a comeback with assists from acts like Frank Ocean and the Weeknd. We’re just as hopeful for the crop of discs scheduled to drop this calendar year, our Most Anticipated R&B Albums of 2013.

Daughter Blue Ivy turns 1 today (January 7), but we have a feeling the multitasking mommy will be cutting records and cake. Whether those records feature cameos from Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga or husband Jay-Z is still unknown but we do know super-producer The-Dream, newbie Miguel and “Irreplaceable” writer Ne-Yo are all onboard for her upcoming release.

To read the rest of MTV’s List simply click here