2. "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" Paul Simon I was only 6 years old when this single came out in 1975, so it was possibly the first Paul Simon song I ever heard. For years, I assumed it was by a black singer, though now I'm not really sure why. I don't think I realized it was sung by the same guy who sang "The Sounds of Silence" with Garfunkel on my sister's 45 until nearly 10 years after it became Simon's only solo No. 1 single.
3. 50 Cent "In Da Club" No, he's not as talented as Kanye West, nor is he as full of himself, which is why I'd rather have Fiddy as my wingman in da club any night of the week.
4. Joan Osborne It's such a shame that a singer-songwriter as gifted as Osborne, who turned 50 on July 8, will forever be best known as the one-hit wonder who sang "One of Us," a pop trifle that she didn't even write.
5. 50/50 Dark humor is my thing (I laugh at the most inappropriate times, often when I'm terrified), so I totally get the thinking behind a cancer comedy. There's nothing funny, though, about the heartbreaking embrace between the twentysomething cancer patient played by Joseph Gordon Levitt in this 2011 film and his mom (the divine Angelica Huston) before he's wheeled into surgery. I'm still kind of seething that Oscar, as usual, overlooked JGL. Wake up, man!
6. '50s Vocal Groups: The Flamingoes A corny romantic sentiment in the most gorgeous, elegant packaging this side of Bergdorf Goodman at Christmas.
7. '50s Divas: Connie Francis The pop princess of her pre-Beatles heyday. It's hard to believe she was still a teenager, three years younger than Taylor Swift is now, when she recorded "Who's Sorry Now?," her first and greatest (as in best, if not necessarily biggest) hit.
8. Best Actress Oscar Winners of the '50s: Vivien Leigh, Shirley Booth, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward, Susan Hayward, Simone Signoret, and first and foremost (along with last but not least Signoret), Judy Holliday for Born Yesterday The year 1950 may forever be the one that spawned the greatest Best Actress line-up ever: Bette Davis and Anne Baxter for All About Eve, Gloria Swanson for Sunset Boulevard, Eleanor Parker for Caged! and Holliday. Everyone thought it was Davis's or Swanson's to lose until Holliday (deservedly, if you ask me) pulled off the type of Oscar upset that rarely happens anymore. I've been praying for another one ever since Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) snatched the 1996 Best Supporting Actress prize from the grip of thoroughly undeserving frontrunner Lauren Bacall (The Mirror Has Two Faces). (Note: I love '50s Best Actress Oscar winners Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Ingrid Bergman, but not because of the performances they won for that decade.)
9. Hawaii Five-0's Alex O'Loughlin and Daniel Dae Kim So much hotness in one series. I've got to remember to get around to watching it.
10. The United States I wonder if there'll ever be a 51st.