To determine this year's Top 10 list, we invited a panel of respected music critics and artists to participate in a round of voting. Ballots were delivered and returned via email, and votes were tabulated for AARP. This year's judges:
Shawn Amos is a record and multimedia producer who sits on the Board of Trustees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and serves on the Los Angeles Board of Governors of the Recording Academy.
Edna Gunderson is the pop music critic at USA Today, where she has been covering the rock 'n' roll world in reviews, interviews and industry news stories since 1987. She has written for Microsoft's Music Central, Rolling Stone and TV Guide, and contributed to According to The Rolling Stones and Pletka.
Dave Koz is a Platinum-selling contemporary jazz artist who just received his seventh Grammy Award nomination. The saxophonist recently won the 2011 Soul Train Award for the Best Contemporary Jazz album and has performed at multiple AARP events.
Steve Mencher is a multimedia producer for AARP. Previously, he was a producer for AT&T Presents Carnegie Hall Tonight, and NPR's Performance Today, as well as leading his own company, Mensch Media, for more than two decades.
David Wild is an Emmy-nominated television writer, a New York Times best selling author and a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. Wild's latest book is Diary of a Player, which he co-wrote with Brad Paisley.