2012 has been an amazing year in music, but there are some people who just can’t seem to let go of their glory days; while that’s nothing new (especially in an industry with such an emphasis on image, money and and where your song charts), the motivation and ultimate outcome of a comeback is an extremely interesting subject. Over the years many great musical acts have produced stellar comebacks that saw them become stronger than ever — think The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson with This Is It, and Johnny Cash in 2000, almost 40 years after the height of his career — and while 2012′s most talked about comebacks haven’t had the long careers of the aforementioned, they have all had some of history’s biggest record sales at some point.

But making a comeback is a delicate undertaking; what you produce has to be good because people have either forgotten about you or are waiting for you to prove yourself. From Usher to Nelly Furtado, Brandy to Christina Aguilera and of course, the comeback queen herself, Madonna, we take a look at who got it right and who got it very, very wrong.