Top 100 songs of 2020
Top 100 songs of 2020
Music has been a consistent comfort and creative outlet through the tumultuous year that has been 2020. Although sold-out concerts, packed nightclubs, and cozy indie venues have largely been closed for months, putting on a great song is an ideal temporary escape from the world. Since it’s been such an isolated year, everyone likely has a different catalog of songs that resonated most with them over the past 12 months, whether they needed something to cry to, express their anger with, or take comfort in until things become more normal.
This year also has continually shown what a large role the video app TikTok is set to play in influencing and determining popular music in the years to come. Many top 2020 songs such as Rod Wave’s “Rags2Riches,” Benee’s “Supalonely,” and Pop Smoke’s “Mood Swings” got major boosts after trending on the app.
2020 boasted plenty of breakout new artists, but fans could also take comfort in new releases from cultural music icons. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion gave fans a fun, sensual new hip-hop song “WAP;” Dua Lipa channeled disco music with “Don’t Start Now;” and pop stars Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga collaborated on “Rain on Me.”
Still, combing through the endless lists of new 2020 music to find great songs you’ve been missing is an overwhelming, seemingly impossible task—so we’ve got you covered. Stacker took a look at Billboard’s year-end, hot 100 chart, which reflects the most streamed and purchased songs of the year, to determine the top 100 songs of 2020. Data was compiled from Billboard and Nielsen, as of Dec. 3.
So sit back, put some earphones in, and lose yourself in some of the year’s most memorable tunes. From NLE Choppa and Roddy Ricch’s “Walk Em Down” to The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” here are the 100 best songs of 2020.
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#100. 'Walk Em Down' by NLE Choppa feat. Roddy Ricch
NLE Choppa holds nothing back in “Walk Em Down,” a song largely centered on gun threats and hip-hop bravado. The rapper told Complex that he first collaborated with Roddy Ricch after connecting on Instagram, and the song was particularly boosted by the popular #WalkEmDownChallenge on TikTok.
#99. 'Slide' by H.E.R. feat. YG
The title of this H.E.R. single was inspired by the common Bay area slang phrase, “When we goin’ to slide.” The "Bonnie and Clyde-esque” song peaked at #43 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the star told Billboard magazine, “I’m saying [in the lyrics] that we’re on the same page and same wavelength. I’m trying to grow and get somewhere with somebody.”
#98. 'Said Sum' by Moneybagg Yo
In “Said Sum,” Moneybagg Yo reflects upon his detractors, who talk behind his back but don’t have the courage to criticize him to his face. The song peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, but not until after the rapper released a remix featuring DaBaby and City Girls.
#97. 'Lovin’ on You' by Luke Combs
Luke Combs’ country love ballad “Lovin’ on You” opens with the singer listing his casual love for everyday things in his life before proclaiming his undying devotion to his love interest. The song reached #19 on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Country year-end chart, with Taste of Country writer Billy Dukes writing that the single “paints the song and adds strokes to a broader portrait of Combs as an artist.”
#96. 'More Than My Hometown' by Morgan Wallen
In “More Than My Hometown,” Morgan Wallen laments that he cannot choose his girlfriend’s city-bound dreams over his love of his small hometown. The 2020 song’s evocative, nostalgic content later helped it reach #17 on Billboard’s year-end U.S. Hot Country Songs chart.
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#95. 'ILY (I Love You Baby)' by Surf Mesa feat. Emilee
Originally simply called “ILY,” Surf Mesa’s 2019 single shot to success when it was re-released in February 2020 and became a popular TikTok sound. The song was then renamed to make it easier to find, ultimately ending up at #4 on Billboard’s year-end Hot Dance/Electronic Songs.
#94. 'P**sy Fairy (OTW)' by Jhené Aiko
In this R&B single, Jhené Aiko boasts about her prowess with the help of a repeating crystal bowl sound. The song peaked at #40 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, with MTV News writer Trey Alston noting that “P**sy Fairy” epitomizes how “sex ties us all together and strengthens some emotions while weakening others.”
#93. 'Does to Me' by Luke Combs feat. Eric Church
Luke Combs’ “Does to Me,” which peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, is all about celebrating the small wins in life. On the track, Combs emphasizes that while he might not be winning top honors, he can still celebrate achievements like calling his brother in jail or getting a prom date.
#92. 'Wishing Well' by Juice Wrld
“Wishing Well” is just one popular single from rapper Juice Wrld’s 2020 album “Legends Never Die,” which was released after his death in 2019. The candid song reflects on his battles with depression and drug addiction amid fame, ultimately earning Juice a #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Billboard named it the album’s best song, noting that it was “a bonafide standout cut with Juice putting his gifts on display.”
#91. 'Bluebird' by Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert was inspired to write “Bluebird” shortly after her marriage to Brendan McLoughlin, and in an interview with The Country Daily, she said that life's problems are often the very things that make us appreciate the great days. The song is also based on Charles Bukowski’s poem of the same name. An acoustic version was released in June 2020.
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#90. 'Rags2Riches' by Rod Wave feat. ATR Son Son
In “Rags2Riches,” rapper Rod Wave celebrates how he built himself a life of luxury after a hard childhood, which later became a popular TikTok sound during summer 2020. It peaked at #12 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and another version was released called “Rags2Riches 2” with Lil Baby.
#89. 'Homesick' by Kane Brown
Kane Brown was inspired to write “Homesick” while missing his loved ones while on the road touring. However, he ultimately dedicated it to military families, saying, “There’s not many songs going out these days about the military like there used to be.” It later peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at #3 on the Hot Country Songs chart.
#88. 'Be Like That' by Kane Brown feat. Swae Lee and Khalid
Kane Brown described his single “Be Like That” as a song about “all the different feelings you have in a relationship. And trying not to overthink it.” Billboard described it as a song that “mixes country with infectious pop and hip-hop elements.”
#87. 'Juicy' by Doja Cat and Tyga
This hit Doja Cat song was first released as an extra track on the deluxe iteration of “Amala,” the star’s first album. She later collaborated with rapper Tyga on a remix that became the lead single on her album “Hot Pink.” The new version gave Doja Cat her first song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart following its release in August 2019.
#86. 'The Scotts' by The Scotts, Travis Scott, and Kid Cudi
Debuting at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, “The Scotts” earned Kid Cudi his first top American single. In the hip-hop single, they sing about real-world issues like gang violence and police brutality. Because Travis Scott was a longtime fan of Cudi before the two artists worked together, Rolling Stone’s Charles Holmes noted that the song was like a symbolic passing of the torch.
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#85. 'Even Though I’m Leaving' by Luke Combs
Luke Combs’ “Even Though I’m Leaving,” which reached #18 at 2020’s year-end U.S. Hot Country Songs chart, details an emotional relationship between a father and son. It begins when the son is a child afraid of the dark, moves into his military service and time away from his father, and ends with him mourning his father’s death.
#84. 'Supalonely' by Benee feat. Gus Dapperton
New Zealand artist Benee had her breakout single with “Supalonely,” which reached #39 on the Billboard Hot 100 after becoming a hit on TikTok. She noted that although the song was about a breakup, it’s likely resonating with people living through the coronavirus because “it is a weird time—a lot of people are probably feeling quite lonely.”
#83. 'Dior' by Pop Smoke
Dubbed late rapper Pop Smoke’s “signature song,” the single “Dior” details his love for buying his girlfriend expensive gifts from brands like Dior. The song later reached #22 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and received a 2021 Grammy nomination for best rap performance.
#82. 'You Should Be Sad' by Halsey
Halsey earned the nickname “Y’allsey” when she dropped this country-inspired song about a breakup amid a partner’s infidelity. The album hit #26 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the artist explained on Twitter that “the most petty and heartbreaking songs all come from country.”
#81. 'Mood Swings' by Pop Smoke feat. Lil Tjay
Pop Smoke’s “Mood Swings” also became a hit off his posthumous album “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon,” particularly due to its prevalence as a TikTok trend. The song details the “mood swings” that the rapper’s girlfriend goes to after realizing that he’s not using a condom during sex. It later reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100.
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#80. 'Stuck with U' by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber
After working together on Justin Bieber’s 2015 song “What Do You Mean?,” Bieber and Ariana Grande collaborated on “Stuck With U,” a May 2020 release about two people in bonding while stuck inside together. The single, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart upon its release, was a charity single. Net proceeds from the song went to the First Responders Children’s Foundation amid the coronavirus.
#79. 'Sum 2 Prove' by Lil Baby
Lil Baby’s “Sum 2 Prove” explores how, although he’s found success, he still feels a chip on his shoulder to prove himself to his detractors. It later peaked at #16 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and was part of his 2020 album “My Turn.”
#78. 'The Woo' by Pop Smoke feat. 50 Cent and Roddy Ricch
Pop Smoke had yet another hit off his posthumous 2020 album with “The Woo,” which was nominated for song of the summer at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. It peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, with Craig Jenkins writing that the single “... would’ve silenced anyone who tried to accuse Pop of being a one-dimensional artist.”
#77. 'Only Human' by Jonas Brothers
“Only Human,” which was the Jonas Brothers’ final single from their album “Happiness Begins,” has a groovy pop sound as the song details a night out dancing. The song has an ’80s-inspired music video as well, filled with neon lights and reggae guitar.
#76. 'The Bigger Picture' by Lil Baby
Lil Baby released “The Bigger Picture” after the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests became widespread in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. The song opens with news clips about both events, as he calls for change. The song hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, with the single’s proceeds benefiting organizations like The Bail Project and the National Association of Black Journalists.
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#75. 'Suicidal' by YNW Melly feat. Juice Wrld
In the emo rap song “Suicidal,” YNW Melly likens a toxic relationship to suicidal feelings as he deals with the fallout. After the song began trending on Tik Tok, a remix featuring late rapper Juice Wrld debuted in March 2020.
#74. 'Emotionally Scarred' by Lil Baby
Lil Baby brags about his prevalence in the up-and-coming hip-hop artist scene in “Emotionally Scarred,” rapping that he’s taking “the lead over the new school.” On the song, which climbed to #31 on the Billboard Hot 100, he also compares his new life of luxury to living in poverty in Atlanta.
#73. 'I Hope You’re Happy Now' by Carly Pearce and Lee Brice
Carly Pearce and Lee Brice teamed up to sing about dual perspectives on a breakup in “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” which reached #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rolling Stone’s Jon Freeman wrote that the song was a “true stunner,” and that “the combination of their voices was electric.”
#72. 'Hot' by Young Thug feat. Gunna
Young Thug and Gunna use “Hot” to tout their lavish, adrenaline-filled lifestyles, filled with women and gun fights. The song reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, and an accompanying music video showed Young Thug as a fireman in allusion to its title.
#71. 'Panini' by Lil Nas X
After releasing his smash hit debut single “Old Town Road” in 2019, rising star Lil Nas X returned with his second Columbia Records hip-hop pop track, “Panini.” The sci-fi music video starred actress Skai Jackson, who tried to escape him and a number of robots.
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#70. 'One Margarita' by Luke Bryan
Rolling Stone writer Jon Freeman noted that Luke Bryan’s single “One Margarita” looks at “the bigger picture of vacation as escape from the stress and anxiety of everyday existence.” This seemed to resonate with fans, too, pushing the song to #19 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the website SavingCountryMusic.com criticized Bryan for releasing a pro-partying anthem during the coronavirus, describing the song as “a superspreader event of fatuous stupidity” in its list of the worst 2020 country songs.
#69. 'Hard to Forget' by Sam Hunt
In “Hard to Forget,” Sam Hunt reflects on a past heartbreak that continues to haunt him in his everyday life. Taste of Country writers Billy Dukes and Wendy Harmanson described the song as “a brilliant meld of old-school country with a distinctly modern, multi-groove tone.”
#68. 'One of Them Girls' by Lee Brice
Lee Brice uses “One of Them Girls” to pay tribute to independent women who protect their hearts until the right love interest comes along. The song eventually catapulted to #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October, while its official music video shows a single mom saving a man stuck inside his car.
#67. 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' by Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey’s beloved Christmas song isn’t a recent release, but it reliably climbs the Billboard Hot 100 every holiday season as music lovers celebrate their respective traditions. Originally released as part of Carey’s 1994 holiday album “Merry Christmas,” its #1 status in 2020 made Carey tie with Rihanna for the record of most singles spending four or more weeks at the top of the chart.
#66. 'Popstar' by DJ Khaled feat. Drake
In DJ Khaled’s “Popstar,” backing rapper Drake speaks about being “the” popstar of his generation. The song soon shot to #3 on the Billboard 100, and was nominated for song of the summer at 2020’s MTV Video Music Awards.
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#65. 'Die From a Broken Heart' by Maddie & Tae
Country music duo Maddie & Tae used “Die From a Broken Heart” to encapsulate the feeling of calling a parent on the phone when broken-hearted as a young person. “Sometime’s you’re in so much pain and your heart hurts so bad that you just don’t know if you’re going to come out of it,” Maddie Marlow told Taste of Country. “We just wanted to capture what that phone call’s like.”
#64. 'Party Girl' by StaySolidRocky
TikTok played a big role in giving rapper StaySolidRocky his first charting song with “Party Girl.” The song pays homage to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” at one point, with Billboard writer Carl Lamarre noting that it has “Instagram caption-worthy lyrics.”
#63. 'Bandit' by Juice Wrld and YoungBoy Never Broke Again
Juice Wrld raps about stealing a girl’s heart in “Bandit,” which was the last song that he released as a lead artist before his death in December 2019. It later reached #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it one of the rapper’s most successful tracks.
#62. 'Godzilla' by Eminem feat. Juice Wrld
Eminem employs the classic monster of the same name in “Godzilla,” in which he compares his destructive behavior while drunk to Godzilla’s habit of destroying everything in his path. The song hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and features Eminem’s fastest verse in his career so far.
#61. 'Sunday Best' by Surfaces
Surface’s “Sunday Best” exploded into popularity in February when it became a viral TikTok trend before hitting radio airwaves in March. Forrest Frank, who’s one half of the music duo, noted that the song was inspired by getting through tough times. “It’s like getting out of [hardship] and seeing the light of day and accepting who you are and accepting your situation,” he said of the song.
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#60. 'Got What I Got' by Jason Aldean
In “Got What I Got,” country musician Jason Aldean professes his love for his wife and children, celebrating that they’re all he really needs. The song reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the accompanying music video features home video footage.
#59. 'One Man Band' by Old Dominion
Old Dominion singer Matt Ramsey described "One Man Band" as the first love song the country band has ever done. The tune uses the titular metaphor to explore the experience of a man who wants to find love after years of riding solo.
#58. 'Yummy' by Justin Bieber
The sensual pop single “Yummy” was Justin Bieber’s first solo release in nearly four years. Bieber joined TikTok in order to promote the song. "Yummy" went on to hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and a music video was released featuring Bieber with pink hair.
#57. 'We Paid' by Lil Baby and 42 Dugg
“We Paid” sees Lil Baby and 42 Dugg celebrating their massive wealth while also remembering their humbler origins. The single peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, with Pitchfork’s Alphonse Pierre naming it one of the best rap songs of the year.
#56. 'If the World Was Ending' by JP Saxe feat. Julia Michaels
“If the World Was Ending” centers on two lovers wondering if they would come to each other if the world was truly coming to an end and no other obstacles were in their way. The musicians, who are a real-life romantic couple, revealed that they wrote and recorded the song the same day they met.
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#55. 'Truth Hurts' by Lizzo
Although Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” was originally released in 2017, it rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2019 and remained a hit in 2020. At the beginning of the year, there was some controversy when Lizzo sued songwriting duo Justin and Jeremiah Raisen after they accused her of taking the “Truth Hurts” lyrics from another song they’d written for her without credit. However, the star ultimately won the 2020 Grammy for best solo pop performance for the single.
#54. 'Come & Go' by Juice Wrld and Marshmello
Late rapper Juice Wrld garnered one of his top songs with “Come & Go,” which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the song, the rapper talks about his relationship insecurities and promises to reach global music stardom, all the more tragic given that he died of an accidental drug overdose not long after the track was recorded.
#53. 'Trampoline' by Shaed
In “Trampoline,” the main character enjoys uncharacteristically comforting dreams about death. She even mentions within the song that this experience is when she feels the most loved. It certainly resonated with listeners in a certain way, at one point topping the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.
#52. 'Nobody But You' by Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani
Real couple Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani teamed up for the pop-country ballad “Nobody But You,” which is a testament to their romance. The pair previously collaborated on 2016’s “Go Ahead and Break My Heart” and 2017’s “You Make Me Feel Like Christmas.”
#51. 'Heart on Ice' by Rod Wave
Rod Wave secured his first Billboard Hot 100 top 40 entry with “Heart on Ice,” which was boosted by going viral on TikTok. During the song, he muses on the pain and heartbreak he’s gone through in his rise to fame and decides to become colder to survive.
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#50. 'Ritmo (Bad Boys for Life)' by Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin
The Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin debuted this single as part of the official soundtrack for the 2020 movie “Bad Boys for Life.” It hit #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, easily making it one of the Black Eyed Peas’ most successful songs in years.
#49. 'For the Night' by Pop Smoke feat. Lil Baby and DaBaby
Pop Smoke’s “For the Night” is now the late rapper’s most successful track, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also features a tribute to him, with DaBaby rapping, “Rest in peace to the Pop, make me smoke ya.”
#48. 'Rain on Me' by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande
Pop stars Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande teamed up for Gaga’s “Chromatica” single “Rain on Me,” an upbeat song about getting through tough times. The song hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 when it debuted in May, and later won three MTV Video Music Awards including Video of the Year.
#47. 'Mood' by 24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior
In “Mood,” 24kGoldn and Iann Dior vent about their toxic relationships with their girlfriends, whom they say are always in the “mood.” After trending on TikTok, the song made history as the first track to top the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Rap Songs, Hot Alternative Songs, and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs charts at the same time.
#46. 'Bad Guy' by Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish co-wrote her hit song “Bad Guy” with her brother, Finneas O’Connell. The dance-pop single eventually topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and went on to win Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the 2020 Grammy Awards.
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#45. 'Highest in the Room' by Travis Scott
Travis Scott raps about his love of marijuana in “Highest in the Room,” which became a #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100. The track was first previewed in a commercial featuring his then-girlfriend Kylie Jenner for her Kybrows collection. It later got nominated for the 2021 Grammy for best melodic rap performance.
#44. 'Señorita' by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
Musician couple Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabelo sang “Señorita” together, which appeared on Cabello’s album “Romance” and Mendes’ album “Island Records.” Their chemistry helped the song reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100; “Señorita” soon received a Grammy nomination for best pop duo/group performance.
#43. 'Death Bed' by Powfu feat. Beabadoobee
In “Death Bed,” artist Powfu sampled Beabadoobee’s 2017 track “Coffee,” later exploding in popularity on TikTok in March. The song follows a dying young man who addresses his lover.
#42. 'Woah' by Lil Baby
Lil Baby’s track “Woah” celebrates how far the rapper has come in two years, and the song has the chart numbers to back his statements up—it hit the top of both the Billboard Streaming Songs and Rolling Stone 100 charts. Rolling Stone’s Dewayne Gage praised it as a song “built on a bead of heavy 808s and suspenseful vocals,” which gives Lil Baby “a canvas to sing and stretch his vocals.”
#41. 'Laugh Now Cry Later' by Drake feat. Lil Durk
Possibly inspired by Ice Cube’s 2006 album of the same name, Drake spends “Laugh Now Cry Later” breezily reveling in the high life that he enjoys as a successful musician who triumphs over his rivals. The single hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and received 2021 Grammy nominations for best rap song and best melodic rap performance.
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#40. 'High Fashion' by Roddy Ricch feat. Mustard
Rapper Roddy Ricch uses “High Fashion” to write a love letter to his girlfriend and her expensive fashion tastes, referencing several of her favorite elite brands. The song notably topped four Billboard charts: R&B/Hip Hop, Rap Airplay, Rhythmic Songs, and R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay.
#39. 'Go Crazy' by Chris Brown and Young Thug
In “Go Crazy,” Chris Brown encourages a romantic interest to let her guard down and simply “go crazy” with him. The song peaked at #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in the United States, with Brown advertising the song using the TikTok “#GoCrazyChallenge.”
#38. 'Dynamite' by BTS
K-pop group BTS released its first entirely English-language single with the disco pop song “Dynamite.” After becoming the first South Korean group to reach the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, BTS made history once again when they became the first K-pop group to receive a Grammy nomination for best pop duo/group performance at the 2021 Grammys.
#37. 'My Oh My' by Camila Cabello feat. DaBaby
Camila Cabello and DaBaby teamed up for “My Oh My,” Cabello’s pop single about her falling for a bad boy. They also starred in the accompanying music video, in which Cabello played an actress who steps into a “damsel in distress” role with the help of DaBaby’s film director character.
#36. 'No Guidance' by Chris Brown feat. Drake
Chris Brown and Drake put their long-standing feud aside to collaborate on “No Guidance,” in which Brown raps about a woman he’s interested in who’s had “no guidance” since leaving home at 17. The song later netted a nomination for best R&B song at the 62nd Grammy Awards.
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#35. 'Savage Love (Laxed–Siren Beat)' by Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo
After New Zealand producer Jaws 685’s track “Laxed” went viral on Tik Tok earlier in 2020, Jason Derulo released a song drawing heavily from it called “Savage Love.” Derulo eventually gave his counterpart credit, and a remix featuring K-pop group BTS helped the song reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
#34. 'Chasin’ You' by Morgan Wallen
In “Chasin You,” Morgan Wellen sings about not giving up on finding the “one” and mentions someone he loved back when he was a kid. The song obviously resonated with fans, as it became the artist’s third #1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.
#33. 'Break My Heart' by Dua Lipa
This dance-pop release was the third single off of Dua Lipa’s 2020 album “Future Nostalgia” and features her ruminating on whether her new lover will break her heart. Shortly after the song was released in March, Lipa starred in a ’90s-styled music video.
#32. 'Toosie Slide' by Drake
Drake offered a fun dance respite to fans in the early days of quarantine when he released the hit single “Toosie Slide,” launching a viral TikTok dance challenge known as the “#ToosieChallenge.” Named after social media influencer Toosie, the song shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and made Drake the first male artist to release three #1 debut singles.
#31. 'Good as Hell' by Lizzo
Like “Truth Hurts,” this Lizzo single found success years after its release. While “Good as Hell” first debuted in 2016, it climbed the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 2019—in this case, after she performed it at 2019’s MTV Video Music Awards. The self-love anthem now holds triple platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.
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#30. 'Lose You to Love Me' by Selena Gomez
“Lose You to Love Me” details Selena’s individual self-rediscovery after a bad breakup, and was also the lead single of her 2020 album “Rare.” The music video was notably filmed only using a smartphone, with a simple black-and-white aesthetic. The song also gave Gomez her first #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit.
#29. 'Bop' by DaBaby
In “Bop,” DaBaby raps about his career successes and how he can’t be pinned down by ordinary society. It was later nominated for best rap performance at the 63rd Grammys, and was translated into a “Broadway hip-hop” music video inspired by Austin Powers, “Rocky,” and “La La Land.”
#28. 'Heartless' by The Weeknd
In the #1 hit “Heartless,” The Weeknd reflects on past relationships, particularly with his ex-girlfriends Selena Gomez and Bella Hadid. Entertainment Weekly writer Candace McDuffie noted that, “Everything about the song is colossal, from its earth-shattering bass to its lyrical tawdriness.”
#27. 'Blueberry Faygo' by Lil Mosey
Lil Mosey secured his only entry into the Billboard Hot 100’s top 40 so far with “Blueberry Faygo,” which gained popularity on TikTok due to the dance challenge of the same name. While it has a breezy sound and references a soft drink, the rapper’s single actually references more mature topics like drug use and sexual promiscuity.
#26. 'Hot Girl Bummer' by Blackbear
Blackbear put a more comically cynical spin on the title of Megan Thee Stallion’s single “Hot Girl Summer” in “Hot Girl Bummer,” in which he deals with his introverted behavior and hatred of “fake” partying culture. The musician claims that the title is actually a play on the cultural trend #hotgirlsummer, rather than Megan Thee Stallion’s song itself.
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#25. 'Ballin' by Mustard feat. Roddy Ricch
“Ballin” proved to be Mustard and Roddy Ricch’s most successful collaboration of the year, reaching #11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and securing them a 2020 Grammy nomination for best rap/sung performance. In the song, they applaud themselves for going from “rags to riches.”
#24. 'WAP' by Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
This lead single from rapper Cardi B’s second studio album celebrates women taking control of how they like to receive pleasure from men, and uses a variety of sex-positive innuendos. When it hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100, “WAP” continued Cardi’s milestone as the American woman rapper with the most #1 singles in the chart’s history. The single’s music video features the two rappers in a sort of funhouse, as they encounter celebrities ranging from Normani to Kylie Jenner.
#23. '10,000 Hours' by Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber
Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber pay tribute to their wives in “10,000 Hours,” which was released soon after Bieber and Hailey Bieber’s wedding in 2019. It went on to make history as the highest-ever non-Christmas country single on the chart.
#22. 'Falling' by Trevor Daniel
In “Falling,” Trevor Daniel sings about the experience of falling in love again after feeling like you will never find romance after a failed relationship. The song eventually reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 following its popularity on TikTok.
#21. 'Before You Go' by Lewis Capaldi
“Before You Go” sees Lewis Capaldi reflecting on the experience of losing a loved one to suicide, and was inspired by his own aunt’s death when he was a child. The song climbed to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, a first for the Scottish singer.
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#20. 'Watermelon Sugar' by Harry Styles
Harry Styles received a Grammy nomination for best pop solo performance for “Watermelon Sugar,” a summary celebration of love off his album “Fine Line.” Some fans believe that the title was inspired by Styles’ ex-girlfriend Camille Rowe, who’s a fan of the “In Watermelon Sugar” novel that inspired the single’s title.
#19. 'Roses—Imanbek Remix' by Saint Jhn
After receiving the remix treatment, rapper Saint Jhn’s “Roses” gained popularity on Snapchat and TikTok, eventually reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was then nominated for song of the summer at 2020’s MTV Video Music Awards.
#18. 'Everything I Wanted' by Billie Eilish
“Everything I Wanted” was originally inspired by Billie Eilish’s nightmare that she jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and no one mourned her death. She and brother Finneas O’Connell retooled the nightmare into this song, a pop track about togetherness in the face of mental health and personal struggles. The song was later nominated for three 2021 Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Solo Performance and Record of the Year.
#17. 'Intentions' by Justin Bieber feat. Quavo
In “Intentions,” Justin Bieber proclaims his love for wife Hailey Baldwin, singing “Shower you with all my attention/ Yeah, these are my only intentions.” The singer collaborated with rapper Quavo on the track, which was nominated for a 2020 MTV Video Music Award.
#16. 'Roxanne' by Arizona Zervas
Arizona Zervas followed in Lil Nas X’s footsteps with “Roxanne,” because the song’s viral success on TikTok led to the rapper getting signed with Columbia Records. The song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.
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#15. 'Savage' by Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé
After originally releasing “Savage” as part of her April 2020 EP “Suga,” Megan Thee Stallion remixed the song with Beyoncé in May. The revamped version earned Megan her first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it was nominated for several Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year.
#14. 'Dance Monkey' by Tones and I
Australian performer Tones and I’s “Dance Monkey” was inspired by her experiences with the demands of “busking,” aka street performing, in her native country. It hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the first top-five single written only by a woman in more than eight years.
#13. 'What’s Poppin' by Jack Harlow feat. DaBaby, Tory Lanez, and Lil Wayne
Yet another song buoyed by TikTok success is Jack Harlow’s “What’s Poppin,” which later received a Grammy nomination for best rap performance. When the remix was released during the summer, the song hopped to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
#12. 'I Hope' by Gabby Barrett feat. Charlie Puth
In “I Hope,” Gabby Barrett eschews the common breakup niceties exchanged between exes to speak in a revengeful manner about an ex-partner. The crossover song was nominated for single of the year at the 54th CMA Awards, and a remix featuring Charlie Puth dropped in April 2020.
#11. 'Say So' by Doja Cat
Doja Cat’s single about a friend struggling to confess love for her went viral thanks to TikTok user Haley Sharpe creating a popular dance to it on the video platform. The singer’s song rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 following a remix with Nicki Minaj, and received two 2021 Grammy Award nominations: best pop solo performance and song of the year.
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#10. 'Someone You Loved' by Lewis Capaldi
In the ballad “Someone You Loved,” Lewis Capaldi uses the song to honor and grieve his late grandmother. It went on to receive nominations for song of the year at the 2020 Grammy and Brit awards.
#9. 'The Bones' by Maren Morris
Maren Morris honors long lasting relationships on “The Bones,” which tells the story of a couple who have stayed together despite weathering many hard times. It won both song of the year and single of the year at the 2020 CMA Awards, and was nominated for best country song at the 2021 Grammy Awards.
#8. 'Memories' by Maroon 5
In “Memories,” Maroon 5 put a new spin on a piece of classical music. The song is inspired by Johann Pachelbel’s composition “Canon in D,” and was the main single from their seventh studio album.
#7. 'Life Is Good' by Future feat. Drake
In “Life Is Good,” Future and Drake reflect on their successes, as well as the highs and lows of being wealthy musicians. Later, it became the first song to spend eight weeks at #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
#6. 'Adore You' by Harry Styles
Incorporating elements of disco and funk, this romantic pop single comes off of Harry Styles’ second studio album, 2019’s “Fine Line.” In the accompanying music video, Styles plays a lonely man caring for a golden fish on the fictional island of Eroda.
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#5. 'Rockstar' by DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
In “Rockstar,” DaBaby likens his life as a rapper to the wild life of a rockstar, resulting in a single that spent seven different weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The song was then nominated for several 2021 Grammy including Record of the Year and Best Rap Song.
#4. 'Don’t Start Now' by Dua Lipa
In “Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa celebrates moving on from a past romance with ’80s-inspired disco elements like handclaps and cowbells. The song was nominated for three Grammys at the 2021 ceremony, including Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year.
#3. 'The Box' by Roddy Ricch
Roddy Ricch references the popular slang metaphor of a box relating to a prison or weapon in this single, which spent 11 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The song was also nominated for three Grammys, including Song of the Year.
#2. 'Circles' by Post Malone
In “Circles,” rapper Post Malone details the feeling of realizing that you’re stuck in a loop of breaking up and getting back together with the same person, without the ability to stay in a long-term relationship. The smash hit spent 39 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10, and received 2021 Grammy nominations for song of the year and record of the year.
#1. 'Blinding Lights' by The Weeknd
In “Blinding Lights,” the Weeknd sings about rekindling a lost love as part of his 2020 album “After Hours.” The song became the singer’s fifth Billboard Hot 100 #1 single, with Variety praising it as indisputably one of the landmark songs of 2020, with a “hook straight out of 1985.”
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