100 Best Songs of 2019: Staff List | Billboard – Billboard

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The previous and the long run mixed in 2019, a 12 months of satisfying comebacks from veteran artists and thrilling breakouts from newer ones. It felt each just like the fruits of the last decade that was, and likewise a glimpse of the primary two or three years of the subsequent one — as fashionable music continues transferring in direction of an more and more genre-less house, the place hit singles can come from nearly anybody and wherever (and perhaps any time), and might final till their creators run out of recent methods to maintain them within the headlines.

Listed below are our employees’s 100 favourite songs of 2019 — songs that both have been launched or peaked on the Billboard charts this 12 months — a mixture of cultural occasions, private favorites and every little thing else that tattooed itself inside our brains within the final 12 months. Learn the listing beneath, with a Spotify playlist of all 100 on the backside.

See more: Top 100 songs 2019

100. Blanco Brown, “The Git Up”

The dance problem has been an integral a part of pop music’s final decade and a half, however music wanted a brand new bona fide line dance, and within the waning moments of the 2010s, Blanco Brown delivered. However “The Git Up” isn’t only a tune to bounce to – it’s additionally hellishly catchy, and its fusion of slide guitar with hip-hop beats made it a tune listeners with many various tastes might “git” right down to. It’s too early to inform if nation rap’s second will proceed into the subsequent decade, however “The Git Up” is a advantageous benchmark even when it doesn’t. — KEVIN RUTHERFORD

99. Lil Peep & iLoveMakonnen feat. Fall Out Boy, “I’ve Been Ready”

An unlikely mixture of three very totally different alt-leaning acts, “I’ve Been Ready” is much extra seamless than it has any proper to be, discovering frequent floor within the artists’ shared pop sensibilities. Because it toggles between vocals from all three, it’s not possible to inform the place the verses cease and the refrain begins — it’s all hooks, actually, a tune the place each half appears like That Half. In a extra simply world, this could’ve been the tune to get the late Lil Peep his first Scorching 100 prime 40 hit. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER

98. Sturgill Simpson, “Make Artwork Not Pals”

Sturgill Simpson instructed followers to count on one thing “sleazy,” “steamy” and “psychedelic” on his newest album, Sound & Fury, and whereas the 10-song LP is certainly a marked departure from his extra country-leaning music, it’s additionally wry as ever. “Make Artwork Not Pals” begins with a virtually two-minute trippy instrumental earlier than transitioning to a guitar-and-drum groove whereas everybody’s favourite nation anti-establishmentarian seems to be “out the window at a world on fireplace.” He’s “uninterested in the lights,” and there’s just one resolution: “Suppose I’m gonna simply keep residence/And make artwork, not associates.” Simpson may need shifted his sound on this one, however the curmudgeonly perspective stays. Now please, get off his garden. — CHRISTINE WERTHMAN

97. Woman Antebellum, “What If I By no means Get Over You”

There are plenty of “what ifs” when a relationship ends, however the title of Woman Antebellum’s newest heart-wrenching hit must be one of many scariest. The tune — which recollects the identical craving tone because the nation trio’s breakout single “Want You Now” — completely captures that worry of the unknown, because of Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley’s hopeless harmonies. Everyone knows the determined feeling of struggling to maneuver on, and all of us ought to know there’s a lightweight on the finish of the tunnel ultimately… proper? — KATIE ATKINSON

96. Koffee, “Rapture”

Born Mikayla Simpson, Koffee entered 2019 as a buzzing query mark, and is exiting as probably the most thrilling reggae crossover artist in years. “Rapture” opens her EP of the identical title, throwing down the most-low key gauntlet doable. Born two months inside the brand new millennium, the 19-year outdated Jamaican-born singer-songwriter-rapper delivers a quiet confidence that avoids intimidation and as an alternative appears like an invite. — ERIC FRANKENBERG

95. Lewis Capaldi, “Somebody You Cherished”

Warning: Listening to “Somebody You Cherished” will induce emotions of heartbreak, remind you of your worst breakup and presumably go away you in tears. Nominated for tune of the 12 months on the upcoming 2020 Grammys, the 23-year-old Scottish singer-songwriter effortlessly wrenches our guts on the piano ballad from the brutal first line: “I’m going beneath and this time I worry there’s nobody to avoid wasting me.” The monitor spent three weeks atop the Billboard Scorching 100, whereas the video shined a lightweight on the significance of organ donation and the charity Reside Life Give Life — guaranteeing that our bleeding coronary heart is thrashing as soon as once more and stronger than earlier than. — DANICA DANIEL

94. Adam Lambert, “Superpower”

Main off his glorious 2019 EP Velvet: Facet A, Adam Lambert’s “Superpower” is without doubt one of the pop/rock powerhouse’s most pure suits but, a glossy electro-rock growler that stuns with each power and finesse. Not prefer it actually required a lot of a stretch for a man at the moment serving because the frontman for Queen to embrace a Twenty first-century model of stomping, arena-sized glam rock, nevertheless it’s nonetheless heartening simply to listen to how a lot Lambert appears to have discovered his musical candy spot. — A.U.

93. Coldplay, “Orphans”

The lead single off Coldplay’s eighth studio album comprises so lots of the components of a basic Coldplay tune. It’s bought an upbeat and hopeful melody, Chris Martin’s hovering voice on full show, and a shout-along refrain that contains a full choir — with lyrics that, on first pay attention, sound pretty celebratory. So it’s ironic that the tune’s upbeat nature masks the seriousness of the tune’s lyrics: The tune tells the story of a father and daughter; Syrian refugees who survived the Damascus bombing of 2018. — XANDER ZELLNER

92. James Blake feat. Andre 3000, “The place’s the Catch”

English producer and longtime grasp of environment James Blake creates a dually ominous and alluring temper with “The place’s the Catch,” from fourth LP Assume Kind. Blake weaves his eerie falsetto over a manufacturing oscillating between shimmeringly complicated beats and a spare kick drum, whereas flexing his hip-hop bonafides not solely via the stoney, horny groove, however via a hypnotic verse from rap legend Andre 3000. Each extremely danceable and genuinely cool, “The place’s the Catch” walks the road between digital music and hip-hop with the calm swagger of the really lifted, a vibe prolonged to any listener. — KATIE BAIN

91. Pronoun, “Keep”

If you happen to’re going to make use of probably the most well-traveled tune titles in pop historical past in your new album’s lead single, you higher discover one thing new so as to add to it. Alyse Vellturo, also referred to as alt-rocker Pronoun, actually does that on her blistering, emotionally loaded I’ll Present You Stronger single — in contrast to most of her “Keep” predecessors, the title isn’t used as a plea however as a proclamation: “If you happen to’re gonna go, I believe I’m gonna keep.” A intelligent twist and a worthy entry to the canon. — A.U.

90. Tove Lo, “Glad He’s Gone”

The Swedish star seemingly hails from a bygone period of pop: She lower her enamel as a songwriter alongside mega-producers Max Martin and Xenomania, then debuted with the type of lustrous electro-bangers her residence nation is legendary for. However these membership anthems don’t fairly rule the way in which they used to, so she switched it up with this pep discuss to a brokenhearted BFF. The skittering beat might be a SoundCloud rapper’s plaything and the freaky vocal samples really feel like a hat-tip to Billie Eilish, nevertheless it’s nonetheless one hundred pc Tove Lo because of the raunchy candor (“Did you go down on his birthday?”) followers have come to count on from the girl whose breakout single spoke of intercourse golf equipment and Twinkie binges. — NOLAN FEENEY

89. Younger Thug, J. Cole & Travis Scott, “The London”

The radio single Younger Thug appeared to have primarily spent his whole profession resisting proved well worth the stretch, because the delicately booming T-Minus beat and the slow-and-low Travis Scott-sung hook made it irresistible FM fodder, and Thug’s first prime 5 hit as a lead artist on Billboard‘s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. And simply in case it felt too pop for Thug’s cult fanbase, he makes positive to incorporate not less than certainly one of his most eye-widening couplets thus far: “I might cost ’em like a Dodge Hemi Demon/ Obtained your broad within the storage eatin’ semen.” — A.U.

88. Sir Babygirl, “Everybody Is a Dangerous Pal”

Occupying the house between idiosyncratic art-pop and almost-too-cute C86, Sir Babygirl’s “Everybody Is a Dangerous Pal” segues from sing-song humble brags (“Everybody I meet takes me on a date”) to equally phrased freakouts (“Everybody I meet I believe is gonna die”) to invigorating banshee wails on the shut. In three minutes, it’s the right encapsulation of the frenetic unpredictability lacking from the lion’s share of at present’s indie rock and alt-pop. — JOE LYNCH

87. Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Farruko & Anuel AA, “Baila Baila Baila” (Remix)

Are 5 reggaetón stars higher than one? Within the “Baila, Baila, Baila” remix, Ozuna’s authentic uptempo however barely melancholy monitor a couple of woman who dances to overlook morphs right into a showcase for a number of voices and kinds. With Ozuna’s distinctive voice singing the refrain because the unifying thread, “Baila Baila Baila” serves as a type of canvas for the kings of reggaetón to improvise on. — LEILA COBO

86. Kehlani feat. Ty Dolla $ign, “Nights Like This”

A 12 months after teaming up with Kyle on a bouncy tune a couple of love curiosity enjoying video games (“Playinwitme”), Kehlani introduced a extra susceptible method to the sensation of being strung alongside by a lover with “Nights Like This.” The echoing mid-tempo monitor sees Kehlani struggling between lacking that individual and reminding herself that they’ll solely let her down if she lets them again in, with Ty Dolla $ign sharing the identical painfully relatable sentiment in his verse. “Nights Like This” reminded followers of Kehlani’s means to match uncooked lyrics with a catchy melody, and served as the right lead-in to her newest mixtape, Whereas We Wait. — TAYLOR WEATHERBY

85. Mura Masa feat. Clairo, “I Don’t Suppose I Can Do This Once more”

Indie-pop darling Clairo has a penchant for tender, hyper-specific lyrics, and British producer Mura Masa is thought for his futuristic, grungy beats. The 2 make a mismatched however excellent pair on this intelligent snapshot of an on-again, off-again relationship, the place intentional sonic discord echoes emotional turmoil. “Was it actually that way back?” Clairo considers about her final combat with an ex, questioning if “I ought to let go” to the tune of wistful guitar strums. However simply as you start to agree, the candy melody warps right into a pummeling, darkish electro-pop jam, like a wave of unhealthy reminiscences flooding again. Not less than it’s a wrestle you may dance to. — TATIANA CIRISANO

84. Maxo Kream, “Meet Once more”

Accompanied by a wave of funky synths, Maxo Kream’s dependably robust storytelling chops hit a peak on this Brandon Banks standout. The Houston native bounces his approach via a wave of anecdotes that depict the cruel actuality of rising up surrounded by gang violence and a damaged legal justice system, with the 29-year-old getting notably poignant as he gives life updates to incarcerated associates: “Let me let you know ‘bout your daughter, yesterday, she tried to stroll… You possibly can’t be there like a father and it’s f-king with you mentally.” — JOSH GLICKSMAN

83. Saweetie, “My Sort”

It’s vital to determine expectations earlier than leaping into any dedication, and Bay Space rapper Saweetie has no drawback setting the bar excessive. With a flip on Petey Pablo’s “Freek-a-Leek” helmed by London on da Observe, the ICY queen places a contemporary spin on the philandery 2004 membership banger — whereas additionally bringing collectively elite friends like Metropolis Ladies, Jhene Aiko, Becky G, French Montana, Wale & Tiwa Savage for a string of recent takes on the tune via the summer season. Throw in appearances by fellow Bay Space favorites Kehlani and Kamaiyah within the tune’s visible (maybe most well-known for the main woman’s immediately iconic, logic-defying basketball hoop twerk) together with a No. 21 Scorching 100 peak, and it turns into apparent that what works for her clearly works for everybody else. — BRYAN KRESS

82. Dan + Shay feat. Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours”

On its face, “10,000 Hours” looks like a typical “I like my spouse” ballad. Nevertheless it’s elevated by Dan + Shay’s harmonies and Justin Bieber’s vocals, strolling the advantageous stability between pop and nation, match for first dances at weddings in the absolute best approach. Bieber has spent the previous few years making visitor appearances throughout genres, and though “10,000 Hours” didn’t obtain the Scorching 100-topping stage of success that “Despacito” and “I’m the One” did, the tune proves he’d be proper at residence in Nashville, too. — DENISE WARNER

81. Burna Boy, “Anyone”

Joyful and infectious, Burna Boy’s “Anyone” is danceable virtually to the purpose of crucial. Clean, punchy horns accent the supply: “Anyone, wey no need to soji/ Anyone, wey no dey carry physique/ Nack am one thing, ahh/ Nack am one thing.” The message is evident: begin working, pulling your weight, or threat getting smacked. Burna clearly means what he says — he didn’t hit anybody, however he did truly reprimand a “boring” fan who refused to bounce at certainly one of his exhibits in Atlanta. If “Anyone” was enjoying, you may argue the man deserved it. — WILLIAM GOTTSEGEN

80. Camila Cabello, “Liar”

Oh no, there she goes, making one other catchy, Cuban-inspired bop. Cabello picks up the place she left off together with her breakthrough solo smash “Havana” on Romance lead single “Liar,” realizing she’s mendacity to her possible lover (and to herself) about her true emotions, all set to the strains of a punchy Latin horn part. It’s just a little bit flamenco, just a little bit reggae, and loads addictive, particularly that remaining 30-second instrumental part that places you proper inside a Miami lounge. — Ok.A.

79. 5 Seconds of Summer time, “Simpler”

Within the 12 months of the Reznorssance, perhaps the secretly most stunning NIN-quoting hit was 5 Seconds of Summer time’s “Simpler,” which swiped the hissing drum thump (and even a number of the S&M-inspired imagery) from the group’s iconic “Nearer.” The carry provides the Charlie Puth co-write a nervy edge not usually heard on Prime 40 radio, and completely enhances the anxiousness and emotional claustrophobia of the lyrics — delivered by Luke Hemmings in a falsetto’d wail that certainly feels like he might use some assist getting away from himself. — A.U.

78. Ambjaay, “Uno”

True to its title, “Uno” looks like it’s roughly one minute lengthy (close-ish; add 49 extra seconds), fading out as abruptly because it got here in. Ambjaay has spectacular time administration expertise, although, becoming in a Rihanna shoutout and 4 totally different reprises of the refrain, which features a rhyming of “zapatos” and “nachos,” alongside the way in which. No want to consider this one an excessive amount of; the rudimentary Spanish enhances the tune’s playful, unsophisticated beat. — Ok.R.

77. Mabel, “Don’t Name Me Up”

Mabel’s household tree is rooted within the trade (she was born to Swedish singer Neneh Cherry and British producer Cameron McVey), and it was solely a matter of time earlier than the dance-pop singer-songwriter made a reputation for herself. “Don’t Name Me Up” was simply what she wanted: Peaking at No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart and at No. 66 on the Scorching 100, the “New Guidelines”-esque kiss-off was one of many winter’s most pleasantly sudden bops. Some artists wither beneath the “massive within the U.Ok.” label, however we get the sensation Mabel’s solely getting began over right here. — GAB GINSBERG

76. Dangerous Bunny & Tainy, “Callaita”

After releasing debut LP X 100pre on the finish of 2018, Dangerous Bunny teamed up with Puerto Rican producer Tainy in Spring 2019 to drop “Callaita,” a tune about an introverted woman who likes to celebration arduous and reside life to the fullest. The enchanting reggaetón monitor fantastically melds the sounds of crashing ocean waves and seagulls, bringing Tainy’s stellar manufacturing to the forefront. “I labored on ‘Callaita’ with the imaginative and prescient I needed to push ahead,” Tainy beforehand instructed Billboard. “It’s the primary monitor off of my upcoming venture and it has a special sound that I want to see extra within the trade.” — JESSICA ROIZ

75. Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign, “Scorching Woman Summer time”

After rebranding a complete season, Megan Thee Stallion delivered what everybody was clamoring for: an simple anthem for what we’ve all come to know as Scorching Woman Summer time. And he or she didn’t do it alone: With help from pal Nicki Minaj and options king Ty Dolla $ign, this monitor is repeat worthy irrespective of how a lot the temperature drops within the coming months. — LYNDSEY HAVENS

74. Charlie Puth, “Mom”

Charlie Puth initially claimed that this narrative about being a wolf-in-boy-next-door clothes was primarily based on a teenage fantasy, then teased a mysterious reality to its inspiration, which he later (kind of) revealed to be a poisonous relationship of his youth. No matter the actual story in regards to the tune’s origins, although, it’s not practically as compelling because the tune’s driving groove, which splits the distinction between “The Approach You Make Me Really feel” and “Everyone Desires to Rule the World,” or its falsetto’d refrain, which summarizes the whole tune in a single sly, scummy lyric: “In case your mom knew, she’d maintain me so removed from you.” — A.U.

73. Aldous Harding, “The Barrel”

The lyrics of Aldous Harding’s “The Barrel” characterize one thing of a Möbius strip, twisting round totally different actions — exhibiting “the ferret to the egg,” starting “the braiding,” seeing “a hand arch out of the barrel” — and in the end defying which means. But the New Zealand singer-songwriter creates an environment each mild and exploratory, her honeyed voice weaving via piano thrives and not-quite-harmonies, in order that the thematic ambiguity serves as the middle of a hypnotic total pay attention. — JASON LIPSHUTZ

72. Charli XCX feat. Christine and the Queens, “Gone”

Songs about feeling like an outsider — at a celebration, in a relationship, within the music enterprise — have been as fixed as any all through the historical past of the rock period. Nevertheless it’s a wrestle to discover a extra direct pop lyric in regards to the topic than “I really feel so unstable/ F-king hate these individuals” from Charli XCX and Christine and the Queens’ “Gone.” Aided by A.G. Cook dinner’s nimble manufacturing, the lyric boils down the paranoia and isolation that may make any social scenario really feel claustrophobic, earlier than busting aside with one of many 12 months’s finest outros, constructing the tune’s refrain up till it explodes from the stress. — E.F.

71. Future, “Crushed Up”

Unleashed within the frigid days of early January, “Crushed Up” wasted no time in proclaiming Future’s new 12 months agenda: keep prolific, keep on prime of what’s working, keep icy. The Atlanta rapper’s mightiest 2019 single is 2 and a half minutes of easy, jewel-encrusted precision. The beat is an ominous winter wonderland with all its distorted bells, squeals, and sirens, whereas Future Hendrix assures his woozy “diamonds within the face” chorus is lodged within the listener’s thoughts immediately. It was hardly a reinvention from what made Future an undisputed A-lister over the second half of the 2010s, however on this case, no reinvention was crucial. — CHRIS PAYNE

70. Sech feat. Darell, Nicky Jam, Ozuna & Anuel AA, “Otro Trago” (Remix)

Panamanian artist Sech took the music world by storm along with his soothing vocals and sensual city fusion melodies when he launched “Otro Trago,” which interprets to “One other Drink,” from his debut studio album, Sueños. The tune, which options Puerto Rican artist Darell’s raspy city voice, in addition to star friends Ozuna, Anuel AA, and Nicky Jam on the fiery remix, narrates the story of a woman ingesting and dancing her sorrows away on the membership — completely relatable to these going via heartbreak in 2019. With its infectious R&B-meets-reggaetón beat, the tune rapidly grew to become a success, nabbing Sech his first No. 1 on the Scorching Latin Songs chart, and pushing the Panamanian music scene again onto the map in 2019. — J.R.

69. Jenny Lewis, “Pink Bull & Hennessy”

Just like the substances in its title, Lewis’ “Pink Bull & Hennessy” is a high-test musical cocktail comprised of substances that evoke two eras: The music, a retro blast of candy, candy ‘70s L.A. rock seduces with Zevon-esque piano, the rhythm-section to Fleetwood Mac’s “Desires” (with Ringo Starr and Jim Keltner on drums), and a guitar sound that recollects John Stewart’s summery “Gold.” However the lyrics are charged with Lewis’ deliciously sly and really modern candor — “I’m about to get depraved/ You bought me lyin’ on my again/ Hallelu,” she sings — whereas the ecstatic guitar solo closes out the tune begins intermittently dropping out, and ends abruptly in what might be interpreted as a heart-stopping second. The suggestion: What Jenny needs, Jenny will get. — FRANK DIGIACOMO

68. Beyoncé feat. Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN & Wizkid, “Brown Pores and skin Woman”

The second single from Beyoncé’s self-curated The Lion King: The Present additional bolsters the artist’s campaign for cultural delight and feminine empowerment. With featured friends SAINt JHN, Wizkid and daughter Blue Ivy, Beyoncé tackles the colorism confronted by darker-complexioned ladies. The monitor’s spare, syncopated African rhythms give added focus to driving lyrics (“Brown pores and skin woman / ya pores and skin identical to pearls / Your again towards the world”) amid shout-outs to pioneering brown ladies similar to Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, and naturally, Kelly Rowland. — GAIL MITCHELL

67. Tierra Whack, “Solely Youngster”

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After releasing 15 one-minute songs on her imaginative 2018 debut album, Whack World, rapper Tierra Whack returned this 12 months with a handful of full-size tracks, the primary of which was the cutely condescending “Solely Youngster.” “You ain’t actually take into consideration no one however your self,” Whack sings to a playful, water-droplet melody, kicking off her armchair evaluation of a person’s egocentric habits: “You should be the one youngster since you’re so stingy.” Whack sings for many of the tune however switches to rapping for the takedown of the second verse. “Spiteful and malicious, hope that different chick bought syphilis,” she says. “Cash over d-k!” Regardless of what number of minutes she’s working with, Whack is aware of the best way to maintain all of them fascinating. — C.W.

66. BLACKPINK, “Kill This Love”

If there have been doorways remaining for BLACKPINK to bust via, they have been evaporated by the primary horn blasts of “Kill This Love,” a tune that sounds virtually biblical in its sonic may. The bilingual breakup banger introduced the group to the highest half of the Billboard Scorching 100 for the primary time, and set new requirements for pre-empting any potential objections from a soon-to-be-ex: when the group screams “LET’S KILL THIS LOVE!” at you on the refrain, your solely doable response is to again away slowly and quietly. — A.U.

65. Maren Morris, “GIRL”

Maren Morris made the trendy nation empowerment anthem her calling card the second “My Church,” her breakout solo hit, began profitable over followers in 2015. The title monitor off GIRL, her sophomore album, is the stuff of arena-packing goals on this custom. The clear-eyed, full-hearted lyrics of the only serve a number of motivational mantras for any struggling gal: “Child woman, don’t you grasp your head low/ Don’t you lose your halo/ Everybody’s gonna be okay.” Even the hardest ladies want comforting reminders that they’ll get via the drama, and Morris provides that knowledge in a message even probably the most cynical need to sing alongside to. — HILARY HUGHES

64. Tame Impala, “Persistence”

After a four-year stretch between albums — “Has it been even that lengthy?” Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker sings within the opening line — the Aussie psych-rock outfit’s comeback single cries out with a much bigger, extra developed sound from 2015’s Currents. Mixing thick piano chords, synch strings, congas and Tame’s attribute whooshing phaser, the monitor makes you lengthy for a cool poolside home celebration. And Parker’s message is all about seasonal change, rising up “in phases,” and “dwelling life in phases.” — ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO

63. Rosalía, “Aute Cuture”

After wowing the world together with her debut album El Mal Querer the 12 months prior, Rosalía briefly stepped exterior her flamenco-trap basis to get wild within the pop realm. The end result? “Aute Cuture,” a cheeky tackle the French phrase for “excessive trend,” it’s a buzzing whirlwind of heat handclaps, digital blips and call-outs to the excessive life, stuffed with designer ‘suits and sangria. Clocking in at simply over two minutes, the tune could have your head spinning by the point it’s over. — BIANCA GRACIE

62. Tegan & Sara, “I’ll Be Again Sometime”

“I’ll Be Again Sometime” launched Canadian indie duo Tegan and Sara’s Hey, I’m Simply Like You album cycle with its deceptively pleasant melody. Regardless of being in regards to the emotional curler coaster of late-night telephone calls that was teen love within the Nineties, the lead single showcased the audible pleasure the sisters had transforming songs they wrote in highschool. Because the twins resurrected materials from their childhood for each an album and a memoir, the prophetic title serves as a cheeky reminder that they’ve been producing pop gems for greater than twenty years. — TAYLOR MIMS

61. Sam Smith, “How Do You Sleep”

The 12 months 2019 was certainly one of transformation for pop star Sam Smith, who formally got here out as non-binary and altered their pronouns, letting everybody know that they have been executed defining themselves by the phrases that others set for them. “How Do You Sleep?” serves because the anthem for Smith’s 12 months, as they shifted to a brighter, dance-infused pop sound and embraced themself. Gone have been the heartbroken lyrics that outlined a lot of Smith’s early profession, now changed by a confidence and a presence turning into of an individual able to be reintroduced to the world. — STEPHEN DAW

60. Kygo & Whitney Houston, “Increased Love”

When Whitney Houston starred within the 1996 remake of The Preacher’s Spouse, co-star Denzel Washington known as her voice the “Eighth Marvel of the World.” However whereas a few of these wonders have turned to mud, with the summer season drop of “Increased Love,” Houston’s voice lives on at present to encourage a brand new technology of listeners. With a vocal initially recorded in 1990, the late legend soars on the Kygo-produced Steve Winwood remake, which topped Billboard’s Dance Membership Songs chart in August. With the poignancy felt as Houston belts, “Issues look so unhealthy all over the place/ On this entire world, what’s honest?” it’s arduous to think about this tune wasn’t recorded simply yesterday — however extra importantly, it should positively nonetheless be right here tomorrow. — D.D.

59. MUNA, “Quantity One Fan”

You gained’t discover a higher opening to a 2019 tune than this: “So I heard the unhealthy information/ No person likes me and I’m gonna die alone in my bed room.” However the members of MUNA don’t wallow for lengthy — how might they, with a galloping neon bassline that turns wherever you’re standing into your personal private discotheque? As a substitute, the trio skips the would-be pity celebration and confronts their inside saboteurs, utilizing the lingo of pop fan armies to cheer themselves on and remind themselves (and the world) of 1 massive glittery reality: You could be your worst critic, however you’re additionally your personal secret weapon. — N.F.

58. Blake Shelton, “God’s Nation”

Shelton returned to nation airwaves in an enormous approach with the attention-grabbing, Southern rock-inflected “God’s Nation.” From the tune’s opening riff, Shelton instantly captivates. His highly effective vocal supply solely provides to the memorable ode to the South alongside hand-clapped rhythms and dusty guitars. The largest streaming hit of Shelton’s profession, “God’s Nation” additionally hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Nation Airplay chart and went on to garner the singer a CMA Award for single of the 12 months — his first CMA trophy in 5 years — in addition to a Grammy nomination. — A.R.

57. Daddy Yankee & Katy Perry feat. Snow, “Con Calma” (Remix)

A part of the success of the unique “Con Calma” — wherein Daddy Yankee invitations ’90s reggae fusion artist Snow to reprise a model of his as soon as pop-conquering “Informer” hook — was that addictive video. That includes the now-famous Daddy Yankee meme, the clip showcased choreography carried out by numerous teams of dancers representing each form and stripe. However the Katy Perry model, which helped propel the tune to No. 1 on Scorching Latin Songs, solely expands on the inclusiveness from the opening verse: “I do know we don’t converse the identical language, however I’m going to let my physique discuss for me.” In spite of everything, isn’t that what reggaetón is all about? — L.C.

56. Massive Thief, “Not”

Although it’s loud, cracked, and epic in scope, “Not” is as intimate as something Massive Thief singer/songwriter Adrienne Lenker has ever written. The lyrics are usually naturalistic — clouds reel, planets spin, and fireplace laps up the creek — nevertheless it’s near the physique, too. Lenker sings about hair, about blood, “the meat of your thigh” and “your backbone tattoo.” The guitar is ragged and uncooked, the kick drum a beating coronary heart. Burning via that three-minute solo, Lenker attracts power from the expertise of nearness, each to others and to the earth. — W.G.

55. Lil Tecca, “Ransom”

Who knew a braces-wearing teenager was able to piledriving the rap recreation earlier than his 18th birthday? Lil Tecca’s summer season reign not solely consisted of him usurping the throne because the premier SoundCloud king, however netting a prime 5 hit on the Billboard Scorching 100 with “Ransom.” The buzzy document finds Tecca stiff-arming thirsty followers creeping in his DMs, whereas pledging to wipe out the competitors along with his “twin glocks.” The Web Cash-produced monitor even acquired the remix remedy from the late Juice WRLD, who injected his flavorful croon to the saucy tune, making it the final word “began from the underside” anthem for late-’10s youngsters. — CARL LAMARRE

54. Miley Cyrus, “Slide Away”

The tender-but-rueful breakup ballad “Slide Away” so completely captures a selected second in time, very similar to what Ariana Grande did first on Sweetener and in a while Thank U, Subsequent. It has all of the makings of a headline-inspired hit; commentary on a (very!) lately ended marriage, a proof of needs and even some slight dissing of mentioned former accomplice that in flip, resulted in much more headlines. In a time the place every little thing is public, Cyrus managed the narrative in one of the best ways she knew how. — L.H.

53. Sharon Van Etten, “Seventeen”

“’Seventeen’ simply appears like my New York tune,” Sharon Van Etten instructed Billboard again in January. “That is speaking about dwelling someplace lengthy sufficient to see the modifications that I’ve.” Van Etten’s instant earworm embraces Springsteenian progressions and classic synths, and manages to faucet into youthful euphoria and bittersweet nostalgia one daring main chord change at a time. It’s becoming, as she’s roughly singing to the model of herself that lower her enamel in a scene of New York golf equipment and bars which are not round. When she sang the tune for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk in October, she roared her love letter to her youthful self, and her disappearing metropolis, via tears: it’s certainly one of her rawest performances caught on movie, and an ideal snapshot of the tune’s energy in motion. — H.H.

52. Frank Ocean, “In My Room”

There may be hesitation in calling “In My Room” (and fellow one-off launch “DHL,” which preceded it by per week) a correct comeback for Frank Ocean, an artist who has been concurrently elusive, enigmatic, and prolific throughout the 2010s. The monitor is low-key when it comes to lyrical content material and literal quantity, however for those who’re paying consideration, he nonetheless gives a number of the cryptic clues into his private life that bubbled over all through Blonde and Infinite. Alternating between materials flexes, rejection of the music trade correct, and questioning the intentions of these round him over a beautiful mattress of glowing synths and clicking drums, Ocean’s quiet songwriting stays a continuing as his life continues to swirl. — E.F.

51. Shaed, “Trampoline”

Shaed’s been having goals, and in 2019, a lot of them got here true. The trio’s breakout hit “Trampoline,” a lush alt-pop head-nodder with a snapping beat and an impressed whistle break, initially gained traction because of an Apple advert, and ultimately acquired a remix from Zayn. Topping the Different Songs chart and peaking at No. 13 on the Scorching 100, “Trampoline” sure Shaed as much as new heights they nonetheless haven’t come down from. — G.G.

50. Ariana Grande, “Ghostin”

“Ghostin” is a tune that you just kinda really feel responsible for listening to. It’d be arduous sufficient to abdomen its brutal narrative of a brand new relationship haunted (virtually actually) by a previous love if we didn’t know her IRL story nicely sufficient to make an informed guess at placing names to its pronouns. However with that real-life verisimilitude, the gorgeous-but-queasy ballad turns into virtually overwhelming, an emotional swell as head-swimming as its woozy synths and weeping strings. You gained’t discover many songs on albums by indie singer-songwriters this decade that really feel this uncooked, this confessional, this personal — not to mention on one of many 12 months’s largest pop blockbusters. — A.U.

49. Doja Cat feat. Tyga, “Juicy”

Doja Cat’s hypnotic, raunchy hit initially appeared in March on the deluxe model of her 2018 album Amala, however bought its legs in August when it added Tyga and served because the lead single for her November full-length, Scorching Pink. She doesn’t waste time lingering on any single bar except she’s hanging on to the tip of it, bouncing its remaining syllable round simply lengthy sufficient to depart the listener reaching for it because it dissipates. However such is the attract: even on the Tyga remix, Doja is in full management. — J.G.

48. Clairo, “Luggage”

Clairo’s glorious debut album Immunity riffs on pop and R&B tropes with a streaming-age sensibility, however “Luggage,” an indie-rock synthesis that’s extra completed than most trendy Pitchfork-approved bands, has unwittingly develop into a profession spotlight — and, natch, drew big cheers when Clairo performed it on the Pitchfork Music Competition in July. The tender interpretation of romantic dissolution juxtaposes the fragility of Clairo’s scenes (“Strolling out the door along with your baggage,” she murmurs time and again) with the regular, inevitable guitar chug. — J. Lipshutz

47. Ed Sheeran feat. Justin Bieber, “I Don’t Care”

With two years handed since Ed Sheeran’s Divide and practically 4 since Justin Bieber’s Function, each Sheerios and Beliebers have been extremely keen for brand spanking new music from each stars earlier this 12 months. So the 2 determined to appease each fan bases in a single monitor, and naturally, it’s a ridiculously catchy smash. “I Don’t Care” is a tune about that one one that makes every little thing higher (on this case, a awful celebration), and combines Bieber’s dance-derived Function manufacturing with Sheeran’s cleverly romantic lyricism. The tune’s snappy beat and the blokes’ lighthearted supply make “I Don’t Care” a blast, and judging by its wacky inexperienced screen-driven video, Bieber and Sheeran had maybe probably the most enjoyable of anybody. — T.W.

46. Lizzo, “Juice”

Comfortably using atop a funk wave that appears to reverberate throughout the photo voltaic system, Lizzo sing-spits a joyous ode to braggadocious self-love on “Juice.” As quickly because it broke massive, so did the questions: Is it pop or hip-hop? Is she an outsider making mainstream inroads, or an underground expertise tweaking their sound to slot in on Prime 40? Is the juice she speaks of orange, or apple?! In the end, when the result’s as irresistibly instant and durably relistenable as this, who cares about any of that? — J. Lynch

45. Jay Som, “Superbike”

A fierce, fuzzy spotlight from do-everything indie rocker Jay Som’s glorious sophomore album Anak Ko, “Superbike” is among the many 12 months’s most instantly imagistic songs. It’s sundown and heat wind, closure and catharsis. It’s “going 80 within the night time” with out worrying in regards to the vacation spot. The singer-songwriter born Melina Duterte flexes her manufacturing chops in heady waves of guitar and percussion, fantastically entangled, like constellations streaming by. An ideal dream of the open highway. — W.G.

44. Harry Kinds, “Watermelon Sugar”

Followers are determined to dissect the which means behind this sticky-sweet tune — Kinds has neither confirmed nor denied that it’s, nicely, carnally charged — however why learn too far into what’s only a easy pleasure to hearken to? The tune lyrically and sonically paints an image of an ideal summer season night, and it makes whole sense that Kinds determined to debut it on Saturday Night time Reside, because the reside horns drive residence its simple allure. — Ok.A.

43. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Now That I Discovered You”

Nobody can compete with Carly Rae Jepsen relating to making upbeat music about stuff that makes you’re feeling good. For the skeptic reader, we current “Now That I Discovered You”: an ideal pop tune in regards to the early honeymoon interval of a relationship, and the extraordinary optimism you’re feeling when it’s simply beginning out. Just like the title suggests, Jepsen croons about all of the ideas swirling round her thoughts as she begins a gradual fling: “I believe I’m coming alive with you.” It’s the type of high-energy tune that deserves to solely be performed at full quantity. — X.Z.

42. Lana Del Rey, “Hope Is a Harmful Factor For a Girl Like Me to Have – However I Have It”

Few artists in pop historical past have gone via as wild a first-decade profession arc as Lana Del Rey, from weblog buzz to backlash to pop stardom to cult fandom to, on the very finish of all of it, crucial acclaim. “Hope” looks like the showstopping closing quantity to Lana’s first act, that includes her not simply more durable and wiser, however funnier and extra self-aware than ever (“Calling from past the grave, I simply wanna say, ‘Hello, Dad’”). On the finish of all of it, she doesn’t declare victory, however does discover a type of triumph in survival — “”Don’t ask if I’m pleased, you realize that I’m not/ However at finest, I can say I’m not unhappy” — and you’ll’t assist however share her gratitude that she’s caught round this lengthy. — A.U.

41. Dua Lipa, “Don’t Begin Now”

Dua (correctly) reunited with the workforce behind her breakout single “New Guidelines” to introduce her new Future Nostalgia period, they usually made one other danceable kiss-off — however this time, as an alternative of educating listeners the best way to go away their booty calls behind, she’s straight addressing the ex who can’t appear to depart her behind. There are plenty of snappy strains in right here to match the crisp nu-disco beat, and among the finest (and most easy) must be “Stroll away, you understand how.” Ouch. — Ok.A.

40. Jonas Brothers, “Solely Human”

The JoBros’ comeback hit “Sucker” endures, sure, however within the meantime, a slinkier jam has slid into the zeitgeist: “Solely Human.” The only’s sunny reggae-flavored beat is simply pleasant, and its current No. 18 peak on the Scorching 100 signifies that we’ll in all probability be “drunk to an ’80s groove” well past the New Yr. In the meantime, the Jonas Brothers will in all probability proceed to carry out it at each awards present till the tip of time — not that we thoughts one bit. Dance, dance, dance, dance! — G.G.

39. Summer time Walker feat. Drake, “Ladies Want Love” (Remix)

Summer time Walker boastfully broke into the R&B sphere final summer season with a singular line — “I simply want some d-k” — with not one of the fluffy metaphors or prettily laced vocals usually anticipated from feminine crooners in sight. Walker’s uncooked pleas ignited the inside savage of girls all over the place, as “Ladies Want Love” captioned numerous Instagram photographs and tweets. It wasn’t lengthy till Drake, pop and hip-hop’s final Emo Boy, hopped on the remix in February. His added dose of ardour helped the monitor peak at No. 37 on the Scorching 100, giving Walker her well-deserved chart breakthrough. — B.G.

38. Sam Smith & Normani, “Dancing With a Stranger”

Smith and Normani teamed up for one of many largest pop songs of the 12 months with “Dancing With a Stranger.” The horny earworm features a standout vocal supply by the pair, with Smith’s seductive falsetto accompanied by Normani’s smoky counterpart. Along with beautiful harmonies, the infectious dance-pop beat mesmerizes. A serious hit for the 2 on the FM airwaves, “Dancing With a Stranger” ranked No. 5 for the 12 months on each the Radio Songs and Pop Songs airplay charts. — A.R.

37. BTS feat. Halsey, “Boy With Luv”

This glossy, shimmering boy-band gem is certainly one of BTS’ purest pop confections but, although two hip-hop interludes additionally give the tune a more durable, extra modern edge. Halsey is alongside for the experience, however even together with her appreciable U.S. pop stardom, she’s pleased to play an clearly supporting position right here. The tune put BTS within the prime 10 on the Billboard Scorching 100 for the primary time, however likely not the final, as thousands and thousands of American youngsters are actually utterly smitten with the group from half a world away. — PAUL GREIN

36. The Highwomen, “Redesigning Ladies”

The Highwomen’s first single “Redesigning Ladies” celebrates the selfless feminine spirit of “Full-time dwelling on a half-time schedule” whereas “at all times tryna make everyone really feel particular.” Tackling the competing inside dialogues of self-care and self-doubt, the monitor is sung in tandem by the supergroup’s Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires, with a cheerful temper and resilient lyrics paying homage to Dolly Parton’s “9 to five” — however modernized for a maturing millennial viewers closing in on motherhood. Drawing inspiration from the sleeves-up, “We Can Do It” perspective of Rosie the Riveter, “Redesigning Ladies” pays homage to the endless balancing act of household, ambition and “Working arduous to look good ’til we die.” — DAVE BROOKS

35. Polo G feat. Lil Tjay, “Pop Out”

Like virtually every little thing on Polo G’s debut full-length, Die a Legend, “Pop Out” is uncommonly reflective. “We come from poverty, man, we ain’t have a factor,” sings Polo over piano-forward manufacturing. His reward for easy melodies and reducing, emotional lyrics is on full show right here, even because the drums maintain issues upbeat, and together with the singalong refrain, makes it club-ready. Galvanized by his previous, Polo strides confidently into the long run. — W.G.

34. Ava Max, “Candy However Psycho”

The deliciously sticky refrain on Ava Max’s breakout hit took a bit longer to tempt the candy tooth of stateside listeners — the August 2018 launch notched a No. 1 slot in nicely over a dozen international locations earlier than actually catching within the U.S. — however as soon as it did, American was hooked, sending the pop confection to the Scorching 100’s prime 10. With its pulsing electro pop beat, glitzy synths and stretchy ma-ma-ma’s, it’s arduous for Max to dodge early Woman Gaga comparisons, however given the apparent reverence on show — and the truth that the latter scored two No. 1 hits with that normal method a decade earlier — the previous possible isn’t too upset in regards to the reference level. — J.G.

33. J Balvin & Dangerous Bunny, “Cuidao por Ahí”

If Dangerous Bunny is the “unhealthy man” in Oasis, the collaborative album between Bunny and J Balvin. “Cuidao por Ahí” is a job reversal. Right here, Balvin takes on the opening strains, chanting and singing in a register far decrease than typical earlier than Dangerous Bunny picks up in the next voice. It’s a musical change whose success underscores how seamlessly these two work collectively. Set solely over a menacing, typically disturbing beat, “Cuidao por Ahí” is as addictive as it’s unsettling. — L.C.

32. FKA twigs, “Cellophane”

Editor’s Choice: 2022 Best Music Schools in Florida – College Factual

FKA twigs describes the suffocating results of public scrutiny, alluding to her called-off engagement to Robert Pattinson, on the quietly devastating “cellophane,” which grew to become her first single in three years when it arrived in April. A sparse backdrop of burbling keys and a beat-boxed rhythm leaves her strained, not possible vocal vary on full show, every lyric as clear and sharp as a shard of glass. “While you’re gone, I’ve nobody to inform,” she near-whispers in a single notably harrowing verse, whereas the very picture of cellophane conveys one thing delicate to be packaged, preserved and guarded. — T.C.

31. Ariana Grande, “7 Rings”

Final 12 months’s Sweetener gave us the playful monitor “Profitable,” a style of Ariana Grande, the flexer. Then in 2019 got here alongside its bolder and badder massive sis, “7 Rings,” on which the pop star casually states that if she needs it, she’s positive getting it. Besides, maybe, full songwriting credit score: Rodgers & Hammerstein — who initially wrote “My Favourite Issues,” which Grande’s monitor interpolates — management 90% of the monitor’s songwriting royalties. Doubtless price it for Grande, although: “7 Rings” grew to become her second Scorching 100 No. 1 (coming in shortly after she topped the chart for the primary time with “Thank U, Subsequent”) and longest ruling thus far. — L.H.

30. Megan Thee Stallion feat. DaBaby, “Money S-t”

A beautiful factor occurs within the opening minute of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Money S-t”: On two separate events within the Houston rapper’s opening verse, she interrupts herself and jumps again just a few bars to repeat her punchlines — and ensure the listener understands the efficiency of her phrases. “Money S-t” fires on all cylinders: as a coming-out celebration for each Megan and her macho man co-star DaBaby, as a sonic increase of a beat from LilJuMadeDaBeat, as a presentation of the 2 MC’s top-notch ad-libs. However that pitch-perfect rewind on the prime of the tune units the assured tone, and actually burns itself into your mind. — J. Lipshutz

29. Khalid, “Speak”

After leaning into being “Younger, Dumb and Broke” on debut album American Teen, midtempo relationship lament “Speak” demonstrated that sophomore LP Free Spirit would showcase a extra grown-sounding Khalid. Aided by the electro-pop stylings of dance duo Disclosure, the No. 3-peaking Scorching 100 hit is clean and gradual, and makes you need to wrap your self within the one you like to guarantee your self that every little thing is okay. The mixing of Disclosure’s glowing synths with Khalid’s velvety voice makes for a compelling mixture, and even after a number of spins, it leaves you wanting extra. — D.W.

28. Ashley O, “On a Roll”

Who knew Miley Cyrus-as-Ashley O can be among the finest pop treats of 2019? “Hey, yeah, whoa-ho, I’m on a roll” took over Twitter — and membership dance flooring — after the subversive reimagination of 9 Inch Nails’ “Head Like a Gap” was first heard within the Black Mirror episode “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too,” leaving Hannah Montana shaking in her glitter boots. (In all seriousness, shout-out to Cyrus, who’s made glorious pop music beneath her personal title plus two alter egos within the span of a mere decade.) All collectively now: I’m such an enormous fan. — G.G.

27. Normani, “Motivation”

Britney and Rihanna have been quiet, Beyoncé has been experimenting, and Gaga has shapeshifted past the confines of the outré-pop that outlined her turn-of-the-decade popping out celebration. So it’s been some time since a brand new, totally shaped pop star delivered a wonderfully choreographed, hook-laden, danceable banger as well-executed as Normani did together with her first sans-feature solo single, “Motivation.” The monitor throws again to rhythmic pop of the early 2000s — as does its rapidly viral music video — however by no means will get too distant from Normani’s charisma and management, bringing the type of exact, catchy pop music that outlined the sooner years of the Twenty first century proper to the middle of 2019. — E.F.

26. Blueface, “Thotiana”

Since Blueface first broke via into the hip-hop world, a lot has been made about his tendency to rap off beat, with “Thotiana” usually used as the primary instance of his offense. However to the tune’s supporters, it’s not a flaw a lot as an endearing quirk for the L.A. MC, whose breakout hit dominated a lot of the hip-hop dialog in early 2019. The very fact is, on-beat or not, “Thotiana” was simply one of many catchiest songs of the 12 months, and its irresistible hook was worthy of shaking issues up in a style that has at all times celebrated those that break the principles, anyway. — DAN RYS

25. Katy Perry, “By no means Actually Over”

Anybody who claimed that Katy Perry had misplaced it bought to eat their phrases in 2019, when the star unleashed “By no means Actually Over.” The sugar-sweet pop jam seemed like a long-lost lower off of the 2012 Full Confection version of her Teenage Dream album, full with clear synths, a snare beat worthy of a marching band, and a relentless refrain that actively burrowed its approach into the deepest recesses of your mind. Relating to comebacks, Perry proved as soon as and for all that justbecauseitsoverdoesntmeanitsreallyover. — S.D.

24. Luke Combs, “Beer By no means Broke My Coronary heart”

Life is usually a quagmire of broken-down automobiles, unhealthy bosses, heartbreaking playoff losses, and plain outdated heartbreak. Luke Combs is aware of this all to nicely, and fortunate for us, the affable bar stool bard distilled all of it right down to a country-rock rager in regards to the one factor that by no means let him down. Would Combs make a terrific beer pong accomplice? Most likely, however while you’re out late and life abruptly will get caught in your craw, the second finest pick-me-up has bought to be this Nation Airplay chart-topper booming from the celebration audio system. — C.P.

23. Selena Gomez, “Lose You to Love Me”

When life provides you lemons, flip them right into a No. 1 tune. That’s what Selena Gomez did when she and her dream workforce of co-writers, together with Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter, chronicled what even informal spectators deduced was a mirrored image on the demise of her years-long, on-off relationship with Justin Bieber, within the heart-rending ballad “Lose You To Love Me.” Easy and sparse, the tune begins with Gomez delicately singing, “You promised the world and I fell for it/ I put you first and also you adored it,” over naked piano chords. The tune swells — with strings and layered vocals — however by no means goes for a budget pop explosion, after which it closes as quietly because it started, making it a daring first style of Gomez’s upcoming album, SG2. — C.W.

22. Swae Lee & Submit Malone, “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”

Submit Malone’s triumphant run in 2019 started in late 2018 when he fleshed out the summery bop “Sunflower,” alongside Rae Sremmurd breakout star Swae Lee. The sunkissed single beamed with heat and buoyancy, as Posty and Swae proved to be resilient romantics: Although their lovers are “afraid of the unknown,” each males present ample safety to be security nets of their relationships. The Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack hit went No. 1 on the Scorching 100 in January this 12 months, and in November, was nominated for document of the 12 months and finest pop/duo efficiency for the upcoming Grammys. — C.L.

21. Taylor Swift, “Lover”

On the title monitor for her seventh album, Taylor Swift charms with a easy, unabashedly romantic tune in regards to the timeless love of a dedicated relationship, asking the article of her affection, “Have I recognized you twenty seconds or twenty years?” With its timeless theme and dreamy tempo, “Lover” encapsulates the endearing reminiscences of 1’s final first kiss, and speaks loudest in its whispers and lyrical mastery. At its coronary heart, “Lover” is an unabashedly idealistic ballad, revealing vulnerabilities of the center whereas celebrating the within jokes and mundane moments that make up relationships — as soon as once more demonstrating that when its involves creating artwork from life’s experiences, Taylor Swift is in a category of her personal. — D.B.

20. Mustard & Migos, “Pure Water”

Hit producer and 10 Summers label head Mustard scored his first main hit as a lead artist this 12 months with the primary single from his third album, Excellent Ten. The monitor marked Mustard’s solo return after three years, and his first collaboration with the trio, leading to a enjoyable, melodic West-meets-South membership romp that innovatively melds Mustard’s minimalist, self-described “ratchet music” model with Migos’ signature lure/triplet rhyming expertise. The tongue-in-cheek ode to fame, wealth and the ladies these trappings entice resulted in a double-Platinum-certified hip-hop smash. — G.M.

19. Kacey Musgraves, “Rainbow”

Hear, typically life is difficult. And unhappy. And complicated. And typically you simply want somebody particular to let you know every little thing goes to be okay. This 12 months Kacey Musgraves provided the world this metaphorical hug with “Rainbow,” a sweetly affirmative lullaby about the way you too are good and robust and worthy, even while you really feel like digging a gap within the floor and going to reside there eternally. The closing monitor to her 2018 LP Golden Hour, “Rainbow” was launched as a single in 2019, hitting the Scorching 100 in February, aiding Musgrave’s place as a rustic radio contender, and serving to flip frowns the wrong way up. — Ok.B.

18. Camila Cabello & Shawn Mendes, “Señorita”

Arguably the 12 months’s steamiest tune, the second collaboration by the younger pop star duo is a fantasy romp that conjures up a sweaty and memorable encounter in South Seashore. The mid-tempo Latin monitor is light-weight however a grown-up evolution for each Mendes, a former Vine star, and Cabello, the previous Fifth Concord belter. With eight writers sharing credit score, it will look like it ought to be just a few too many cooks, however they nonetheless conjure a spicy dish: Who can overlook strains like Cabello’s, “You say we’re simply associates, however associates don’t understand how you style”? — A.B.

17. Halsey, “Nightmare”

Halsey has threaded messages of feminine empowerment in her music since her debut, however “Nightmare” discovered the singer teetering on the sting of sanity as she grew extra annoyed with society’s injustices. Ever an unapologetic open guide (she’s beforehand mentioned bouts with endometriosis, miscarriage and assault), she dug deep into her emo roots and reworked that rage into her most biting tune thus far. The video added much more gas, with Halsey angrily spitting into the digital camera, throwing herself into mosh pits and baring her bloodied enamel. To prime it off, feminist rock icon Debbie Harry makes an look, supporting Halsey’s center finger to the patriarchy. — B.G.

16. Billie Eilish, “Bury a Pal”

“Step on the glass, staple your tongue, AAAAaahhh.” These lyrics shouldn’t make sense throughout the context of a pop tune that just about crashed the highest 10 of the Scorching 100 chart, however Billie Eilish spent 2019 refashioning pop into one thing darkish and defiant, and sells the road together with the remainder of the twitchy, macabre “Bury a Pal.” A precursor to the radio crossover that was “Dangerous Man,” “Bury a Pal” laid the blueprint for When We All Fall Asleep, The place Do We Go? forward of its launch — daring perspective, deep bass, conventional tune buildings with some twisted thrives, and Eilish’s voice, rising and falling with a mixture of vulnerability and conviction that made her imaginative and prescient so unshakable all 12 months. “Bury a Pal” was a warning shot to everybody who wasn’t but being attentive to Eilish, and it nonetheless pierces via. — J. Lipshutz

15. HAIM, “Summer time Woman”

The HAIM sisters pour out anxieties and fears in probably the most spontaneous approach in “Summer time Woman,” a tune that was written whereas the siblings have been on tour and vocalist Danielle’s accomplice (and HAIM producer) Ariel Rechtshaid was recognized with testicular most cancers. Carried by a melody that strikes via refined bass chords, an ethereal saxophone and an off-the-cuff drum beat, the tune warmly evokes Lou Reed’s ’70s solo basic “Stroll on the Wild Facet.” Co-produced by former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij (additionally on sax) and Rechtshaid, the somber setting is painted in footage of optimism and discarded cold-weather clothes layers within the Paul Thomas Anderson-directed video, whereas the lyrics confront despair with consolation: “You stroll beside me, not behind me. Really feel my unconditional love…” — PAMELA BUSTIOS

14. Tyler, the Creator, “EARFQUAKE”

Love has really shaken one thing free in Tyler, The Creator. As an artist of many hats and personas, the shapeshifting producer and vocalist reintroduces himself within the IGOR period with the intense, pop-leaning first single “EARFQUAKE” that positions him nearer to the likes of Justin Bieber and Rihanna — who each notably handed on an early lower of the tune — as he pushes additional into the mainstream along with his highest-charting Scorching 100 entry but. Tyler totally commits to the lead singer position, whereas relinquishing rap duties to an equally left-field characteristic from Playboi Carti, however probably the most welcome shock is the sympathetic and honest vulnerability that Tyler usually hides inside his deep cuts. — B.Ok.

13. Maggie Rogers, “Gentle On”

This tune has been described by Maggie Rogers herself as a love letter to her followers, and the mega-hook’s plea (“If you happen to go away the sunshine on/ Then I’ll go away the sunshine on”) actually conveys that message. However the tune’s two verses are the place the emotional weight of this tune packs the most important punch, for his or her universality greater than their specificity. Taken collectively, they inform the story of an individual whose life has modified in a single day, who isn’t positive they’re prepared for what’s about to come back subsequent, who is sort of drowning in self-doubt simply as their household and associates are patting them on the again (“With everybody round me saying/ ‘You ought to be so pleased now’”) earlier than powering via with the assistance of their assist system. It’s a vivid description of a kind of edge-of-a-cliff moments, these occasions when individuals start to grasp the place the phrase “my coronary heart is in my throat” actually comes from. It’s sensible. — D.R.

12. DaBaby, “Suge”

As a career-making hit, “Suge” is pretty unassuming: A beat that’s not rather more than ticking drums and croaking synth-bass, and a refrain whose concept of a giant hook is a “yeah, yeah” interjection. However that’s what separates the true stars within the pop galaxy: They’ll take such rudimentary substances and whip them into one thing spectacular, with out even seeming like they’re actually making an attempt. Such is the planet-sized charisma of DaBaby, and “Suge” is the right illustration of his strengths: He rides a beat like he’s on everlasting cruise management, he advert libs like his unconscious is his personal very excited hype man, he raps sooner than most different rappers and nonetheless sounds calmer than all of them, and when he says “I am going the place I would like,” you’re taking his phrase for it. — A.U.

11. Lana Del Rey, “The Biggest”

Nothing’s hitting the identical nowadays, even for Lana Del Rey. The pioneer of the non-public model trades her pop fantasies for traditional rock nostalgia and mundane on a regular basis routines on this guitar-backed slow-burner. With the tune’s velvety chords and sweeping choruses, it’s solely the cultural references (and phrases like “lit”!) that snap the tune firmly within the now: “The Biggest” isn’t a lot the perfect tune of 2019 because it simply is 2019. Lana concludes with an unnerving verse that references, so as, Hawaii’s current brush with a meteor, the California wildfires, Kanye West, David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” and social media livestreams. The entire thing feels and feels like a dream, nevertheless it’s solely as surreal because the world we’re dwelling in. — T.C.

10. Taylor Swift, “Merciless Summer time”

Did Taylor Swift have Kanye West in thoughts when she determined to name the tune that paperwork the messiness that was her 2016 summer season after his 2012 GOOD Music compilation album?! Unclear — however what’s clear is that Swift had greater than that occurring at the moment anyway, particularly a blossoming romance together with her now-boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, the suspected “unhealthy, unhealthy boy” of the tune. Swift wrote this Lover spotlight with producer Jack Antonoff and Annie Clark (a.ok.a. St. Vincent), and that braintrust managed to raise the synth-pop of 1989 into one thing quirkier and with extra depth, with quite a lot of synthesizers that squiggle and sparkle and wash the entire thing in a dreamy heat. The phrases unspool an ecstatic, determined celebration of a foul choice which may find yourself being one, and the drama is expectedly excessive: “And I scream, ‘For no matter it’s price/ I like you, ain’t that the worst factor you ever heard?’” If you happen to say you’re not excited to scream, “He seems to be up, grinning like a satan,” together with Swift when she sings this reside, test your pulse. — C.W.

9. Ariana Grande, “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored”

A skittering, minimalist monitor about ennui-induced hookups, “Break Up With Your Girlfriend” exemplifies the genius of Ariana Grande’s lyrical method as of late. Whereas less-savvy divas are nonetheless portray dishonest in broad strokes — it’s both cartoonishly seductive or Anna Karenina-level excessive drama — Grande places it alongside every little thing else in our lives: Inside the endless smartphone scroll. Her motivation for inducing infidelity (boredom) is as half-hearted as her tone; like a late-night “u up?” textual content, you don’t get the sense Ari cares a lot how this seems. What issues is the low-key thrill you get from the illicit ask, and the prospect that simply perhaps, this would be the uncommon digital olive department that bears fruit. And if not, nicely, there’s at all times “thank u subsequent” memes to revisit. — J. Lynch

8. Vampire Weekend, “Concord Corridor”

It’s a testomony to the expertise of VW’s Ezra Koenig that he can write a political tune about anti-Semitism within the Trump period — presumably the vandalizing of a Jewish professor’s workplace door with swastikas at Koenig’s alma mater, Columbia College -that’s sunny sufficient to be the soundtrack to a Inns.com industrial. The tune’s acoustic guitar arpeggios, ‘70s disco piano and breezy “ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh, oohs” make it very simple to miss lyrics like, “Anyone with a fearful thoughts might by no means forgive the sight/ Of depraved snakes inside a spot you thought was dignified.” You possibly can say the identical for Creedence’s “Lucky Son,” Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and Springsteen’s “Born in the united statesA.” — transcendent songs that endure and encourage lengthy after the administrations that provoked them have light. — F.D.

7. Submit Malone, “Circles”

To name “Circles” the tune that Submit Malone’s whole profession has been resulting in would in all probability be short-sighted, contemplating the issues he’s already completed with prior hits. Nonetheless, it feels just like the fruits of one thing: his gradual evolution from rap star to pop star, maybe, or perhaps extra simply his shedding of the trimmings of any particular style or period in favor of simple songwriting that might work, with a pair tweaks, in nearly any format at any time. That’s “Circles,” actually: With its bouncy, melancholy melody, its mild acoustic groove and its obligatory singalong refrain, it reminds of about eight totally different pop/rock moments without delay, and but doesn’t actually have all that a lot in frequent with any certainly one of ’em. It’s a scary time to not be a Submit Malone fan: He’s already conquered the rap and pop charts, and now he’s coming for rock, grownup modern and even dance — nation’s about all that’s left, and you’ll guess that’s on the way in which. Excellent news is: Due to songs like “Circles,” the ranks of Submit Malone haters are dwindling by the day. — A.U.

6. 21 Savage feat. J. Cole, “A Lot”

Main off his second solo album I Am > I Was — boldly launched on the tail-end of 2018 — Atlanta rapper 21 Savage makes use of “A Lot” to cap one 12 months and set the stage for the subsequent, with an all-encompassing imaginative and prescient that operates like a Hip-Hop State of the Union deal with. Whereas Savage measures simply how a lot he’s endured and the way far he’s come, the unbeatable visitor verse ringer J. Cole speaks straight on the doubtful machinations of the music trade, the justice system, media spin and his personal place within the bigger narrative. The soul-sampled slow-burner isn’t often primed to make a run up the charts, and but the No. 12 peak for “A Lot” on the Scorching 100 proved that there was a thirst for the heady, sincere lyricism that offers the tune its timeless enchantment.

The tune discovered new which means in February when the visible dropped with an extra verse, which included the road “Been via some issues, however I couldn’t think about my youngsters caught on the border.” It was a passing shot on the controversial immigration coverage that suspiciously preceded Savage’s personal arrest and detainment for dwelling within the US on an expired British visa. Now a galvanizing anthem that elicits an unblinking resolve towards opposing circumstances, “A Lot” could very nicely endure as 21 Savage’s defining second. — B.Ok.

5. Rosalía feat. J Balvin & El Guincho, “Con Altura”

In late March, Spanish singer Rosalía dropped the impossibly catchy “Con Altura” in collaboration with J Balvin and El Guincho. The contemporary single, launched after her breakthrough 2018 set El Mal Querer, pays tribute to old-school reggaetón, fusing trendy flamenco and Center Jap sounds. Including her personal modern twist and fierce flamenco-pop dance strikes, Rosalía demonstrates her admiration and respect for the Latin city style. “Con Altura” peaked at No. 12 on the Scorching Latin Songs chart in June, and its fabulous-party-in-a private-jet music video, filmed by Director X, entered YouTube’s Billion View Membership in October — placing the highlight on the worldwide enchantment of “Con Altura” in 2019. — J.R.

4. Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus, “Outdated City Street” (Remix)

The unique model of Lil Nas X’s “Outdated City Street” actually didn’t stumble out of the gates, even topping the Scorching 100 in its solo incarnation. However man, did it gallop previous the competitors a plot-thickening Billy Ray Cyrus remix later. Few songs in current reminiscence have achieved such cultural ubiquity — or impressed as many highly-anticipated remixes — because the nation lure, 9 Inch Nails-sampling powerhouse. Main festivals and scholar assemblies alike grew to become pure pandemonium upon shock Lil Nas X arrivals. The accolades got here pouring in, too: along with breaking the all-time document for weeks atop the Scorching 100, he picked up six Grammy nominations, together with a nod for document of the 12 months. In a 12 months stuffed with genre-bending hits and breakout stars, Lil Nas X could be the chief of the pack for each. — J.G.

3. Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”

After greater than a six-year hiatus, there have been questions if the Jonas Brothers would ever truly reunite once more. The celebrity trio took a protracted break to get a style of solo fame (Nick), discover funky new genres (Joe’s spunky pop group DNCE) and deal with fatherhood (Kevin). However a eager for their stage dynamic and a must restore their bond sparked a pseudo-Future Fulfilled second, the place the three members all took the person strengths they’ve discovered over the half-decade to come back again even stronger. And boy did they return with a bang.

Dotted with yummy falsettos and that sensible staccato pre-chorus, “Sucker” is a dangerously catchy ode from the Brothers to their beloved main girls. As soon as the only landed, it didn’t take lengthy for the JoBros to stumble out of bars and onto the Scorching 100 for his or her first-ever No. 1 smash — whereas concurrently turning into the primary boy band to safe that place since B2K in 2003, albeit now in a way more grownup mode. “They’ve had superstar,” Monte Lipman, founder/CEO of Republic Information, beforehand instructed Billboard. “However what’s occurring on this chapter of their profession is the credibility within the music house.” — B.G.

2. Lizzo, “Reality Hurts”

At a time when feminine artists are extra outspoken than ever, Lizzo lastly bought her time to shine after talking her thoughts for years — and “Reality Hurts” is the epitome of that. Although it was launched in 2017, the monitor match completely into at present’s panorama, as its intelligent, empowered lyrics additionally allowed for a number of the most meme-able strains of 2019, notably its daring first verse: “I simply took a DNA take a look at, seems I’m 100% that b-ch” was utilized in a preferred meme on TikTok in April, and that was the tipping level for the world to understand that “Reality Hurts” was a phenomenon ready to occur.

However the tune rapidly grew to become a lot greater than a 30-second viral clip, serving as a belt-along anthem for anybody who’s had relationship points — or, who merely needs to really feel like a “unhealthy b-ch.” Lizzo’s hyper-confident (and infectious) character each within the tune and in actual life helped carry “Reality Hurts” to the highest of the Billboard Scorching 100 for seven weeks, solidifying her place as certainly one of music’s brightest new stars. And the trade agrees: Not solely did “Reality Hurts” obtain tune and document of the 12 months nominations for the 2020 Grammys, Lizzo is subsequent 12 months’s most-nominated artist. — T.W.

1. Billie Eilish, “Dangerous Man”

In 2019, Billie Eilish grew from hotly hyped alt-radio weirdo to pop’s final tastemaker. She launched her debut album, just about broke Coachella, unseated the longest-running No. 1 in Scorching 100 historical past, earned Grammy noms in every of the Massive 4 classes, then noticed her album prime the year-end Billboard 200. Every week from at present, Billie Eilish turns 18.

Main label advertising and marketing and a savvy administration workforce have been instrumental, however the home-schooled Los Angeleno wouldn’t have assumed her undisputed King of the Teenagers standing with out an uncanny connection to younger individuals. The proliferation of her dishevelled, adrogynous ensembles and sk8er swag (woman or boi, who cares) converse for that, however even the tune that launched her to superstardom this 12 months was birthed from extraordinary teenage time passing. Eilish first composed “Dangerous Man” — particularly the interlude that might develop into its ghostly 40-second outro — two years in the past whereas tinkering alone in her bed room, audio system balanced precariously on some open shelf house.

Even the ultimate model is hardly Prime 40-friendly: the beat is skeletal and spooky, the lyrics are half-whispered, and Eilish and her co-writer/producer brother Finneas didn’t even hassle to place vocals on the catchiest a part of the tune. When she does sing, she tip-toes across the admittedly taboo “unhealthy man” persona; “It’s a bizarre factor to listen to popping out of a woman’s mouth she instructed Billboard. “In any film or youngsters’s guide, there’s at all times a foul man. Even when it’s a woman, the title is the unhealthy man. I wanna be that.”

In summing up the enchantment of “Dangerous Man,” nobody places it higher than Eilish’s muse, Michael Scott: “Would I relatively be feared or liked? Straightforward. Each. I would like individuals to be afraid of how a lot they love me.” — C.P.

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