Billboard Radio Songs top ten hits of 2020

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i always enjoy the customary end-of-year poll of billboard #1 hit singles but unfortunately this year an alarmingly high proportion of the #1s on the singles chart weren't actually major hits (or hits at all), or were gimmicky last-minute remixes released for the sole purpose of boosting an already-established single's peak position, etc... not that any of that is *new*, really, but without a doubt it was more prevalent than ever this year, which i guess might cause some worry to billboard if they have any remaining interest in protecting the prestige of their flagship chart's top position.

anyway. this will do instead. what's your fav?

as i've mentioned elsewhere, the number of titles reaching the top 10 of this chart -- the airplay component of the hot 100 -- is awfully low this year, at 35. while that's up slightly from 31 last year, in 2017 and earlier that number would usually be around 45. but at least they're all hits! (...except "yummy," which plummeted down the chart as quickly as it arrived)

Poll Results

Dua Lipa - Don't Start Now 9
Roddy Ricch - The Box 5
Billie Eilish - Everything I Wanted 5
Megan Thee Stallion (ft. Beyoncé) - Savage 3
Dua Lipa ft. DaBaby - Levitating 2
Ariana Grande - Positions 2
Dua Lipa - Break My Heart 2
Doja Cat - Say So 2
Lil Mosey - Blueberry Faygo 1
The Weeknd - Blinding Lights 1
Blackbear - Hot Girl Bummer 1
BTS - Dynamite 1
Gabby Barrett (ft. Charlie Puth) - I Hope 0
Jawsh 685 & Jason Derulo - Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat) 0
Chris Brown & Young Thug - Go Crazy 0
Drake ft. Lil Durk - Laugh Now Cry Later 0
24kGoldn ft. Iann Dior - Mood 0
Surf Mesa ft. Emilee - ILY 0
Ava Max - Kings & Queens 0
Justin Bieber ft. Chance The Rapper - Holy 0
Arizona Zervas - Roxanne 0
AJR - Bang! 0
Harry Styles - Adore You 0
Lewis Capaldi - Before You Go 0
Camila Cabello ft. DaBaby - My Oh My 0
Justin Bieber ft. Quavo - Intentions 0
Drake - Toosie Slide 0
Maren Morris - The Bones 0
Roddy Ricch ft. Mustard - High Fashion 0
Trevor Daniel - Falling 0
The Weeknd - Heartless 0
DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch - Rockstar 0
SAINt JHN - Roses 0
Harry Styles - Watermelon Sugar 0
Justin Bieber - Yummy 0

dyl, Wednesday, 23 December 2020 08:10 (four months ago) link

(not that it matters much, but i listed a song's featured artist in parentheses if the solo version also got a lot of airplay. i also heard the future remix of "roses" on rap stations quite a bit, but nowhere near as much as the imanbek mix that the pop stations were playing.)

dyl, Wednesday, 23 December 2020 08:11 (four months ago) link

other big airplay hits that missed the chart's top 10:

Future ft. Drake - Life Is Good
The Black Eyes Peas & J Balvin - Ritmo (Bad Boys For Life)
Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande - Rain On Me
Jack Harlow (ft. DaBaby, Tory Lanez & Lil Wayne) - Whats Poppin
JP Saxe ft. Julia Michaels - If The World Was Ending
Kane Brown, Swae Lee & Khalid - Be Like That

for the pop ones here, they simply didn't get converted to power rotation at enough stations to go the full distance. the rap songs, meanwhile, were huge at black and crossover radio but didn't garner enough support at pop radio until it was too late

dyl, Wednesday, 23 December 2020 08:16 (four months ago) link

"don't start now" wins startlingly easily here

ufo, Wednesday, 23 December 2020 10:46 (four months ago) link

the box

Get Me Bodied (Extended Mix), Wednesday, 23 December 2020 11:59 (four months ago) link

"Don't Start Now", "The Box", "Everything I Wanted", "Rockstar", and "Savage" are the ones I either have voted for or may vote for in the year end polls. Going Billie.

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Wednesday, 23 December 2020 13:19 (four months ago) link

The worst is "Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat)"

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Wednesday, 23 December 2020 13:19 (four months ago) link

prefer that one to the 3 minutes of nothing that is “Roses (Imanbek Remix)”

obsessed with quality over quantity or the need to produce tracks (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 23 December 2020 14:16 (four months ago) link

"Don't Start Now", "The Box” and “Everything I Wanted" my faves as well.

obsessed with quality over quantity or the need to produce tracks (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 23 December 2020 14:20 (four months ago) link

"Blinding Lights" over "Don't Start Now."

"Tootsie Slide" and "Yummy" are probably the two worst new songs I heard this year.

Langdon Alger Stole the Highlights (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 23 December 2020 17:01 (four months ago) link

"The Box" never got dull.

BITCH DON'T WEAR NO SHOES IN MAH HOUSE got unexpectedly poignant when COVID hit.

Patriotic Goiter (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 23 December 2020 20:25 (four months ago) link

i voted for "blueberry faygo" bcuz i'm sure no one else will vote for it... best beat of the year to me, always hit me like a ray of sunshine. never got tired of hearing it. i prob would've gone w/ "blinding lights" otherwise, platonic ideal of a weeknd single at this point, just think he hit it out of the park w/ that one. one of the only classic sounding pop singles of the year i think.

some other ones i liked this year: the bones (this song feels so old to me lol but i love it every time), say so, high fashion, savage (megan) rmx, surf mesa ILY, mood

i never get mad at hearing the dua lipa singles but i'm trying to work out why it all leaves me a bit cold at this point. there's something so formalist about it i guess -- "break my heart" is my fav of these three. "don't start now" has always kinda felt like a dud to me, those strings rot my teeth and it's so overtly retro for where she is in her career. just could never shake the corniness. adding da baby to "levitating" is at once kinda predictable but also inspired, i did kinda fuck w/ that

aside from the obvious dreck that has already been called out itt i'm gonna give a special shoutout to the justin bieber singles for being deeply annoying & conceptually bankrupt on the front end (yummy/intentions) and utterly tuneless and unmemorable on the back end (holy + the benny blanco one that didn't make this list). the purpose era feels so far away

these harry styles songs didn't do anything for me either. he's boring to me as both a musician and celebrity, i just can't get into it at all. just feels like we're all going thru the motions w/ him but there's nothing fresh at all about the music or really the image either. i thought the niall horan album from this year was miles better.

"laugh now cry later" sorta grew on me but there's been many many better drake singles to me, "toosie slide" was a complete wash. obv he isn't going anywhere so hoping 2021 brings some better music from him

also got pretty tired of the gabby barrett song for being a seam-showing knock off of "before he cheats". and the BTS song... it was in some random ubiquitous car commercial this year and felt right at home in that context. as a standalone song i found it insultingly cynical even w/in the parameters of purely commercially driven pop music

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 23 December 2020 23:26 (four months ago) link

I’ve heard like four of these but probably “blinding lights”, that actually kinda knocks

k3vin k., Wednesday, 23 December 2020 23:34 (four months ago) link

voted for the Savage remix

winters (josh), Wednesday, 23 December 2020 23:35 (four months ago) link

Wait, was WAP not a #1?

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 23 December 2020 23:47 (four months ago) link

WAP was a #1 but (for obvious reasons) it never got much radio airplay. This is strictly a radio airplay chart.

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Wednesday, 23 December 2020 23:55 (four months ago) link

BTS breaking through in the west was the worst thing that ever happened to them

ufo, Wednesday, 23 December 2020 23:56 (four months ago) link

"wap" was definitely the biggest hit of the year not to get major airplay. it wasn't like a total dud on the radio or anything but yeah its exposure was pretty limited compared to what a smash it was otherwise. half the time i heard it on the radio i could barely get past how bad the edit sounded

the box
everything i wanted
blueberry faygo
high fashion

least favs:
hot girl bummer
before you go

dyl, Thursday, 24 December 2020 05:26 (four months ago) link

the worst individual lyric was probably the one in "intentions" that includes 'equity' and 'asset'... like gosh, how charming. beyond that the song is sort of bad but easy enough to ignore

dyl, Thursday, 24 December 2020 05:33 (four months ago) link

i don't understand how an "alternative pop" format with broader playlists haven't emerged yet.

billstevejim, Thursday, 24 December 2020 07:43 (four months ago) link

woke up with “Savage Love” in my head from just thinking about it yesterday, that’s how catchy it is. so I decided to play it, and while it’s sort of okay for maybe a minute, it becomes pretty much unbearable very quickly after that.
a song that should have stayed on TikTok I guess.

obsessed with quality over quantity or the need to produce tracks (breastcrawl), Thursday, 24 December 2020 09:06 (four months ago) link

the siren synth is just unbearable to me, and the lyrics are worse

la table sur la table (voodoo chili), Thursday, 24 December 2020 13:04 (four months ago) link

surprised that the dababy version of “levitating o is the one that got all the radio play?

gonna vote for one of the roddy songs, likely “high fashion” even tho i prefer “the box,” and prefer “ballin” to both. “high fashion” is great, but mostly because it sounds like “ballin”

la table sur la table (voodoo chili), Thursday, 24 December 2020 13:06 (four months ago) link

i guess there might have been some stations that elected to play the original version of "levitating," but i personally never heard it on the air. there's nothing remotely alienating about his verse even for the relatively rap-averse and he had just recently had one of pop radio's biggest hits with "rockstar"

i don't understand how an "alternative pop" format with broader playlists haven't emerged yet.

most current-based american formats are basically bleeding younger listeners at this point and i think they've just about given up on trying to retain that segment of the audience, w/ so much of their time spent listening having been ceded to the streaming services. i think i would like something like what you describe to emerge but i don't know how likely any fm station would be to actually give it a real shot

dyl, Friday, 25 December 2020 04:02 (four months ago) link

"Look--except for a few years, and they were mostly in the mid-50s and mid-60s for AM, and in the late '70s for college FM, the state of radio has always been the worst in history." (Greil Marcus)

I know this is not the right thread for this; there's a thread somewhere for Top 40 hits that appall you, but I searched for it a couple of weeks ago and couldn't find it. I wanted to say how excruciating the playlist was at this one local Top 40 station that played the same 10-15 songs over and over as I sat and drank coffee and tried to read the past couple of months. I always have to get song titles now by straining to hear a lyric and googling it. Two of the songs were "Watermelon Sugar" and "Before You Go." I hate those two songs so, so much. I'm sure there are at least one or two others I've been trying to identify on that list.

clemenza, Friday, 25 December 2020 04:34 (four months ago) link

i think a good number of stations barely played anything this year that *wasn't* on this list. judging by how long things stuck around on the airplay charts, if your city's top 40 wasn't terrified of dropping "blinding lights," "don't stop now," "adore you," and post malone's "circles" from power rotation for months on end, it was one of the outliers. pretty sad, really

dyl, Friday, 25 December 2020 05:47 (four months ago) link

i don't understand how an "alternative pop" format with broader playlists haven't emerged yet.

― billstevejim, Thursday, December 24, 2020 1:43 AM (twenty-two hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

This is a really good idea.

jaymc, Friday, 25 December 2020 05:53 (four months ago) link

levitating #1. box #2

Spottie, Friday, 25 December 2020 08:21 (four months ago) link

Want to vote “Intentions” because “Get the ring just like Toronto” is such a hilariously bad lyric. But the best song here is “Don’t Start Now” pretty easily.

Mr. Snrub, Friday, 25 December 2020 09:08 (four months ago) link

I’ve only heard two of these songs (Megan and DaBaby)

real muthaphuckkin jeez (crüt), Friday, 25 December 2020 13:57 (four months ago) link

there's also this UK charts-based poll (courtesy of Camaraderie at Arms Length) for your consideration:

Top Five Hits in the UK 2020

(it's on ILE, so many of you might have missed it. your chance to vote for your favourite AJ Tracey track!)

Went with Don't Start Now over Blinding Lights. The Dua Lipa, Weeknd, and Doja Cat songs were the only things I had heard before on this list. I haven't been much of a radio listener this year and just know those because they got a lot of rotation at the skating rink.

Giving a second listen-through now to see if anything else sticks. Hot Girl Bummer is pretty fucking funny.

peace, man, Wednesday, 30 December 2020 13:33 (four months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 31 December 2020 00:01 (four months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 1 January 2021 00:01 (four months ago) link

i was going to feel embarrassed for calling it "don't stop now" upthread but now that it's won the poll i won't

ironically i corrected someone making the same mistake earlier this year (irl not here)

dyl, Friday, 1 January 2021 04:26 (four months ago) link

which of y’all jokesters voted for blackbear?

shabbat bloody shabbat (voodoo chili), Friday, 1 January 2021 05:21 (four months ago) link

lol "hot girl bummer" and "dynamite" getting as many votes as "blinding lights" and "blueberry faygo" ;_;

dyl, Friday, 1 January 2021 08:02 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

Follow-up to a post of mine from just above, where I was trying to identify a few 2020 hits I hated. Identified another one that I've been hearing for months--it's Canadian, though, it didn't chart in the States (some previous singles of his did): Felix Cartal's "Mine."

clemenza, Saturday, 20 February 2021 14:10 (two months ago) link

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