Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Top 10 Most Popular Songs of 2013

The top 10 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 for the week ending in December 28th have been released just now, and that means my year long project of keeping track of the top songs of the year has been complete. Thus it is time to release that list to the public. Note, this is not a list of my personal favorite songs of the year, that list will come later, but rather it's the most popular songs of the year according to the general public here in the United States. My formula for determining this is simple and thus not perfect, but it works. So here we go!

10- "Wake Me Up!" -- Avicii

The genre of electronica has become increasing popular, with many top artists turning that direction at least a little bit in their music. A lot of electronic music topped the billboard charts this year, but out of all of them, Avicii takes the crown with the top electronic song of the year. The uncredited Aloe Blacc provides the lyrics, and Avicii's mix of electronica and folk music in the song helped spread it out to more audiences than just fans of electronica.

9- "Radioactive" -- Imagine Dragons

Last year was a huge breakout year for the Provo band Imagine Dragons as their album Night Visions viraled out of control. The first single from that album, It's Time, didn't quite crack the Top 10 last year, but followup single Radioactive certainly did. In fact, Radioactive has become one of the biggest rock songs ever, setting a record for most weeks on top of the rock charts. It never hit number 1 on the Hot 100, but it spent 20 weeks in the top 10, and at this current time has been on the Hot 100 for nearly 70 weeks, which means it's only a few weeks away from breaking the all-time record for time spent on that chart.

8- "When I was Your Man" -- Bruno Mars

Bruno actually had a hit this year in Locked Out of Heaven that was bigger than When I was Your Man. That single is currently in the top 15 when it comes to the songs of the decade. Unfortunately for Bruno, it split it's run between the end of last year and the beginning of this year, so it has shown up in neither end-of-the-year list. Instead When I was Your Man gets to represent Bruno in this 2013 list. It had a good run towards the top of the charts, with one of those weeks being at number one.

7- "Just Give Me a Reason" -- P!nk featuring Nate Ruess

Taking advantage of Nate Ruess' vocals turned out to be a great choice for P!nk in this duet, as Nate is coming off of huge success as lead singer of the band fun. This duet hit chords with audiences earlier this year as it ruled the billboards for three weeks, and has earned P!ink a Grammy nomination for best song.

6- "Wrecking Ball" -- Miley Cyrus 

Miley shocked audiences this year several times as she has set out to shed her good girl "Hannah Montana" persona. Dancing almost naked with Robin Thicke, who is both married and almost old enough to be her father, definitely did the trick. Not finished with her antics, she decided to go completely nude in her music video for her single Wrecking Ball. These combined have given her a lot of bad press. However, in some instances, bad press can turn into good press when it comes to success, and that seems to have been the case as Wrecking Ball has flown high as one of the top songs of the year.

5- "Roar" -- Katy Perry

Back in August, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga both released their debut singles for their upcoming albums on the same day. It was a cat fight that Perry won out on, as Roar has continued Katy's successes from her previous album. Also, their was a mild controversy as concerning Roar having copied Sara Bareilles' single Brave. Being that Roar was written before Brave was released, this seems to have not been the case. Sara Bareilles has definitely not been complaining as the controversy boosted sales for her song quite a bit, and it has sure to have done the same for Roar, so the situation is a win/win for both parties.

4- "Can't Hold Us" -- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton

It's been a huge year for Macklemore as the rapper has seen his first two singles both reign as the king of the Billboard, which is something not many have been able to pull off. It helps that he has been able to please audiences from both the rap crowds and the pop crowds. His successes have gain him several Grammy nominations, including best song, best album, and best new artist. Can't Hold Us is the lesser of his two successes, but not by a whole lot.

3- "Thrift Shop" -- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz

Continuing on Macklemore, Thrift Shop was the top song of the year for quite some time. Although in terms of Billboard success, it did get shortchanged a bit as in the midst of its rein at the top, Billboard changed their formula to include YouTube views. The made it so YouTube phenomenon Harlem Shake reigned at top for five weeks before Macklemore took back the title. Had this change not happened, Macklemore may have reigned for 11 weeks at number one instead of the six weeks that it did. This wouldn't been enough to garner it the top spot, but it would've been a close second.

2- "Royals" -- Lorde

Speaking of breakout artists, 16-year-old Ella Yelich-O'Connor of New Zealand, known by her stage name of Lorde, has had a huge year. While most 16-year-old girls are busy with high school and homework, Lorde has been busy writing music and has seen herself become one of the biggest artists in the world just in time for her 17th birthday. Impressive. Royals enjoyed the year's second longest run at number one, and is also tied for third longest run of the decade. The song isn't done with it's top 10 reign quite yet, which means it has still plenty of room to climb on the decade list. As the song is beginning to fade out, Lorde's second single Team is on the rise, so Lorde's success is far from finished.

1- "Blurred Lines" -- Robin Thicke featuring TI and Pharrell

In talking about controversy, Robin Thicke has definitely been no stranger to the concept, as he has ridden that the whole year long. He started by introducing his music video to the world wherein he, TI, and Pharrell danced around with completely naked girls (an edited version of the music video was also done where the girls had some coverings). Then of course there is the subject matter of the song that, while very catchy, is also quite a bit sketchy. Those two aspects helped Thicke cruise to one of the best Hot 100 runs in history, and currently the best of the decade so far. After leading as king for the whole summer, he had the previously mentioned stint with Miley Cyrus at the VMA's which turned a lot of heads. To top it all off, while Sara and Katy may be besties after the Roar/Brave controversy, Marvin Gaye's family is certainly angry at Robin Thicke and have decided to sue Thicke for illegally copying Gaye's Got to Give it Up, as they claim. And that ladies and gentlemen, is your song of the year. Moral of the story? Sparking controversy leads to fame and fortune in the music industry? You decide.

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