2016 brought us a lot of new music from acts like Rihanna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and even The Weeknd. Justin Bieber started his musical comeback in 2015, but he definitely cemented it in 2016. Bieber has both the No. 1 and No. 2 hits of 2016 according to Billboard.
Let’s take a closer look at the five biggest hits of 2016.
5. 21 Pilots, “Stressed Out”
“Stressed Out,” taken from the 21 Pilots’ album Blurryface was actually released in April of 2015 but took several months to break through, eventually becoming the biggest sleeper hit of 2015/2016. It eventually reached No. 2 on Billboard‘s Hot 100.
As Songfacts notes, this top hit of 2016 is about the longing for childhood when one deals with the pressure of adulthood. “Stressed Out” has received 2017 Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
4. Rihanna( ft. Drake), “Work”
Rihanna’s album Anti got off to a bad start, with many predicting it would be a flop. However, once she released “Work” with Drake, the album became a solid hit. “Work” hit No. 1 in early March of this year and stayed in the position for nine weeks.
Alex Petridis of the Guardian named “Work” as his favorite track of 2016.
“‘Work’ was off-kilter, lacked a big chorus and weaved in a dubious 80s ballad. It also clicked perfectly, a song that captured two era-defining artists and one all the more infectious for its rule-defying restraint.”
Many news outlets said that Drake and Rihanna started dating again after “Work” became such a huge hit. Those same sources now claim that the musical couple is no longer an item.
3. Drake (ft. Wizkid & Kyla), “One Dance”
Taken from his megahit album Views, “One Dance” spent a total of 10 weeks on top of the Billboard‘s Hot 100. The magazine called this top 2016 hit the “no. 1 song of the summer.”
“The collab crowns Billboard‘s annual Songs of the Summer chart, which tracks the most popular hits based on cumulative performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart from Memorial Day through Labor Day,” said columnist Gary Trust, comparing the hit’s summertime success to that of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” and Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” from past years.
In even better news for Drake, NME claims that “One Dance” is the first song ever to top one billion streams on Spotify.
2. Justin Bieber, “Sorry”
Since the Summer of 2015, Justin Bieber has been on fire. “Sorry,” the second hit single from his No. 1 album Purpose spent three weeks at No. 1. Spin compared this top 2016 hit to many classic Motown songs.
“Like any number of classic Motown songs, ‘Sorry’ understands that take-me-back songs are always more persuasive when they sound like fun you’re missing out on, and the song’s euphoric drop is a better second-chance argument than any the singer could present himself.”
1. Justin Bieber, “Love Yourself”
Justin Bieber had a lot of big hits in 2015 and 2016, but “Love Yourself,” which spent two weeks at No. 1, was his biggest. It wasn’t his longest-running No. 1 hit, but “Love Yourself” spent so many weeks at No. 2 and other positions in the top ten that it earned more chart points than his (or anybody else’s) other top hits in the 2016 chart year.
According to Songfacts, this hit Ed Sheeran collaboration was one of Bieber’s favorites because it goes back to his roots when he would just sing songs on the street with a guitar. Bieber also said this 2016 hit was about a past experience with a girlfriend, but he didn’t want to name which one.
Some of the other top hits of 2016 include “Panda,” by Desiigner (No. 6); “Hello,” by Adele (No. 7); “Don’t Let Me Down,” by the Chainsmokers (No. 8); “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake (No. 9); and “Closer,” by the Chainsmokers (No. 10). What were some of your favorite hits of 2016? Let us know in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Lionel Cironneau/AP Images]