I n a sea of songs, it can be hard to pick the ones that float to the top. They might be the ones that rise to the top of the charts, or the ones inspiring think pieces and late-night conversations. But no matter what, they reflect our cultural moment. More explicit social commentary has a place here, in the form of thoughtful hip-hop from the likes of JAY-Z and Frank Ocean. And there are a few surprises—like an unassuming Oldies-style hit from a low-key rock outfit , and a song that speaks to a feminist moment in the form of purest pop gold from a bold voice on the rise.
If albums had something of a soft landing on the pop landscape in , then songs more than picked up the headline-grabbing slack. The Man and Sam Hunt did so domestically. And even with all this, it was still a year where the very best singles might not have been the very biggest. Lady Gaga, "The Cure". Following her rootsy, personal Joanne LP, "The Cure" comes across like Gaga's concession to radio's now waning love affair with trop-pop. Even so, the track is unmistakable Stefani Germanotta, from the smoky coo on the verses hello, jazz chanteuse Gaga to the full-throated, mountain-top-tickling bellow that announces the chorus. The Killers, "The Man". In , we welcomed back synth-rock veterans The Killers with open arms.
It wasn't all bad news for big names this year, though, with some pros releasing excellent work that cemented their place at the top of their respective genres, like Kendrick Lamar with his outstanding DAMN singles, and DJ Khaled with the playground exuberance of his posse cuts. Then, we ranked them, starting with the year's most disappointing best-sellers, and working our way through the list to determine 's defining singles. Below, see our ranking of the 50 biggest songs of , ordered from worst to best. Swang , Rae Sremmurd Sales rank: No. Believer , Imagine Dragons Sales rank. Perfect , Ed Sheeran Sales rank: No. Slippery , Migos Sales rank: No. Magnolia , Playboi Carti Sales rank: No.
The Billboard Hot is a chart that ranks the best-performing singles of the United States. Its data, published by Billboard magazine and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan , is based collectively on each single's weekly physical and digital sales, as well as airplay and streaming. At the end of a year, Billboard will publish an annual list of the most successful songs throughout that year on the Hot chart based on the information. For , the list was published on December 11, calculated with data from December 3, to November 25,