As 2017 comes to a close, it is time to round-up the best moments of the year. When it comes to pop culture, there is never a dull moment. And when it comes to music, thankfully, there is never a day we’ll go without hearing one of our favorite tunes. If you’ve turned on the radio even just once this year, chances are you heard half of these songs in one go.
It feels like during summer 2017, you couldn’t listen to the radio without hearing “Despacito” or “Shape of You” every five minutes. 2017 was a big year for music, with mega-musicians who’d been taking a break making a comeback and other pop stars popping up in just about every other artist’s hot tracks. And while some hyped-up tracks weren’t that good this year, others were absolute bangers. Here are the top 20 biggest songs of 2017. One can only hope that 2018 has just as many certified bops.
20. “Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran
Honestly, there is no way you didn’t hear this song. It was Ed Sheeran’s first song released off of his album Divide and it has not stopped playing on the radio (daily) since January. The song debuted at number one on the charts in 44 countries, including the US Billboard Hot 100. It has stayed at number one for a record-tying 16 consecutive weeks on the Canadian Hot 100. Is it his best song off of Divide? Certainly not, but the pop track was exactly what we needed to start 2017 off right. His other songs “Castle on the Hill” and “Perfect” are also chart-toppers, but there is nothing quite like the success of “Shape of You.”
19. “Despacito (Remix)” – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber
Now, before there was the Justin Bieber remix, this Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit was still a huge success. It got the Latin Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Urban Fusion/Performance, and Best Short Form Music Video. The music video for “Despacito” is the first video to reach four billion views on YouTube. The song blew up on the airwaves in the U.S. after JB was added to the song for “Despacito (Remix)” and the Biebs even sings in Spanish for the song! (Mind you, it seemed he could never remember the Spanish parts after he’d recorded the track, but still.) According to Luis Fonsi, JB wanted to record the remix after seeing how people reacted to “Despacito” in a Colombian club. By the end of summer it was way overplayed, but when it came out it was an absolute jam!
18. “Something Just Like This” – The Chainsmokers feat. Coldplay
While this song doesn’t have half as many streams at their 2016 megahit “Closer,” The Chainsmokers are still holding on strong. In February 2017, the band announced they were doing a collaborative song with Coldplay. “Something Just Like This” was released simultaneously with The Chainsmokers’ performance with Coldplay at the BRIT Awards. There is no official music video for the track, but the lyric video broke the record for most views in one day with nine million views. Not too shabby, eh?
17. “I’m the One” – DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Quavo, Lil Wayne
Anotha one! For Justin Bieber, that is. “I’m The One” is packed to the brim full of rappers, JB, and We The Best mogul, DJ Khaled. JB didn’t even put out an album in 2017 (or 2016 for that matter) but it doesn’t mean we didn’t hear his voice all year. In fact, it felt like we heard him more than ever! In classic DJ Khaled fashion, he put together the song though he doesn’t actually sing on the track. He promoted the song heavily on his Instagram by posting photos from the video. Apparently, Quavo recorded his part in five minutes after he listened to the instrumentals. We’ve also got Chance The Rapper and Lil Wayne contributing to the song — so no wonder it was a mega-hit.
16. “HUMBLE.” – Kendrick Lamar
After making it to number one of Billboard Hot 100, “HUMBLE.” became Kendrick Lamar’s first number one as a lead artist and his highest-charting song ever. The song is currently nominated for four Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Song, Best Music Video, and Record of the Year. Though “HUMBLE.” was released in March, it could be heard all summer long and was used in popular media, including the commercial the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Random. The beat for the song was created by Mike Will Made-It and he intended to work with Gucci Mane for the song, but fate came into play and Kendrick ended up rapping on the beat.
15. “Bad Liar” – Selena Gomez
When Selena Released “Bad Liar,” it was an obvious departure from most of her earlier work. It was critically acclaimed, with many calling it her best track yet. (It’s certainly her best music video.) As a pop artist, people were happy to see a song from Selena that still fit in the genre but also felt original, daring, and new. The m.v. was released in June 2017 and featured Selena Gomez playing multiple characters. Complicated, but the ‘70s theme and subtle pop undertones made it pretty iconic.
14. “Bodak Yellow” – Cardi B
2017 was definitely the year of Cardi B. If you didn’t know who she was in 2016, you sure as hell do now!
“Bodak Yellow” was basically a free advertisement for Christian Louboutin, with her constant references to “red bottoms” and “bloody shoes.” The song topped the charts for three weeks, making her the fifth female rapper to do so, and the second to have it happen for a solo output, after Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing).” The song also got Cardi B her first two Grammy nominations, for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. It’s just the beginning for this one.
13. “Bad and Boujee” – Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert
Now, moving over to Cardi B’s beau Offset, Migos also had a great 2017. They released their hit “Bad and Boujee” in October 2016, but it became an internet sensation in December 2016. The generation of memes that were spawned by the lyrics “raindrop, drop top” were insurmountable. It led to the song’s mega success bleeding into 2017 and it helped it remain a hit track throughout the year. Donald Glover gave Migos a shout out at the 2017 Golden Globes during his acceptance speech for his work on Atlanta. This then led the song to peak at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 for the week of January 21, 2017.
12. “Mi Gente” – J Balvin and Willy William
This reggaeton hit from J Balvin and Willy William was one of the hit songs of summer 2017. The original song hit number two on Hot Latin Songs chart and number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100. In a similar fashion to “Despacito,” this song got a remix with a singer that is popular in the U.S. charts. A remix featuring Beyoncé was released in September 2017 and knocked “Despacito” off the top after 35 weeks to take the number one spot on the Hot Latin Songs chart.
11. “Havana” – Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug
Look at Camila Cabello go! There might be some bad blood between her and her former members of Fifth Harmony, but her solo career is doing very well. The song was released as a single for her debut single album, Camila and people were OBSESSED. “Havana” is a mid-tempo track that showcases Camila embracing her Cuban roots. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. With so much success so early in her solo career, we’ll surely see a lot more like this from her. Her newest song “Never Be the Same” has been making major waves lately!
10. “Unforgettable” – French Montana
Sometimes a song that comes out toward the end of the year finds new life in the new year. “Unforgettable” was first released by French Montana in 2016, but it was later remastered and re-released in April 2017. The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the first from French Montana to crack the top ten as a lead artist. The song went four times platinum in the U.S. And, not to be too punny, it is pretty unforgettable.
9. “New Rules” – Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa has been performing since she was 14, but only recently found real commercial success. “New Rules” helped her find her big break. Her self-titled debut studio album was released in June 2017 and the sixth single off the album was this track that catapulted her to stardom. It became her first number one on the U.K. charts and was the first song from a female solo artist to reach the top since 2015 when Adele‘s “Hello” held the spot. In December 2017, Spotify listed Dua Lipa as the most streamed woman of 2017. Damn, girl!
8. “Thunder” – Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons is one of those bands that not everyone pays attention to all the time, yet they drop a song that is heard everywhere. It felt like that time when “Radioactive” was released and it was suddenly in every movie trailer and commercial on TV for the year. “Thunder” is another one of those songs. The song has gone 3X platinum in Canada and 2X platinum in Australia. The song wound up peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, which made it their fourth hit to make it into the top ten.
7. “1-800-273-8255” – Logic ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid
This song is not only a big hit for 2017 but it was an important song. The number 1-800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Hotline and the song is about finally seeking help for their suicidal thoughts and finding a reason to live. It received critical acclaim and launched Logic into the spotlight after several years of rapping. “1-800-273-8255” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year. Logic said in an interview with Genius, “And then it hit me, the power that I have as an artist with a voice. I wasn’t even trying to save your life. Now, what can happen if I actually did?”
6. “Passionfruit” – Drake
Is there ever a year without a hit song on the radio from Drake? “Hotline Bling” was his big, massive success of 2016. The song was released as the second single off of his commercial mixtape, More Life. “Passionfruit” a good mixture of dancehall, pop, and R&B. The song peaked at number two on the Canadian Hot 100, right behind Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and then number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100. The soft song also features vocals from actress and singer Zoë Kravitz. The entire album may not have had as many hits as his previous ones did, but this track was a banger.
5. “Look What You Made Me Do” – Taylor Swift
A highly divisive song — Is it a bop? Is it the worst thing Taylor Swift has ever done? Nobody knows the truth, but what we DO know is that it made T.S. the big bucks. Since Taylor went radio silent for a huge chunk of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, people were anticipating her comeback for a LONG time. In August 2017, we got “Look What You Made Me Do,” which is a huge call out to all of the haters she’s had over the years. The song had over eight million streams in the first 24 hours of its release in Spotify and it’s music video is THEATRICAL. “Look What You Made Me Do” is a far venture from Taylor’s previous music as it’s a mix of pop and electroclash and while some hated the music, you can’t deny it was one of the most talked about songs of this year.
4. “Wild Thoughts” – DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller
DJ Khaled did it again! Just a few months after “I’m The One” took over radio waves, “Wild Thoughts” came and totally stole the spotlight. The DJ Khaled song featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller was probably the sexiest song of the summer — even if everytime you think of it you really think of that hotdog dance that went viral.
“Wild Thoughts” peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100, which made it Rihanna’s thirty-first top ten song (amazing), DJ Khaled’s third, and Bryson’s first. It was Rihanna and DJ Khaled’s first time working together, though not because DJ Khaled hadn’t been trying! He told Entertainment Weekly that he’d been asking to work with RiRi for seven or eight years now. Well, the wait paid off. “Wild Thoughts” was a huge hit for both of them and surely we’ll see more from them in the future!
3. “Sorry Not Sorry” – Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato’s success hasn’t slowed down and her first single off her sixth studio album, Tell Me You Love Me called “Sorry Not Sorry” charted in the top ten in the United States, Australia, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. It also made the top 20 in Canada, the Czech Republic, Norway, and Portugal. Many felt it was Demi taking a moment to praise herself, which at this point was far overdue considering her reign at the top for ages. The song was a perfect theme for the summer as an unapologetic party anthem that just about anyone can shout the lyrics to.
2. “Sign of the Times” – Harry Styles
When everyone who was a part of One Direction decided to take a stab at a solo career, we had no idea how different their sounds would be. Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson (both fathers now — how weird) have gone into the realm of party jams, Niall Horan‘s forte is the slower acoustic ballads and Zayn Malik — if you even count him — makes sultry, alternative R&B; tunes. But what Harry did with his debut self-titled album was kind of a shock and “Sign of the Times” was the song that started it all. It dethroned Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” with 3.5 million streams in a week. We’re still waiting for the 1D reunion, but we’ll certainly take his nostalgia-inducing tracks in the meantime.
1. “What About Us” – Pink
There is a reason that Pink won the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award this year. She constantly tops the charts when she releases music and there is nothing different about “What About Us.” It topped charts in Australia, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland. It reached the top 20 in the United States, Norway, and Sweden. The song was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 60th annual Grammy Awards. The song is probably one of few that has been described as “an emotional club ballad” but it’s still SO. GOOD.