TOP HITS OF 2015 (International)
We were still dancing to Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” when 2015 dawned with promises of new earworms and, now, it’s about to end. Oh, how time flies! Yet, before we say goodbye to this year, let us have a countdown of the music that made it great:
10) WATCH ME – Silento
Whipping his way to the top 10 is rapper Silentó with his debut single, “Watch Me.” Officially released in June, the whip and the nae nae combo were initially popularized in Vine before eventually dominating YouTube with now more than 468 million views. The catchy song and its viral video influenced dance covers from both ordinary people and professional dancers – with the dance video of a 5-year old Heaven King becoming one of YouTube’s most popular videos of 2015. The teenage rapper’s first single landed on the 8th spot of Billboard’s Hot 100 Charts and on the 3rd of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Year-end Charts.[iframe id=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/vjW8wmF5VWc” align=”center”]
9) CHEERLEADER (Felix Jaehn Remix) – Omi
Jamaican singer OMI has a lot to cheer for after landing at the 9th spot with “Cheerleader.” Originally a pop-reggae song, “Cheerleader” was released 3 years ago and gained popularity not just in Jamaica but also in Hawaii and New Zealand. Yet, it propelled to its current global fame only after German DJ Felix Jaehn added some tropical house touch to it in 2014.
With the addition of some piano tunes, bongo beats and the distinct trumpet part to the original piece, “Cheerleader” skyrocketed to the top of the charts, including Billboard’s “Songs of the Summer,” and maintained a spot in Billboard’s top 10 for 16 weeks.[iframe id=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/jGflUbPQfW8?list=RDjGflUbPQfW8″ align=”center”]
8) THE HILLS – The Weeknd
Creeping through the no. 8 position is The Weeknd’s “The Hills.” With an eerie video as equally haunting as its music, “The Hills” is a dark take on drugs, love and lust. The newest R&B sensation, The Weeknd uses Amharic (his native language, Ethiopian) in the song, which is considered as his way of connecting to the African diaspora while maintaining his international appeal.
This strangely alluring song is Billboard’s No. 1 Hot R&B Song on its Year-end Charts. Rolling Stone also considered the song as one of the 50 Best Songs of 2015 along with the other hit singles from The Weeknd, “Earned It” and “Can’t Feel My Face.”[iframe id=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/yzTuBuRdAyA” align=”center”]
7) SUGAR – MAROON 5
Taking their sweet time at no. 7 is Maroon 5 with “Sugar” from their album “V.” The song gives a retro feel with its mixture of disco, funk-pop and soul music. The catchy tune is matched with a memorable music video where the band drove across Los Angeles to crash weddings. As the music video goes viral, so are the accusations that the weddings were staged. True or not, the controversy only added to the hype with the music video reaching more than 916 million views on YouTube.
The single maintained its standing in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 for 21 weeks, peaking at no. 2. The Grammy-nominated group landed at the 5th spot of the Year-end Charts.[iframe id=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/09R8_2nJtjg” align=”center”]
6) HELLO – Adele
Released at the latter part of the year but never late for some world domination, say “Hello” to Adele at the no. 6 spot. Adele is the ultimate definition of a successful comeback with the first single “Hello” from her album “25” debuting at no. 1 of the Billboard Hot 100 and maintaining the spot for 6 consecutive weeks now. The song sold 1.11 million copies on the 1st week of its release and garnered 27.7 million views on YouTube on the 1st day of upload.
Currently topping Artist 100 and Billboard 200, Adele won the recent BBC Music Awards for Best British Artist and Best Live Performance. Though it landed at the 35th spot of the Hot 100 Year-end Charts due to the timing of its release, “Hello” earned the 6th place of Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Songs of 2015. With her record-breaking music, we will definitely hear more from Adele as we say hello to 2016.[iframe id=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/YQHsXMglC9A” align=”center”]
5) CAN’T FEEL MY FACE – The Weeknd
Feel all the feels as The Weeknd grabs another spot in our list, now the 5th with his song “Can’t Feel My Face.” The single from Spotify’s most streamed album, “Beauty Behind the Mindness,” boasts style and vocals often compared to that of Michael Jackson laid over the upbeat production of Max Martin. With “Can’t Feel My Face,” The Weeknd compares drug dependency to a toxic romantic partner and gives us the most infectious one-syllable exclamation – “ooooh!”
Leading Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Songs of 2015, “Can’t Feel My Face” peaked at the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 as well and remained in the top 10 for 19 weeks. We feel all the love for this falsetto-filled jam as it is also nominated for Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance in the upcoming Grammy’s.[iframe id=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/KEI4qSrkPAs” align=”center”]
4) TRAP QUEEN – Fetty Wap
Another debut from a rapper traps the 4th spot of our countdown. Say “Hey, what’s up, hello” to Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen.” The newest rap anthem is of melodic trap music about Fetty Wap and his ex-girlfriend. With his unique voice and a quirky dream of “couple Lamborghinis,” “Trap Queen” slowly but surely rose to no. 2 from no. 86 of the Billboard Hot 100.
With its cheerful tempo and glamorous gangsta romance, “Trap Queen” is ranked 2nd of the 50 Best Songs of 2015 by Rolling Stone. It also earned Grammy Awards nomination for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.
3) THINKING OUT LOUD – Ed Sheeran
In the 3rd place is the love song you will love until you’re 70 – “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. The romantic ballad gives a refreshing look at the British singer-songwriter being released after the controversial confessional song “Don’t” and having a music video that featured him dancing.
One of the most favorite wedding songs, “Thinking Out Loud” is the first single to stay in the UK Top 40 for one whole year. In October, the soulful song also became the first to reach more than 500 million times on Spotify, maintaining Sheeran’s title as its most-streamed artist of all time.
Ranking 2nd on Billboard Hot 100 and 1st on Adult Contemporary Year-end Charts, “Thinking Out Loud” is also nominated for the upcoming Grammy Awards in the following categories: Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.[iframe id=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/lp-EO5I60KA” align=”center”]
2) SEE YOU AGAIN – Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth
Coming 2nd in our roll is the tribute to actor, Paul Walker, who we would love to see again. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and featuring Charlie Puth is part of the soundtrack for the movie Furious 7.
Perhaps, it’s the memory of Paul Walker who died in a car accident in 2013. Perhaps, it’s how anyone can relate to emotional hip hop ballad. Whichever the pull factor is, “See You Again” has been one of the most attractive songs of the year with its music video reaching one billion hits in YouTube in just 184 days.
The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 non-consecutive weeks and placed 3rd at the Year-end Charts. It is also nominated for three Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media.[iframe id=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/RgKAFK5djSk” align=”center”]
The Honorable Mentioned
Before we reveal the song that earned our top spot, here are other note-worthy songs that hit the airwaves. They may have not reached the top 10 but they definitely caused some stir this year:
LEAN ON – Major Lazer ft. MØ and DJ Snake
The rhythmic EDM single is definitely the cause of millions of LSS cases this year as it is dubbed the most-streamed track of all time by Spotify. With the artists dancing around India, its music video has reached more than 890 million views in YouTube.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN – Justin Bieber
The tropical house single “What Do You Mean?” topped the Billboard Hot 100 in September and remains in the chart’s Top 10 up to this day. This paved the way for the successful release of The Biebs’ album “Purpose” and, ultimately, his comeback. The Canadian star now holds the most views in a YouTube channel with 654.99 million views.
BAD BLOOD – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s “1989” album may have been released in 2014 but it stayed relevant and ever popular up to this year. Peaking at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, pop song “Bad Blood” features Kendrick Lamar and the rest of Swift’s squad in the music video. Prior to the release of Adele’s “Hello,” Swift held the title of most viewed video in a day with 20.1 million hits.
1) UPTOWN FUNK – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
And the No. 1 spot goes to, drum roll please, the funky collaboration of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”!
The upbeat song with retro feels topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 consecutive weeks and led its Year-end Charts. The only song in the list where the lead artist left all the singing to the featured one, its corresponding “throwback” video has already reached a billion views on YouTube.
This 1980’s funk-influenced record is also up for two Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The smash hit has received platinum certifications in several locations and has already reached 9x platinum in Australia, Canada and the US. Don’t believe us? Just watch.[iframe id=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/OPf0YbXqDm0″ align=”center”]
For more rewind of the top international hits and the rest of your favorites, keep listening to V81 Radio every Saturdays and Sundays on All Hits Weekend.