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OLC! Top 20 Songs Of 2019

20. Harry Styles – “Adore You”: Harry Styles will walk through fire for you because he only wants to “Adore You” in his third single from Fine Line. The track debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 (on Dec. 19) at No. 35. This catchy tune for Harry kicks our top 20 list off.

19. Lizzo – “Truth Hurts”: “Truth Hurts” is a song released by American singer and rapper Lizzo. It was originally released on September 19, 2017, by Nice Life Recording Company and Atlantic Records, but then re-released as a radio single in 2019. It was written by Lizzo, Jesse Saint John, Steven Cheung and Ricky Reed. Though it did not chart at the time of its release, it later became a viral sleeper hit in 2019 after gaining popularity on the TikTok video sharing app. The song was included as a bonus track on the deluxe version of Lizzo’s third studio album Cuz I Love You and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Lizzo’s first song to do so.

18. Lil Naz X – “Old Town Road (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)”: This song by American rapper Lil Nas X, first released independently in December of 2018. After gaining popularity, the single was re-released by major label Columbia Records in March of 2019. Lil Nas X also recorded a remix with American country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, which was released on April 5, 2019. Both the original and remix were included on Lil Nas X’s debut EP, 7 (2019). The song has been widely labeled as “country rap”, a genre that had only become mainstream a year prior to release. Dutch beat producer YoungKio produced the instrumental and made it available for purchase online in 2018. It features a sample of a banjo from the instrumental piece “34 Ghosts IV” by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. The sample was placed behind trap-style Roland TR-808 drums and bass. Lil Nas X purchased the instrumental for US$30 and recorded “Old Town Road” in one day. At the time, he had been living with his sister after dropping out of college; his real world struggles served as an influence on some of the lyrics.

The song initially gained popularity on social video sharing app TikTok and eventually entered the Billboard charts in March 2019. The song reached number 19 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart before the magazine disqualified it from being included on the chart on grounds that it did not fit the genre, sparking a debate on the definition of country music. Though the song was not re-entered onto the overall country charts, both the original version of the song and the remix featuring Cyrus eventually peaked at number one on the flagship Billboard chart, the Hot 100, for a record-breaking nineteen consecutive weeks. Internationally, one or more versions of “Old Town Road” have topped the national singles charts in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom; and charted within the top ten in various other markets. Furthermore, the song was awarded diamond certification by the RIAA, in October 2019, for moving ten million total units in the United States, the fastest song to be awarded diamond certification.

17. PRETTYMUCH – “Lying (feat. Lil TJay)”: The talented guys of PRETTYMUCH dropped yet another banger this year, when they teamed up with rapper Lil Tjay for new single “Lying.” The song was debuted before it’s official release in Dallas as the opening song on their ongoing FOMO Tour set. Although the song had yet to be released, fans didn’t have a problem hyping the boys up during their performance. By the second show a day later, fans already knew most of the lyrics and couldn’t wait for the official release.

Written by the band’s very own Edwin Honoret and Brandon Arreaga, the song’s beginning leads you to believe it will be one of those “eff you” breakup songs, with Zion coming in at the pre-chorus singing, “You did me a favor honestly // I’m so much better now.” However, listeners will quickly learn that the band is, for lack of a better word, lying, and the boys are actually longing to have that relationship back.

16. Kygo & Rita Ora – “Carry On”: “Carry On” is a song by Norwegian producer Kygo and British singer Rita Ora, released as a standalone single for the 2019 film, Pokémon Detective Pikachu. The song plays during the end credits of the film. It was released as a single on 19 April 2019, through RCA Records.

15. Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy”: “Bad Guy” was the hit song by American singer Billie Eilish. It was released by Darkroom and Interscope Records as the fifth single from Eilish’s debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? on March 29, 2019. Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell co-wrote “Bad Guy”, with the latter producing it and the former providing additional production. The song was described as pop-trap and nu-goth pop in press reviews, for which synth bass, a kick drum, finger snaps and 808 bass provide minimalist instrumentation. Upon its release, “Bad Guy” mainly received positive reviews from music critics. It was also likened to music recorded by the White Stripes, Lorde and Fiona Apple. “Bad Guy” was a commercial success, reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as on the charts in Australia, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway and Russia. In the United States, “Bad Guy” ended the record-breaking 19-week run of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.

14. Post Malone – “I Know”: This has to be not only the best but my favourite song from Post Malone’s 2019 album Hollywood’s Bleeding. Yeah it didn’t get released commercially as a single but if you haven’t heard it yet, you need to.

13. Monsta X – “Someone’s Someone”: K-Pop boy band Monsta X made waves on the singles chart with their single “Someone’s Someone,” a breezy future-pop song full of harmonious melodies, a snapping choral refrain, and addictive beat drops. The act’s latest English-language song, it came a few weeks after the release of “Love U” and “Who Do U Love.” Like those other releases, it puts the focus on the group’s sleek vocals, and shifts them away from the high-energy dance singles they typically release in Korean.

12. Ellie Goulding – “Sixteen”: “Sixteen” is a song by English singer Ellie Goulding, released as a single through Polydor Records on 12 April 2019. It was co-written by Goulding with Raye and Fred, and produced by Ian Kirkpatrick, Fred and Mike Wise. Goulding has said the song is about the “reckless days of adolescence”. 

11.Cautious Clay – “Cold War”: Brooklyn-based artist has said the song is “about commitment and also the frustration of lack of commitment”. Although it was released in 2018 it became a smash hit again for Cautious Clay in 2019, as it featured in the hit teen comedy film “Booksmart”.

10. Dominic Fike – “3 nights”: “3 Nights” is the debut single by American singer and rapper Dominic Fike. It was released as a single from his Don’t Forget About Me, Demos EP through Columbia Records, and peaked within the top ten of the charts in Australia, Belgium (Flanders), Croatia, Israel, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, and within the top forty of the charts in Germany.

9. Kiana Ledé & Offset – “Bouncin”: Fresh off the release of her new EP, Myself, rising R&B artist Kiana Ledé dropped the music video for “Bouncin,” featuring Migos member Offset. The clip features a load of sexy women dancing around Kiana, including on poles, as she delivers the catchy bop. Offset comes through for a quick flossin’ episode. Kiana’s ‘Myself’ EP features six eargasmic offerings; her single “EX” steadily rose on streaming platforms with over 30 million streams on Spotify and reached top 15 at Rhythm radio, top 30 at urban radio and entered the top 40 on pop charts.

Kiana was first known for her supreme re-imagining of Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” which amassed over 40 million cumulative plays, and her “One Dance x Needed Me Mash Up,” which clocked over 3.6 million Spotify streams and soared to #1 on Spotify’s coveted Global Viral Chart.

8. Coldplay – “Orphans”: Orphans” is a song by British rock band Coldplay from their eighth studio album Everyday Life. It was released on 24 October 2019, along with the single “Arabesque” and appears on the second side of the album Sunset. The song was written by the band members and produced by The Dream Team. The band announced the release of the songs “Orphans” and “Arabesque” as a dual release on 24 October 2019 as the first singles off Everyday Life. About the content of the songs, lead singer Chris Martin said in an interview with BBC Radio 1 that “some of it’s very personal, about real things in my life, and some of it’s about things that I see or we see, and some of it’s about trying to empathise about what other people are going through”.

7. Shawn Mendes – “If I Can’t Have You”: “If I Can’t Have You” is a song by Canadian singer Shawn Mendes. It was released as the lead single (sixth overall) from the deluxe edition of Mendes’ self-titled third studio album through Island Records on May 3, 2019. The music video was released the same day. “If I Can’t Have You” has reached number one in Hungary and China, as well as the top five in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Malaysia, New Zealand, Scotland, Slovakia, and the United States.

6. Rita Ora – “Only Want You (feat. 6Lack)”: “Only Want You” is a song by British singer Rita Ora featured on her second studio album Phoenix (2018). A remixed version, featuring American singer 6lack, was released on 1 March 2019 as the fifth single from the album. The song initially charted in November 2018, following the release of the album.

5. Lauv & Anne-Marie – “Fuck I’m Lonely”: “Fuck, I’m Lonely” is a song by American singer Lauv featuring English singer Anne-Marie. It was released as a single on August 1, 2019, alongside the trailer for the third season of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which it features on the soundtrack of. It is also set to be included on Lauv’s upcoming debut album, How I’m Feeling. Lauv met Anne-Marie after they both performed at the Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium, London, and called the lyrics “pretty self-explanatory” as well as about “missing someone you used to hook up with” and his “least deep and mysterious song”. He made the beat on his laptop in an hour while at an airport, and said the title of the song “came out of nowhere” in a conversation with his friends. Anne-Marie said “I never really like admitting that I miss someone after a break up. So here’s a song that does it for me.”

4. Khalid – “Bad Luck”: Taken from Khalid’s highly successful album “Free Spirit”, “Bad Luck” is about Khalid’s difficulty in establishing satisfactory interpersonal relationships. And while the unsavory characters of people that he deals with are definitely a factor, Khalid’s own personality issues also play a prominent role.

3. Why Don’t We – “Big Plans”: It was their first new single of 2019, following the success of their album 8Letters. It’s been a huge two years for the band which has gone from obscurity to one of the biggest pop acts in the world.

2. Benny Blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez and J Balvin – “I Can’t Get Enough”: “I Can’t Get Enough” is an English-Spanish song by American record producer Benny Blanco, Puerto Rican record producer Tainy, American singer Selena Gomez and Colombian singer J Balvin. It was released as a single on February 28, 2019. It was sent to radio on March 12, 2019. It was written by Tainy, Blanco, Gomez, Balvin, Cristina Chiluiza, Jhay Cortez and Mike Sabath. The collaboration was teased on Gomez’s Instagram after she posted pictures of her wearing Benny Blanco’s merch and what appeared to be the set of a music video. J Balvin told Entertainment Tonight that Gomez sings in English on the track, while he sings in Spanish. Balvin also spoke positively of working with Gomez, calling her “humble” and “amazing”. In another interview, Balvin said Tainy invited him to participate on the song and that he thought it would be a “worldwide hit”.

1.PRETTYMUCH – “Gone 2 Long”: With their new song “Gone 2 Long,” boy band quintet PRETTYMUCH says they have just one goal: to be “better than we were yesterday.” The young singers, who first started stealing hearts on Instagram in 2017 with their dance moves and song covers, includes Austin Porter, Nick Mara, Zion Kuwonu, Brandon Arreaga, and Edwin Honoret. The group formed by Simon Cowell in 2016, released this song in 2019, and was the groups first song full written and produced by themselves. It’s capped off a huge year for the guys and makes it our number 1 song.

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

 

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Written by Neill Frazer

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