Ultimate Roundup: Top 20 Songs of 2016

Let’s do this, folks.

Throughout the year the Ultimate 100 Songs chart keeps you up on the most active tracks across radio, streaming, and sales week in and week out. Now that 2016 is coming to a close we’ve gathered the sticky notes, rolled up all the numbers, and used fingers, toes, abacuses, and calculator watches to determine the overall Top 20 for the year. Here goes…

  1. The Chainsmokers – Closer (ft. Halsey)
  2. Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop the Feeling!
  3. Lukas Graham – 7 Years
  4. Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
  5. Adele – Hello
  6. Flo Rida – My House
  7. Rihanna – Work (ft. Drake)
  8. twenty one pilots – Stressed Out
  9. twenty one pilots – Heathens
  10. Drake – One Dance (ft. Wizkid & Kyla)
  11. Desiigner – Panda
  12. Justin Bieber – Sorry
  13. The Chainsmokers – Don’t Let Me Down (ft. Daya)
  14. Rae Sremmurd – Black Beatles (ft. Gucci Mane)
  15. The Weeknd  – Starboy (ft. Daft Punk)
  16. Sia – Cheap Thrills
  17. Fifth Harmony – Work from Home (ft. Ty Dolla $ign)
  18. Florida Georgia Line  – H.O.L.Y.
  19. Meghan Trainor – No
  20. Calvin Harris – This is What You Came For (ft. Rihanna)

Wow, yeah that’ll work.

This was definitely THE year for The Chainsmokers. #SELFIE put this EDM duo on the map in 2014 and this year they took over mainstream pop with Closer (ft. Halsey). The song spent 12 straight weeks (wowzers) at #1 on Ultimate 100 Songs and is currently in its EIGHTEENTH consecutive week at #1 on Ultimate EDM Songs. The boys also hit the mark with Don’t Let Me Down (ft. Daya), which comes in at #13, and went much deeper than any one-hit wonder could even dream of when you consider cuts like Roses (ft. ROZES)All We Know (ft. Phoebe Ryan), and Setting Fires (ft. XYLØ).

Unlike last year when Mark Ronson‘s Uptown Funk (ft. Bruno Mars) was #1 by a landslide, this year’s #2 song came statistically close to Closer: Can’t Stop the Feeling!. Justin Timberlake‘s infectiously happy song from DreamWorks’ animated movie, Trolls, is a terrific pop track for all ages reminiscent of Pharrell Williams‘s Happy back in 2013, if not at the same level of ubiquity.

Danish band Lukas Graham took the U.S. by storm with their hit, 7 Years, which comes in at #3. The group had built a solid following in Europe and hit our early warning radar in late 2015. 7 Years quickly Debuted on Ultimate 100 Songs on January 28th, on March 17th it took the #1 spot, and it only fell out of the Top 100 as of this week. That is an impressive run for a rookie act’s first stab at it.

Can we talk about twenty one pilots for a minute? In recent memory there haven’t been many alternative/rock acts that impact the mainstream like they did in the past, especially the ’90s. As 2015 closed out and 2016 dawned, this unique duo from Columbus, Ohio jammed to the front of the line and hasn’t strayed far from the top all year. They end up with two in the Top 10: Stressed Out at #8 and Heathens at #9. Stressed Out hit #1 for two weeks last winter, lingered in the Top 5, and only just fell out of the Top 50 this week (#52). Heathens grabbed #1 in August and currently resides at #12.

New York rapper Desiigner came out of nowhere around December 2015, graduated our Emerging Artists chart on March 31st, and his breakout hit, Panda, finishes the year at #11 overall. Thanks to Lukas Graham, Drake, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, and Prince the song never hit #1 but lived in the Top 5 for 11 consecutive weeks.Not bad at all for a newcomer, right?  Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda…

Rae Sremmurd‘s Black Beatles (ft. Gucci Mane) just EXPLODED with the #MannequinChallenge this fall. The song only Debuted on September 29th, but it held #1 for 3 weeks before slipping to #2 this week. The activity behind it was just so huge, especially on YouTube, that it comes in as our #14 entry. Nice.

Another newer entry to do well is The Weeknd Starboy (ft. Daft Punk). This stone-cold, mega-clean jam from a too cool collab stuck a clean landing with a #6 Debut on September 29th. It has remained in the very competitive Top 5 for all but one week since then, and claimed #1 this week following the release of the Starboy LP.

Finally, we have to give a shout out to Florida Georgia Line, who show that they are one of the most powerful forces in Country music today by having the only Country song to make this year’s Top 20. H.O.L.Y. comes in at #18. This track Debuted #22 on May 5th then spent 14 weeks in the Top 10. It hasn’t dropped off the chart once this year and currently sits at #71.

Stay tuned…Top 20 Artists of 2016 is up next!

Curious? Check out 2015’s Top 20 Songs!


Want to keep up with what’s hot week-to-week throughout the year?  Be sure to check out all of our charts, including Emerging Artists, Top Tours, EDM, Latin, and Country at http://www.ultimatechart.com