T he best songs of were created in studios from Seoul to Johannesburg, Puerto Rico to Nashville. They strut, commiserate, titillate and disarm. Some of them are collaborations that showcase premier talents pushing each other to new heights; others are deeply personal projects of introspection and catharsis. Here are the songs we had on repeat in our homes all year long.
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These are the bangers that got us through such an odd year.
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Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. The first half of has posed many questions most of us never thought we'd have to answer in our lifetime, including: "What does pop mean in a world of self-isolation? The answer, of course, is yes. We've found that in times of quarantine and other crises, music is as meaningful as ever, even just as the soundtrack to such menial activities as doing the dishes, taking a walk around the block or just sitting at home and wondering when or if things will feel normal again. As difficult as this period has been, we doubt we could've gotten by without these songs -- and we look forward to making up for lost time with them at whatever point we're finally able to celebrate them publicly. Halsey, "You Should Be Sad". Jessie Reyez feat. Zebra Katz, "In In In".
These are the songs that kept us in good company during lonely and uncertain times
Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. Taylor Swift had the biggest album of the period with a surprise indie-folk LP, radio records were broken by The Weeknd sure and 24kGoldn and iann dior more surprising , and Nicki Minaj finally scored the first Hot chart-topper of her decade-plus of superstardom -- only to score a second barely a month later. Imagine trying to explain to folks in that a half-decade later, we'd get Jason Derulo's first No. And then imagine trying to explain how a new video-sharing service called TikTok helped make it all happen. And if you thought TikTok was influential before, that of course proved to be a gentle nudge compared to the full-body impact it flexed once the youth of America had less reason than ever not to spend all day on their phones. But even if proved to be a very strange place for pop music, it was also an undeniably fruitful one. The uptempo revival that started to warm up on top 40 at the end of broke into a full-on sprint in early , resulting in some of the best synth-pop and disco-based hits we've heard on the FM dial in ages. Hip-hop's billion dollar Babies ruled the summer with open-hearted hits that reflected unthinkably turbulent times while still sounding massive blaring out of car stereos.
Clubs remain closed. Same with bars and arenas and coffee shops and theaters and DIY venues and basement parties. But while live music has come to a terrifying halt in , artists have been anything but silent during a global pandemic. This is a once in a generation human crisis. But even though we can't experience it together, music has provided hope, escape, and cathartic dance parties streamed directly into our bubbles. Artists like Run the Jewels have provided anthems for a civil rights movement. Taylor Swift has found her voice as a great American storyteller. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion boldly celebrated the sexuality of women, much to the chagrin of shitty men. Dua Lipa gave us a much-needed excuse to move.