Welcome back everyone! Today the countdown continues with songs 80-71 of the 101 Biggest Hits of 2013! If this is your first time checking in on the countdown, please read this for the process by which I ranked the songs you are about to see! Without further ado, let’s pick up where we left off with song #80!
#80: Still Into You by Paramore
Peak: #24 2013 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1124
Ever since Paramore lost a member back in a highly-publicized 2011 split, the now-trio has not been shy in its continued leanings toward pop/rock. With singer Hayley Williams lending her voice to B.o.B.’s “Airplanes” and Zedd’s recent hit “Stay The Night,” the band has been pulling away from their punk roots evident on earlier tracks like “Misery Business.” Add “Still Into You” to this continued transition, the first single off their self-titled 2013 album, which became their highest charting single ever. Looks as though they’re not missing that fourth member too much.
#79: Gangnam Style by PSY
Peak: #6 (#2 in 2012) 2013 Weeks on Chart: 16 Points: 1131
They say that old habits die hard. Add repeated “Gangnam Style” viewings to the long list of examples of this principle. Ever since eclipsing 1 billion views on YouTube last November, the viewcount has continued to climb steadily, and is poised to reach 2 billion in the foreseeable future. Aided by Billboard’s March 2013 rule change which allowed YouTube data to factor in the weekly charts, “Gangnam Style” ended up spending more than 30 weeks in total on the Hot 100. PSY’s follow-up single “Gentleman” reached #5 on the Hot 100 in May, but it lost steam quickly and failed to make the 2013 countdown. Speaking of 2013 novelty songs, “The Fox” by Ylvis rode its wave of success all the way to #6 on the Hot 100, but only reached #102 on the year-end countdown, leaving it one spot away from inclusion. Sorry Norway.
#78: Carry On by fun.
Peak: #20 2013 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1142
Uh oh, is fun. losing their popularity mojo? Following the enormous success of the first two singles off Some Nights, “We Are Young” and the title track, expectations were certainly high for the third single “Carry On.” Although the 6/8 midtempo pub-style song fared reasonably well on the Hot 100 in the early months of 2013, its chart run can’t hold a candle to the yearlong dominance of their 2012 hits. Although lead singer Nate Ruess had a successful duet with Pink (more to come on that song), 2013 will be remembered as a quiet year for the trio.
#77: It Goes Like This by Thomas Rhett
Peak: #25 2013 Weeks on Chart: 22 Points: 1144
Let’s call Thomas Rhett a young version of Randy Houser. At 23 years old, he used 2013 to prove that his success in the country music scene was not a fluke. He gained popularity on country radio last year with “Beer With Jesus,” a song about just that. Rhett leaned toward more serious subject material with “It Goes Like This,” a more traditional country ballad which went to #2 on the Country charts and broke into the Hot 100’s top 30. It’s also worth noting that this song is one of only four country songs in all of 2013 to log more than the obligatory 20 weeks on the Hot 100, which allowed it to accrue more valuable points.
#76: Berzerk by Eminem
Peak: #3 2013 Weeks on Chart: 16 Points: 1155
Every time we think Eminem is done for good, he always seems to have one more surprise up his sleeve. After a three-year wait following his 2010 Recovery album, Mr. Mathers came roaring back this fall with The Marshall Mathers LP 2. As the first single from the album, “Berzerk” used the album’s early hype as well as a sample of Billy Squier’s 1981 hit “The Stroke” to debut at #3 on the Hot 100. Along with “Survival,” “Rap God,” and “The Monster,” the other singles released thus far, Eminem became the lead artist since The Beatles in 1964 to have 4 singles in the top 20 consecutively. The latter track featuring Rihanna is the current Hot 100 #1, and figures to place highly on the 2014 countdown.
#75: Diamonds by Rihanna
Peak: #2 (#1 in 2012) 2013 Weeks on Chart: 14 Points: 1156
Speaking of Rihanna, her most recent #1 single prior to “The Monster” was this first single from Rihanna’s Unapologetic album. Spending two weeks atop the Hot 100 in December, “Diamonds” became her 12th Number One single, making her the fastest female artist to reach that total. Still only 25 years old, it’s safe to say that she is a serious threat to unseat Mariah Carey (with 18 #1s) as the most successful Hot 100 female artist of all time, with the Beatles’ mark of 20 #1 songs in reach as well. That being said, “Diamonds” was the only #1 single off of Unapologetic, so it will take another massively successful album to get her back on record-setting pace.
#74: Sure Be Cool If You Did by Blake Shelton
Peak: #24 2013 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1157
Over the course of this countdown, we’ve become very familiar with Blake Shelton’s undisputed dominance of the country music scene. Thus, it came as no surprise that his 2013 album Based On A True Story was one of the best-selling country albums of the year, spending 5 non-consecutive weeks atop the Country Albums chart between April and June. “Sure Be Cool If You Did” was released as the album’s first single, and continued his streak of consecutive #1 Country songs, which now currently stands at 10 in a row.
#73: Home by Phillip Phillips
Peak: #6 2013 Weeks on Chart: 15 Points: 1162
“Home” by Phillip Phillips is a testimony to the power of Adult Contemporary radio. Phillips won American Idol with this song back in May of 2012, where it debuted at #10 on the Hot 100. Predictably, it began to cascade down the charts much like previous American Idol champion singles. Then, in August, the NBC coverage of the Olympics used “Home” as a theme song of sorts for the Women’s Gymnastics team, which spiked its popularity a second time, running its peak to #9. Shortly thereafter, Adult Contemporary radio, which favors soft rock and other easy listening hits, began playing “Home” consistently. Aided by this influx of airplay, the song did not reach its peak at #6 on the Hot 100 until early January, making it the longest-lasting American Idol champion’s single of all time.
#72: Highway Don’t Care by Tim McGraw & Taylor Swift
Peak: #22 2013 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1175
The duet has long been a staple of country music, as a way to mix fan bases and double up on popularity. Tim McGraw himself is no stranger to the medium, as his highest charting effort to date was 1997’s “It’s Your Love” with his wife Faith Hill. For his 2013 album Two Lanes of Freedom, McGraw called upon the services of Taylor Swift for his ballad “Highway Don’t Care.” Also featuring guitar work from fellow country superstar Keith Urban, the song marks a return to more traditional country for Swift after the pop-friendliness of her album Red. As for McGraw, the song would become his most successful single since “Last Dollar (Fly Away)” reached #13 in 2007.
#71: Catch My Breath by Kelly Clarkson
Peak: #19 2013 Weeks on Chart: 16 Points: 1180
Despite any argument from Carrie Underwood or Phillip Phillips to the contrary, the indisputable truth is that Kelly Clarkson is the first and still most successful American Idol champion. Ten years after her historic victory, her 2012 single “Stronger” became the best-selling Idol-related single in history. She shows no signs of stopping, as the follow-up single “Catch My Breath” likewise reached the Top 20. Following the success of the Stronger album, Clarkson went on tour with Maroon 5 this summer, released a hugely successful Christmas album, and even got married! The first American Idol success story continues, even as the show itself has been passed up by The Voice and is left teetering on the edge of ignominy.
Once again, thank you to everyone for your continued reading of the countdown! I’ll see you back here tomorrow for songs 70-61!