Welcome back everyone! Today the countdown continues with songs 70-61 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 #70!
#70: One More Night by Maroon 5
Peak: #7 (#1 in 2012) 2013 Weeks on Chart: 16 Points: 1188
It’s been a whirlwind of an 18 months for Adam Levine and his band Maroon 5. Just a few weeks ago, the highly successful The Voice coach was named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, and his team member Tessanne Chin was crowned Season 5 champion. As for the band, they are continuing to ride the wave of success brought about by their 2012 album Overexposed. Following the massive success of “Payphone,” the second single “One More Night” proved to be an even bigger hit, spending 9 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in late 2012. Its chart run extended well into 2013, paving the way for two more top 10 singles this year, which we will see later on in the countdown.
#69: Beauty And A Beat by Justin Bieber f/Nicki Minaj
Peak: #5 2013 Weeks on Chart: 14 Points: 1190
2013 was a busy year for Justin Bieber, albeit a relatively quiet one. 18 of his songs found their way onto the charts this year, but none of them generated enough success to find their way onto the countdown. Only “Beauty And A Beat,” a 2012 holdout single from his Believe album had the longevity required to achieve year-end recognition. Owing to this dearth of perpetuity this year was his marketing team’s institution of “Music Mondays.” Rather than release another full-length album this year, Bieber instead has released one new single each Monday for the past ten weeks. Predictably, each of these songs has shot to #1 on the iTunes charts and debuted highly on the Hot 100, but fallen off completely just as quickly. It’s a good strategy from a monetary standpoint, but a toxic strategy for my countdown’s purposes. Maybe next year, Biebs.
#68: 22 by Taylor Swift
Peak: #20 2013 Weeks on Chart: 19 Points: 1215
Do you think Taylor Swift is still jealous of Adele? Following the British singer’s monumental successes with her age-themed 19 and 21 albums, it seems that Taylor Swift was eager to capitalize on this business model. The result? Her fourth single from Red, “22“, an upbeat pop anthem describing (you guessed it) the perks of being 22 years old without a care in the world. Well, Ms. Swift is 24 now, so these types of songs are starting to become a bit of a stretch for Taylor as she continues to use her music to vicariously remain a teenager. Although her enthusiastic young female fan base absolutely adored this track and made it a summer staple on pop radio, her Adele-esque experiment didn’t quite pan out as successfully as she might have hoped. I don’t think “25” will be hitting the airwaves in 2015.
#67: Body Party by Ciara
Peak: #22 2013 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1216
Now here’s one 2013 artist comeback I would have never predicted. Back in 2004, Ciara made “Goodies” and “1, 2 Step” two of the year’s biggest songs and seemed to be the new young face of the pop-friendly R&B scene. Then a 16 year old Barbadian named Rihanna had a little track called “Pon De Replay,” and the rest is history. Ciara hadn’t had a song make the Top 40 since her 2009 duet “Love Sex Magic” with Justin Timberlake, but then she released “Body Party” this year. Both critically acclaimed (in Rolling Stone‘s Top 25 Songs of 2013) and highly successfully commercially, this soulful ballad could potentially mark the first step in a long-overdue comeback for the once-“can’t miss” Ciara.
#66: Gas Pedal by Sage The Gemini f/IamSu
Peak: #29 2013 Weeks on Chart: 21 Points: 1229
Remember when songs like “Party Rock Anthem” achieved commercial success due to highly-watched music videos on YouTube? Man, that is so 2011. The hottest thing out there right now might just be Vine, the 7 second video app which has made the listening public the stars of twerk-able rap songs. At first, I thought this fad couldn’t affect the Hot 100 too much, as I watched “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun” blaze up the charts and peter out just as fast. However, I was proven wrong by “Gas Pedal,” the almost-brilliantly simple song that implores listeners to slow down and grab the wall, spawning a treasure trove of memorable Vines. Reaching the Top 30 almost exclusively though Vine redirects, it is currently still on the charts, 5 months after becoming an internet sensation. Yikes.
#65: Pour It Up by Rihanna
Peak: #19 2013 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1232
It sure seems like Rihanna is sure bet to fire off at least 2 or 3 hit singles every year. Last year, those hits were “Diamonds” and “Where Have You Been.” The scary part is that she is only 25 years old, but she already accumulated 13 #1 singles and a total of 34 Top 20 singles in her still-young career. Add “Pour It Up” to that list, the second single from Unapologetic that is a continued foray into the more adult style Rihanna has been experimenting with on recent albums. Gone is the innocent teen behind “S.O.S.” and “Umbrella,” replaced with “S&M” and “Birthday Cake.” I personally do not approve of this new lyrical content, but it looks like the record-listening public doesn’t seem to mind.
#64: Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys
Peak: #12 (#11 in 2012) 2013 Weeks on Chart: 15 Points: 1248
Right from the beginning when she released “Fallin’” in 2001, I have always been a big Alicia Keys fan. In a decade that has often defined female success by how well they can dance in their music videos, Alicia Keys has been proving that writing your own songs and belting R&B behind a piano can be just as sexy. (Don’t tell anyone, but I thought her National Anthem performance at the Super Bowl was better than Beyoncé’s halftime show. I know, scandalous right?) At the risk of being left behind in the pop scene, she has been staying true to herself and has continued to write and sing as powerfully as anyone out there. Releasing “Girl On Fire” in late 2012 (with no “Hunger Games” reference intended), she saw a big welcome back to the upper echelon of the Hot 100, hanging around the Top 20 for months, and securing spots in both the 2012 and 2013 countdowns.
#63: I Want Crazy by Hunter Hayes
Peak: #19 2013 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1256
You might not guess it from his “pretty-boy” image and love of love songs, but Hunter Hayes is in fact one of the most talented artists in country music today. He channeled Dave Grohl’s first Foo Fighters album on his self-titled debut album, writing and self-recording every instrument for every song. The average listener might not have factored that into their choosing to listen, but that still made “Wanted” the biggest country song of 2012 and “I Want Crazy” his second #1 on the Country charts. The latter track came from a highly successful re-release of the album, subtitled Encore, which also included the duet “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me” with Jason Mraz.
#62: Try by Pink
Peak: #9 2013 Weeks on Chart: 16 Points: 1259
It looks like Pink might have a softer side to her beneath that rocker-girl edge after all. After a decade of always being one step removed from the typical female pop stars, Pink has found success with more traditional ballads on her 2012 album The Truth About Love. With the exception of the lead single “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” which I would argue pleased and prepared her traditional audience, the other singles so far have been quite contrary to her typical image. While the second single “Try” certainly has some of the edgy vocal range that created Pink’s unique niche in the pop music scene, there is a tenderness as well which would be explored even further on “Just Give Me A Reason,” which we will see later on. You’ll notice that I’m not a fan of using the exclamation point in her name.
#61: Love More by Chris Brown f/Nicki Minaj
Peak: #23 2013 Weeks on Chart: 21 Points: 1268
I honestly thought that Chris Brown’s abusive relationship with Rihanna would be his downfall. After all, we didn’t hear much from Ike Turner, did we? However, Rihanna did him a favor by including him on “Birthday Cake,” and he has come back strong. He did his best Nelly impersonation by releasing two aptly-titled albums in a row, Fame and Fortune (Nelly’s were Sweat and Suit) which yielded hits like “Look At Me Now” and “Don’t Wake Me Up.” His success has continued with 2013’s “Love More,” a predictably profane and maddeningly catchy hip-hop number which is still lingering in the Top 40 at the time of publication. It’s safe to say though that he will never be able to return to the “Run It” glory days, where he was actually just as popular, if not more so, than Rihanna.
I thoroughly enjoy writing these countdown blurbs every day, and I am very grateful to all of you who continue to read every day. Tomorrow’s article will bring us to the halfway point, so be sure to check back here for songs 60-51!