Welcome back everyone! Today the countdown continues with songs 50-41 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 #50!
#50: F**kin’ Problems by A$AP Rocky f/Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar
Peak: #8 2013 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1583
In a year defined by so many mass collaborations, “F**kin’ Problems” might just be the most fun of them all. The debut single of A$AP Rocky, it features a who’s who of sorts for the state of the rap scene today. The second verse is by Drake, who is undoubtedly the biggest name in rap right now, as his massive album Nothing Was The Same proved. The third verse is taken by Kendrick Lamar, the Grammy darling of the rap scene, who scored nominations for both Best New Artist and Best Album with his debut LP Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City. And bringing it all home, 2 Chainz belts the profane chorus in his trademark spoken-word style. Despite its abrasive language, it became a huge hit nonetheless, cracking the Top 10 in February.
#49: Heart Attack by Demi Lovato
Peak: #10 2013 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1589
While not as popular as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato is certainly the 2nd-most popular Barney & Friends alum. After breaking out with her starring role in the Disney Channel original movie Camp Rock, Lovato has made a respectable name for herself as a pop singer, and currently serves as a judge on The X Factor. Following her successful 2012 single “Give Your Heart A Break,” “Heart Attack” charted higher than its predecessor, suggesting that her popularity is still on the upswing. In a recent nod to her Disney roots, Lovato performed “Let It Go” for the end credits of Disney’s most recent film Frozen, and it currently is climbing quickly up the Hot 100.
#48: Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus
Peak: #1 (for 3 weeks) 2013 Weeks on Chart: 17 Points: 1590
Surprise! I’m guessing that most of you thought “Wrecking Ball” would be much higher on the countdown. And you’d be fair to assume that: the song was Miley Cyrus’ first #1 single, the music video continues to remain YouTube’s currently most-watched, and the media circus of live performances has certainly created a lot of buzz. But remember, my point system rewards longevity, and “Wrecking Ball” was simply released too late in the year for it to fully represent all of 2013. One record of note set by the song is its gap between weeks at Number One. It initially spent two weeks atop the chart, followed by 9 weeks of Lorde’s “Royals” crowning the Hot 100. After that though, “Wrecking Ball” returned to the top, setting a mark that is unlikely to be broken in the foreseeable future. Twerk on, I guess.
#47: Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/Mary Lambert
Peak: #11 2013 Weeks on Chart: 30 Points: 1613
Add another track to list of 2011-recorded sleeper hits of 2013 with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” their third single off of The Heist. The gay-rights anthem built off the success of the prior two singles “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us” to become a long-lasting Hot 100 hit in its own right. Like the other two songs, “Same Love” features a local Seattle artist, this time utilizing singer-songwriter Mary Lambert for the chorus. The track has been critically acclaimed, receiving a Song of the Year nomination for the 2014 Grammys.
#46: I Need Your Love by Calvin Harris f/Ellie Goulding
Peak: #16 2013 Weeks on Chart: 25 Points: 1625
In the pop/EDM scene, the most important choice artists face is who they will choose to sing lead vocals for their singles. Calvin Harris has historically been the exception, providing the vocals himself for hits like “Feel So Close.” However, for his 2012 album 18 Months, Harris chose to use more famous British vocalists for a large number of the songs. For “I Need Your Love,” he chose Ellie Goulding, best known for her 2009/2010/2011/2012 breakthrough hit “Lights.” Harris’ radio-friendly beats combining with Goulding’s familiar vocals helped the song remain a force on the Hot 100 for nearly six months.
#45: Love Somebody by Maroon 5
Peak: #10 2013 Weeks on Chart: 21 Points: 1627
Even though Overexposed was released in June of 2012, the album continued to crank out successful radio singles for Maroon 5 well into 2013. Its 4th single “Love Somebody” peaked in late summer and early fall, and became the band’s 8th Top Ten single. It’s hard to believe that it has already been ten years since the band first broke onto the scene with their Songs About Jane album. A quick listen to “Sunday Morning” and “She Will Be Loved,” and it’s easy to see how different the band sounds now that they’ve have a continuous taste of what it’s like to be popular in the mainstream.
#44: Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris f/Florence Welch
Peak: #10 2013 Weeks on Chart: 21 Points: 1632
Hey, it’s Calvin Harris again! Looks to me like he achieved a near-equal level of success with his two hit singles of 2013. The second single off 18 Months, “Sweet Nothing” features vocals from Florence Welch, better known to American audiences as the lead singer of Florence + The Machine. This collaboration marks the second time Harris has worked with Welch, as he created a popular remix of The Machine’s 2011 song “Spectrum (Say My Name).” This remix went to #1 in the UK, as did “Sweet Nothing,” preserving the two’s 100% hit-conversion rate when working together.
#43: Applause by Lady Gaga
Peak: #4 2013 Weeks on Chart: 18 Points: 1642
Here we have another victim of the “released slightly too late in the year to gain enough points” motif. “Applause” was released in August as the lead single for Lady Gaga’s 2013 studio album ARTPOP, and it has quickly become one of her most-recognizable songs in a career already fraught with a combination of catchy and memorably bizarre songs. ARTPOP was pitted squarely against Katy Perry’s Prism this fall, and from the perspective of the singles, it appears that Perry won this round, as “Roar” and “Unconditionally” have thus far outperformed “Applause” and follow-up single “Do What U Want” featuring R. Kelly.
#42: Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker
Peak: #15 2013 Weeks on Chart: 26 Points: 1643
Darius Rucker’s remarkable musical transition continued with the success of “Wagon Wheel” in 2013. The former Hootie & The Blowfish frontman behind 90s hits like “Only Wanna Be With You” managed to become a viable country singer with “Alright” in 2009. But, with the across-the-board domination of “Wagon Wheel” this year, it looks like country superstardom isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Rucker, which would complete his evolution from rock to mainstream country. In fact, only one country song fared better than “Wagon Wheel” this year, and as we will see later, the one bigger song did not adhere strictly to the country genre. The Bob Dylan-penned song’s music video featured appearances from the cast of Duck Dynasty, further cementing the show’s ubiquitous position in pop culture.
#41: Don’t You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia f/John Martin
Peak: #6 2013 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1651
It’s a rare feat indeed for a group to, borrowing a cliched phrase, “go out on top.” The Beatles were the most memorable to accomplish this, as Let It Be spawned two #1 singles and four gigantic solo careers. It looks like Swedish House Mafia turned the trick themselves, as they announced an indefinite hiatus following the global success of “Don’t You Worry Child.” The group, also responsible for the 2011 club hit “Save The World,” never received commercial fame in the United States before “Don’t You Worry Child” became a major radio anthem in the early months of 2013. It looks like their first major hit will also be their last, but they certainly went out with a bang.
Only 40 songs remain unrevealed on the 101 Biggest Hits of 2013! Be sure to check tomorrow for songs 40-31 on the countdown as we get closer and closer to crowning a definitive Song of 2013!