Welcome back everyone! We’ve finally made it to the end of the countdown, and today I will reveal songs #10-1 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! Nothing but the biggest hits of the year remain, so here we go with song #10!
#10: Ho Hey by The Lumineers
Peak: #3 2013 Weeks on Chart: 34 Points: 2626
When pop radio finds a song they like, they will hang onto it and milk it for all it’s worth. In the winter of 2012-2013, that song was undoubtedly “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers. I dare anybody to find a time machine, go back to this moment last year, turn on the popular radio station, and try to go half an hour without hearing “Ho Hey.” It’s a guarantee. By spending 7 months on the chart in both 2012 and 2013, the song amassed 62 weeks on the Hot 100, good for 9th place all-time. Unfortunately for the Lumineers, two songs on the countdown are part of those 8 longer-lasting songs.
#9: When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars
Peak: #1 (for 1 week) 2013 Weeks on Chart: 34 Points: 2638
A few weeks ago, Billboard named Bruno Mars the Artist of 2013, and who are we to argue? His three 2013 hits all placed within the top 30 of this countdown, and “When I Was Your Man” became his fourth #1 single as a lead artist. Featuring only a piano and his voice, the ballad became just the third #1 single in Hot 100 history to have such little instrumentation, with the others being Adele’s “Someone Like You” in 2011 and Timmy T’s “One More Try” in 1991. Once again, Bruno Mars showcased his ability to perform multiple styles of music, and audiences rewarded his efforts.
#8: Just Give Me A Reason by Pink f/Nate Ruess
Peak: #1 (for 3 weeks) 2013 Weeks on Chart: 36 Points: 2868
Back when I was discussing “Try,” I mentioned how it teased the new ballad-friendly tendency Pink began leaning to with her newest album The Truth About Love. That style came out in full force with “Just Give Me A Reason,” a duet with fun. singer Nate Ruess. Compared to her other #1 singles “Lady Marmalade,” “So What,” and “Raise Your Glass,” this ballad showcased a new side of Pink most audiences had never seen from her. In fact, this may be the only side the public wants now, as follow-up single “True Love” flopped although it sounded much more like the Pink of the past.
#7: Cruise by Florida Georgia Line f/Nelly
Peak: #4 2013 Weeks on Chart: 36 Points: 2910
Talk about a crossover for the ages. “Cruise,” the debut single for Florida Georgia Line, was already a big hit in 2012, reaching #1 on the Country Singles chart, and even reaching #84 on my year-end countdown. But just when it was about to fall off the Hot 100, Nelly helped them make a pop-friendly remix, and the rest is history. It became the first country single to reach the Hot 100’s Top 10 since Ludacris did the same thing to Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem,” and “Cruise” spent a record-setting 24 weeks atop the Country Singles chart, in addition to 54 weeks on the Hot 100.
#6: Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke f/Pharrell Williams & T.I.
Peak: #1 (for 12 weeks) 2013 Weeks on Chart: 35 Points: 2988
While not taking home the award of Song of 2013, “Blurred Lines” won the coveted distinction of spending the most weeks at #1 in 2013. For all intents and purposes, the summer was ruled by Robin Thicke’s hit, which racked up 12 weeks atop the Hot 100. Thicke’s first hit since 2007’s “Lost Without U,” the retro-sounding track featured T.I. and Pharrell Williams, who had a pretty darn good year himself, having also featured on “Get Lucky.” Despite the song’s semi-controversial lyrical content and the music video’s host of nude women, virtually every radio station in the country gave “Blurred Lines” extremely heavy rotation.
#5: Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/Ray Dalton
Peak: #1 (for 5 weeks) 2013 Weeks on Chart: 39 Points: 3003
How on earth could Macklemore and Ryan Lewis possibly equal the success of their breakthrough hit “Thrift Shop”? Well, they didn’t, but they very well near did. Released in the midst of “Thrift Shop”’s reign atop the Hot 100, “Can’t Hold Us” was released as the second single from The Heist, featuring local Seattle artist Ray Dalton on the chorus. Like its predecessor, the song climbed steadily to the top of the chart, eventually spending five weeks at #1. In the end, “Can’t Hold Us” couldn’t hold on to a place in the Hot 100 as long as the novelty hit, but it certainly proved to be a more-than-worthy successor.
#4: Sail by AWOLNATION
Peak: #17 2013 Weeks on Chart: 47 Points: 3060
And here we have the surprise of the year without a question. Never in a million years did I think that “Sail” by AWOLNATION, or as I like to call it, “the little engine that could”, would hold the #4 spot on this countdown. Released in 2011, it spent the obligatory 20 weeks on the Hot 100, never reaching higher than #75. But then, through a series of advertisements using it, including a BMW ad in the Super Bowl, “Sail” recharted in February of this year. It slowly climbed and climbed until it found its way to a peak of #17 after an astounding 50+ week ascent, and it still remains on the chart today. While it never achieved a very lofty peak, “Sail” is the very model of longevity, and my points system certainly rewarded it.
#3: Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
Peak: #2 2013 Weeks on Chart: 42 Points: 3318
In the latter stages of 2013, these song rankings became a race for second place. And “Mirrors”, Justin Timberlake’s second 20/20 Experience single, nearly pulled it off. Taking a while to gain its footing on the Hot 100 as its 8-minute running time on the album was pared down to a 5-minute radio edit, it eventually swooped into the Top 10 just as “Suit & Tie” was dropping out of the region. It proved to have much more staying power, lasting for 42 hard-fought weeks on the chart before just falling out three weeks ago. In a year when each of the top five songs on the countdown eclipsed 3,000 points, it’s remarkable indeed that just five measly points separated “Mirrors” from the second place song.
#2: Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/Wanz
Peak: #1 (for 6 weeks) 2013 Weeks on Chart: 38 Points: 3323
As a song beginning its chart run in 2012 and thus falling off earlier than almost every other song in the Top 10, “Thrift Shop” had to hang on for its life to retain the second place spot on the countdown. Nevertheless, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ breakout novelty hit got the job done and takes home the silver medal. Spending six weeks atop the Hot 100 between February and April, the song was funny enough to continuing sparking interest, yet well-produced enough to remain a staple of popular radio for months. With three massive singles in 2013, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis had the best debut year on the Hot 100 since 50 Cent a decade ago, when he managed to place an astounding four songs into the 2003 year-end Top 25.
#1: Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
Peak: #3 2013 Weeks on Chart: 52 Points: 4360
Surprised that “Radioactive” is the Song of 2013? Well, you shouldn’t be. If its unavoidable radio airplay which endures to this day isn’t enough to persuade you, let’s take a look at the stats. It lapped the entire competition by over 1,000 points, the equivalent of 10 weeks at #1. Furthermore, it spent all 52 calendar weeks on the Hot 100, a feat which has only been matched once in history, when Jewel’s “You Were Meant For Me” turned the trick in 1997. “Radioactive”’s 4,360 points accumulated are also the 2nd most all time for one calendar year, behind only the same Jewel song. Finally, it only needs to spend another eight weeks on the chart to surpass Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” as the longest-lasting single of all time. All in all, 2013 was a dominant year for pop-friendly rock music, and Imagine Dragons led the charge, with their three huge hits spending a collective 105 weeks on the Hot 100. Their victory and receipt of the top spot in the 101 Biggest Hits of 2013 was well-earned.
So what’d you think? Surprised by how the final rankings went down? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on how you would have ranked the hits of 2013. Tomorrow, I will disregard the calculations and present to you my picks for the best songs of 2013! Chart position doesn’t matter, just the ones that I listened to the most and enjoyed the best. I’ll see you tomorrow for a countdown of a different sort!