Welcome back everyone! Today the countdown continues with songs 60-51 of the 101 Biggest Hits of 2015! 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! Let’s pick up where we left off with song #60!
#60: Girl Crush by Little Big Town
Peak: #18 2015 Weeks on Chart: 24 Points: 1378
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 63
Better known for their more summery country hits like “Pontoon” and “Boondocks,” veterans Little Big Town turned the tempo way down in 2015 and struck gold with the haunting “Girl Crush.” Both a critical and commercial success, the ballad recently became the first country song nominated for the Song Of The Year Grammy Award since 2011, when Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me” was nominated and Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” took home the award.
#59: You Know You Like It by DJ Snake & AlunaGeorge
Peak: #13 2015 Weeks on Chart: 21 Points: 1385
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 59
French producer DJ Snake is a perfect 3-for-3 on manufacturing American hits as lead artist. I think we all expected him to be a one-hit wonder after last year’s downright goofy “Turn Down For What.” But Snake had two massive hits this year as well, as “You Know You Like It” and “Lean On” shared chart time for several months. The former single took a 2012 UK Top 40 hit by English duo AlunaGeorge and turned it into an EDM powerhouse, complete with DJ Snake’s trademark syncopated drops.
#58: Only by Nicki Minaj f/Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown
Peak: #15 (#12 in 2014) 2015 Weeks on Chart: 18 Points: 1388
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 51
Nicki Minaj enlisted the Holy Trinity of hip-hop features (Lil Wayne, Drake and Chris Brown) for her followup to 2014’s viral hit “Anaconda,” and it likewise became an immediate success. “Only” nearly reached the Top 10 despite being a great deal more vulgar than your average hit single, and contained a number of memorable quotable lines. I’m still not sure to this day how one would go about eating someone’s derriere like a cupcake, and I think I’ll pass on ever seeking out the answer.
#57: Ex’s & Oh’s by Elle King
Peak: #10 2015 Weeks on Chart: 23 Points: 1395
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 73
One of 2015’s biggest sleeper hits, Elle King’s bluesy debut single “Ex’s & Oh’s” quickly ran the gamut from being one of the year’s freshest-sounding radio hits to one of the year’s most overplayed songs. Despite a stage name dodging the fact that her father is actor Rob Schneider, King managed to become popular without the celebrity connection. It took over a year from release for the song to reach the Top 10, and it’s still holding on in the Top 20 as of the writing of this post, so we’ll see if it hangs on long enough to sneak into the lower rungs of this countdown next year.
#56: Truffle Butter by Nick Minaj f/Drake & Lil Wayne
Peak: #14 2015 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1406
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 66
Chris Brown must have been unavailable, but 75% of the “Only” artists returned for Nicki Minaj’s next single “Truffle Butter.” Brown’s absence might explain the lack of a hook, as the song consists entirely of the three rapper’s verses joined by brief musical interludes. Despite never releasing a music video, typically Minaj’s most surefire way to turning singles into viral hits, “Truffle Butter” performed admirably on the Hot 100, reaching the Top 20 and remaining in the Top 50 for nearly the entirety of its 20-week run.
#55: Jealous by Nick Jonas
Peak: #7 2015 Weeks on Chart: 18 Points: 1410
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 38
Taking full advantage of the perks of a late-year release, Nick Jonas’s comeback single appears on this countdown two years in a row. After a productive first three months gave “Jealous” a countdown slot in the 90s in 2014, the song reached its peak of #7 in January and hung around into May. Evidently Jonas got too jealous of girlfriend Olivia Culpo, who appears in the music video, because the song’s chart run outlasted their real-life relationship.
#53 (tie): Like I’m Gonna Lose You by Meghan Trainor f/John Legend
Peak: #8 2015 Weeks on Chart: 23 Points: 1416
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 76
Meghan Trainor’s fourth single off of debut album Title became her fourth-straight hit. “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” recruited John Legend, who had last year’s #1 song on my countdown, to excellent effect. The song’s fortunes were further aided by a steamy performance at this year’s VMAs, which helped it become Trainor’s third Top 10 single. Currently still in the Top 10, a run at next year’s countdown is still quite possible.
#53 (tie): Cool For The Summer by Demi Lovato
Peak: #11 2015 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1416
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 53
Demi Lovato has always lagged somewhat behind the superstardom of competition like Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift, but she has built herself up as a very consistent hitmaker. “Cool For The Summer” was a timely seasonal hit, and received heavy airplay as it worked its way nearly into the Top 10. It helped make 2015 Lovato’s fourth straight year with an appearance on this countdown. If current single “Confident” doesn’t stay on the Hot 100 long enough to make the 2016 list, the burden will fall on another single off the Confident album to keep the streak alive.
#52: Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy
Peak: #22 2015 Weeks on Chart: 27 Points: 1428
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 60
2015 was a year filled with interesting samples, as Drake channeled Timmy Thomas and Sam Smith got called out for interpolating Tom Petty, but no track had a more “huh?” sample than Fall Out Boy’s “Uma Thurman.” As if the Pulp Fiction reference wasn’t enough, this frenetic track is backed with the unmistakable theme from The Munsters. The second single from American Beauty/American Psycho continued Fall Out Boy’s recent resurgence in popularity, and logged an impressive 27 weeks on the Hot 100 despite never entering the Top 20.
#51: Drag Me Down by One Direction
Peak: #3 2015 Weeks on Chart: 19 Points: 1430
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 65
I’d be curious to see what the Vegas odds were for One Direction to have any Top 10 hits following the departure of Zayn Malik. Whatever they were, 1D defied them, as “Drag Me Down” became their second-highest peaking single to date. As the lead single off of Made In The A.M., the song debuted in the Top 10 and has done admirably in avoiding the fate of singles like “Live While We’re Young” and sticking around in the upper half of the Hot 100. Allegedly the group will be going on hiatus after riding the wave of this newest album, so we’ll have to see how long (if at all) it will be until One Direction shows up on this countdown again.
A big thank you again to everybody for reading the latest installment in the 101 Biggest Hits of 2015! We’re now officially halfway through the countdown, so check back tomorrow for songs 50-41, as we march ever closer in our quest to uncover the songs that defined this past year!