Welcome back everyone! Today the countdown continues with songs 70-61 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 #70!
#70: Riptide by Vance Joy
Peak: #30 2015 Weeks on Chart: 19 Points: 1241
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 71
Despite never clearing #30 on the Hot 100, Vance Joy’s breakout single put together an incredible run of longevity, becoming the lowest-peaking song ever to appear on the year-end charts in two consecutive years. “Riptide” managed to settle in on the strength of radio airplay, and stuck around on the Hot 100 for an impressive 44 weeks in total. Unfortunately, equally catchy followup single “Mess Is Mine” failed to chart here in America, presumably leaving Vance Joy a one-hit wonder.
#69: Blessings by Big Sean f/Drake
Peak: #28 2015 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1243
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 88
Anchored by the success of his album Dark Sky Paradise, Big Sean had a solid 2015, which proved to be his biggest year since 2012, when he featured on Kanye’s “Clique” and “Mercy,” and also had a Top 10 hit himself with “Dance (A$$).” You’ll see two songs of his in this installment of the countdown, starting with the oft-quoted “Blessings,” which turned down the tempo in stark contrast to the other song you’ll see a couple spots below. Drake steps in to help out and claims yet another slot on the countdown.
#68: Ayo by Chris Brown & Tyga
Peak: #21 2015 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1264
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 86
Months before Drake and Future released a mixtape comprised entirely of collaborations, “Loyal” partners Chris Brown and Tyga did the same thing with their album Fan Of A Fan. It failed to perform anywhere near as well as What A Time To Be Alive, but its lead single “Ayo” performed well enough to outrank “Jumpman” and all but one of Drake’s singles as lead artist this year. When it first came out, I called this song “Loyal 3/5” for its quite similar title, but hindsight proves that the beat and lyrical content also resemble “Loyal” more than just a little bit.
#67: All Eyes On You by Meek Mill f/Chris Brown & Nicki Minaj
Peak: #21 2015 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1280
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 69
He may have lost his brief feud with Drake, but Meek Mill still managed to have a quite successful 2015 as his album Dreams Worth More Than Money spawned five songs which reached the Hot 100. The first one released as a commercial single, “All Eyes On You” became the Philadelphia rapper’s first Top 40 single, thanks in part to two high-profile features. Followup single “R.I.C.O.” also briefly sniffed the Top 40, but is more infamous nowadays for spawning the short-lived aforementioned feud.
#66: Stay With Me by Sam Smith
Peak: #11 (#2 in 2014) 2015 Weeks on Chart: 18 Points: 1298
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 58
Just like “Chandelier,” Sam Smith’s multi-platinum hit “Stay With Me” received a direct benefit from a slew of Grammy nominations, riding the continued hype into May. Perhaps the most noteworthy 2015 accomplishment for the ballad was its legal obligation to list Tom Petty as a co-writer due to the chorus’s striking resemblance to the rocker’s “I Won’t Back Down.” “Stay With Me” ended up winning the two most-coveted single-song awards at this year’s Grammy Awards, taking home both Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year.
#65: Hit The Quan by iLoveMemphis
Peak: #15 2015 Weeks on Chart: 17 Points: 1303
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 83
Possibly my favorite of 2015’s numerous instructional dance hits, “Hit The Quan” was the only one directly inspired by another 2015 hit. Based off of Rich Homie Quan’s moves in his music video for “Flex (Ooh Ooh Ooh),” the viral hit has been widely utilized by purveyors of Vine and athletes alike. The most entertaining fact about “Hit The Quan” is that in the middle of its run, the teen artist changed his stage name from iHeartMemphis to iLoveMemphis for unspecified reasons. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything remotely close to that happen before, but I am almost ashamed to admit that I have given this track way more listens than I probably should have.
#64: I Don’t F**k With You by Big Sean f/E-40
Peak: #12 (#11 in 2014) 2015 Weeks on Chart: 17 Points: 1309
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 47
Perhaps DJ Mustard’s magnum opus, Big Sean’s “I Don’t F**k With You” married an infectious beat with gleefully vulgar wordplay, giving Big Sean his second-biggest hit as a lead artist, behind the #10 peak of “Dance (A$$)”. The first single from Dark Sky Paradise also saw E-40’s first meaningful feature since 2006’s “Snap Yo Fingers” and saw Kanye West cameo in the music video as Big Sean’s high school football coach. What’s not to love?
#63: Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift
Peak: #5 2015 Weeks on Chart: 15 Points: 1360
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 57
The five Taylor Swift singles from 1989 that appear on this countdown are coincidentally in reverse chronological order of when they were released. The only one of the five currently on the Hot 100, “Wildest Dreams” managed to graze the Top 5 very early in its chart run, but has proven to have petered out much quicker than its fellow Swift singles. With no immediate followup single announced yet, we’ll have to see if any other songs from 1989 like “Out Of The Woods” or “New Romantics” receive airplay or make a run at significant time on the Hot 100.
#62: Chains by Nick Jonas
Peak: #13 2015 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1361
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 68
For those of you who thought that “Jealous” would be Nick Jonas’s one last gasp at tasting the glory of pop stardom, “Chains” was a subsequent and immediate success for the onetime teen idol. Although not quite as dominating a force on the radio, “Chains” still managed to crack the Top 20 with ease, and hung around more than long enough to give Jonas a second entry in this countdown. Although it had great potential to be a hit, most recent single “Levels” failed to reach the Top 40, making me wonder if Jonas’s second 15 minutes of fame might prove to be his last.
#61: One Last Time by Ariana Grande
Peak: #13 2015 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1373
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 67
As the followup to “Love Me Harder,” I thought “One Last Time” would be a huge success, catchy enough to have a prolonged stay in the Top 10. For some reason though, the uptempo ballad never really caught on from an airplay perspective and stalled out at #13. Grande eventually returned to the Top 10 last month with “Focus,” but that proved to be a one-week stay in the region as it is currently ebbing down the rungs of the Hot 100. Could Ariana Grande’s once limitless ceiling in pop music be slowly dropping? Of course, for any other artist, 3 hit singles in one year is an enviable achievement, but 2015 didn’t seem to be her year quite as much as I was expecting.
A big thank you again to everybody for reading the latest installment in the 101 Biggest Hits of 2015! Check back tomorrow for songs 60-51, as we continue our quest to uncover the songs that defined this past year!