Welcome back everyone! Today the countdown continues with songs 20-11 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 #20!
#20: Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Peak: #6 2015 Weeks on Chart: 31 Points: 2329
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 20
2015’s pop radio darling, Rachel Platten’s breakout single “Fight Song” worked its way steadily into the Top 10 and spent the majority of eight months on the Hot 100. At age 34, Platten became the oldest female artist to score her first Top 10 single since Sia reached the region with “Wild Ones” in 2012 at age 37.
#19: Worth It by Fifth Harmony f/Kid Ink
Peak: #12 2015 Weeks on Chart: 36 Points: 2369
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 23
An X Factor product just like One Direction, girl group Fifth Harmony hadn’t had the level of immediate success that 1D enjoyed. However, they finally broke through into widepsread recognition with their sax-filled hit “Worth It” this spring. Surprisingly, “Worth It” became the first Top 20 hit by an all-female group since the Pussycat Dolls’ “Jai Ho” in 2009. Adding further historic accolades, its 36-week run on the Hot 100 is the longest ever for a girl group.
#18: Blank Space by Taylor Swift
Peak: #1 (for 7 weeks) 2015 Weeks on Chart: 29 Points: 2393
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 7
It’s hard to say that a song spending 7 weeks at #1 could be a disappointment, but the late 2014 release of “Blank Space” prevented Taylor Swift from securing her first appearance in this countdown’s Top 10 since and “You Belong With Me” in 2009. Still, the second #1 single from 1989 solidified Swift’s position squarely in the world of pop music and became the longest-ruling of her four #1 singles to date.
#17: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
Peak: #5 (#1 in 2014) 2015 Weeks on Chart: 33 Points: 2433
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 18
In addition to their countdown places occurring in reverse chronological order, Taylor Swift’s five songs on this list are also ascendant in order of total weeks spent on the Hot 100. Placing respectably on last year’s countdown, “Shake It Off” showed incredible legs this year, nearly spending an entire year on the chart. Despite five enormously successful singles from 1989, none of them were ultimately able to surpass the longevity of the first one.
#16: Post To Be by Omarion f/Chris Brown & Jhene Aiko
Peak: #13 2015 Weeks on Chart: 37 Points: 2434
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 24
He may have had a much quieter year than 2014, but DJ Mustard earned his biggest hit (at least in terms of this countdown) this year. “Post To Be” was by far the year’s unlikeliest hit, giving Omarion his first Hot 100 appearance in nearly a decade, as well as his biggest hit since he had a #1 hit with “Bump, Bump, Bump” as a member of B2K in 2003. It also managed to include one of hip-hop’s most memorable lines of the year, leaving plenty wondering just how one might “eat the booty like groceries.”
#15: Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd
Peak: #1 (for 3 weeks) 2015 Weeks on Chart: 27 Points: 2530
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 12
Now on to our second set today of consecutive entries by one artist. One of the year’s two biggest breakthrough artists, The Weeknd (née Abel Tesfaye) emerged from the musical underground to become 2015’s biggest new pop star, taking four songs to the Top 10, but shining brightest on the Michael Jackson-reminiscent “Can’t Feel My Face.” Spending three nonconsecutive weeks at #1, it eventually gave way to the next song on the countdown.
#14: The Hills by The Weeknd
Peak: #1 (for 6 weeks) 2015 Weeks on Chart: 29 Points: 2688
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 10
Closer lyrically and musically to his prior released material, “The Hills” brought the dark and ethereal tones of The Weeknd’s musical identity to the mainstream. Seemingly less made for pop radio than “Can’t Feel My Face,” “The Hills” proved that belief wrong, spending six weeks at #1 before a little song called “Hello” introduced itself to the world. Still in the Top 10 on 2016’s first Hot 100 chart, it’s virtually a lock to appear in some capacity this time next year as well.
#12 (tie): Want To Want Me by Jason Derulo
Peak: #5 2015 Weeks on Chart: 35 Points: 2762
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 17
2014 saw Jason Derulo take a pair of novelty songs into the Top 5, giving him his biggest success to first making it big in 2009. Derulo spent 2015 trying to reinvent himself as a legitimate pop star in his own right, and started that conversation off on the right foot with “Want To Want Me.” Evoking comparisons to a modernized piece of the Prince catalog, the uptempo number returned Derulo to the Top 5, and very nearly gave him a second consecutive appearance in my countdown’s Top 10.
#12 (tie): Cheerleader by OMI
Peak: #1 (for 6 weeks) 2015 Weeks on Chart: 34 Points: 2762
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 11
Originally released in 2011, “Cheerleader” took a lengthy road to global smash hit status. Much in the vein of “Waves” or “Prayer In C,” a European DJ (this time Felix Jaehn) sped it up and primed it for pop radio, and OMI’s debut single quickly became a massive hit in European markets. After reaching #1 in the UK in spring, it debuted in the US in May, became #1 in July, and was shortly thereafter named Billboard’s Song Of The Summer. Should OMI never have another song reach the Hot 100, he would jump to the front of the line for this millennium’s biggest “ultimate one-hit wonder.”
#11: Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding
Peak: #3 2015 Weeks on Chart: 34 Points: 2797
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 13
Not since 8 Mile has there been an original soundtrack with as immediate an impact on the pop music world as Fifty Shades Of Grey. With a pair of Top 5 singles to its credit, amazingly Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” is but the first of these songs you will see on this countdown. For a movie with pretty bad reviews, it’s surprising that the songs were remembered so prominently, as there’s never been a soundtrack with two songs ranking this high in my year-end rankings. “Love Me Like You Do” didn’t quite match the extraordinary chart run of her first hit “Lights,” but choosing to record for the Fifty Shades soundtrack was undeniably an enormously prudent career choice on her part.
A big thank you again to everybody for reading the latest installment in the 101 Biggest Hits of 2015! Tomorrow will bring this countdown to an end, so I’ll see you back here for the conclusion to another reminiscence of a year gone by!