Welcome back to the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016! I’m going to conclude the first half of the list today with songs 60-51. If you missed any previous installment, here’s where you can catch up:
Let’s get started with song #60!
#60: Starving by Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f/Zedd
Peak: #12 2016 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1370
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 94
2016 saw Hailee Steinfeld fully cement herself as dual threat in the entertainment business. In 2010, she earned an Oscar nomination for her role in True Grit, and recently received a Golden Globe nod for The Edge Of Seventeen. She’ll always be an actress first to me, but most know her today as one of pop music’s rising stars. After first reaching the Top 40 last year with “Love Myself,” she scored a huge hit this fall with “Starving.” In reaching its peak late last month, its success wasn’t fully recognized on the Billboard year-end chart, and the 34-place discrepancy between our rankings is the largest you’ll see this year.
#59: No by Meghan Trainor
Peak: #3 2016 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1379
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 45
After the massive success of each single from Title, the burden of following up that rise to fame was met in 2016 by Meghan Trainor. The lead single from her second album Thank You was “No,” a song similar in theme to her previous singles but infused with more modern production values. It became Trainor’s first single to debut inside the Top 10, but “No” was ultimately unable to maintain its early chart success, tumbling down the charts and losing valuable ranking points.
#58: Close by Nick Jonas f/Tove Lo
Peak: #14 2016 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1386
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 66
With “Close,” Nick Jonas continued his run of one-word hits that began in 2014 with “Jealous.” Since his breakout solo hit, each of his subsequent visits to the Hot 100 have featured brief titles, including “Chains” and “Levels.” While “Close” wasn’t quite able to reach the peak positions of “Jealous” and “Chains,” but the duet with Swedish singer Tove Lo gave Nick Jonas his third straight year with an appearance on my countdown.
#57: Me Too by Meghan Trainor
Peak: #13 2016 Weeks on Chart: 20 Points: 1391
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 62
The followup single to “No” did not have the luxury of debuting inside the Top 5, but “Me Too” enjoyed a more traditional rise and fall on the Hot 100. Despite peaking outside of the Top 10, its chart descent was slow and gradual, enabling it to narrowly out-nudge “No” on my countdown. No followup single has charted yet, but the two hits from Thank You have ensured that Meghan Trainor’s success will not be limited to her debut album.
#56: Hotline Bling by Drake
Peak: #3 (#2 in 2015) 2016 Weeks on Chart: 17 Points: 1397
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 24
The most meme-able hit of 2015-16 continued its lengthy run in the new year. It reached its #2 peak well before Donald Trump danced to it on SNL, but its continued exposure helped “Hotline Bling” become Drake’s biggest hit to that point. “One Dance” would ultimately surpass it, but the crowning of 2016 as Drake’s year started with a cheesy dance in a neon box.
#55: Side To Side by Ariana Grande f/Nicki Minaj
Peak: #4 2016 Weeks on Chart: 16 Points: 1437
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 77
Before it was overplayed to death in a certain T-Mobile commercial, “Side To Side” was the fresh-sounding best single off Ariana Grande’s 2016 album. Aided by its saturated exposure and live awards-show performances, it became the highest-charting Dangerous Woman track. By virtue of her featured credit, Nicki Minaj earns her second appearance on this countdown, extending her streak of multiple entries to an impressive seven years. That stands as the fourth-longest streak of all time, trailing only Drake’s active streak of 8 years, Lil Wayne’s nine-year streak from 2007-15, and Rihanna’s active streak of 11 straight years.
#54: Sucker For Pain by Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons w/Logic & Ty Dolla Sign f/X Ambassadors
Peak: #15 2016 Weeks on Chart: 22 Points: 1446
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 68
The Suicide Squad soundtrack became a runaway commercial success in 2016, even though its parent film opened to mixed reaction. The title of “most crowded Hot 100 hit of the year” belonged to “Sucker Of Pain,” one of several promotional single from the soundtrack. If you regularly confused Imagine Dragons and X Ambassadors, this song won’t help your distinguishing efforts. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a hip-hop song feature two full rock bands, but in a strange way, it almost comes together. Either way, “Sucker For Pain” is one of the strangest songs ever to become a bona fide Hot 100 hit.
#53: Hands To Myself by Selena Gomez
Peak: #7 2016 Weeks on Chart: 19 Points: 1470
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 56
Armed with a steamy music video which permanently banished Selena Gomez’s Disney Channel beginnings, “Hands To Myself” became the fourth consecutive Top 10 for Gomez, following “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” “Good For You,” and “Same Old Love.” While followup “Kill Em With Kindness” stalled at a peak of #39, all six singles to date released by Gomez as a lead solo artist (unencumbered by The Scene) have reached the Hot 100’s Top 40.
#52: The Hills by The Weeknd
Peak: #7 (#1 in 2015) 2016 Weeks on Chart: 19 Points: 1471
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 32
Outlasting its little brother “Can’t Feel My Face” by two months, “The Hills” became the Weeknd’s highest-ranked countdown entry for a second consecutive. In having two songs appear in both the 2015 and 2016 rankings, The Weeknd became just the fifth artist in Hot 100 history to pull off that impressive feat, joining:
- LMFAO, 2011-2012: “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy And I Know It”
- Adele, 2011-2012: “Rolling In The Deep” and “Someone Like You”
- Imagine Dragons, 2013-2014: “Radioactive” and “Demons”
- Sam Smith, 2014-2015: “Stay With Me” and “I’m Not The Only One”
#51: Never Be Like You by Flume f/Kai
Peak: #20 2016 Weeks on Chart: 26 Points: 1500
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 60
2016 was a year filled with rising artists seeing their debut US singles reach lofty heights and spend lengthy stays on the Hot 100. Australian DJ Flume had the greatest such success in the EDM genre, as his downtempo “Never Be Like You” cracked the Top 20 and spent the entire middle half of 2016 on the chart. His followup single “Say It,” featuring Tove Lo, was unable to replicate the success of “Never Be Like You,” spending just two weeks on the chart this fall.
We’ve now reached the halfway point of the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016! I’m going to take Christmas off, so I hope everyone enjoys their holiday with family and friends. I’ll see you back on the 26th to pick up with the second half of the countdown!