Welcome back to the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016! Today I’ll reveal songs 40 through 31 as we march closer and closer to the end of the countdown. If you missed any previous installments, here’s where you can catch up:
Let’s get started with song #40!
#40: Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande
Peak: #8 2016 Weeks on Chart: 21 Points: 1728
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 36
Ariana Grande inked her name in Hot 100 history when lead single “Dangerous Woman” debuted at #10 this spring. “Dangerous Woman” became her third straight lead single to debut inside the Top 10, joining 2013’s “The Way” and 2014’s “Problem.” No other artist in the history of the Hot 100 has ever turned that trick with three straight albums. The achievement sparked a fruitful chart run for not just “Dangerous Woman,” but for the subsequent singles as well.
#39: One Call Away by Charlie Puth
Peak: #12 2016 Weeks on Chart: 24 Points: 1737
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 43
Released late in 2015, “One Call Away” became a staple of adult contemporary radio throughout the year. Furthermore, it proved that Charlie Puth was in fact capable of carrying a hit all by himself, following successful pairings with Wiz Khalifa and Meghan Trainor. He dipped back into the duet well on “We Don’t Talk Anymore” and “Nothing But Trouble,” but successfully entrenched himself in the lexicon of contemporary pop stars.
#38: Oui by Jeremih
Peak: #19 2016 Weeks on Chart: 27 Points: 1739
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 55
It seems like Jeremih is good for a massive solo hit once every two or three years. After his breakout “Birthday Sex” in 2009, we had to wait two years for the Top 5 hit “Down On Me” in 2011. That was followed three years later by 2014’s Top 10 smash “Don’t Tell ‘Em.” 2016 brought “Oui,” a slow-burn R&B hit centered around a clever bit of wordplay (“There’s no we [oui] without you [U] and I”). While it didn’t reach the Top 10 like the aforementioned hits, “Oui” spent over six months on the chart and actually outlasted and outscored “Birthday Sex.”
#37: Gold by Kiiara
Peak: #13 2016 Weeks on Chart: 27 Points: 1741
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 52
One of 44 newcomers to the countdown this year, Kiiara blended EDM and trap on her debut single “Gold.” Released in the summer of 2015, it earned its first mainstream exposure when it was selected as the featured song in an ad for the Apple Watch. It eventually caught on and became a huge sleeper hit, peaking at #13 nearly 18 months after its initial release.
#36: Don’t by Bryson Tiller
Peak: #13 2016 Weeks on Chart: 23 Points: 1742
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 35
As mentioned in the blurb about his other entry “Exchange,” Bryson Tiller was the breakout star in the hip-hop and R&B genres this year, winning both Best New Artist and Best R&B Artist at the 2016 BET Awards. “Don’t” knocked on the door of the Top 10 throughout the entire winter and maintained its momentum even with “Exchange” enjoying a similarly successful chart run.
#35: Let Me Love You by DJ Snake f/Justin Bieber
Peak: #4 2016 Weeks on Chart: 19 Points: 1767
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 47
My initial appraisal of DJ Snake as a novelty act following the breakout of “Turn Down For What” in 2014 has been proven utterly false. In addition to logging his fifth countdown entry with “Let Me Love You,” DJ Snake also earned a Top 10 for the third consecutive year, including his work with Major Lazer on “Lean On.” Interestingly enough, Justin Bieber featured on both hits this year for DJ Snake and Major Lazer, helping swell the young Canadian’s number of appearances on the countdown this year to an impressive five.
#34: Unsteady by X Ambassadors
Peak: #20 2016 Weeks on Chart: 31 Points: 1819
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 67
If you thought “Renegades” was destined to be X Ambassadors’ only big hit, the band made 2016 their mission to prove you wrong. In addition to their appearance on the Suicide Squad revue “Sucker For Pain,” X Ambassadors reached the Top 20 for a second time with “Unsteady.” Featured on the soundtrack to the film Me Before You, the ballad worked its way up the charts extremely gradually, taking over six months to reach its peak. This slow and steady chart run actually led to “Unsteady” outperforming “Renegades” in both total points and countdown ranking.
#33: Roses by The Chainsmokers f/Rozes
Peak: #6 2016 Weeks on Chart: 23 Points: 1832
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 27
When “Roses” began its chart run in late 2015, I was more amused than anything. “Good for them,” I thought of the duo then best-known for novelty hit “#SELFIE.” Little did I know that The Chainsmokers were on their way to becoming the most dominant act of 2016. In rare fashion, each subsequent Chainsmokers single this year peaked higher than its predecessor, with the #6 peak of “Roses” being usurped by the #3 peak of “Don’t Let Me Down” and eventual chart-topper “Closer.”
#31 (tie): Let It Go by James Bay
Peak: #16 2016 Weeks on Chart: 34 Points: 1880
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 44
The longest path to hit status this year belonged to James Bay’s “Let It Go.” Initially released in September 2014, the ballad enjoyed international success in 2015, reaching the Top 10 in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. 15 months later it began its own chart run stateside, initiating a slow rise into the Top 20. Aided by consistent adult contemporary radio airplay, “Let It Go” remained inside the Top 40 for several months.
#31 (tie): Stitches by Shawn Mendes
Peak: #6 (#4 in 2015) 2016 Weeks on Chart: 23 Points: 1880
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 23
The biggest Vine crossover star to date, Shawn Mendes cemented his Hot 100 star status with a massively successful 2016. “Stitches” turned the exceedingly rare trick of finishing in my year-end Top 50 in back-to-back years as it put the finishing touches on a full 52-week run, virtually the longest stay permitted by current chart rules. Mendes has logged three additional Top 40 hits since “Stitches,” including one which you’ll see tomorrow, but none of them have come close to reaching its lofty heights.
Three segments remain in the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016, so I’ll see you back tomorrow for the revealing of songs 30 through 21!