Welcome back to the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016! In today’s penultimate edition of the countdown, songs 20 through 11 will be revealed. Here are links to all previous installments, in case you’ve missed any:
Let’s get started with song #20!
#20: Low Life by Future f/The Weeknd
Peak: #18 2016 Weeks on Chart: 35 Points: 2301
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 30
Arguably the hit with the least mainstream crossover potential this year, Future’s ode to nights of debauchery put together one of 2016’s longest chart runs. “Low Life” granted Future his highest countdown ranking to date and gave The Weeknd his final hit with his trademark hairdo. Reaching just #18 on the Hot 100, it became the lowest-peaking song to reach my year-end Top 20 since the #24-peaking “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Buble checked in as the 17th-biggest hit of 2010.
#19: Heathens by Twenty One Pilots
Peak: #2 2016 Weeks on Chart: 26 Points: 2410
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 21
You know that you had a good year when your lowest of three countdown entries checks in at #19. The fellas from Twenty One Pilots were fortunate enough to score the lead single from the Suicide Squad soundtrack, and “Heathens” quickly matched their career-high peak at #2 (same as “Stressed Out”).
#18: Me, Myself & I by G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha
Peak: #7 2016 Weeks on Chart: 31 Points: 2501
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 19
After a slew of bottom-dwelling chart hits last year, G-Eazy finally hit it big in 2016 with “Me, Myself & I.” It can easily be argued that the Bebe Rexha hook, not G-Eazy’s verses, was the catalyst leading to its run to the Top 10, as the singer earned her second Top 10 credit to date (following last year’s “Hey Mama” by David Guetta). The fact that “Me, Myself & I” was featured on the most recent Kidz Bop album indicates that this was about as family-friendly as a rap song gets.
#17: Ride by Twenty One Pilots
Peak: #5 2016 Weeks on Chart: 39 Points: 2762
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 20
The Columbus duo was more than able to build off their breakthrough “Stressed Out” success with the followup “Ride.” Its nine-month chart run featured a slow and steady climb into the Top 10 before becoming Twenty One Pilots’ second consecutive Top 5 hit. Their 2016 success, paired with the similar year enjoyed by The Chainsmokers, showed that this year belonged to the duos.
#16: My House by Flo Rida
Peak: #4 2016 Weeks on Chart: 34 Points: 2770
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 14
Flo Rida continues to prove his reputation as an omnipresent figure on the Hot 100. His rate of output has slowed since his rise to stardom in 2008, but he is still more than good for at least one transcedent hit a year. This year, that honor belonged to “My House,” which quickly worked its way into the house playlist of every stadium and ballpark in the country. In a genre where most artists split their time between solo efforts and featured credits, every single one of Flo Rida’s 12 countdown entries to date have listed him as the lead artist.
#15: Can’t Stop The Feeling! by Justin Timberlake
Peak: #1 (for 1 week) 2016 Weeks on Chart: 32 Points: 2825
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 9
As successful as Justin Timberlake’s career has been in every facet of entertainment, it’s hard to believe that he entered 2016 nine years removed from his last Number One hit (a featured credit on Timbaland’s “Give It To Me” in April of 2007). But in typical Timberlake mastermind fashion, he released “Can’t Stop The Feeling” off the Trolls soundtrack a full six months before the release of the film. It debuted at Number One with ease, enjoyed a lengthy chart run, and even received a healthy bump when Trolls hit theaters in November. Like Pharrell’s “Happy,” an Oscar nomination seems to loom in Timberlake’s near future.
#14: Sorry by Justin Bieber
Peak: #1 (for 3 weeks) 2016 Weeks on Chart: 35 Points: 2834
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 2
After finally earning his first chart-topper with “What Do You Mean?”, Justin Bieber more than made up for lost time with a massive 2016. He quickly earned his second Number One hit with “Sorry,” which spent two months in the runner-up position before finally reaching the top. Since its run in the Top Five began in December, Billboard gave “Sorry” a healthy boost in its rankings, listing Bieber’s hit as the second-biggest hit of 2016. A 12-point disparity this high in the countdown is certainly rare, but the differences are going to continue as we edge closer to the top.
#13: 7 Years by Lukas Graham
Peak: #2 2016 Weeks on Chart: 36 Points: 2835
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 12
My favorite trivia tidbit about the 2016 Hot 100 is that two acts from Denmark reached #2 on the chart this year. Besides the aforementioned MØ’s featured credit on Major Lazer’s “Cold Water,” Danish band Lukas Graham scored their first US hit with “7 Years.” The midtempo ballad about growing older narrowly missed out on topping the charts, but the track received the coveted double nomination for Record and Song of the Year at the 2017 Grammy Awards.
#12: Work From Home by Fifth Harmony f/Ty Dolla Sign
Peak: #4 2016 Weeks on Chart: 34 Points: 2838
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 16
After the massive success of “Worth It” last year, Fifth Harmony took things one step further with “Work From Home.” One of two hits this year to feature a chorus with multiple “Work”s strung together, “Work From Home” became the quintet’s first Top 10 single, spending several months just a hair behind Rihanna’s similarly-titled effort. Now that Camila Cabello has left the group (and earned two Top 20 hits on her own), it’s unclear whether the group has another big hit in their future.
#11: This Is What You Came For by Calvin Harris f/Rihanna
Peak: #3 2016 Weeks on Chart: 32 Points: 2851
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 17
In 2011, Rihanna and Calvin Harris ushered in the era of EDM dominance on the pop charts when their collaboration “We Found Love” spent 10 weeks atop the chart. The fabric of pop music has changed greatly since the pair first teamed up, but they reunited this year to bring listeners “This Is What You Came For.” It wasn’t as revolutionary as the first time you heard “We Found Love,” but the similarly bouncy track became a massive hit this summer. And by virtue of Harris and Rihanna switching lead and featured roles, “This Is What You Came For” became Calvin Harris’ highest-peaking Hot 100 hit as lead artist.
The countdown comes to a close tomorrow, as the ten biggest hits of 2016 are revealed! If you’ve already seen Billboard’s year-end chart, I can assure you that there are some major differences in how the end of the list plays out!