Addison’s Top 10 Hits of 2019

Addison Howard, Director of Design

2019 served as a great wrap-up to the decade of the 2010s. Throughout this digital decade, more and more internet sensations raised to the top through meme-filled social media apps like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. 


If you haven’t lived under a rock the past 12 months, it’s very likely that you’ve heard these songs once or twice everyday. Continuing my tradition, I have curated a list of 2019’s chart-topping songs that are popular amongst the younger generation of listeners. 

10. “How Do You Sleep?” - Sam Smith

Sam Smith made a bright return to the public eye this year. Kicking the year off back in January with Normani in “Dancing With A Stranger,” which didn’t quite make my list, was a great re-entrance into the mainstream. Smith’s voice is clear and charming. The soft, shimmering bells further embellish the build-up and drop of the beat. The chopped falsettos during the breakdown make this song a lovely and unforgettable earworm. 


9. “Teeth” - 5SOS

5SOS, formed in 2011, made it onto my list yet again. Famous for their first chart-topper, “She Looks So Perfect,” back in 2014, the band has done an impressive job maintaining longevity and evolving production-wise throughout the decade. With a punchy, tight bass looping throughout the song, the dark undertones fill any listener with adrenaline. A fist-pumping breakup song like this one deserves the loudest volume setting your speakers (or ears) can handle.


8. “You Need To Calm Down” - Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has also maintained relevancy throughout the decade. She released five albums since 2010 and was just declared the Artist of the Decade at the American Music Awards. Breaking her hiatus since 2017’s album “Reputation,” Swift came back in August with the enchanting LP “Lover.” Glimmering, shimmering, and bright, this album’s pastel-palette depiction of a delicate love is very hard to hate. In this song, she demonstrates her support for love inside the LGBT community. The lucious chorus of vocal octave layers and the shout-worthy lyrics demonstrate that Swift still has power, and she doesn’t have any plans to stop. 


7.  "Panini" - Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X is the only artist to make two appearances in my list this year. Panini, my personal favorite of the two, is a certified bop despite its brevity. The song draws interpolations from Nirvana’s “In Bloom.” The catchy whistling that echos intermittently captivates every ear. Stylistically, Lil Nas X retains the same digital, hip-hop, and pop influences that his other songs do. Being one of the younger artists on the list, much of his audience are influenced by his online presence on social media and meme culture.


6. "Sucker" - Jonas Brothers

Arguably one of the best band reunions in the history of music, the “JoBros,” surprised millions with their comeback album “Happiness Begins.” The whistle and falsetto melodies combine with the upbeat drum groove to create a subliminally catchy record.

5. "Señorita" - Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, a relationship that no one predicted, came together for this Latin-style love song. The soft and sweet plucking of the guitar strings blend effortlessly with an electronic drum beat to form the lovechild of “Stitches” and “Havana.” In the lyrics, Mendes and Cabello flirt with each other back and forth until everyone is uncomfortable, and then the song concludes. 


4. "Old Town Road" - Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus

Year after year, there has been at least one “meme song” that has been ironically played, streamed, and spread everywhere in pop culture. Lil Nas X’s breakout remix hit of his own, “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, is hands-down the champion “meme song” of 2019. Besides the comedic lyrics about the video game “Red Dead Redemption II,” the hip-hop beat with a country crossover was undoubtedly a guilty pleasure for anyone that listened. 


3. "Talk" - Khalid

Khalid’s music has the best vibes in the world. Releasing his second studio album of his career, he maintains R&B influences alongside regular pop jams. The chill, slower, grainy textures of “Talk” broadcast a mood of calmness and peace. Almost magical, Khalid effortlessly uses his powerful voice and falsetto to transcend the listener into true nirvana. It’s one of the best, if not the best, vibey songs of the year.  


2. "Truth Hurts" - Lizzo

Lizzo, an astounding and talented new artist that emerged during 2019, released 

one of the best breakup songs in history this year. Delivering an empowering message in the form of a musical bop, Lizzo makes sure to show everybody who’s boss. It is pretty much guaranteed that anyone you approach will know all the words. The repetitive yet groovy bassline joined with some hard-hitting 808s make dancing irresistible.  

1. "Bad Guy" - Billie Eillish

Billie Eillish, the youngest artist on this chart, wins number one on my list. Producing her game-changing album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” with her brother Finneas, Eillish brings a darker, more emotional, and stylistically refreshing sound to the table. Her voice, panned in stereo, surrounds and attacks at the beat drop like a mythological Siren. The rebellious tone, beat, melody, and lyrics hypnotize and make the song an undeniable hit.

YouTube Playlist to All the Songs in this List: 

Image by Leigh Cooper

Honorable Mentions

  • "Take What You Want" - Post Malone ft. Ozzy Osbourne & Travis Scott

    • The most unexpected collaboration between three legendary, successful artists, “Take What You Want,” is a killer headbanging rock/trap crossover. The last time a rock and roll guitar solo received that much playtime had to be decades ago. 


  • "Earfquake" - Tyler, the Creator

    • Tyler’s new and rebranded album “IGOR” was the most transformative hip-hop album of the year. His lead single off of this album, “Earfquake,” has a catchy, west-coast style beat. With a history of love songs under his belt, Tyler recreates his message of love with clean, unique production.