If albums had something of a soft landing on the pop landscape in , then songs more than picked up the headline-grabbing slack. The Man and Sam Hunt did so domestically. And even with all this, it was still a year where the very best singles might not have been the very biggest. Lady Gaga, "The Cure". Following her rootsy, personal Joanne LP, "The Cure" comes across like Gaga's concession to radio's now waning love affair with trop-pop. Even so, the track is unmistakable Stefani Germanotta, from the smoky coo on the verses hello, jazz chanteuse Gaga to the full-throated, mountain-top-tickling bellow that announces the chorus. The Killers, "The Man". In , we welcomed back synth-rock veterans The Killers with open arms. Their fifth studio album Wonderful Wonderful debuted at No. The song radiates confidence with a disco stomp as glitzy as the Las Vegas strip, and guitar riffs that demand a Travolta-like strut.
If you're not diligent, music can pass you by. That's true now more than ever. Artists have the tools to create and release new music at any moment with the push of a button. This means any newcomer—any passionate or lonely kid in a room with a song in his or her head—can have as much power as any established artist with a SoundCloud. In many ways the streaming age has become the great equalizer. Lil Peep, a largely unknown emo rapper, can amass internet fame and help direct the future of a new hybrid genre. Yet music this year was defined by outrage, by progress, by passion and escapism.
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And of course, if there was a week in which sales and streams or just general excitement seemed to be lagging, the pop machine reverted to a tried-and-true formula established as a sure shot back in ' Just throw Justin Bieber on it. Here are our 50 favorite songs of so far -- the biggest hits, the songs that fell through the cracks, and everything in between. Note: Songs were considered eligible for this list if they were either released in or peaked on the Hot during that time — unless they already appeared on our list. Logic feat. Chris Stapleton, "Second One to Know". You knew Chris could rock, too, right? Lana Del Rey, "Love".
It wasn't all bad news for big names this year, though, with some pros releasing excellent work that cemented their place at the top of their respective genres, like Kendrick Lamar with his outstanding DAMN singles, and DJ Khaled with the playground exuberance of his posse cuts. Then, we ranked them, starting with the year's most disappointing best-sellers, and working our way through the list to determine 's defining singles. Below, see our ranking of the 50 biggest songs of , ordered from worst to best.