When talking about so far at Billboard , it's hard to avoid the fact that the chart year has only had 24 editions of the Hot , and Drake has been No. It's the most that any one artist has dominated the listing's top spot in a year's first six months this decade -- though shout-out to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' combined 11 weeks on top in the first half of -- and it essentially leaves the non-Drake part of the field wide open when it comes to discussing the year's best and biggest singles. But that's fine. Beyond the Drakening, has been a year of pleasant surprises on the charts: All-Star teamups we didn't see coming, previously unknown artists coming out with left-field hits, and a handful of big-name comebacks taking us to unexpected new places, all of which made the predictability at pop's highest level forgivable. And besides, those two Drake songs are pretty great too: You'll see them both below as we recount our 50 favorite songs of so far, with a Spotify playlist of all 50 at the bottom. The moment fans have been waiting for since Timberlake and Stapleton collaborated at the CMA Awards finally came in , and it's as special as that instant-classic performance. Not only did the song take JT and Chris' bromance to the next level, it made it very clear that their CMA team-up was no fluke. Jade Bird, "Lottery".
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The album won't go down without a fight. As the algorithmic thinking of the streaming music era tightens its grip on the record industry and consumer listening habits, artists are still writing and recording collections of new material, releasing them as cohesive units on specific dates, and suggesting that you listen to them in a pre-established order. As a format for enjoying multiple songs and a way of thinking about creative development, it remains essential. Even with all its tumult, didn't change that. There's always good new music out there, providing the soundtrack to the highs and lows of daily life. Sometimes it comes from a new artist you've never heard of before; sometimes it comes from a reliable veteran you perhaps stopped listening to consistently.
What even is pop music anymore? Considering rap has overtaken every other genre as the dominate popular music in the country, you could technically argue that it is pop music. And often enough it is! Pop music. Cardi B? Pop music!
Luckily, that also made this one of the most exciting years for singles on the charts and in our own personal playlists in recent memory -- one in which the biggest hits were also some of the most challenging and rewarding, and in which the more conventional pop songs that did break through on a massive scale felt fresher than they have in a long time. From the "Shallow" to "The Middle" to the highest of "High Hopes," music was captivating at all levels in Here are the Billboard staff's favorite songs of the year. An obvious Hot chart topper and delightful fixture on pop radio. Jessie Reyez, "Body Count". Young Fathers, "In My View". Avril Lavigne, "Head Above Water". Death Cab for Cutie, "Gold Rush". Nicki Minaj, "Barbie Dreams".