2015 has seen the release of songs that have caught the attention of millions of ears around the globe. From an emerging artist, to a much-awaited release from a record holder, the world of music during the previous year has also seen some share of surprises and heartfelt tributes as well.
Take a look at the top ten songs of 2015, and keep your earphones ready in case you want to play a musical throwback of the yesteryear:
1. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
- “Uptown Funk” has over a billion views on YouTube, more than six million copies sold in the United States and two million in the United Kingdom, and was reported to have earned six figures in Spotify alone. The eighties funk laden song quickly rose up the charts, eventually becoming part of the list of singles to spend more than ten weeks at the number one spot of Billboard Hot 100, and peaking in other major component charts. Now it sits at the peak of Billboard Hot 100 Songs of 2015, and with a 9X Platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and triple Platinum from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). “Funk” won the Best Male Video award in the MTV Video Music Awards (with four other nominations), the Best Pop Award in South Korea’s MelOn Music Awards, and currently has two nominations for the upcoming Grammy Awards.
2. See You Again – Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth
- The emotional tribute in memory of Paul Walker, and the soundtrack of Furious 7dethroned “Uptown Funk” in the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed for up to 12 weeks (nonconsecutive). The song sold more than three million copies in America, 1 million in the UK, has been certified quadruple Platinum by the RIAA and Platinum by the BPI, and amassed around 1.31 billion YouTube views, making it the third most viewed YouTube video ever. It won three Teen Choice Awards, the International Song of the Year from France’s NRJ Music Awards, had two nominations each in the MTV Video Music Awards and American Music Awards, and has nominations for the upcoming Grammy, Golden Globe, and Critics Choice Awards.
3. Trap Queen – Fetty Wap
- Originally recorded last March 2014 and uploaded in SoundCloud (where it gathered more than a million plays), a revised format was eventually released for the radio seven months later. Fetty Wap’s song dedicated to a former “queen” of his proved to be successful, entering the Billboard Hot 100 at number 86 during the first week of February. Three months later it flew up to number two, right below “See You Again”, and stayed there for three straight weeks. Currently it has 350 million views on YouTube, certified Platinum by the RIAA and BPI, and won an MC100 award from Music Choice, Best Track of the Year award from the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Hip Hop Awards, and the Artist to Watch award from MTV Video Music. “Trap Queen” has been nominated for the Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for the upcoming Grammy Awards.
4. Cheerleader – OMI
- Omar Samuel Pasley, or OMI, initially released the original “Cheerleader” in 2012. Two years later,the remix done by music producer Felix Jaehn was released and became a global hit that spread through streaming media. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 on May 2015, while it was sitting in the number one spot on the charts of many other countries. The song took over the top spot in July 2015, replacing “See You Again”, and reigned for six weeks (nonconsecutive). It has 300 million YouTube views, more than 450 million Spotify plays, certified triple Platinum by the RIAA, double Platinum by the BPI, and even won the International Hit of the Year award in the Danish Music Awards.
5. Hello – Adele
- Even though it was released two months before the year ended, “Hello” managed to take the world of music by storm. Its 30-second teaser alone was enough to drive Adele fans on a frenzy in Twitter. For the first week of the song’s release, it had 333,000 sales in the United Kingdom, a majority of which were downloads. The emotionally charged ballad debuted at the Billboard Hot 100 right at the number one spot during November 2 and is still on the same spot today, topped five other Billboard charts and many other charts on a global scale, and sold 1.11 million downloads in just one week. It also broke the record in the video hosting site Vevo for having the most number of views (27.7 million) in a span of 24 hours during its release on the site. Currently, the song has more than 900 million YouTube views, has 3.7 million worth of downloads, and is a certified quadruple Platinum by the RIAA and Platinum by the BPI.
6. Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
- The soundtrack of the erotic drama Fifty Shades of Grey was highly praised for Goulding’s vocals and lyrical content that matches the book and film’s protagonist’s longing for affection that can be painful. It sold over a million copies in the United Kingdom, entered the Billboard Hot 100 at the number 45 spot, climbing up the chart until it rested on number three on its seventh week. It also topped the Adult Pop Songs and Mainstream Top 40 charts of Billboard, and charts in other countries. Its music video received views of more than 890 million on YouTube, certified double Platinum by the RIAA, platinum by the BPI, and won the Best Tormentone award in the MTV Italian Music Awards and the Best International Song from the Spanish radio station Los 40 Principales. It received nominations from the Teen Choice Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and BBC Music Awards, and has nominations for the upcoming Grammy, Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice, and Peoples’ Choice Awards.
7. Lean On – DJ Snake and Major Lazer ft. MØ
- The electronic dance song was initially ranked 100 at the Billboard Hot 100 last April, eventually climbing up to number four, and lingered in the top 10 for ten weeks straight. On the United Kingdom, it entered the charts at number 38 then peaked at number two, before staying in the top 10 for 12 weeks (nonconsecutive). It was crowned as Spotify’s most streamed song with a worldwide play of 526 million, certified by the RIAA as double Platinum, Platinum by the BPI, and sold 2 million in the US and 600,000 in the UK. The music video, with most of the scenes shot in India, has 992 million YouTube views and is ranked 17th on the site’s most viewed videos list.
8. The Hills – The Weeknd
- With first week domestic streams of 5.2 million, sales of more than 100,000 copies, and the premiere of its eerie music video during the day of release, “The Hills” made its way into the number 20 spot of the Billboard Hot 100, then climbed up to number one and stayed there for six weeks before being booted by “Hello”. The song stayed in the top 10 for 21 straight weeks before eventually dropping to number 11, with sales of 2.4 million, a 6x RIAA Platinum certification, Platinum BPI certification, and 500 million YouTube views. Famed rappers Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and Eminem had their own remixes of the song.
9. Hotline Bling – Drake
- Despite the criticism for its supposedly sexist lyrics, “Hotline Bling” was still successful with a debut at the number 66 spot of the Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking to number two for five weeks (nonconsecutive). In the United States, “Hotline Bling” sold over a million copies with a quadruple RIAA certification, while in the United Kingdom it charted at number three while sitting at the top of the R&B Chart. It received a Gold certification from the BPI with 400,000 copies sold. The music video has 316 million YouTube views
10. What Do You Mean? – Justin Bieber
- We all remember the voice of Justin back during his “Baby” days, and how Beliebers defended their idol against haters (the tug of war between likes and dislikes can be seen on his “Baby” YouTube video). Then came the teasers, followed by Biebs with a way different kind of music and different kind of vocals. “What Do You Mean?” was well-received by critics and fans alike, entering the number one spot at Billboard Canadian Hot 100 with record-breaking 3.1 million streams and 48,000 copies sold in the first week. In the US, the song had 21 million streams during the first week, and entered the Hot 100 at the top spot, while performing admirably in other charts as well. It had 2 million copies sold, a 2x RIAA Platinum certification, and is currently a number five on the Hot 100. It also entered the top of United Kingdom’s charts, again with record-breaking streams on its first week, with 988,000 sold copies, and a Platinum BPI certification. Its music video, featuring actor John Leguizamo and model Xenia Deli, currently has 563 million YouTube views.