The perfect tracks of the half-decade up to now: “We Cannot Cease,” “Climax,” “Get Fortunate” and plenty of extra.

The tip of 2014 additionally meant the top of the primary half of the 2010s, a decade to date marked by incredible common music from sources anticipated (Beyonce, Usher and Woman Gaga stored delivering bangers) and sudden (who noticed the unbelievable rises of Carly Rae Jepsen and Miguel coming?). Though the previous half-decade was brimming with memorable hits, these 20 outlined the final 5 years the most effective, and can endure by the second half of the 2010s and past.

Take a look at what the Billboard.com employees selected because the 20 greatest singles of the 2010s up to now:

20. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Name Me Possibly”

Between the countless lip-sync tributes and the lawn-mowing hunk within the music video, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Name Me Possibly” is the last word Music of the Summer season for this decade up to now. Thank Justin Bieber for breaking her, and thank Josh Ramsay of Canadian pop-punk band Marianas Trench for turning Jepsen’s acoustic unique right into a lush pop mini-opera befitting of Phil Spector.

19. Arctic Monkeys, “Do I Wanna Know?”

After all the Arctic Monkeys needed to change. Once they began out with snotty punk rock, frontman Alex Turner was 17; by the point they wrote this romping, psychedelic wall of sound, he was nearer to 30 than 20 and hanging out with Josh Homme. And it bought to No. 70 on the Billboard Scorching 100, making it the best pure rock track to crack the chart up to now this decade.

18. Usher, “Climax”

When individuals puzzled whether or not or not Usher had one other large R&B jam inside him, he delivered “Climax” and put these inquiries to mattress. Usher unravels his cluster of emotions as he rides alongside Diplo’s suspenseful soundscapes, experiencing distraught, coming round to desperation and in the end accepting loneliness.

17. Woman Antebellum, “Want You Now”

A number of years earlier than Taylor Swift was declaring her new allegiance to pop, Woman Antebellum helped speed up nation’s crossover potential with “Want You Now,” nonetheless the largest hit of their profession. The bass line channels the grandeur of U2, whereas the dueling vocals from Hillary Scott and Charles Kelly attain again to the ’80s, when superstars in pop and R&B often teamed up for torch songs. That is Nashville pop at its most interesting.

16. Britney Spears, “Til The World Ends”

“Til The World Ends” finds Britney Spears spending her final moments awaiting the apocalypse by frightening motion: her seduction seeps in and makes the listener twitch, whereas a faceless refrain bellows behind her and clamors for gyration. The one makes its viewers wait a full two minutes and 35 seconds earlier than unveiling its euphoric refrain, which reaches towards the heavens and declares that, if the world is about to finish, that should not cease anybody from having a very good time. For years, Britney followers had been craving for a dance ground scorcher as potent as “Til The World Ends,” and when it arrived in early 2011, pop followers rightly declared that it was definitely worth the wait.

15. Enjoyable., “Some Nights”

Enjoyable. unapologetically purpose in each path without delay. Gospel piano chords? Examine. Introspective, soul-searching questions? After all. Drums that sound like they escaped from a army parade? Why not. Add in loads of anthemic shouting, a contact of Auto-tune, and a Civil Warfare-themed music video, and the variety of “Some Nights” makes the band’s No. 1 hit, “We Are Younger,” look downright boring as compared.

14. Sia, “Chandelier”

Sia spent years penning smashing pop singles for different stars whereas refusing to point out her face or stash away a “Diamonds” or “Let Me Love You (Till You Be taught to Love Your self)” for herself. She nonetheless did not present her face in 2014, however did save one epic observe for her personal album: “Chandelier” possesses the magnetism of Sia’s dependable songwriting however goals increased than any of her earlier songs, as recklessly created — and as breathtakingly unmissable — because the picture of a tiny Australian lady drunkenly swinging from a dangling pendant. Sia might have carried out “Chandelier” together with her again to her audiences, however her first solo Prime 10 hit was removed from nameless.

13. Woman Gaga, “The Fringe of Glory”

The title here’s a misnomer. There’s nothing “on the sting” about this observe: like all of Woman Gaga’s important songs, it is totally dedicated, with lyrics that may match the climactic scene of a conflict film, an imperious beat, and synthesizers like battering rams. This track can also be notable for its saxophone solo — famously offered by the E Road Band’s Clarence Clemons — which predated 2014’s explosion of sax hooks by a number of years.

12. Kacey Musgraves, “Comply with Your Arrow”

A wind of progressive recent air in nation music, “Comply with Your Arrow” championed 21s- century gender views in a method we not often see in nation music. Kacey Musgraves did not fairly rating the coveted radio or gross sales hit together with her debut album Identical Trailer, Totally different Park, however by performing this twangy, charismatic singalong on the 2014 Grammys and getting nearly the entire music trade (Nashville and past) on her aspect, there’s loads of cause to consider that is her springboard to a lot larger superstardom.

11. Nicki Minaj feat. Ester Dean, “Tremendous Bass”

Certain, Minaj has stronger, wilder, extra explosive verses on different tracks… however she has by no means put collectively a track higher than “Tremendous Bass.” It is minimal, streamlined, and onomatopoeic suddenly, a seamless mixture of vocal dexterity and simple hooks.

10. Miguel, “Adorn”

Miguel’s rousing rendition of “Adorn” on the 2013 Grammys tipped off the lots onto one thing the trade had recognized for some time — Miguel is a uncommon expertise who’s onto one thing large. In a previous life, “Adorn” might have been a Motown hit or a disco banger; for the 2010s, it is one of many purest R&B statements we have heard.

9. Robyn, “Dancing On My Personal”

The thematic counterpart to Robyn’s equally irresistible “Name Your Girlfriend” is the show-don’t-tell model of Ultravox’s ’80s hit “Dancing With Tears in My Eyes.” A despondent ode to independence is a difficult factor to drag off, however so is straddling the road between immaculate pop perfection and indie cred. Robyn handily manages each feats.

8. Beyoncé, “Countdown”

Beyoncé provides just a little extra of herself with each album. On “Countdown,” one in all her greatest songs to this point, she provides us a style of her relationship with Jay Z; it takes on their love of over a decade light-heartedly and with vigorous pleasure, with a refrain constructed round Boyz II Males’s “Uhh Ahh” and an ideal mixture of musical types.

7. Drake feat. Majid Jordan, “Maintain On, We’re Goin’ Residence”

All of us knew Drake might sing, however who anticipated the YMCMB rapper to place out one in all this half-decade’s loveliest, subtlest synth jams? The track’s laid-back nocturnal vibe feels extra genuine than any variety of overwrought R&B ballads Drake’s contemporaries toss on the charts.  

6. Miley Cyrus, “We Cannot Cease”

Miley Cyrus accomplished the smoothest transition from tween star to grownup A-lister since Justin Timberlake did the identical a decade earlier, with just a little assist from Mike WiLL Made-It and Rihanna, who turned down the beat. When Miley confesses, “We won’t cease,” it might imply she and her fairly mates cannot as a result of they do not need to, or as a result of they merely cannot. Both method, we need to hear this when the occasion runs late, and that most likely will not change over the subsequent 5 years.

5. Jay Z and Kanye West, “Ni–as in Paris”

“Ni–as in Paris” proves how highly effective, and natural, Jay Z and Kanye West’s bromance actually is. The Watch the Throne single, which they carried out a number of consecutive instances throughout their tour of the identical title, function the 2 rappers enjoying off each other like solely the most effective of mates might, over a monstrous beat by Hit-Boy.

4. Adele, “Rolling Within the Deep”

Adele’s debut album, 19, positioned the highlight on the U.Okay. singer-songwriter, however her sophomore album, 21, solidified her as one in all greatest pop stars of the last decade. And she or he got here roaring out of the gate with an simple first single; “Rolling within the Deep” highlighted the vary in Adele’s voice and songwriting, and gave her the timeless single that the majority artists spend their lives chasing.

3. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams, “Get Fortunate”

“What retains the planet spinning?/The power from the start,” Pharrell Williams solutions himself on Daft Punk’s comeback smash “Get Fortunate.” Pharrell is singing about intercourse, however he would possibly as nicely be discussing Daft Punk’s music: the 2 French robots that concocted this slice of pop-rock heaven together with Williams and Nile Rodgers had been making immaculate dance music for years, and weren’t anticipated to unload their most impeccable single 20 years after their formation. What retains the planet shifting? Daft Punk’s universality, which has all the time existed and was fortunately pushed again onto Prime 40 this decade.

2. Katy Perry, “Teenage Dream”

Katy Perry’s anthemic pop savvy is so sturdy that nothing — not even the information that this track is about Russell Model — can dampen the heart-on-sleeve, fist-in-the-air satisfaction of “Teenage Dream.” Just like Madonna’s “Like a Virgin,” it is a track a few love so intense it makes you shiny and new — timed to the millisecond for pop perfection.

1. Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris, “We Discovered Love”

No artist has dominated the radio this decade with such colourful tenacity as Rihanna this decade — from the electro-grind of “S&M” to the tortured pop-rap of “Love The Approach You Lie” to the aching balladry of “Keep” to the muted R&B of “Take Care,” Rih has dazzled with each new hat tried on, whereas all the time retaining her singular enchantment. After all, “We Discovered Love” is the crown jewel (or yellow diamond) in that run of hits, a saccharine assault that turned the concept of discovering love “in a hopeless place” right into a rally cry, and translated the depth of Calvin Harris’ electro-pop mania right into a endlessly pleasurable launch on the peak of the EDM increase. “We Discovered Love” will not be a track that depends too closely on its vocal take, nevertheless it’s troublesome imagining any artist placing the identical steadiness of voice-cracking vulnerability and giddy pleasure that Rihanna mines on the observe. She makes this look straightforward, and all the time has. Rihanna struck many poses in the course of the previous 5 years, however “We Discovered Love” was the one which made us gasp the loudest.

Textual content by: Chris Payne, Joe Lynch, Erika Ramirez, Elias Leight & Jason Lipshutz





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