Year in Review: Top Tunes of 2014

Based on a combination of streams, downloads, radio airplays and overall popularity, the year-end Billboard Top 100 list is not usually full of surprises. However, the 2014 list has a lot of newcomers–new artists and artists new to having a place in the Top 10. Before we get ready to ring in the New Year, let’s take look at the most popular songs of 2014.

1. Happy (Pharrell Williams)

 

 

Pharrell should be feeling just as cheerful as his chart-topping song, since “Happy” was the number one single on both Billboard and Facebook’s lists of the top songs of 2014. The upbeat jam gained recognition on the soundtrack of Despicable Me 2 and as the lead single off Pharrell’s album G I R L, and broke creative boundaries as the first 24-hour music video. Fans will have to wait and see what Pharrell has in store for 2015, but I wonder if the infamous hat will be replaced by a new fashion accessory in the New Year?

 

2. Dark Horse (Katy Perry ft. Juicy J)

 

 

Katy Perry made it onto the Top 10 list for the second year in a row, and she moved up from the number 10 spot “Roar” held on the 2013 list. Known for her outlandish and campy performances, the “Dark Horse” music video was the most watched YouTube video of 2014, garnering over 700 million views since it was released in January. Hopefully we’ll get a live performance of this number two hit when Perry performs at the upcoming 2015 Super Bowl half time show.

 

3. All of Me (John Legend)

 

 

John Legend was the most popular artist on Shazam after this crooning piano ballad was released. Although the love song was written dedication to his wife, model Chrissy Teigen, it apparently was not love at first sight when the two first met. The tune garnered two Grammy nominations for the upcoming awards ceremony: one nod for Best Pop Solo Performance, and another nod for Best Remixed Recording.

 

4. Fancy (Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX)

 

 

The Australian rapper hit it big this year with her breakout song, which was also the best song of the year on iTunes. The video, which threw it back to the ‘90s by paying homage to Clueless, was just as popular as the song with over 394 million views on YouTube. Iggy actually made the Billboard Top 10 list twice, as she’s featured on Ariana Grande’s Problem, which is number seven on the list.

 

5. Counting Stars (OneRepublic)

 

 

OneRepublic has had their fair share of addictive hits, and 2014’s “Counting Stars” has rounded founded out the top five on Billboard’s list. The band’s frontman, Ryan Tedder, came up with the idea for the song doing a session at Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Hamptons home (casual). Since it didn’t sound like something Beyoncé would record, Tedder decided to keep the tune for his own band.

 

6. Talk Dirty (Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz)

 

 

“Talk Dirty” may not be approved by Jason Derulo’s mother, but listeners in 2014 could not get enough of this catchy tune. With a sound that’s a marked departure from his past work, Derulo believes his transformation from hip-hop artist to pop star will open a lot of new doors for him in the future. The song was Derulo’s most successful track to date, having sold more than six million singles worldwide.

 

7. Rude (Magic!)

 

 

This reggae music group shot to fame this year with a tune inspired by a fight between the lead singer and his girlfriend (who are now happily married). One of the more surprising breakout hits of 2014, they were the first Canadian band to top Billboard’s Hot 100 since Nickelback more than 10 years ago.

 

8. All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor)

 

 

Arguably the song of the summer, the ‘50s-inspired tune is all about being comfortable in your own skin and flaunting what you’ve got. We can expect more catchy songs from the Nashville-born singer-rapper in 2015, when her LP Title drops. Not only was this self-loving jam one of the most popular songs on 2014, but it was also one of the most parodied, with everyone from NASA interns to Harvard Business School students giving the song their own interpretation.

 

9. Problem (Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea)

 

 

Pop star Ariana Grande is almost unrecognizable from her days as a teenage Broadway star in the musical 13. While “Problem” was the only tune of hers that made it into the top 10, “Break Free” and “Bang Bang” were both within the top 40 Billboard songs of the year. While Grande may be small in size, she (almost) has the lungs of Mariah Carey, meaning big things will likely be in store for her in 2015 (providing that she doesn’t get in the way of any Victoria’s Secret Angels…).

 

10. Stay With Me (Sam Smith)

 

 

Sam Smith rose to fame in October 2012 after he was featured on “Latch” by Disclosure. Two years later, the British singer-songwriter now ties with Beyoncé for the most Grammy nominations this year, as both of them received six nods; “Stay With Me” has been nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.

Cover Photo Source: IKasparus

Jenny is a Junior Executive at SJG. She earned her BA in Psychology and a minor in Educational Studies in 2014 from Colgate University. Outside the office, Jenny loves to travel (usually to Disney World), bake and watch copious amounts of TLC.