PopBuzz Top 20 'Singles of the Year' 2018
13 December 2018, 11:20
Halsey? Ariana Grande? Panic! at the Disco? It's time to find out who PopBuzz crowned 'Single of the Year' 2018...
2018 has been an incredible year for music. Artists like Cardi B and Hayley Kiyoko have risen to new heights of stardom and established musicians like The Carters and Twenty One Pilots have returned with a bang. We could not be any more grateful for all of the hits we've been blessed with this year which is why putting together a list of which songs stood out the most is no small feat.
The PopBuzz team debated endlessly as to which songs should make the cut and what order they should be in and things got tense. There were disappointments (Little Mix, Normani, Tinashe - you were robbed), controversial rules (only one song per artist means this list is missing a lot of iconic Ariana bops) and surprises (see below) but we can all agree that this list slaps.
So without further ado, here are PopBuzz's Top 20 singles of the year.
20) Aminé - 'REEL IT IN'
'REEL IT IN' was a runaway success and it's easy to see why. Tropical and wistful production? Yes please. Aminé's signature self referential and heartfelt raps? I'm in. A video cameo from Rickey Thompson? SIGN ME UP. The song most notably has a fan in Rihanna herself, and if badgalriri has co-signed how can you really deny his greatness at this point?! - Emily Beard
19) Billie Eilish - 'you should see me in a crown'
2018 saw Billie Eilish match her critical acclaim with commercial success. From 'lovely' to 'when the party's over' she really blossomed this year. So many of her songs could have made this list but it's 'you should should see me in a crown' which stands out. It's experimental, its braggadocios, it's cool... just like Billie herself. - Sam Prance
18) Hayley Kiyoko - 'What I Need (feat. Kehlani)'
Expectations may have narrowly missed our albums of the year list but there’s no denying that Ms 20GayTeen has got the singles game on lock. ‘Curious’ might have been the big single but follow-up ‘What I Need’ stole the show in the PB office and proved Kiyoko has got what it takes to write hits. Now all we have to do is wait for US radio to catch up. - Woodrow Whyte
17) Halsey - 'Without Me'
'Without Me' was a moment for Halsey. After wowing us with detailed concepts and incredible themes in her past two album campaigns, she pulled back the curtain and hit us with something a little more raw and honest. 'Without Me' is an arresting anthem for anyone who's ever been hard done by in a relationship and a sign that Halsey the artist is just getting started. - SP
16) Drake - 'Nice for What'
Drake continues to dominate the music industry with every single he drops and 'Nice for What' is potentially his best work yet. Sampling the legend that is Lauryn Hill and packing the music video with cameos from powerful women like Tracee Ellis Ross, Tiffany Haddish and Issa Rae, there's no way 'Nice For What' couldn't have been included on this list. – Jazmin Duribe
15) Lizzo - 'Boys'
It’s almost 2019 and every living person needs to give Lizzo her roses. The talented singer and flautist never misses and “Boys” is no exception. Its energetic, confident and incredibly catchy. Nothing but respect for MY president. - Nicky Idika
14) Kendrick Lamar - 'All the Stars (with SZA)'
Any song that features both Kendrick Lamar and SZA is bound to be a tune, and the duo didn't disappoint with this single from the Black Panther soundtrack. The music titans managed to create a banger that you could dance and cry to. 'All the Stars' is up for four Grammy's next year and it's pretty obvious why. – JD
13) The Carters - 'APESHIT'
'APESHIT' profoundly bangs every time you press play. It never loses its bite, intensity, or ability make you shout “YOU WANNA GIMME THAT VITAMIN D” at the top of your lungs. The tracks delivers the audio equivalent of an adrenaline rush. From its energetic ad-libs to Beyoncé’s flawless flow, no one can touch The Carters on 'APESHIT'. - NI
12) 5 Seconds of Summer - 'Youngblood'
Once described in this office as “a song you can ride a horse to”, ‘Youngblood’ proved to be one of the biggest bangers of the year. While 5SOS’ new sound skewed more towards pop than punk, the track still maintains a bit of their signature edge… and it absolutely SLAPS (especially if you’re riding a horse). - Katie Louise Smith
11) Twenty One Pilots - 'My Blood'
Trench as an album straddles many genres and this pays off the best on 'My Blood'. It's an ethereal banger that combines Tylers quick-footed rap with haunting vocals. Also the production on this track perfectly demonstrates Twenty One Pilot's ability to take listeners on a journey through beats that shift and change with the song's progression. - EB
10) King Princess - 'Pussy Is God'
Co-written with her girlfriend Amandla Stenberg, ‘Pussy Is God’ is the very definition of an earworm. A big, gay earworm. 2018’s best new artist finished the year on a high with this one and we have decided to say goodbye to our family, burn all our possessions and move to New York so we can pledge our allegiance to King Princess. - WW
9) Troye Sivan - 'My My My!'
Troye Sivan strutted into 2018 with a new look and a fresh attitude with ‘My, My, My!’. Unapologetically queer and sexy and free, ‘My, My, My’ is that bitch. - WW
8) Janelle Monáe - 'Make Me Feel'
Janelle Monáe is one of the most exciting artists of this generation and 'Make Me Feel' is one of her greatest achievements yet. They literally don't make songs like this anymore. From the rubbery production to the infectious chorus, the track is 3 minutes, 14 seconds of pop perfection. No single was funkier than 'Make Me Feel' in 2018 and for that we are eternally grateful. - SP
7) Kacey Musgraves - 'High Horse'
Kacey Musgraves is the future of country music. After keeping things relatively traditional on her last LP Pagaent Material, the 30-year-old star pushed the boat out with Golden Hour and 'High Horse' is its glittering centre-piece. A disco-tinged, banger about putting an arrogant man in his place, what more could you want? - SP
6) Charli XCX & Troye Sivan - '1999'
Shamelessly cashing in on 90s revivalism or zeigeisty pop from two of 2018’s most important pop stars? Whichever side you stand on the ‘1999’ debate, one thing is undeniable; this song fucking slaps. - WW
5) MNEK - 'Tongue'
MNEK releasing 'Tongue' and its accompanying visual was such strong pop moment in 2018. MNEK is someone who has, time and time again, demonstrated a unique understanding and mastery of pop music as both an artist and producer but 'Tongue' felt like the birth of a superstar. Never has MNEK sounded so confident and in control and we're obsessed. - NI
4) Cardi B - 'I Like It (feat. Bad Bunny & J Balvin)'
There’s no doubt about it. 'I Like It' from Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy was absolutely the song of the summer. The single doesn’t seem to have a sell-by date, either. Even in late Autumn 'I Like It' is still a bop that takes you back to rooftop bars and weekend BBQs. Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin are an unstoppable trio and this song will stay with us for years to come. - NI
3) The 1975 - 'Love It If We Made It'
If 2018 was a song, this would be it. It’s The 1975 at their very best. - WW
2) Ariana Grande - 'thank u, next'
No popstar dominated 2018 quite as much as Ariana Grande. 'no tears left to cry', 'God is a woman' and 'breathin' are ALL worthy of a place on this list but 'thank u, next' just pips them to the post. It came out by surprise at the start of November and immediately became a global phenomenon. In it Ariana is candid, serious and mature but somehow still manages to have fun. A remarkable single by a remarkable artist. - SP
1) Panic! at the Disco - 'High Hopes'
I’m not saying ‘High Hopes’ is the best song on Pray for the Wicked… but it’s the best song on Pray for the Wicked. And it’s also, funnily enough, the best song of the year. A thank you letter from Brendon to his fans, and an anthem for all of the dreamers out there hustling hard to make it happen, ‘High Hopes’ was the optimistic banger we all needed this year and for that, we thank you, Brendon. - KLS