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Best Songs 2020: What Were The Best Songs Of 2020?

Photograph of the blog post author, Craig Brown

Craig Brown

22.1.2021

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As we leave behind a crazy year in 2020 and enter what already seems to be another interesting year in 2021, music can oftentimes reflect the mood and time. As erratic as 2020 was, it made sense that there was a diverse range of songs. In this article, we will take a look at a wide range of best songs 2020 edition!

From the best rap songs, best love songs, best country songs, and many others. Including songs from artists of yesteryear that resurfaced to grace us with more great music in 2020!

We have something for everyone to enjoy on this list! Let us know if your favourite made the cut!

The Box – Roddy Ricch

Firstly, The Box by Roddy Ricch has a bouncing hypnotic 808 beat. This track was actually released in January of 2020.

The Compton rapper’s “The Box” was the fourth single from his debut studio album Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial.

With some cool interesting ad-libs and strong vocal delivery, the song climbed its way up the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent eleven weeks at number one. 

In addition to charting in Canada, UK, Ireland and several other countries, the song has been nominated for 3 Grammy Awards. Including song of the year. “The Box” is for sure one of the best rap songs of 2020! 

Away – Oxlade

Nigerian singer who goes by the name of Oxlade’s hit song is called “Away”. Away is a danceable song in the vein of the popular afrobeat sounds blasting out of the continent of Africa. 

It is one of the best love songs 2020 with a bouncing bassline and guitar licks throughout. This song has a refreshing light airy vibe about love and just being free. 

The song consists of very simple repetitive verses. Along with cool pre hooks to keep you engaged throughout this bouncy fun-loving song. 

Pitchfork named “Away” as their new Rap Song Of The Day. “Away” tops the list as one of the best afrobeat songs of 2020. Including one of the best songs of 2020. 

Laugh Now Cry Later – Drake

“Laugh Now Cry Later” was another hit song by Canadian rapper, Drake. Featuring American rapper Lil Durk, the heavy bouncy beat entails a repetitive brass sample throughout. 

With lyrics such as “a block that feels like a ghost town”, this is a light, sometimes fun-loving song. Which is also part dystopian at times!

The song debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Including number one in Drake’s native-born country of Canada. 

The song is nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Rap Song and Best Melodic Rap Performance. We can easily say that this was one of the best rap songs of 2020!

You Can’t Hurt A Fool – The Pretenders

In July of 2020, The Pretenders released “You Can’t Hurt A Fool” from their forthcoming eleventh studio album, Hate For Sale. 

The shimmering yet soulful ballad was fitting for the summer month of July. Chrisse Hynde with her signature vocals will melt your heart with her melancholy delivery.

The song calms you while taking you into a sad place. Yet, it’s so light and soothing to listen to as you drive along a scenic highway and get lost in the sunsets. 

Azul – J Balvin

Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin had another hit track in Azul. The reggaeton song has lots of signature earworms.

The song is about a woman who likes to party and lives vicariously. It has a laid back, lazy, yet mid tempo dancing vibe.

Azul will captivate you even more. Once you see the accompanying music video directed by Colin Tilley. It’s definitely worth checking it out!

The music video tops Billboard new music polls via fan votes. Azul is from Balvin’s latest album, Colores. The danceable reggaeton song is without a doubt one of the best songs of 2020. 

Murder Most Foul – Bob Dylan

The Legendary Bob Dylan needs no introduction. Another artist from yesteryear to enter the best music of 2020 is a somber song called “Murder Most Foul”. 

With a didgeridoo playing throughout the entire song. Murder Most Foul is a mix genre song with jazz, blues, rock & roll and folk elements. 

It also features a melancholy violin playing throughout as a backdrop to Dylan’s vocal phrases, as he takes you on a journey.

This song at roughly 17 mins is the artist’s longest masterpiece. The song centers around major events. Such as John F Kennedy’s assassination, racism and conspiracy theories.

A song worthy of any top list. I can visualize a short film going along perfectly with this masterpiece of a song.

Say So – Doja Cat

Doja Cat’s “Say So” is a fun-loving slick disco-infused song. It is for sure one of the best pop songs of 2020. 

The song was released in January of 2020 as the fifth single from her second studio album, Hot Pink. It quickly became a number one hit shortly after the release.

“Say So” gained further popularity after it went viral on TikTok. It reached the top of the US Billboard Hot 100. 

The song received three nominations at the 2020 MTV Video Music Award. Including Song Of The Year in addition to two Grammy Awards for Record Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. 

Hard To Forget – Sam Hunt

“Hard To Forget”  by American country artist Sam Hunt has also made its way to the list as one of the best songs of 2020.  

The song is the fourth single from his second studio album called Southside. “Hard To Forget” is more so a hip-hop country song.

The bouncy hip-hop infused song sample’s the fifties honky-tonk chorus from Webb Pierce’s classic song “There Stands the Glass”.

The song went to number three on the US  Billboard Hot Country Songs and number one on the US  Billboard Country Airplay. Major success!

August – Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s “August” is a fitting song for an ethereal rendezvous through a Lilly field in the month of August on a bright sunny day. 

August is the eighth track on Taylor Swift’s eighth studio album Folklore. Swift’s light airy vocal floats above the soothing instruments.

Unlike Taylor Swift’s more upbeat songs, August is a more mellow pop-rock song. 

The song is about a summer romance that seems to end in heartbreak. Including loss of innocence and feeling of sadness.

August made its way in the hearts of fans as of one the best songs in 2020. It also charted at number four on the Billboard Alternative Streaming Songs chart. 

Dynamite – BTS

Entering new milestones and uncharted territory via a song called “Dynamite” is South Korean boy band BTS. 

Dynamite was released in August 2020. The upbeat disco-pop song is the first song by BTS to be recorded in English. Including their first English-language hit.  

Dynamite which also has elements of funk, soul, and bubblegum pop is also BTS’s first number one hit in the US. Tapping into the spirit of 80’s disco, the fun-loving danceable song also features the signature 80’s reverb synths

As soon as Dynamite blasted its way on the scene, it quickly received positive reviews from music critics and fans. Hook friendly with lots of 80’s retro sound, the disco-infused song received a nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for the 63rd Grammy Awards. 

This is also the band’s first nomination. Including making history as the first Korean pop act to receive a Grammy nomination. 

Dynamite debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The song also sold 265,000 downloads in its first week!

With the song charting in countless countries, it is easy to see why Dynamite by BTS is not only a top pop song but one of the best songs of 2020. 

Hallucinate – Dua Lipa

On the list of the best music of 2020 is another disco-infused song called Hallucinate by English singer Dua Lupa. Hallucinate is from Dua Lupa’s second studio album “Future Nostalgia”. 

The album was released in July 2020 as the album’s fourth single.  The disco-house track has elements of dance-pop, electro swing, psychedelic, and synth pop. 

The song is about how crazy love can be. The high energy song entered many charts across the continent of Europe. The music video for Hallucinate was inspired by 1970’s and Studio 54 aesthetics. 

The highly danceable song was also mashed up with the BBC News theme by DJ Howell. Which also won Remix of The Year Award at the 2020 BBC Radio 1 Lockdown Awards. 

Fetch The Bolt Cutters – Fiona Apple

When the debut studio album “Tidal” by singer-songwriter  Fiona Apple first came out on July 23, 1996, we were instantly captivated by her unique voice. Not forgetting the eerie sounds of the Chamberlain by Jon Brion.

Fast forward to 2020, Fiona Apple has returned with her fifth record Fetch The Bolt Cutters. Her single from the album “Ladies” is a flaming lounge room burner. It climbed its way into the hearts of fans and made it one of the best songs of 2020. 

The song is about anti- jealousy. With its organic sounds, featuring double bass and complimenting her distinctive voice and phrases, it’s like a truth serum.

Ladies will take you on an organic journey of truth, ugliness and humor. 

Cut You Off – Selena Gomez

Next on the list is a mid tempo lazy head bopping track by Selena Gomez called “Cut You Off”. 

The word on the internet streets is that the song is about “an a**hole boy” who shall remain unnamed. 

Selena seems to unload her emotional baggage in this song and free her mind, body, and spirit. With lyrics such as “I’ve been carrying it for fourteen-hundred and sixty days? How could I confuse that sh*t for love?” 

This lyric alone will keep Gomez’s fans tuned in to the saga and have them trying to decode who this song is about. Inquiring minds want to know. I think Justin Bieber may be curious too!

Besides Gomez’s singing, the mystery and much talked about subject behind this song makes it one of the best songs of 2020. 

Rain On Me – Lady Gaga ft Ariana Grande

Rain On Me by Lady Gaga featuring Ariana Grande is Lady Gaga’s sixth studio album, Chromatica. The song was released in May 2020. 

Rain On Me is a breakup song. A breakup from a bad year called 2020!  

Grande also summons the rain as a way of washing away what needs to be washed away. Described by Gaga as a celebration of tears. Including being able to keep going despite the hardships of life.  

The song debuted at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 and became Gaga’s fifth and Grande’s fourth US number one single in the US. Therefore making it an early contender for one of the best songs of 2020. 

The song also entered uncharted history because it is the first female collaboration to debut at the top of the chart. Including making Grande the first artist to have four songs debut at the top spot. 

Rain On Me topped the charts in several countries. It was also the seventh most streamed song in the summer of 2020!

Memories – Buju Banton

After being locked away from the music scene for 7 years, Jamaican Dancehall-Reggae artist Buju Banton returned and hit the ground running.

Doing what he does best, the legendary artist released Memories as the first single from his forthcoming album “Upside Down”. 

The laid back dancehall-reggae joint got some R&B assistance from prolific singer-songwriter and musician, American artist, John Legend. 

Legend and Banton first collaborated in 2009 on a song called “Can’t Be My Lover”. 

Memories gave me old school vibes of Maxi Priest and Shabba Ranks. The Dancehall-reggae song will have you feeling Irie, as they say in Jamaica. 

It makes you want to jam out, grab a partner and dance the night away!

Memories is definitely a top class song and definitely one of the best reggae/dancehall songs of 2020!

3AM – Halsey

3AM is known as a magical hour where we can sometimes be awake in the middle of the night. American singer, Halsey sings about her own experience on one of those nights. 

The song 3AM by Halsey was released in January, 2020. It is the eight track on her third album, Manic. 

Fun fact, 3AM has an actual voicemail from her good friend singer-songwriter John Mayer. In the actual voicemail, he predicted the success of her latest body of work. 

The song was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and was certified 6x Platinum in 2020. 3AM is like an ode to being vulnerable and flawed. Something we call all relate to.

A forthcoming song like 3AM is definitely deserving of a top spot in our list of the best songs of 2020!

WAP – Cardi B

If I need to explain the acronym WAP, you were living under a rock.

The song WAP is a very provocative and controversial entry by American Rapper Cardi B. The song features assistance from fellow American rapper Megan Thee Stallion. 

The raunchy song might be a strip pole anthem for those of you who are looking to spice things up. Or, just plain love the beat and bypass the lyrics

But with lyrics like, “Gobble me, swallow me, drip down the side of me, quick, jump out ‘fore you let it get inside of me.” It’s like ignoring the gigantic elephant in the room. Cardi B and Megan dictate what they want men to do even if they don’t cook or clean like a classic lady. 

The song was released in August 2020, as the lead single from Cardi’s upcoming second studio album.

WAP debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and gave Cardi B her fourth number-one single in the US. This also extends Cardi B record as the female rapper with the most number-one singles in Hot 100 history!

The song also broke the record for the largest opening streaming week for a song in US history. WAP debuted at the top of Billboard Song Sales and countless other charts. It spent number one in countless countries such as Australia, Canada, Greece, Lithuania and many more. 

The song was the most acclaimed entry of 2020 with publications such as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork naming it song of the year!

Love it or hate it, WAP was definitely one of the best songs of 2020.

Midnight Sky – Miley Cyrus

Next on the list is another disco inspired song called Midnight sky by American singer Miley Cyrus. The song was released in August of 2020 and it is the lead single from her seventh album Plastic Hearts. 

In true Miley form, she sings about freedom, independence, and self-confidence. The danceable disco-inspired song also has elements of synth pop and pop-rock, which we absolutely love!

The song takes you on a journey into Miley Cyrus’s world. Midnight Sky received universal acclaim from music critics across the board. Including several giving nods to it being Miley’s best song to date. 

Midnight Sky was also included on multiple year-end lists of best songs of 2020. The song went number one in Scotland, Serbia, and Bulgaria and peaked in the top five in the UK.

After listening to Midnight sky, it is quite easy to see why it deserves all the accolades!

Savage – Megan Thee Stallion

American Rapper Megan Thee stallion released the remix of “Savage” featuring fierce assistance from Sasha Fierce AKA Beyonce. Savage was released in March of 2020 as part of Megan’s EP “Suga”. 

The song was later remixed featuring Beyonce and has been a savage on the charts ever since!

Savage climbed its way to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in May 2020. It became Magan Thee Stallion’s first number-one single. As well as Beyonce’s eleventh number-one single. As of July 2020, the song had sold over 3 million units in the US. 

The song received several critics’ top nods. From Lindsey Zolad of The New York Times naming the song as number one on their end of year lists. 

Savage remix also received three Grammy Awards nominations. Including Record  Of The Year, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Performance. Definitely well deserved!

Blinding Lights – The Weeknd

Now, time for our top favourite!

When the lists of nominations went out for the 63rd Grammy Awards, Canadian singer The Weeknd was nowhere to be seen. Many like me wondered what was up with that! 

But Abel Tesfaye, AKA The Weeknd doesn’t need another Grammy Award to show the world why he is one of the greatest artists to come out in the last 10 years. 

Blinding Lights was released in November of 2019 and it went on to shine blinding lights in 2020. The song was released as a single for The Weeknd’s fourth studio album After Hours. 

In true Weeknd form, the artist shows us why he is one of the greats when it comes to magically slipping between multiple genres with ease. 

With elements of synth pop and electropop, the song takes you back in time to the sci-fi horror music vibe of the 80’s retro sound.

Blinding lights blinded the charts with a two-month stint on the UK charts and spending 14 weeks bouncing between the number one and two spots.

The song spent almost an entire year on the Top 40. It went on to become 2020’s biggest song with respect to sales and size. This is quite a gigantic accomplishment!

Lastly, Blinding Lights is the artist’s most successful single to date. With all these major accomplishments, it is quite easy to see why The Weeknd’s Blinding Light is not only the best pop song but the best song of 2020 overall.

Our Final Thoughts

best songs 2020

From the legendary Bob Dylan, the return of Fiona Apple, Cardi B with her pole dance WAP song, including fierce collaborations from Lady Gaga and Megan Thee Stallion, these were some of the best songs of 2020. 

As we look forward to more promising events in 2021, we will also look forward to even more awesome music to top the list for best music of 2021! Make sure you stay tuned for that!

That was our list of the best songs of 2020! Let us know if you agree, or if you think we missed any out in the comment section below! We would love to hear your thoughts!

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