2015 was a great year for music with blockbuster artists continuing to release amazing tracks while new artists spiced up the charts with their own flavors.
My honorable mentions from this year include “Hotline Bling” by Drake, “Sparks” by Hilary Duff, and “Feeling Myself” by Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé. But I wanted my list to be a bit diverse and include both popular and lesser known favorites from this past year. Enjoy!
Note: All videos are courtesy of their respective YouTube channels. Feature photos of artists are from Billboard.com. I do not own any of these.
I never really cared for Bieber’s music until I heard the Jack Ü collaboration, “Where Are Ü Now.” It was a great move for him to keep that as an inspiration for his new album, and “Sorry” is one of the greatest pop songs of the year. I hate to say it–I think I’m a Belieber now.
Adele–“When We Were Young”
Yes, “Hello” is probably one of the most iconic songs of the year–and possibly so far this decade. However, “25” has even better gems, such as the second single, “When We Were Young.” It has a nostalgic feel for me, as it harks back to Adele’s first album, “19.”
Christine and the Queens–“iT”
I can always count on my friend Matt to introduce me to new indie-pop and international artists. Christine and the Queens is a French indie-pop group which started to make waves in the U.S. this year by rereleasing Chaleur Humaine with most of the songs rerecorded in English. “iT” was the first song I heard from the group in my friend’s car, so it holds a place in my heart.
Another artist getting a lot of buzz right now is Halsey, and 2015 was good to her with the release of her debut album BADLANDS. “Castle” is a favorite of mine from the album, but “New Americana” is an amazing song. Halsey recently appeared on Justin Bieber’s new album as well, so 2016 looks to be an explosive year for her.
Janet Jackson–“BURNITUP! (Feat. Missy Elliot)”
While many of my LGBTQ* brothers and sisters may look to Gaga and Madonna as their queen, Janet Jackson has always been mine. I loved every bit of her new album last year, and my friend and I got tickets to see her in Pittsburgh in February. Unfortunately with her upcoming surgery, the concert is postponed, but in the meantime, I’m blasting the hell out of this song.
Major Lazer–“Lean On (feat. MØ)”
I think it’s safe to say that “Lean On” was probably the biggest EDM song of the year. The beat is infectious, it’s fun to dance to and a fantastic workout song. What more could you ask for?
Selena Gomez–“Hands to Myself”
I’ve always enjoyed Selena Gomez’s music over the years, but the transformation of her music with this album was a step up for her. “Hands to Myself” is something different compared to most of the pop songs on the radio right now.
Disclosure–“Omen (feat. Sam Smith)” and “Magnets (feat. Lorde)”
I couldn’t decide which song I liked more, so I decided to include both, as they were each amazing enough to make my list. Both pairings are matches made in music heaven: Lorde and Sam Smith slink across their respective songs to electro-pop perfection.
Adam Lambert–“Ghost Town”
I was so happy when Adam Lambert came back with some new music this year. “Ghost Town” was everything I wanted and more from him.
Are there any songs I missed out on? Pass them along in the comments.