Musical Year in Review: My Best of 2020

Great sounds kept 2020 afloat

2020 has proven to be one tumultuous year. Both the rise of COVID-19 and global lockdown have forced our once “normal” lives to be swiftly thrown off balance. In the blink of an eye, our perceived bright futures were suddenly uncertain. How does once cope with so much apprehension? Music of course. Why? Because Music is a universal language that we all speak. Additionally, it uplifts us when we are feeling disheartened.

Many great songs were released this year, and have suddenly become the soundtrack to our lives. Below are six of my personal favorites, which not only became big hits, but have also made me smile through some of this year’s bleakest moments.

Dua Lipa “Levitating”

Photo credit: .savoirflair.com

Equipped with her mezzo-soprano vocal range, London’s own Dua Lipa continues to frolic through the pop galaxy with her energetic hit “Levitating”. Released on August 13, 2020, the electro-disco tune describes the mystical idea of  levitating when falling in love, while occasionally referencing outer space. Extracted from her second album, Future Nostalgia, the song generated two remixes: One featuring popular North Carolina rapper DaBaby and the other featuring icons Madonna and Missy Elliot. The Austin Powers/art deco inspired music videos brought these concepts to life, and have proven to be even more uplifting. To date, “Levitating” has reached number 5 on the UK Singles Chart, number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 17 on the Billboard Global 200 chart.

Megan Thee Stallion: “Savage & “Girls in the Hood

Photo credit: Essence.com

No one has had a more fruitful 2020 than Megan Thee Stallion! The Texas native has scored multiple hits throughout the year including, “Savage” and “Girl from the Hood”. After arriving on the scene on March 6, 2020,“Savage” soon went viral on TikTok, with the “Savage” dance challenge. Ultimately, “Savage” became the most-played song on TikTok, accumulating more than 7.5 billion views. Soonafter, a remix featuring Beyoncé arrived in April, generating even more critical acclaim, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. To date, “Savage” had sold over 3 million units in the US, receiving three Grammy nominations for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song and Record of the Year. On June 26, 2020, Megan released the NWA sampled, Scott Storch produced hit, “Girls in the Hood“. The song continues to receive massive radio airplay.  In 2020 alone, Megan Thee Stallion has received multiple accolades, including MTV Video Music Awards, American Music Awards, , BET Awards, a Billboard Women in Music Award, and four Grammy nominations.

Doja Cat “Say So

Pitchfork.com

What do you get when you melodically combine rap, pop and disco? Once heck of a groovy concoction, that’s what! Who could create such a thing? Doja Cat, that’s who! 2020 has proven to be a huge year for Los Angeles native, ever since her mega-hit “Say So” has invaded the airwaves. Taken from her second studio album, Hot Pink, the 70’s funk/disco inspired hit gained popularity on TikTok due to multiple dance challenge videos that featured it. 

Presently, all videos featuring “Say So”  have now been viewed over 8 billion times. on the platform. Following this, the song was sent to American radio stations as an official single. Equipped, with its sultry, kaleidoscopic music video, “Say So” has reached the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 following the release of two remixes featuring Nicki Minaj.  To date, “Say So” has received multiple accolades including two wins at the 48th American Music Awards for  New Artist of the Year, Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist, and three nominations at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, including for Song of the Year, as well as two Grammy nominations: Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.

Chloe and Halle “Do It”

Photo credit: NPR.org

2020 served as a year of metamorphosis for sibling starlets Chloe and Halle. The Atlanta born, LA bred, Bailey sisters embraced this period of change, as they took a departure from their wholesome sound, to explore a more coy persona with their grown and sexy hit “Do It”. Extracted from their highly anticipated summer release, Ungodly Hour, “Do It” explores the overall blissful essence of being flirtatious, getting dressed up and partying with friends. According to the Bailey bombshells, “Do It” also aims to serve as a spirit lifter amid the current circumstances of the world. The upbeat, feel good tune was nominated for multiple accolades throughout the year including MTV Video Music Awards for Best R&B Song and Video of the Year.  With its trap-influenced R&B/dance vibe, this Scott Storch, Avedon and Asoteric produced gem set both spring and summer ablaze and hasn’t slowed down since.

Chris Brown & Young Thug Go Crazy

Photo credit: hitupange.com

Breezy does it again! With his spring 2020 hit “Go Crazy”. Released on May 5, 2020, the upbeat party anthem features popular Georgia rapper, Young Thug  and featured on their collaboration mixtape Slime & B. Shortly after after appearing on the charts, the “#GoCrazyChallenge appeared on multiple social media platforms. The popular challenge featured people dancing on the sidewalk alongside a slowly moving car. Many people participated in the challenge, including Breezy himself, along with his daughter Royalty. To date, “Go Crazy” has peaked at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, number ten on the UK Singles Chart, and number-one on both the US Rhythmic Songs and R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts.

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