The Number Ones. Album Of The Week. But pop music ultimately lives and dies by the single. It is the currency by which household names and treasured memories are made. A word about my methodology: subjective. A few more words about it: This list represents an extremely loose and personal concept of what constitutes pop music. Country, which mostly seems to exist in its own vacuum-sealed universe, barely factored into this column this year, so I left it off this list. As for mainstream-adjacent figures like Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean, I included them when I felt like it, arbitrarily yet somehow also with exact correctness. I also made room for songs that were technically released in but made a big impact this year. This is the same sort of dazed, melancholy trap-pop that has made Post Malone one of the biggest stars in music, except executed with a vivacious flair Post rarely demonstrates on the mic.
The Top 40 Pop Songs Of 2017
I n a sea of songs, it can be hard to pick the ones that float to the top. They might be the ones that rise to the top of the charts, or the ones inspiring think pieces and late-night conversations. But no matter what, they reflect our cultural moment. More explicit social commentary has a place here, in the form of thoughtful hip-hop from the likes of JAY-Z and Frank Ocean. And there are a few surprises—like an unassuming Oldies-style hit from a low-key rock outfit , and a song that speaks to a feminist moment in the form of purest pop gold from a bold voice on the rise. Here Ballerini hits all the right notes: a personal story told in a way that makes it universally relatable; a sparkling, unhurried melody; a nostalgic mood. Buy it on iTunes.
9. JAY-Z, “Story of O.J.”
Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. If albums had something of a soft landing on the pop landscape in , then songs more than picked up the headline-grabbing slack. The Man and Sam Hunt did so domestically. And even with all this, it was still a year where the very best singles might not have been the very biggest.
It wasn't all bad news for big names this year, though, with some pros releasing excellent work that cemented their place at the top of their respective genres, like Kendrick Lamar with his outstanding DAMN singles, and DJ Khaled with the playground exuberance of his posse cuts. Then, we ranked them, starting with the year's most disappointing best-sellers, and working our way through the list to determine 's defining singles. Below, see our ranking of the 50 biggest songs of , ordered from worst to best.