The Billboard tracking year for 2022 is officially over. This means that the year-end chart of the biggest hits can be accurately predicted based on the calculations Billboard uses annually to make their infamous chart.
The Billboard Hot 100 chart is calculated using sales, streaming and radio airplay statistics. While sales include physical and online purchases, streaming includes major online platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. These statistics are weighted differently in an attempt to calculate the most popular songs in the U.S. on any given week.
With this being said, people are able to calculate the charts fairly accurately and predict the year-end positioning for the biggest hits of the Billboard year. While browsing through the Pulse Music Board forums, I found many predictions for the 100 biggest hits of 2022 made by using formulas similar to Billboard’s. Based on charts from the users mikerivera, PositivityMaster48 and rockgolf, I have determined my list for the top 5 best hit songs of the year, according to the predicted Billboard Hot 100 songs of 2022. I will also be listing the peak position on the weekly charts throughout the tracking year for each song.
5. “What Happened to Virgil” – Lil Durk (#22 peak)
This track was never in my heavy rotation, however, this contributed to my enjoyment of the song in the long term since it is still fresh to my ears. I am always partial to a question-hook and a memorably melancholy piano line. This song pays bittersweet homage to one of the most untimely passings of the 2020s.
4. “Light Switch” – Charlie Puth (#27 peak)
I am nervous while typing these words because “Light Switch” has become my biggest “guilty pleasure” song in a long time and I try not to have one of those. Why should liking a song be painful? While the gimmick and double entendre of this song is indeed very embarrassing, Puth proves once again that he can sonically craft a pleasing pop composition through just melody and chords, without an ounce of shame.
3. “Bad Habit” – Steve Lacy (#1 peak, 3 weeks)
As the pop breakthrough of the year, Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” is overplayed as hell. However, the power this chorus contained upon its release back in June felt unlimited and it’s just now sputtering out five months later. Whether he wants it or not, Lacy has earned pop-star status without straying far from his original style. Seeing as “Dark Red” also charted in 2022, it would have happened eventually.
2. “Smokin Out the Window” – Silk Sonic (#5 peak)
This was Silk Sonic’s crowning achievement, blending both Bruno Mars’s and Anderson .Paak’s strengths better than any other track on their project. While working in the bounds of “retro” styles can be difficult to retain your character, “Smokin” managed to sound original. The swells of emotion throughout the track feel balanced with the small amount of humor in the verses. I believe Silk Sonic’s legacy does not need a sequel after a performance like this.
1. “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” – Kate Bush (#3 peak)
I first discovered this song at my summer job scooping ice cream in 2021, as it would occasionally come on our playlist. Luckily I took note of the title and began listening to it, not knowing what was about to happen with season four of Stranger Things. The way this song sounds is not out of place amongst new music, proving how insanely ahead of its time this production was. It is an epic track even without the visuals and it performed the unthinkable by having longevity on the Hot 100–a whole 37 years after its release.
Along with my favorite hit songs of 2022, I would also like to quickly highlight my choices for the top 3 worst hits.
3. “abcdefu” – GAYLE (#3 peak)
I feel bad picking on a young artist like GAYLE, but this chorus is unbearably corny and slow. This is the worst result of blackbear’s “do re mi” success so far.
2. “Broadway Girls” – Lil Durk, Morgan Wallen (#14 peak)
I have not heard this track many times, but from the single cover to the concept of this collaboration, to the overall sound, “Broadway Girls” feels dark, creepy and gross. Lil Durk has now made the best and the worst list for 2022.
1. “Fancy Like” – Walker Hayes (#7 peak)
This song has clearly cemented itself as the worst hit of the decade for me. How it achieved its longevity is astonishing to me, since there is not a single thing I enjoy about this track. It is a completely unfunny joke that was somehow bought into by the public and allowed to nearly top the Hot 100.