Compilation by Rick Hiduk
“Shut up and Dance” by Walk the Moon (above) was the inescapable dance floor filler of the year, while the folky “Renegades” by X Ambassadors (top) proved to be an excellent bridge song for DJs to mix from country to pop in bars.
Pop rock songs with a good beat made a strong comeback on Contemporary Hit Radio and in bars and clubs in 2015, while the folk pop that been such a strong force in both 2013 and 2014 seemed watered down, an exception being the catchy “Renegades,” which was both a radio staple and the song behind a Jeep commercial.
Straight ahead Dance music maintained its appeal, with clever production giving us some new sounds to shape hit music in the coming years. The perfect example is The Weeknd, scoring at least three number songs in 2015 and contributing to hits by others.
The momentum Meghan Trainor brought into 2015 from her 2014 blockbuster “All About the Base” garnered her a slew of hits in duets and as a solo artist.
My rankings are based not only on what I liked to play but also the reactions I got from patrons at more than 100 gigs I played last year.
- Walk The Moon – Shut Up & Dance
- X Ambassadors – Renegades
- Major Lazer & DJ Snake f: MO – Lean On
- OMI – Cheerleader
- Fifth Harmony f: Kid Ink – Worth It
- Elle King – Ex’s & Oh’s
- Weeknd – I Can’t Feel My Face
- Vance Joy – Riptide
- Fall Out Boy – Uma Thurman
- Nicky Jam & Enrique Iglesias – El Perdon
- George Ezra – Budapest
- Shrillex & Diplo w Justin Bieber – Where Are U Now
- Calvin Harris f John Newman – Blame
- Andy Grammar – Honey I’m Good
- Sam Smith – I’m Not The Only One
- Shawn Mendes – Stitches
- Charlie Puth f: Meghan Trainer – Marvin Gaye
- Calvin Harris f: Ellie Goulding – Outside
- Imagine Dragons – I Bet My Life
- The Weeknd – Earned It (Fifty Shads of Grey)
- Fetty Wap f: Remy Boyz – 679
- Meghan Trainer – Lips Are Movin’
- Meghan Trainer f: John Legend – Like I’m Gonna Lose You
- Omarion f: Chris Brown & Jhene Aiko – Post To Be
- Drake – Hotline Bling
- Flo Rida – f: Safe the Gemini & Lookas – G.D.F.R.
- Fall Out Boy – Centuries
- The Weeknd – Hills
- Demi Lavato – Cool For the Summer
- Usher f Juicy J – I Don’t Mind
- Meghan Trainer – Dear Future Husband
- Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
- Pitbull & Ne-Ho – Time of Our Lives
- Maroon 5 – Sugar
- Selena Gomez f A$AP Rocky – Good For You
- Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean?
- Natalie La Rose f Jeremih – Somebody
- Jason DeRulo – Want To Want Me
- David Guetta f: N Minaj, B Rexha & Afrojack – Hey Mama
- Sia – Elastic Heart