As with any other year, 2019 was full of triumph, challenge, good, bad, happy, sad, and any other emotional experience one can think of! Of course, these emotions created the perfect complement for listening to the 2019 soundtrack.
This year, there were many types of music represented in my Top Songs of 2019 countdown, including country, rap, pop, and many songs that were a hybrid of multiple types of sounds. So, without further ado, let’s delve into my Top 40 of 2019! These were the songs that kept my toes tapping and my lips moving throughout the year.
#40: Dance Monkey Tones and I It might seem bananas that the first song of my countdown is about a musical monkey, but I’m certainly going ape over this new song by Australian artist Tones and I. In the last weekly countdown of 2019, this song is currently at Number Two on my chart, and eyeing the Number One spot!
#39: You Need To Calm Down Taylor Swift Taylor Swift might be telling us we need to calm down, but she certainly is continuing to kick it up a notch with fantastic songs like this one.
#38: Brand New Day Eddie Money Eddie Money finally got his ticket to paradise this past year, but before he departed Planet Earth he left us with another fine gem of a song! You can tell that Eddie had a lot of fun singing this song, and it’s evidenced in the accompanying video as well. He even acknowledges all of his “mom fans” out there! Eddie might be gone, but he’s left us with the legacy of wonderful music, some that will be sung in karaoke bars for decades to come!
#37: Only One Carlie Hanson Newcomer Carlie Hanson had her first hit on my countdown this year. It’s a pop song that is fairly representative of the sound of 2019. It will be interesting to see what direction her music takes in the future. #36: Medellin Madonna Featuring Maluma Madonna was back on my charts in 2019, her previous appearance being back at #40 in my year-end favorite songs list of 2015 with Ghosttown. This year she ranked four spots higher on my 2019 countdown, in a duet with Latin superstar Maluma. If La Isla Bonita were to have a sequel, this song would be it! Turn it up while dancing with your loved one, and watch the sparks fly! #35: Rise Up Andra Day Looking for a song with lots of emotion, soul, and fantastic vocals? Look no further than this song by Andra Day! If you close your eyes, the song sounds like it could’ve been song by Rihanna. In any case, the songs of soul are desperately needed in these days and times, and Andra is certainly one of the antidotes! #34: Blow Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton, and Bruno Mars No, this isn’t a redux of the song sung by Ke$ha several years ago! It’s a rock song featuring Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton, and Bruno Mars. It sounds a bit strange on paper, but they certainly sound good together, and provide some straight ahead rock music, which is sadly missing from the radio airwaves these days! I would love to see them record more stuff together in this vein in the future. Time will tell! #33: River Ellie Goulding A remake of the classic tune, written and originally performed by Joni Mitchell is done minimally and simply by Ellie Goulding. Ellie sounds fantastic on this tune, without the need for special effects and production. This song hit Number One on my final weekly chart of the year 2019! #32: Never Really Over Katy Perry This is a perfect title for Katy Perry’s career, which always seems to be chugging along just fine, thank you very much! Two years ago, in 2017 She had the #4 song of the year on my countdown with Chained To The Rhythm! This year, she had yet another song that gets in your head, and does not easily escape! For those of us who are fans of Katy Perry this is a good thing, but you have been warned! The song peaked at Number Two in the spring of 2019. #31: High Hopes Panic! At the Disco I guess the hopes for Panic! At the Disco really were high, since they charted two years in a row with this single! In 2018 this song ranked at #34 for the entire year, in 2019 it ranked three spots higher at #31. Songs that chart late in the calendar year have the advantage of appearing on multiple year-end charts, but they also have the disadvantage of not peaking as high in either one of those years, since the chart points are split up over two separate charting periods. And, now you know more than you ever wanted to I’m sure! #30: (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again Elton John and Taron Egerton Sir Elton John was back big time in 2019. His life story was featured in the motion picture Rocketman, and he had yet another song on multiple charts in 2019 including the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and on my own countdown! The song just missed hitting Number One on my weekly charts, peaking at Number Two in early summer of 2019. It’s such a positive self-esteem song, and includes the talented vocals of Taron Egerton, who played Elton John in the Rocketman picture. #29: Everything I Wanted Billie Eilish Billie Eilish was the “it person!” of 2019! She was one of the top artists of the year on the Billboard Hot 100, and she also placed three songs in my year- end countdown of 2019, including this first appearance with her most recent chart success. I really like the mood and message in the song. In this day when it often feels like excess is the norm, perhaps we could think a bit more about whether or not it would be so good if we truly had everything we wanted. This song spent two weeks at Number One on my weekly charts in December! #28: Still On My Mind Dido Even though Dido’s been away from my charts since Sand In My Shoes was the #10 song of the year, 15 years ago in 2004, she has still been on my mind! Her style of music, production quality have basically remain unchanged in the last 15 years, and that’s a great thing! Dido just missed hitting Number One on my charts with this song, peaking at Number Two in the late winter of 2019. #27: Shallow Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper sound fantastic on the song from the A Star Is Born soundtrack. This song peaked at Number One on my weekly charts in late 2018, but still had enough staying power on my weekly charts to end up as the #27 song for 2019! #26: Timebomb Walk the Moon Walk the Moon were back with yet another fun to dance and sing along to song in 2019! It’s another one of those songs that young and old can appreciate. Walk the Moon walked this song all the way to Number Two on my weekly charts, where it stayed at that position for 3 weeks. #25: Lose You To Love Me Selena Gomez Selena Gomez continues her streak of at least one song in my year-end countdown for the past five years! It’s the story of a relationship gone bad, but Selena makes it sound so good in this pop confection. The song spent one week at Number One on my weekly charts in early November 2019. #24: The Git Up Blanco Brown Country songs don’t always cross over to my weekly charts, but this song is way too much fun to ignore! With a fantastic video featuring some incredible dance moves, you can get a full work-out dancing and singing along with this song that spent one week at Number One on my charts in August 2019! #23: Senorita Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes Earlier, at #36 we had the Latin-infused Medellin, but not to be outdone, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes perform on this slow-grooving Latin tune! If you’re looking for a song with which to warm up on these cold winter nights, this song might just be it! The song debuted and peaked at Number Two on my weekly charts in September 2019! #22: Skinny Dip Herb Alpert Herb Albert may be well into his 80s now, but he’s not letting his age be an excuse for slowing down, or for producing less than stellar music! This song is classic Herb Alpert, with that wonderful trumpet sound and melody that just makes you smile! I was so lucky to get a chance to see him live in concert this past autumn, where he performed with his lovely wife, the very talented Lani Hall! They are both such exquisite performers and really take pride in their music and it shows in everything they do! Skinny Dip spent a week in Number One on my charts in October 2019! # 21: This is How We Want You (To Get High) George Michael George Michael may have left us several Christmases ago, but his music continues to spread his message, and this gem, unearthed this past year, provides another great example of George’s vocal prowess and why so many love his music so much! This song spent one week at Number One in November 2019! Hoping that more treasures like this will continue to be discovered in the years to come! #20: Lover Taylor Swift featuring Shawn Mendes Taylor just can’t stay away from the charts! Cool songs like this one, with vocal assist from Shawn Mendes, seem to ensure that Taylor will maintain permanent chart residency! This song debuted at Number One on my weekly charts in November 2019 and spent three nonconsecutive weeks at Number One! #19: Another One Down Richard Marx Veteran musician Richard Marx was back in 2019 with a brand new pop ditty that made me realize just how much I missed hearing him on the radio! Perhaps some contemporaries of Richard’s are down at the moment, but Richard is still going strong as evidenced in this song. The song debuted at Number One on my weekly countdown in September 2019! #18: I Don’t Care Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber Perhaps Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber don’t care, but we certainly do! Yet another pop confection from two consistent pop hit makers, this song spent one week at Number One on my weekly charts in the spring of 2019! #17: Dancing with a Stranger Sam Smith and Normani Sam Smith has proven himself to be the consummate song maker and performer, and this is yet another song that exemplifies this. In this duet with artist Normani, dancing with a stranger sounds like a great way to spend an evening. Sam and Normani danced this song to the runner up position for two weeks on my weekly countdown in the spring in 2019! #16: Ball and Chain The Who Some of you might have been surprised to see Herb Albert in my year-end countdown, but how many of you were expecting to see The Who? The Who are sounding fantastic on this song with a political message, and their very recognizable production quality. The new album by The Who, released in November 2019, is getting very positive critical reviews. With songs like this on the album, I’m glad to see rock making a comeback! Ball and Chain spent one week at Number One in the fall of 2019 on my weekly charts! #15: Sucker Jonas Brothers I’m a sucker for a good pop song, and the Jonas Brothers delivered in 2019! There is no denying the catchy hooks, great vocals, and just the feel good vibes of this song! Sucker spent one week at Number One on my charts in August 2019! #14: When The Party’s Over Billie Eilish This song was my first introduction to Billie Eilish, and I was hooked! Her vocal style, intriguing lyrics, and her unusual persona, had me glued to the song in the early part of 2019! The party peaked at Number Three for three weeks in the early spring of 2019! #13: Truth Hurts Lizzo In addition to the aforementioned Billie Eilish, Lizzo was the other “it person!” in 2019! Her brash style, outspokenness, and relatability made her one of the more talked about newcomers of 2019. The dance moves exhibited in her video were duplicated by many students in schools across the country in the fall of 2019, with often very hilarious results! Although her song went no higher than Number Three on my weekly charts, it spent enough time on my charts to be the biggest non-Number One hit of the calendar year 2019 on my countdown! #12: Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – But I Have It Lana Del Rey The always mysterious, and very talented, Lana Del Rey was back in 2019, with a vengeance! She last appeared on my year-end countdown in 2017 with the #25 placing Love. Lana is a breath of fresh air on the music charts, as each album, and song that she releases is totally her own, and does not sound like the cookie-cutter songs often heard on the radio these days. Lana spent one week at Number One on my weekly charts with the song that also has the distinction of having the longest title of any song on my countdown in 2019! 16 words long, and that doesn’t even include the hyphen...sure glad that Lana has that hope! #11 Me! Taylor Swift featuring Brendon Urie Last year, in 2018, Taylor Swift had the Number One song of the year on my countdown with Delicate. This year, her highest placement on my countdown is the #11 song simply titled Me! Although the title would seem to indicate that this would be a solo song, it’s actually a duet featuring Brendon Urie of the group Panic! At the Disco. As it is a duet. it seems only fitting that the song spent two weeks at Number One in the spring of 2019, that way each artist gets one week at number one to themselves! #10: Nothing Breaks Like a Heart Mark Ronson featuring Miley Cyrus The first time I heard this song I immediately thought of the song Jolene by Dolly Parton. The overall feel, and Mark Ronson’s production of the song, very much has a Jolene-esque quality about it, and that’s just fine in my book! Back in 2016, Miley Cyrus had paired up with Dolly to sing the song Jolene, so it’s no surprise that Miley’s been influenced by it. This was the first Number One song of the year on my weekly countdown in 2019, spending three total weeks at Number One! #9: Higher Love Kygo X Whitney Houston This song, originally a Number One hit song on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1986, co-written and sung by Steve Winwood, had a big resurgence in the summer of 2019 in a fantastic remix version! Kygo remixed the Whitney Houston version of the song from the Japanese version of Whitney’s 1990 album, I’m Your Baby Tonight, and turned it into a big hit in 2019! Just like with George Michael mentioned earlier, here’s hoping that more audio jams from the late, great Whitney Houston continue to be unearthed! This song spent two weeks at Number One on my weekly charts in August! #8: Old Town Road Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus This was one of the most ubiquitous songs of the first half of 2019! Was it a country song disguised in rap, or was it a rap song disguised in country? The verdict seemed to be out on each count, and even Billboard couldn’t make up their mind! It charted briefly on the Billboard country charts, before being pulled off those charts, as it was determined it wasn’t “country enough!” Despite how one categorizes or describes the song, one thing is certain, it is very catchy! It ended up becoming the longest running Number One song ever on the Billboard Hot 100, spending 19 long weeks at Number One! On my weekly charts, it was a shorter “road,” spending only one week at Number One in the summer of 2019! #7: Saint Honesty Sara Bareilles Two years ago, Sara Bareilles had the Number One song of the year on my entire yearly countdown with If I Dare. This year, in 2019 she was back in the Top 10 for the entire year with this gorgeous ballad. Real music, sung by real musicians still exists, and this is a great example of that! This is one song that I regularly listened to on my old school iPod mini in the first half of 2019! According to Lizzo, truth hurts, but believing in Saint Honesty will ultimately save the day! Sara spent four weeks at Number One with this song in the spring of 2019. I was so happy I finally got to see Sara live this past October at the Chase Center in San Francisco! She is such a consummate performer, regularly interacting with the audience, and just making you feel good about her music and about life in general. Ain’t nothing wrong with that! #6: Someone You Loved Lewis Capaldi There is always that one ballad every year that allows one to cry and mourn the loss of a relationship that just didn’t work out. This year that ballad was provided courtesy of newcomer Lewis Capaldi. It’s a song for which one just can’t help but pay attention. Lewis’ vocals, along with the heartfelt message, get to you every time! And I didn’t grow tired of this song very quickly either, allowing it to spend three weeks at Number One on my weekly charts in late summer 2019! This was the top song by a male artist in 2019...the Top 5 on my 2019 countdown features all women musicians!
#5: Doin’ Time Lana Del Rey It’s hard to believe that the original version of Doin’ Time by the modern rock group Sublime was released 22 years ago in 1997! In any case, in 2019 Lana Del Rey took that song and covered it in her own glittery and shimmery style! Her version is laid-back and cool, and almost ethereal. I listened to it on repeat a lot during the fall of 2019! If I have to be doing time, I don’t mind sharing it with Lana! The song spent four non-consecutive weeks at Number One in the fall of 2019 on my personal charts! #4: The Joke Brandi Carlile Brandi’s first appearance on one of my year-countdowns is with this well-crafted and socially significant song. Diversity is our strength, and this song makes that point most eloquently. You can almost feel the pain of the people mentioned in the song, followed by the power they feel realizing that their differences contribute to what makes our society great. It’s no joke that this song spent a total of five nonconsecutive weeks at Number One on my weekly charts in 2019, the second longest run at number one for the year 2019!
#3: Flux Ellie Goulding In the last few years, many of Ellie Goulding’s songs have featured a heavy production quality, and guest performers, with her vocals being dismissed a bit. And, it’s a shame, too, as one of Ellie’s strengths is her fabulous voice. Songs like Flux showcase how fantastic Ellie’s voice really is, without auto-tune or other audio distractions. This is Ellie’s highest year-end appearance on my countdown, besting her previous two year-end appearances at Number Six on my charts: Something in the Way You Move in 2016 and Love Me Like You Do in 2015! Flux spent two weeks at Number One in early spring 2019. #2: Always Remember Us This Way Lady Gaga It’s hard to believe that Lady Gaga has been charting songs for more than a decade now, with her style of music really changing and evolving over the years! Early in her career she had big pop hits like Just Dance and Poker Face; this year she had several big hits from the A Star Is Born soundtrack including the song at #27, Shallow, and this Number Two hit, Always Remember Us This Way! I absolutely adore this song, the overall feel, the sultry soulful sound; everything about the song is pure pop confection! It spent four weeks at Number One on my charts in the first quarter of 2019! Previously, Lady Gaga’s best year-end appearance on my chart was the Number Three Bad Romance in 2010! #1: Bad Guy Billie Eilish This “bad” was just so “good!” Everything about this song works; the smart and snarky lyrics, the rebellious feel, and the “duh” asides, too! Plus, the video is pretty damn entertaining as well! Bad Guy was the longest running Number One song of the year on my countdown, spending six weeks at Number One, making it the longest running number one song since Sia’s Cheap Thrills spent seven weeks at Number One in 2016 on my charts! Bad Guy also spent the most number of weeks on my weekly charts in 2019, spending a total of 23 weeks on my chart, just three weeks shy of half a year! I’m looking forward to hearing how Billie evolves musically. Smart lyrics are always welcome! And that’s it! My Top 40 of the year of 2019! What do you think? Do you agree with the songs on this list, or do you think I missed some? Let me know, and you just might see one or more of your suggestions on my year-end countdown of 2020!
Happy New Year to you all! One resolution I have every year remains the same for 2020: I resolve to listen to lots of music!