2018 Was The Best Year In Music, Here Are 20 Songs To Prove It

2018 Was The Best Year In Music, Here Are 20 Songs To Prove It

To no one but me, I guess.


This year was a bummer, to say the least. Socially, politically, and economically, it was one of the worst. But luckily, entertainment kept this nation going when things were rough.

Musicians were the lifesavers. We got some hits this year that make me feel better about the future. When I was thinking back to all my favorite songs that made a difference for me personally, as well as ones that left their marks on the charts, it was actually hard to believe they were all from 2018.

It was a long, crazy, eventful, messy, beautiful year.

1. "Youngblood" by 5 Seconds Of Summer

As someone who has looked up to 5 Seconds Of Summer since middle school, I'm especially proud of "Youngblood" as a song, an album, and a new era for this band. I put them first on my list because of the way they rebranded themselves. They changed their whole sound, wrote with new people, and recorded what is easily their best work. Luke, Calum, Ashton, and Michael stayed busy the entire year as they went on two world tours and released a studio album, a live album, and two music videos.

2. "Speechless" by Dan + Shay

On the other side of the spectrum is a song that stole my heart, "Speechless." In fact, Dan and Shay's entire self-titled album stole my heart. I hadn't listened to much country music on purpose in a really long time, but when their album was released, it was literally all I played for weeks. This song brought on all the fuzzy feelings you can only get from an old love song. Their voices and lyrics are filled with so much passion and heart, which is impossibly contagious and fulfilling.

3. "APESHIT" by The Carters

This video. This song. This collaboration. Everything about these two and what they've accomplished in 2018 is mind-blowing. The "On The Run" tour is still one of the hottest things being talked about. Of course, anything Beyonce touches turns to gold, and Jay-Z is a musical genius, so it's no wonder. And this video? It practically broke the internet. AND THEY RENTED OUT THE LOUVRE!

4. "God's Plan" by Drake

It was obviously an insane year for Drake. Billboard has dubbed him the top artist of 2018 and "God's Plan" the top song. Nothing about that is questionable. "God's Plan" was on the Hot 100 Chart for 36 weeks, 11 of which were at the top. But as for the most important thing he's ever done? Drake says that was the video where he donated the million dollars from the production budget. Drake has proved himself to be an amazing person time and time again. He just continuously strives for greatness and he always exceeds it.

5. "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes

Of the songs on this list, this one means the most to me on a personal level. I remember staying up to hear it, knowing it would be something special. But I wasn't prepared for the way it would connect with my soul like no song ever has.

Shawn Mendes is a storyteller and that's made all the difference. "In My Blood" is vulnerable and wide open in the most beautiful and personal way. His self-titled album marks the craziest, busiest, and arguably the best year of his life. He sang for Queen Elizabeth on her birthday, was nominated for his first two Grammys, did a festival run across the world this summer, sold out his first-ever stadium show in Toronto in a matter of minutes, and poured his heart out on an album.

And he just turned 20, so this is just the beginning. He knows exactly what it takes for him to get where he wants to go and he works harder than that to make it all possible.

6. "God is a Woman" by Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande stole the last half of 2018. She's currently the most streamed artist and she's just getting started.

"God is a Woman" is a feminist anthem and the video backs it up. I'm so proud of where she's been, where she's at right now, and where she's going. I cannot think of anyone else who has grown more this year. I'm never not in awe of everything Ariana Grande is. She's got inner and outer beauty, wisdom beyond her years, and vocal range that makes me want to cry sometimes.

7. "Thank U, Next" by Ariana Grande

I would be mad at myself if I didn't put Ariana Grande on this list at least twice. Truthfully, there wasn't much stopping me from putting all 15 songs from "Sweetener" on here, along with both of her new singles.

This video was easily the most anticipated one of the year. She teased us with clips and photos for what seemed like forever before finally giving us a video that "broke" YouTube by beating the record for most views in a day before the full 24 hours were even up.

And, the song is ridiculous. She's so fiery and inspiring. She's teaching us all some valuable lessons and she used our favorite movies to do it.

9. "Girls Like You" by Maroon 5

This song and its video were refreshing. This year, the patience of all women was tested. By including inspiring women at literally every turn in the music video, it's bound to be remembered forever.

The song stayed on the Hot 100 for 30 weeks and is still getting an insane amount of airtime, so it doesn't seem like it's going anywhere any time soon.

9. "Better" by Khalid

For someone like Khalid, who is really just starting out, this year couldn't be better (no pun intended).

Khalid stuck out to me as someone to really focus on because of his energy. He's got a smile that could not get any bigger and he exudes so much positivity that it's actually ridiculous. As an individual, he's unstoppable.

He is constantly putting out new hits. And when he's not doing it for himself, he's featuring on someone else's. Aside from his own EP and touring, this year he's worked with Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes, Halsey and Benny Blanco, Normani, and Martin Garrix. The guy doesn't stop. He knows how big 2018 was for him, but he says things are only looking up.

10. "Connection" by OneRepublic

OneRepublic is a band I feel like everyone loves, but no one talks about enough. They're not only incredibly talented, but they're diverse, consistent, and versatile. They know when to update their sound and in the 13 years they've been a band, they've never done the same thing twice.

It would be easy for them to stick to what they know since they've been so good at everything, but they don't. Every time a new song, like "Connection," comes out, it sounds like a new band. And I have to give a lot of credit to Ryan Tedder for just being an overall genius. Because of the songs he's written and produced for OneRepublic and other artists, he's one of my musical heroes.

11. "Consequences" by Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello is such a bright light inside and out. She brings so much joy to the world through her music and personality. I'm incredibly proud of the individual musician she's blossomed into.

"Consequences" is a beautiful song with so much passion behind it. I can't help but feel every bit of its pain and love every time. Camila Cabello seems to feel emotions on such a deep level, and then she reflects that in her songwriting. She is another artist that experienced a major year supporting Taylor Swift on her Reputation Tour and receiving her first Grammy nominations.

12. "Psycho" by Post Malone

Post Malone is an unpredictable, wholesome, unstoppable, fearless musician. He's got this infectious energy and a heart of gold, but then his songs have a sort of savage attitude- like "Psycho."

You can't help but want to be his best friend because he's so unapologetically himself in the best way possible. "Beerbongs & Bentleys" is an album that never gets old. I'm still playing it like it's the first time, but eight months later.

"Psycho" and the other songs on the album fit every mood. It's accompanied me while partying, driving, and doing nothing at all.

13. "High Hopes" by Panic! At The Disco

"High Hopes" is filled with so much promise. It's empowering for dreamers like myself. It's the kind of jam I needed and I'm thankful that it was written so people can relate to it. And they obviously do, because it's Panic! At The Disco's biggest hit.

They're a band that knows how to stay relevant. They've changed with the times and bent genres to stay important. Brenden Urie is a powerhouse vocalist and a vulnerable, open writer which makes for a stellar musician. I'm grateful that they were a band when I was an anxious middle schooler, but I'm even more now as an adult.

14. "Make you feel pretty" by lovelytheband

I can never really grasp the way I listen to music. I know what I like and I follow that really closely. My interests have never been in the area of indie pop at all. But then I stumbled across lovelytheband at some point late last year and that changed.

My tastes are expanded and now this band is one of my favorites. Their sound is really cool and kind of cocky. It's funky and upbeat, but anxious and emotional at the same time.

15. "Boo'd Up" by Ella Mai

Ella Mai blew up almost overnight and everyone was talking about her this year and for good reason.

"Boo'd Up" is one of the more electric and interesting songs on the list. The first time I heard it I was honestly blown away by how original it was and the Recording Academy must agree since it's been nominated for a Grammy for Song Of The Year.

16. "I Like Me Better" by Lauv

This song is one part of a whole beautiful story written by Lauv. I had the pleasure of seeing him live this year and hearing all about what he's called "I met you when I was 18," an album about the girl he met when he moved to New York.

This song was especially great live and Lauv seemed to have bottled up all the energy in the world and poured it all out onstage during the performance. Music is in good hands with songwriters like him.

17. "3 Nights" by Dominic Fike

When I found this song I felt like I hit a goldmine of sound. Dominic Fike is what the future of music needs to sound like.

"3 Nights" is bold and vibrant. When I listen to it, I feel sassy, which is the only way I wanted to feel this year. Dominic Fike sounds confident throughout his EP, "Don't Forget About Me, Demos."

18. "Annabelle's Homework" by Alec Benjamin

Alec Benjamin is one of the best songwriters I've ever seen. His new album, "Narrated For You" provides beautiful imagery into his life. The album is a story and he tells it in such a clean and pretty way.

"Annabelle's Homework," is an innocent and sweet song. The way he uses words to paint a picture is something not a lot of new artists can do. He's another artist I have a lot of faith in.

19. "No Matter What" by Calum Scott

Calum Scott is one of my favorite vocalists, especially of 2018. And this song, in particular, is something worth listening to. Its openness makes it one of the best of the year. Calum Scott's debut album, "Only Human" is raw and real down to the last song.

20. "Hold My Girl" by George Ezra

I'm way too late to the George Ezra party, but I'm glad I made it. Hearing his voice is what getting cozy under a blanket and drinking hot tea would sound like. His songs all feel so calming, which was necessary for 2018.

Popular Right Now

80 Ultimate Throwback Songs Millennials Still Play On Repeat

Here's the playlist you've been waiting for, and "it's hot and fresh out the kitchen.."

What's better than a "#TBT? I'll tell you: Jamming to throwbacks in the car.

Let's be honest, we 2000s middle schoolers we'll listen to throwbacks any chance we get. At the gym, on a road trip, getting ready, on the commute to work, at a party, in the shower, while making food, walking across campus, at a tailgate or to get hyped before a game. Throwbacks are a piece of our past that we just can't let go of, and I mean, who would want to?

After awhile of searching for the ideal throwbacks, I decided we all need to have the ultimate list of throwbacks. So, after careful consideration (and a little help from my friends), here is The Ultimate Throwback Playlist:

1. "Ignition (Remix)" - R. Kelly

2. "Hollaback Girl" - Gwen Stefani

3. "Wannabe" - Spice Girls

4. "Say My Name" - Destiny's Child

5. "No Scrubs" - TLC

6. "Unwritten" - Natasha Bedingfield

7. "Promiscuous" - Nelly Furtado

8. "Don't Cha" - Pussycat Dolls

9. "Bust A Move" - Young MC

10. "Tipsy" - J-Kwon

11. "In Da Club" - 50 Cent

12. "Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin')" - T-Pain

13. "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" - Jay-Z

14. "It Wasn't Me" - Shaggy

15. "Gold Digger" - Kanye West

16. "Pony" - Ginuwine

17. "Straight Outta Compton" - N.W.A.

18. "One, Two Step" - Ciara

19. "Big Poppa" - The Notorious B.I.G

20. "Jenny From The Block" - Jennifer Lopez

21. "Take A Bow" - Rihanna

22. "Shake It" - Metro Station

23. "Fall For You" - Secondhand Serenade

24."Mr. Brightside" - The Killers

25. "Halo" - Beyonce

26. "Whatcha Say" - Jason Derulo

27. "Birthday Sex" - Jeremih

28. "Love Drunk" - Boys Like Girls

29. "Replay" - Iyaz

30. "Cooler Than Me" - Mike Posner

31. "Billionaire" - Travie McCoy

32. "6 Foot 7 Foot"- Lil Wayne

33. "Basket Case" - Green Day

34. "Jump Around" - House of Pain

35. "Gettin' Jiggy wit it" - Will Smith

36. "Push It" - Salt and Pepa

37. "Africa" - Toto

38. "Hailie's Song" - Eminem

39. "Toxic" - Britney Spears

40. Yeah!- Usher

41. "I Want it That Way" - Backstreet Boys

42. "Let's Get It Started" - Black Eyed Peas

43. "We Are Young" - Fun

44. "1985" - Bowling For Soup

45. "Smack That" - Akon

46. "Don't Trust Me" - 3Oh!3

47. "Year 3000" - Jonas Brothers

48. "Tik Tok" - Ke$ha

49. "Airplanes" - B.O.B.

50. "Bedrock" - Young Money

51. "Bottoms Up" - Trey Songz

52. "Misery Business" - Paramore

53. "Deuces" - Chris Brown

54. "According To You" - Orianthi

55. "My Chick Bad" - Ludacris

56. "Stereo Hearts" - Gym Class Heros

57. "Love On Top" - Beyonce

58. "Lollipop" - Lil Wayne

59. "Love In This Club" - Usher

60. "4 Minutes" - Madonna

61. "Sk8er Boi" - Avril Lavigne

62. "Blame It" - Jamie Foxx

63. "Fergalicious" - Fergie

64. "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs" - Fall Out Boy

63. "All The Small Things" - Blink 182

64. "SexyBack" - Justin Timberlake

65. "I Love College" - Asher Roth

66. "Gives You Hell" - All American Rejects

67. "Kiss Me Thru The Phone" - Soulja Boy

68. "Let Me Clear My Throat" - DJ Kool

69. "The Boy Is Mine" - Brandy and Monica

70. "Thunderstruck" - AC/DC

71. "The River" - Good Charlotte

72. "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" - Beastie Boys

73. "All Star" - Smash Mouth

74. "Party In The USA" - Miley Cyrus

75. "Bye Bye Bye" - *NSync

76. "Hey There Delilah" - Plain White T's

77. "Laffy Taffy" - D4L

78. "Move Along" - All American Rejects

79. "Sugar, We're Going Down" - Fall Out Boy

80. "U Can't Touch This" - MC Hammer

Bonus: "Piano Man" - Billy Joel

Now, I know you want to put it all together so you can listen to the whole playlist now, don't you? Don't worry, I already made it on Spotify so you don't need to do any work! Check it out below and enjoy!

Did I miss your favorite? That's okay, post it in the comments below to add to my list! The more, the better!

Cover Image Credit: Averie Woodard

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Repeat These Khalid Songs To Prepare For Mayfest

A list of Khalid songs you need to know in order to be adequately prepared for Mayfest.


The day everyone looks forward to since the first day of fall semester: Mayfest.

This year we are being blessed with the musical stylings of Khalid (which will undoubtedly be an improvement from Gucci Mane - sorry if there are any devoted fans out there). In order to be prepared for the madness/greatness that is quickly approaching this April 26, listen to these Khalid songs so you get pumped/can sing along with everyone else/so you can say you know who Khalid is before spending money on a ticket.

1. "Location"

A classic. I am almost certain everyone has heard this song at least once, whether aware or not. It's soft and vibe-y. You can just sway back and forth as you bask in the smoothness of Khalid's voice.

2. "Outta my Head" with John Mayer

Naturally, any song featuring John Mayer is destined for success. This is no exception. Khalid delivers a catchy, fun song with the help of Mayer. It was just recently released on his new album, "Free Spirit."

3. "Young Dumb & Broke"

My anthem senior year of high school whenever I was about to make a questionable decision. It might be a little strange singing it in college now that we are supposed to be ~adults~ but you know, still a jam.

4. "Heaven"

Another song off his new album, "Heaven" truly showcases Khalid's talent and range. It is kind of slow and sad, but regardless it is a great song that you might enjoy.

5. "Coaster"

Another song that shows Khalid's slow and sensitive side, "Coaster" is a catchy song that will undoubtedly be played during Mayfest.

6. "Free Spirit"

Considering it's the name of his newest album, I'm guessing "Free Spirit" will be featured during the concert. It's catchy and fun and really a song for anyone!

7. "8TEEN"

Another catchy one that celebrates youth, I promise you'll find yourself singing along to this one without even realizing it.

Happy listening and HAPPY MAYFEST!

Related Content

Facebook Comments