End Of An Era: Revisit All 94 Songs That Hit #1 During President Obama’s 8 Years In Office
I am struggling with this particular fact of life, but this is it, folks; the Obama years have come to an end.
Barack Obama began his first term as President in January 2009, just as Lady Gaga‘s debut single “Just Dance” kicked off its run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Not only were the American spirit and politics in general shifting dramatically, popular music, too, was going through a sea change. In fact, scratch that — there was a full-on pop revolution happening in the United States.
Do you remember what you were doing in 2009? 2010? 2011 and 2012? That’s the funny thing about music; it can both capture the zeitgeist and, years later, trigger the memory of exactly where you were — and who you were — at any given moment in time.
I, along with several of my friends — not to mention thousands upon thousands of Americans — suddenly found myself out of work by President Obama’s third week in office. (Eight months later, fate would take a hand and I would take an editor position here at Idolator.)
When I personally look back on 2009, one of the standout highlights for me is the hours of conversation shared between myself and my friend, colleague and current Idolator contributor Jonathan Riggs, who was also on the dole in those days. And so I couldn’t think of a better partner in crime for the task of revisiting each and every one of the 94 songs that was #1 from the day Obama walked into the White House until — sigh — today.
Before we get to mine and Jonathan’s, um, less eloquent words below, allow me to post a passage from one of the most awe-inspiring political speeches of our generation — the one then-presidential nominee Barack Obama gave in Berlin on July 24, 2008:
I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions. But I also know how much I love America. I know that for more than two centuries, we have strived — at great cost and great sacrifice – to form a more perfect union; to seek, with other nations, a more hopeful world. Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom — indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares. What has always united us — what has always driven our people; what drew my father to America’s — is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please.
It makes you tear up just to read it now, doesn’t it? President Obama, to borrow from the second single that topped the chart after you took office, our lives truly will suck without you. But that said, if there’s one thing pop music and our outgoing president have given us repeatedly, it’s the belief that with hope, anything is possible.
One last thing: Doing this exercise with Jonathan of revisiting all these songs that reached #1 during the Obama years meant also revisiting all the songs the reached #1 during my time so far at Idolator. An era — a truly glorious one — has ended. But here’s hoping for more great times ahead, soundtracked by some really good, somewhat okay and frankly terrible music that’s still on the horizon.
And with that, let’s get to it. — ROBBIE DAW
1. Lady Gaga featuring Colby O’Donis, “Just Dance”Weeks on top: 3Time period: January 2009Jonathan says: Three words: “Featuring Colby O’Donis.” Were we all ever that young? At least there’s something about the “gonna be okay” delivery that still makes me think it just might be.
2. Kelly Clarkson, “My Life Would Suck Without You”Weeks on top: 2Time period: February 2009Robbie says: What an ironic title for a song that came at the beginning of the Obama era. Little did we know.
3. Eminem featuring Dr. Dre & 50 Cent, “Crack A Bottle”Weeks on top: 1Time period: February 2009Jonathan says: Remember the scene in 8 Mile where Kim Basinger, playing Eminem’s trailer-dwelling mom, wails to her son that her loser boyfriend Greg won’t go down on her? I’d rather listen to that on a three-minute loop than this ever again.
4. Flo Rida, “Right Round”Weeks on top: 6Time period: February – April 2009Robbie says: I remember being unemployed for a stretch during the recession and writing a screed on my blog on the 10 reasons the girl belting out the chorus on “Right Round” needed to be everyone’s new favorite singer. Turns out it was pre-“Tik Tok” Kesha. By the way, a song where Flo Rida and Kesha evoke Pete Burns? One of the finest landmarks in the Obama era.
5. Lady Gaga, “Poker Face”Weeks on top: 1Time period: April 2009Jonathan says: Great song. But even if Rumpus, the Great Dane in the video, hadn’t died the year after it came out, he’d be dead by now anyway. Ma-ma-mortality-ma-ma!
6. The Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”Weeks on top: 12Time period: April – July 2009Robbie says: This is the point where The Black Eyed Peas hijacked the chart for half a goddamn year. Blame Obama!
7. The Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”Weeks on top: 14Time period: July – October 2009Jonathan says: …and that feeling is deep, deep shame.
8. Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne, “Down”Weeks on top: 2, non-consecutiveTime period: October 2009Robbie says: Synthy, syrupy “Down” did everything a fantastic pop song is supposed to: It didn’t grate or overstay its welcome, and it made your chest swell with pure joy for three-and-a-half minutes. Bonus points for Lil Wayne’s timely cheeseball line “I’m down like the economy.” Weren’t we all, Weezy?
9. Britney Spears, “3”Weeks on top: 1Time period: October 2009Robbie says: Peak-era Britney with Max Martin, and still one of the most magnificent middle eights in modern pop. Don’t agree? Then maybe you should grab yourself by the pussy and go throw yourself of a cliff.
10. Owl City, “Fireflies”Weeks on top: 2, non-consecutiveTime period: November 2009Robbie says: Just before coming to Idolator in November 2009, I spent a couple months doing a freelance writing gig for Universal Music Group. The interns in the office were constantly playing this guy, Owl City, and some MySpace boy THOTlet named Justin Bieber. I gravitated toward Owl City, and played the shit out of Ocean Eyes. The rest of the world, however…
11. Jason Derulo, “Whatcha Say”Weeks on top: 1Time period: November 2009Robbie says: So annoyingly inescapable that we named a weekly Idolator feature that lasted six years after it.
12. Jay Z featuring Alicia Keys, “Empire State Of Mind”Weeks on top: 5Time period: November – December 2009Robbie says: And along comes a new American classic that’s still ringing loudly from hockey stadiums to vomit-soaked fraternities, coast to coast.
13. Kesha, “Tik Tok”Weeks on top: 9Time period: January – February 2010Jonathan says: The most iconic debut of the modern era. That video-game-electroblurby-beep-booping that bubbles beneath the entire thing will never stop making it pop.
14. The Black Eyed Peas, “Imma Be”Weeks on top: 2Time period: March 2010Robbie says: This is so bad, I propose we repeal its very existence. Next.
15. Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris, “Break Your Heart”Weeks on top: 1Time period: March 2010Jonathan says: Catchy “loving me will destroy you” jam “Break Your Heart” may have had teeth seven years ago, but now it sounds as saccharine as anything Kidz Bop ever put out…so of course, they covered it. This YouTube comment on said cover is too perfect not to include: “I want to surprise my niece and nephews with a ‘pop’ song that I rewrite to be about Jesus — bet they didn’t know their Aunt M was so creative? ;-) Anyway, I think this one could be good with ‘He’s only gonna save your heart’.”
16. Rihanna, “Rude Boy”Weeks on top: 5Time period: March – April 2010Robbie says: For a brief touch-and-go period after the whole Chris Brown scandal in 2009, it seemed like Rihanna’s career might have been cooling off. Third Rated R single “Rude Boy,” however, righted any wrong in that department. It deservedly reignited that RiRi reign and became the diva’s first #1 in two years.
17. B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars, “Nothin’ On You”Weeks on top: 2Time period: May 2010Jonathan says: Good Nintendo 64 reference, boring song. Mr. Mars, you’ve done much better.
18. Usher featuring will.i.am, “OMG”Weeks on top: 4, non-consecutiveTime period: May – June 2010Robbie says: One of life’s more perplexing mysteries: Usher’s absolute generi-dud “OMG” spent four (!) weeks at #1, while “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” only made it to #4? More like “WTF.” Obama may have been repairing the country during this period, but will.i.am was systematically destroying our ears.
19. Eminem, “Not Afraid”Weeks on top: 1Time period: May 2010Jonathan says: …or interesting.
20. Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg, “California Gurls”Weeks on top: 6Time period: June – July 2010Robbie says: Back when songs of summer were songs of summer. Perry sealed her superstar status with this ultra-poppy West Coast answer to Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State Of Mind.” Fun fact: Current East Coast-ers Jonathan and I were appropriately both sitting at my kitchen table in Los Angeles and watching Katy’s iconic cans shoot their cream for the very first time as I wrote the “California Gurls” video up here on Idolator.
21. Eminem featuring Rihanna, “Love The Way You Lie”Weeks on top: 7Time period: July – September 2010Jonathan says: Despite my apple-bottom-jeans-boots-with-the-furs low, low, low tolerance for Eminem’s “intensity” — my, this haterade is refreshing — I’m still a little in awe of the power of this jam. Something about its manufactured rawness feels real.
22. Katy Perry, “Teenage Dream”Weeks on top: 2Time period: September 2010Robbie says: One of the hands-down best pop songs of this decade. “Teenage Dream” masterfully captures that most bittersweet aspect of any romance: that it will only ever feel brand new once.
23. Bruno Mars, “Just The Way You Are”Weeks on top: 4Time period: October 2010Jonathan says: I wanted to dismiss this as mawkish music for mansplainers. Then I re-watched the Glee cover where Finn sings it to Kurt and, oh God, I’m sobbing.
24. Far East Movement featuring The Cataracs & Dev, “Like A G6”Weeks on top: 3, non-consecutiveTime period: October – November2010Robbie says: Ladies and gentleman, welcome to complete ratchetry.
25. Kesha, “We R Who We R”Weeks on top: 1Time period: November 2010Jonathan says: As a young Animal, I stanned for this shit hard when it came out, even if I had to admit it seemed like a stretch to call it the anthem of acceptance Kesha klaimed it was. As a not-so-young Animal, I now think this song kind of (@kesha)suxx.
26. Rihanna featuring Drake, “What’s My Name?”Weeks on top: 1Time period: November 2010Robbie says: Drake has had his moments, but this isn’t one of them. Despite his irksome 38 seconds here, “What’s My Name?” still stands out as one of the many beautifully-realized classics from RiRi’s never-ending imperial phase.
27. Rihanna, “Only Girl (In The World)”Weeks on top: 1Time period: December 2010Jonathan says: I am here for RiRi, even if this particular track has never particularly flipped my red wig. It just seems weird to me that on a song where she’s belting maybe the most she ever has, she seems blander than bland.
28. Pink, “Raise Your Glass”Weeks on top: 1Time period: December 2010Robbie says: Like Kesha’s “We R Who We R,” this harmless entry in the Pink catalog helped typify the whole “it’s okay and actually kind of hip to be an outcast” theme that was trending in pop throughout Obama’s first term.
29. Katy Perry, “Firework”Weeks on top: 4, non-consecutiveTime period: December 2010 – January 2011Jonathan says: “Firework” is absolutely fucking terribly written and sung. But then Katy Perry starts wailing ridiculous lyrics with Manson Girl-intensity and I believe in it and her all over again.
30. Bruno Mars, “Grenade”Weeks on top: 4, non-consecutiveTime period: January – February 2011Robbie says: Literally haven’t heard this since 2011. Why ruin a good thing?
31. Britney Spears, “Hold It Against Me”Weeks on top: 1Time period: January 2011Jonathan says: Cute but soulless dead-behind-the-eyes dubstep. [Robbie: Heresy!]
32. Wiz Khalifa, “Black And Yellow”Weeks on top: 1Time period: February 2011Robbie says: Life for me somehow came full circle when I was living in Dallas for a split-second (don’t ask), and my hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, flew to Big D to play in the 2011 Super Bowl while another hometown hero, Wiz Khalifa, went to #1 that same week with his Steelers-referencing anthem, “Black And Yellow.” Naturally I hopped a plane and retreated to L.A. for a week to avoid all of the above.
33. Lady Gaga, “Born This Way”Weeks on top: 5Time period: February – April 2011Jonathan says: Second best, baby.
34. Katy Perry featuring Kanye West, “E.T.”Weeks on top: 5, non-consecutiveTime period: April – May 2011Robbie says: Not the first of Katy’s myriad of chart-topping hits that immediately comes to mind. But the lack of “E.T.” overplay throughout the years is what makes this sexy, extraterrestrial boom-boom-stomp jam one space oddity that’s definitely worth a revisit.
35. Rihanna featuring Britney Spears, “S&M (Remix)”Weeks on top: 1Time period: April 2011Jonathan says: The original was great as it was. Whoever short-circuited the BritBot-powered flaccid remix should be properly thrashed with a riding crop, though.
36. Adele, “Rolling In The Deep”Weeks on top: 7Time period: May – July 2011Robbie says: Take every seat, pop players. Adele has arrived to set off an unstoppable global soulquake and defy all industry expectations.
37. Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer, “Give Me Everything”Weeks on top: 1Time period: July 2011Jonathan says: “Excuse me,” but still a classic, and the best song that inspired a lawsuit from Lindsay Lohan. Dale!
38. LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock, “Party Rock Anthem”Weeks on top: 6Time period: July – August 2011Robbie says: I’d be willing to bet that at least three-fourths of the 8 million dicks who bought “Party Rock Anthem” voted for Trump.
39. Katy Perry, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”Weeks on top: 2Time period: August – September 2011Jonathan says: Endlessly, effortlessly charming. Better than Full House, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters, and Step by Step combined.
40. Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, “Moves Like Jagger”Weeks on top: 4, non-consecutiveTime period: August – September 2011Robbie says: Eleven seasons later and still the only hit single The Voice ever spawned.
41. Adele, “Someone Like You”Weeks on top: 5, non-consecutiveTime period: September – November 2011Robbie says: Adele single-handedly brought the piano ballad back in vogue with epic weeper “Someone Like You.” [Jonathan: More like “Someone Like Snooze.”]
42. Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, “We Found Love”Weeks on top: 10, non-consecutiveTime period: November 2011 – January 2012Robbie says: Impeccable dancefloor euphoria. “We Found Love” gave Scottish producer Calvin Harris, who’d already released two albums by this point, his first US hit, and a ticket to global superstardom.
43. LMFAO, “Sexy And I Know It”Weeks on top: 2Time period: January 2012Jonathan says: I saw Redfoo in person once, which only reaffirmed my extremely unpopular opinion that this song and video are un-ironically hot.
44. Adele, “Set Fire To The Rain”Weeks on top: 2Time period: February 2012Robbie says: “Set Fire To The Rain” is actually one of Adele’s finest singles — if not the finest — in my opinion. That’s some Phil Spector wall-of-sound level drama in the final minute.
45. Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”Weeks on top: 3, non-consecutiveTime period: February – March 2012Jonathan says: A Pilates power anthem for Pottery Barn moms.
46. Katy Perry, “Part Of Me”Weeks on top: 1Time period: March 2012Robbie says: You’d be hard-pressed to find one person on the street who remembers this song, but I still love it. If “Teenage Dream” was Katy Perry’s love letter to onetime husband Russell Brand, “Part Of Me,” was the final divorce paper sign-off, written in poison-tipped pen.
47. Fun. featuring Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”Weeks on top: 6Time period: March – April 2012Jonathan says: Yes, but this song sure got old.
48. Gotye featuring Kimbra, “Somebody That I Used To Know”Weeks on top: 8Time period: April – June 2012Robbie says: Somebody! Somehow, some way, Gotye’s lone, quirky (mega-)hit doesn’t make me want to put a corkscrew through my face like it did when it was obscenely overplayed in 2012. In fact, I almost kind of like it again. Almost.
49. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”Weeks on top: 9Time period: June – August 2012Robbie says: Queen Of Summer 2012. Queen Of Reaching Out And Touching Someone. Queen Of The Car Wash. Queen Of Everything.
50. Flo Rida, “Whistle”Weeks on top: 2, non-consecutiveTime period: August – September 2012Robbie says: Get it? He wants you to pucker up and put your mouth on his cock.
51. Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”Weeks on top: 3, non-consecutiveTime period: September 2012Jonathan says: I stand by my previous Idolator Valentine to this song, which received the following response: “Who wrote that we are never ever gettin back together is one of the best pop cuts of the 21st century must have been absolutely drunk. The track has always reminded me of a high group of evil-spirited 5 years old kids singing as silly as a human ear can stand a even sillier song, if u dare to call it so.” LIKE EVER, MOTHERFUCKER!
52. Maroon 5, “One More Night”Weeks on top: 9Time period: September – November 2012Robbie says: Pure traish.
53. Rihanna, “Diamonds”Weeks on top: 3, non-consecutiveTime period: December 2012Jonathan says: Still shines bright! Without a doubt, one of Rihanna’s best.
54. Bruno Mars, “Locked Out Of Heaven”Weeks on top: 6Time period: December 2012 – January 2013Robbie says: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! Easily the most badass thing Bruno Mars has ever recorded.
55. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz, “Thrift Shop”Weeks on top: 6, non-consecutiveTime period: February – April 2013Jonathan says: Unlike all of showbiz at large, I still think “this is fucking awesome.”
56. Baauer, “Harlem Shake”Weeks on top: 5Time period: March – April 2013Robbie says: Who hasn’t gathered the whole family around the Steinway for a hearty sing-along of “Harlem Shake”?
57. Bruno Mars, “When I Was Your Man”Weeks on top: 1Time period: April 2013Robbie says: Literally haven’t heard this since 2013. Why ruin a good thing?
58. Pink featuring Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me A Reason”Weeks on top: 3Time period: April – May 2013Robbie says: It’s with a heavy sigh that we must face that fact that Pink has gotten more and more tame with each release. That said, “Just Give Me A Reason” remains lovely. One of several piano ballads that has Adele’s “Someone Like You” to thank for the genre’s resurgence.
59. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton, “Can’t Hold Us”Weeks on top: 5Time period: May – June 2013Robbie says: Didn’t Macklemore put an album out after this one? He did, right? No? Fuck it — move on to the next one.
60. Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell, “Blurred Lines”Weeks on top: 12Time period: June – September 2013Robbie says: The problem with the whole song of summer concept everyone likes to over-analyze even before the season rolls around each year is that while it’s touted as a piece of music to be celebrated, the flip side is that it’s the 3 minutes and 30 seconds of music you never want to hear again after August. Throw in questionably rape-y lyrics and a multi-million dollar lawsuit and, well — see ya, Robin Thicke.
61. Katy Perry, “Roar”Weeks on top: 2Time period: September 2013Jonathan says: Not exactly the most grab-them-by-the-balls return in pop history. I’m rooting for the poachers.
62. Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball”Weeks on top: 3, non-consecutiveTime period: September – December 2013Robbie says: For the casual listener, it’s hard to divorce the magnificence of “Wrecking Ball” the heartbreaking ballad from the brazen trashiness of its video or Miley’s twerk-obsessed persona during her Bangerz era. The dust has settled, though, and it is high time you swung back for a listen.
63. Lorde, “Royals”Weeks on top: 9Time period: October – December 2013Jonathan says: “Royals” only gets more interesting with every listen to me. It’s spare and smart, and I heard a cabaret singer do a bluesy take on it that blew my mind. Queen Bee still rules me.
64. Eminem featuring Rihanna, “The Monster”Weeks on top: 4Time period: December 2013 – January 2014Robbie says: There aren’t many folks out there who will stick their neck out by declaring “The Monster” is either Eminem or Rihanna’s best, but the plus here is that it gave us (by way of the the songwriting credits) Bebe Rexha.
65. Pitbull featuring Kesha, “Timber”Weeks on top: 3Time period: January – February 2014Jonathan says: Yes, still; yes always. To everything about this. Except the unforgivable choice by the music video director not to make it all lumberjack-themed.
66. Katy Perry featuring Juicy J, “Dark Horse”Weeks on top: 4Time period: February – March 2014Robbie says: Notable for being the last song Max Martin co-wrote and co-produced with Dr. Luke to top the Hot 100. Nearly three years later, it’s also the most recent #1 by Perry. We’re ready for, ready for another perfect storm, perfect storm, Katy.
67. Pharrell, “Happy”Weeks on top: 10Time period: March – May 2014Jonathan says: The world was a much better place before the minions; the world was a much better place before Pharrell’s solo career. I hate this song.
68. John Legend, “All Of Me”Weeks on top: 3Time period: May – June 2014Robbie says: How the hell was this the John Legend single to sell 8 million downloads and go to #1?
69. Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX, “Fancy”Weeks on top: 7Time period: June – July 2014Jonathan says: Absolutely iconic in every single way, and I will never get tired of I-G-G-Y-ing it! Bonus points for the video’s “Amber” really feeling her Heckerling fantasy.
70. MAGIC!, “Rude”Weeks on top: 6Time period: July – September 2014Robbie says: Another one that surprisingly sounds better after letting a few years of distance build up. You’re starting to see the trend here, though, right? For better or worse with a bulk of these huge songs of the summer, radio gives the artist the shaft with every subsequent release.
71. Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”Weeks on top: 4, non-consecutiveTime period: September – November 2014Jonathan says: Over Christmas, I asked my 4-year-old niece what she was thinking, and she told me that she was listening to “Shake It Off” in her head. I believe the children are our future.
72. Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”Weeks on top: 8Time period: September – November 2014Robbie says: Believe it or not, we premiered this song and video on Idolator back in spring 2014. You’re welcome for your Grammy and your mountains of cash, Meghan!
73. Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”Weeks on top: 7Time period: November 2014 – January 2015Jonathan says: [Stabs cake] #perfection.
74. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”Weeks on top: 14Time period: January – April 2015Robbie says: I’ve been to five weddings over the past two years, and this song never fails to get the aunties and moms on the floor. Do they give out a Grammy for that?
75. Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, “See You Again”Weeks on top: 12, non-consecutiveTime period: April – July 2015Jonathan says: “My Heart Will Go On” for bros.
76. Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood”Weeks on top: 1Time period: June 2015Robbie says: You’ve seen me point these things out several times here, but they’re things that need pointing out because sometimes America just gets it wrong: This useless remix of “Bad Blood” went to the top of the chart, while previous single “Style” peaked at #6. [Shakes fist in the air]
77. OMI, “Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)”Weeks on top: 6, non-consecutiveTime period: July – September 2015Jonathan says: Gimme an F!
78. The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face”Weeks on top: 3, non-consecutiveTime period: August – September 2015Robbie says: Perfect in every way. The Weeknd’s arrival in the mainstream is one of the best things to happen to pop over the past three years.
79. Justin Bieber, “What Do You Mean?”Weeks on top: 1Time period: September 2015Jonathan says: Fantastic, except for the “be more straightforward!” backing vocal ad-lib…and the fact that a terrible human being is singing it.
80. The Weeknd, “The Hills”Weeks on top: 6Time period: October – November 2015Robbie says: Shriiiieeek! Perhaps the darkest jam to hit #1 in a decade. How it made it there defies logic and can only be attributed to the wild popularity The Weeknd is still enjoying two years down the line.
81. Adele, “Hello”Weeks on top: 10Time period: November 2015 – January 2016Robbie says: All this time later, “Hello” still has the gravity of being an event. When — and how — will any of your faves?
82. Justin Bieber, “Sorry”Weeks on top: 3Time period: January – February 2016Robbie says: Justin Bieber needed to do everything right with Purpose, and he pulled it off. Well, okay — it seems like he was kind of a dick while touring this album, so there’s that. Anyway, “Sorry” — excellent tune.
83. Justin Bieber, “Love Yourself”Weeks on top: 2, non-consecutiveTime period: February – March 2016Jonathan says: …too much, though, and you’ll go blind. [Rim shot] Pleasant to meh.
84. Zayn, “Pillowtalk”Weeks on top: 1Time period: February 2016Robbie says: A top notch song about fucking. GReAt joB, ZAYN!
85. Rihanna featuring Drake, “Work”Weeks on top: 9Time period: March – May 2016Jonathan says: It doesn’t get much hotter than Rihanna or Drake; it doesn’t get much hotter than Rihanna and Drake. “Work” is sexier and better than it should be, but where’s the world-class material these two deserve?
86. Desiigner, “Panda”Weeks on top: 2Time period: May 2016Robbie says: My favorite thing Desiigner has ever done isn’t “Panda”; it’s his 2016 MTV Video Music Awards red carpet interview.
87. Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla, “One Dance”Weeks on top: 10, non-consecutiveTime period: May – August 2016Jonathan says: The kinda-catchy, kinda-forgettable “One Dance” became Drake’s first Hot 100 #1 as lead artist. Not one of his best, but a nice achievement for the world’s cutest Canuck.
88. Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling”Weeks on top: 1Time period: May 2016Robbie says: A simple, feelgood song in a feelbad year. All the haters can kiss JT’s trollbutt.
89. Sia featuring Sean Paul, “Cheap Thrills”Weeks on top: 4Time period: August – September 2016Jonathan says: Weird and magical and clever beyond measure — both Sia and “Cheap Thrills.” This is going to be a really fun jam to rediscover 20 years from now, and none of us will be embarrassed to have loved it.
90. The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, “Closer”Weeks on top: 12Time period: September – November 2016Robbie says: Absolute chintz-pop. Much like Donald Trump, it seems we’re going to be stuck with The Chainsmokers for some time. Dammit, America!
91. Rae Sremmurd, “Black Beatles”Weeks on top: 7, non-consecutiveTime period: November 2016 — January 2017Jonathan says: Where’s Black Yoko when you need her?
92. The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”Weeks on top: 1Time period: January 2017Robbie says: Powerful, strange and spacey. Also, the last great pop single to top the chart during the Obama era. Sigh.
93. Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad And Boujee”Weeks on top: 1Time period: January 2017Jonathan says: I’ve never felt more out of touch with pop music or the American political system. Happy 2017!
94. Ed Sheeran, “Shape Of You”Weeks on top: 1 (so far)Time period: January 2017Robbie says: That’s it, folks. Obama entered the White House while Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” was #1, and now he’s leaving us with Ed Sheeran and Donald Trump. Pray for the future, and prepare to start looking back over the last eight years very fondly.
What were your favorite #1s from the Obama years? Let us know below!