This blog will be hard for me to write. While there were some great songs released this year, I will always remember 2016 for taking my favorite artist, Prince, away. And I’m not alone. If you’re an Eagles fan, you’ll remember 2016 as the year Glenn Frey passed away. Same goes for Bowie fans and Motörhead fans and Leonard Cohen fans and . . . the list goes on and on. In any given year the number of artists who die is probably very depressing. But this year it just seemed longer and more star-studded than usual.
With all the depressing stuff out of the way, here’s my recap of the highlights and lowlights of 2016:
Adele. I know. She released 25 and the lead single “Hello” in late 2015, but the year opened up with her at #1 on both the album and the singles charts and her tour was a huge success. Adele doesn’t release much music but when she does, it’s an event!
“Can’t Stop The Feeling” – Undeniably the best dance song to come out this year. I got my hands on a great remix early on that stays true to the original but just punches up the beat a bit. Someone told me recently his young daughter calls this the “Sunshine In My Pocket” song and we both agreed that would have been an even better title. But you can’t knock what Justin Timberlake did with this song – it’s catchy and infectious and happy and optimistic. I Love it!
Justin Bieber. I hated “The Beebs” when he first started out. In my opinion his first big single, “Baby” could be used to torture terrorists. So when I first started hearing tracks off his 2015 LP Purpose I was reluctant to admit I liked them. But no more. I proudly played “Love Yourself” and “Sorry” at plenty of parties this year and enjoyed them! I’m not saying I’m going to run out and join his fan club anytime soon, but I think Justin Bieber has matured into quite a young artist. His own songs and the songs he contributed to this year (like “Let Me Love You” and “Cold Water”) were all awesome.
Rihanna. She continues to be one of the hottest artists in the world, and that goes for her look as well as everything she touches. Any other singer repeating “work work work work work” over and over would be annoying, but somehow coming from Rihanna it, well, worked.
Drake. You can’t talk about Rihanna without also mentioning Drake because of their collaboration with “Work” as well as all of his other hits. “One Dance” rocked many a dance floor for me this year and it seemed like every time I turned around Drake had something new out. I’m tempted to make a joke about how hard he must “work work work work work” here but I’ll pass.
“H.O.L.Y.” I’m not a very religious person, or a country music fan for that matter, but this song blows me away. There’s a thin line between spirituality and sexuality (sometimes no line at all) and I think Florida Georgia Line nailed it perfectly with this song.
That “Panda” song. Thankfully, it came and went for me without having to play it too often. I was not a fan.
“JuJu On That Beat.” However, that song cracks me up. “You ugly. You your daddy’s son.” C’mon, that’s funny!
Sia. I thought “Cheap Thrills” was the best thing she’d ever done then I heard “The Greatest” and I quickly changed my mind. I still think she’s annoying for never showing her face but man can she write and sing!
Beyonce – Wow is she pissed off! Don’t know what Jay-Z did to her but man oh man her new album is filled with some revengeful stuff! I mean have you seen the video for “Hold Up“? My girl can swing a bat!
“Closer” – I know it’s the biggest hit of the year but I just never felt this song. Played it a bunch of times at my events and it went over ok, for a slow to mid-tempo song, but personally it just never connected with me.
“All My Friends” – Now that song connected with me – and I was shocked it never became a hit. When I first heard it it reminded me of “We Are Young” by Fun. with that very catchy chorus and I thought sure it would be huge. Good thing I don’t bet on these things.
Disappointments – Coupla artists released new music this year that fell flat for me and it seems like the public as well. I know Lady Gaga‘s new album debuted at #1 but it fell quickly and I don’t hear anyone talking about it. Similar things can be said for Britney Spears and Meghan Trainor and Fergie’s one single (“M.I.L.F. $”). They failed to create the buzz they hoped.
“Hands to Myself.” There was no sexier song or video this year. Hands down.
“Uptown Funk Part Two” – Opps sorry, I mean “24K Magic.” Bruno Mars new track is hot. And funky. But it has a very deja vu feeling to it, doesn’t it?
I don’t have the room to mention everything from 2016 but these are the musical moments that stood out for me. Of course, on a personal note, I’ve spent so much of this year researching and writing about songs and artists to make my daily #TodayInMusic posts that I feel like all I’ve thought about is music this year which is a great thing. I love music, all kinds, and I’ll be forever grateful to the DJ Industry for providing a way for me to make a living and be involved in music as much as I am.
Here’s hoping 2017 is a better year with not as many big name stars passing away. Please!