Throwbacks are all the rage these days, so we’re throwing it back 10 years to look at the top of Billboard’s hot 100 chart from this week in 2011. Get ready for a trip down memory lane as we cruise through the hits with Katy Perry, the Old Kanye, Nicki Minaj and more titans of early 2010’s radio pop.
Hot Chelle Rae – Tonight Tonight
Right from the get go, you know this list is going to be banger after banger after banger. Tonight, Tonight by indie rockers Hot Chelle Rae was called a summer anthem, and you can see why: Gang vocals, clean, upbeat guitar melodies, and lyrics about partying on the Hollywood sign? Sounds like our kind of party, even 10 years on.
OneRepublic – Good Life
Could there be an early 2010s top 10 list that didn’t include OneRepublic? Despite being released in 2009 on the album Waking Up, this track still cracked the top 10 in 2011 with the release of a remix in June of that year featuring rapper B.o.B. The track’s chilled out instrumental paired with the booming drums is so emblematic of that turn-of-the-decade sound.
Lil Wayne – How To Love
Lil Wayne always knew what’s up. For over two decades Wayne has been a powerhouse of hip hop and radio rap, and one of the most influential rappers of his generation. On 2011’s Tha Carter IV, Wayne pulled out all the stops on this heartfelt slow jam, with that infectious, slightly autotuned hook and bubbly, booming 808 drum beat.
Katy Perry & Kanye West – E.T.
Another member of 2010s radio royalty, Katy Perry’s seminal 2010 album Teenage Dream was the gift that kept on giving with 7 hit singles surrounding it. One of these smash hits came in the form of a remic featuring Kanye West, who himself was on the heels of a successful album run. Put these two together and its already a recipe for success, but the fact that the beat of this song is as hypnotic as the lyrics say is the icing on the cake.
Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory
As were many women who came before her, Lady Gaga was a trailblazer. Her career has been defined by making moves that people talk about for weeks, months, and even years after. And that couldn’t be more true of her definitive second album Born This Way. Exploring and celebrating sexual identity and expression through synth dance, electronica and pop rock, it’s easy to see why tracks off that album like The Edge of Glory were such cultural landmarks.
Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
Everything about Nicki Minaj in this era and on this track is bright and bubbly. From the deluxe edition of her 2010 debut album Pink Friday, the track is one of Nicki’s most iconic, marking the start of an illustrious career for the Trinidadian-American rapper/singer/songwriter. To this day, many of Minaj’s devoted fans (Barbz as they call themselves) can recite the lyrics to this song verbatim.
Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
Katy Perry on the list again with another hit single from Teenage Dream. Rereleased as a single in June of 2011 along with a brand new music video, this song is the perfect summer party tune. It perfectly encapsulates the youthful desire to be reckless and alive. With a hooky melody and punchy guitar and synth rhythms, you’ll be singing along even today, remembering 2011 parties like they were last Friday night.
Adele – Rolling In The Deep
Adele was the 2010’s queen of ballads. The driving acoustic guitar and pounding kick on Rolling In the Deep push the song forward, putting Adele’s powerful, soulful voice centre stage, exactly where it should be. Originally released in late 2010, the song saw great crossover success in America in 2011, becoming the 5th best selling single that year.
Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer – Give Me Everything
You can tell it’s 2011 when Pitbull has a track in the top 10. But, no matter what you might think about Mr. Worldwide, you have to admit this song slaps — thanks in no small part to that infectious, syncopated synth melody from DJ Afrojack and that buttery hook from singer Ne-Yo. Sure, it’s corny in hindsight, but this song epitomizes early 2010’s bubblegum pop.
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
How could number 1 have been anything else? In 2011, party rock was in the house tonight, and every night. Every day, they were shuffling, and so were you. Don’t lie. This song was EVERYWHERE.