Best Songs From 2021

The post-quarantine period was a great time for music lovers. After being cooped up in our homes for over a year, artists were at the peak of their creativity, releasing hit song after song to save us from boredom. You’d never miss a new song to jam to, no matter your preferred genre.

As such, the 2021 music scene was flooded with great tunes and hits. It is almost impossible to pick the crème de la crème across the music genres, but below is a list of the best songs from 2021.

“Essence” by Wizkid ft. Tems

Song Year: 2021

What better way to start off the list than this music gem from two of the most prominent African artist? The hit song from Wizkid’s fourth and most popular studio album, Made in Lagos, put African music on the global charts. With laid-back beats and superb vocals from Tems, it is a perfect song to vibe to with your special person.

The chill beats and vocals are accompanied by sensual lyrics of two lovers expressing their mutual desire giving the song a hypnotizing feel. Unsurprisingly, it was a club hit, attracting a remix collaboration with top artists.

“Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic

Song Year: 2021

As artists try to grow in the music industry and make a name for themselves, most try creating new sounds that resonate with the current generation—very few stick to the classics. However, with this tune, Silk Sonic proves that classic tunes could still make great, timeless music.

Branding as a music duo, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak hit the studios to bless us with this remarkable debut single. The song has a soulful 70s feel that will leave you itching to get on your feet. The soulful beat combines well with seductive lyrics and trademark vocals from the artists that spread nothing but great vibes.

“STAY” by The Kid LAROI ft. Justin Bieber

Song Year: 2021

After blessing us with the sentimental hit song ‘Without You,’ The Kid LAROI collaborated with Justin Bieber on yet another song for when you think about your loved one.

Unlike the contemporary slow and sad love songs, STAY has an awesome vibe to it. Once the chorus hits, you can forget the lyrics about the two artists begging their lovers to stick with them and bop to the beat.

“Levitating” by Dua Lipa ft. DaBaby

Song Year: 2021

Dua Lipa is probably the greatest pop artist of our time. She never disappoints, and this song is no exception. With her signature Mezz-soprano vocals, Dua Lipa delivers a masterpiece over phenomenal disco pop beats to create the artistic excellence of ‘Levitate.’

It is one of the songs whose title matches the feeling you get when you listen to it. With the lyrics about a newly found love and a fun pop beat, you won’t resist dancing when listening to the song.

“Heat Waves” by Glass Animals

Song Year: 2021

The age of British rock bands dominating the music charts is upon us, and this 2021 hit song is a sign of the new music age. From malls to random videos to random videos on your Instagram feed, there was no escaping listening to Heat Waves by Glass Animals.

The song’s 2021 popularity was not by chance. It’s hard to resist the song’s chill and mellow beats that accompany the lead singer vocalizing about his dooming relationship.

“Rumors” by Lizzo & Cardi B

Song Year: 2021

“Rumors” was Lizzo’s first release of 2021, and it performed better than any of her previous releases. This made it one of Lizzo’s best songs. She tags Cardi B in the song that addresses internet users who are quick to believe all the stories haters spread on the internet about the people they dislike.

The music video features Lizzo and Cardi B dressed like Greek goddesses, which makes for an interesting concept.

“Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish

Song Year: 2021

Next on the list is a song by an artist who is no stranger to having a global hit song. From her second studio album, Billie Eilish presented us with yet another trademark hit song, Happier Than Ever.

With a mysterious yet soothing voice, the artist passionately sings about a failed love, learning to move on, and finding happiness after heartache. Haven’t we all found ourselves in such a situation? It is the epitome of good music from 2021 that will leave you singing in the shower.

“Up” by Cardi B

Song Year: 2021

As the COVID restrictions eased and normalcy slowly resumed, city girls had a blast jamming to this song. The song has all the trademarks of songs Cardi B is known for that have resonated with her enormous fan base. It has a catching urban beat as the rapper sings about her confidence in her body and acclaimed wealth.

“C-Kay” by Love Nwatiti

Song Year: 2021

Nothing beats West African music’s vibes: captivating beats, great vocals, and themes you cannot resist. Whether you understand the lyrics, you will find yourself dancing when they come on.

Ckay demonstrated this fact with his hit song Love Nwaititi. He kept the world on a frenzy with this masterpiece as he sang about a new-found love that kept him always yearning for his lover’s embrace. It is one of the best 2021 songs that kept people dancing.

“Smokin Out the Window” by Silk Sonic

Song Year: 2021

The Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak duo held us in a chokehold in 2021 with their debut EP. After the great reception and staggering success of the debut song ‘Leave the Door Open,’ they decided we were ready for another work of art by releasing this hit song.

Smokin out the window has a soulful and r&b fusion feel that contributes to its catchiness, as the iconic duo sings their hearts out about a love turned sour. A once tender and sweet love took a turn for the worst, leaving the singers with baby mama drama and unsolicited bills to pay.

“Rapsta” by Polo G

Song Year: 2021

Polo G has steadily made his way to stardom with his unique rap style and intelligent bars in his song. Rapstar, the third song from his third studio album, Hall of Fame, is proof of the starts undeniable talent, putting him on the map in 2021.

The song has a great rap bear, featuring a ukulele as Polo G raps about his past relationships and rise to fame. It is undoubtedly one of the best sing songs of 2021 that left people wondering who the talent behind the incredible music was.

“Have Mercy” by Chloe Bailey

Song Year: 2021

After getting numerous trolls on social media over her body positivity posts, the Grown-ish star hit the studio and released ‘Have Mercy,’ a song that shook the airwaves in 2021. The song oozes sex appeal as Chloe brushes off all those people with something to say about her body.

The music video is also to die for. It was the perfect way for Chloe to launch her music career as she left her mark on the 2021 music scene.

“Déjà vu” by Olivia Rodrigo

Song Year: 2021

Since the release of her first single, Olivia Rodrigo is steadily morphing from your favorite High School Musical actress to a renowned global pop star. Like her previous love-themed ballads, Déjà vu had a positive reception, as most people resonated with the lyrics.

The song has a soft indie pop beat as Olivia passionately sings about her ex doing the same things they did with her with a new lover. The emotions it sparks and the sweet vocals merit a position on good music from 2021.

“Best Frien” by Saweetie ft. Doja Cat

Song Year: 2021

As the title suggests, this was the best friend anthem of 2021. The unexpected collaboration

between Saweetie and Doja Cat produced one of the most listened-to songs of the year that hooked everyone.

The duo hypes up each other in classic best friend fashion as they floss about their independence, wealth, and appeal over a bouncy and catchy beat. You cannot resist it.

“Bite M” by Avril Lavigne

“Bite M” by Avril Lavigne

Song Year: 2021

It is impossible to talk about good music from 2021 without mentioning the queen of punk rock’s iconic return to her musical roots. The lead single from Avril Lavigne’s seventh studio album reflects the artist’s prowess in the genre after a stint in commercial music.

Collaborating with Blink-182’s Travis Baker as producer, the punk rock sensation sings about her no-good ex-lover, assuring him that he’ll regret crossing her. It is a high-energy drum-centered song with a catching emo-pop vibe.

“Never Wanted To Be That Girl” by Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde

Song Year: 2021

“Never Wanted To be That Girl” is a country song that perfectly blends Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde’s vocals. It is an emotional song that delves into women’s experiences with cheating. It looks at the perspective of a wife who finds out her husband is cheating and the other woman who finds out the man she sees is married.

“Take My Breath” by The Weeknd

Song Year: 2021

“Take My Breath” is a catchy single written by The Weeknd with the help of Max Martin and Oscar Holter. The Weeknd has made a career out of finding new ways of describing love, lust, and temptations, which remains true in this song.

He perfectly blends the ideas by making the listener believe he is talking about deep love, but as the song progresses, you realize it is about lust, temptation, and the need to revel in one’s desires.

“Gyalis” by Capella Grey

Song Year: 2021

“Gyalis” is a major contender for song of the 2021 summer. Capella Grey produced the song by sampling Juvenile’s 1999 song “Back That Azz Up.” The song refers to a guy who knows how to interact with ladies, similar to a womanizer, but with the distinction that they know how to maintain a good reputation with everyone.

“Don’t Go Yet” by Camila Cabello

Song Year: 2021

This song has an uptempo beat that entices the listeners to stand up and dance. The video is colorful and full of eclectic choreography. Lyrically, Camila Cabello is requesting a lover that is about to depart on a journey to spend more time with her, given the amount of time they spend apart is more than the time they spend together.

“Solar Power” by Lorde

Song Year: 2021

In “Solar Power”, Lorde uses the change in seasons from the cold of winter to the heat that comes with summer as a metaphor for internal change. She speaks of a new state of mind once the summer starts, similar to the reawakening one experiences after getting over a tough time.

“Wild Side” by Normani ft. Cardi B

Song Year: 2021

“Wild Side” was a largely anticipated hit song by Normani, following her success with her previous single, Motivation. She features Cardi B in the song, who brings the “extra sauce” just required to make the track a phenomenon. Normani seduces her listeners with her sexy vocals before Cardi B follows with her provocative bars.

“Thot S–t” by Megan Thee Stallion

Song Year: 2021

“Thot S–t” is Megan Thee Stallion’s reply to anyone who criticizes her previously provocative songs: WAP featuring Cardi B and Body.

In the song’s video, Megan Thee Stallion doubles down on her provocative dancing as she describes her twerking surrounded by other women performing the same dances. The song is also lyrically explicit as, at some point, she mentions different sexual positions.

“Need To Know” by Doja Cat

Song Year: 2021

“Need To Know” is the third single from Doja Cat’s Grammy-nominated album Planet Her. The song also received a Grammy nomination for Best Melodic Rap Performance.

Doja Cat perfectly blends her singing and rapping skills in the song as she describes her sexual desires to a man she heard has exceptional skills. The song has an artistic, colorful, visually pleasing, and sometimes psychedelic video. 

“Deja Vu” by Olivia Rodrigo

Song Year: 2021

“Deja Vu” is an appealing song that serves as Olivia Rodrigo’s second single. It is a well-written song with memorable lyrics that encourage the listener to sing along. In the song, she addresses an ex-boyfriend asking if he feels deja vu when he is with his new lover. Olivia Rodrigo perfectly addresses the similarities of moments, past and present.

“To Be Love” by Adele

Song Year: 2021

“To Be Loved” is the eleventh track on Adele’s album, 30. It is a single in one of the most awaited albums of the decade. The fact that the album dropped after Adele’s divorce from her husband raised her fans’ expectations, and she did not disappoint.

The single is one of Adele’s best vocal performances and, to some, the best vocal performance of 2021. The deep and heart-wrenching lyrics address coming to terms with the end of a marriage, especially after pouring your love and effort into making it work. Adele also speaks to how one’s perspective of love changes after the end of a relationship.

“Lumberjack” by Tyler the Creator

Song Year: 2021

“Lumberjack” was the first release from Tyler the Creator’s “Call Me If You Get Lost” album. It is a short track with braggadocious lyrics. For instance, he references selling out Madison Square Garden, a feat few artists can achieve. In a way, the track addresses all his haters by flashing his success in their faces.

“Butter” by BTS

Song Year: 2021

“Butter” is one of the best K-pop songs by the South Korean sensations BTS. It is a catchy song that uses the word butter as a metaphor for different things.

They use butter to describe their physical attractiveness, especially to the ladies. Other times, butter refers to their sleekness with the ladies, describing themselves as players without outrightly saying it. Lastly, butter describes their effortless dancing abilities.

“Wasting Time” by Brent Faiyaz ft. Drake

Song Year: 2021

“Wasting Time” is a smooth song that stands out from other summer releases. While most others are about having fun and regrouping, this song is about wanting to be close to one’s love. Brent and Drake request more quality time with their love interests in the single. Brent Faiyaz is more sentimental in his lyrics, while Drake starts by bragging about all he can offer his lover.

“Mafiosa” by Nathy Peluso

Song Year: 2021

No list of the best songs of 2021 is complete without the mention of a Latin song. The song “Mafiosa” by Nathy Peluso has an uptempo beat that will make you put your hips to work. Nathy Peluso speaks of being a mafiosa feared by even the toughest guys in the neighborhood.

Top Songs From 2021, Final Thoughts

2021 was a year of great music. It gave audiences a long-awaited Adele album and a second BTS song sung in English, among many other standout singles. We hope our list of the best songs of 2021 has helped you find more great singles to add to your playlist.

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