“The Hills” is a song by Canadian singer The Weeknd. It was released on May 27, 2015 as the second single from his second studio album, Beauty Behind the Madness (2015).
“The Hills” was a critical success, appearing on several year-end lists. In the singer’s native Canada, the song peaked at number one. In the United States it also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, replacing his own “Can’t Feel My Face”. The song also made the top 10 in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. It reached the top 20 in Denmark and Sweden while reaching the top 40 in The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. A music video for the song was released on May 27, 2015. It was directed by Grant Singer. Two official remixes of the song features rappers Eminem and Nicki Minaj.
“What Do You Mean?” is a song recorded by Canadian singer Justin Bieber for his fourth studio album Purpose (2015). The song was released on August 28, 2015, as the album’s lead single by Def Jam. Written by Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd and Mason Levy, the song was produced by MdL and co-produced by Bieber. “What Do You Mean?” is a pop and tropical house song, with its instrumentation consisting in light flourishes of panpipes, looped vocal samples, piano chords, fervent synths, bass and “slick beat” elements with the sound of a clock ticking, while Bieber uses a smooth, soulful vocal. Lyrically, “What Do You Mean?” talks about not being able to figure out the opposite sex with Bieber asking a girl why her body language is conflicting with her words.
It was featured in several year-end lists of best songs of 2015. Commercially, the song topped the charts in several countries, including Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Norway. In Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, “What Do You Mean?” was Bieber’s first number-one single. The song’s music video features Bieber in bed with a young woman and getting kidnapped by masked men, as well as an appearance from actor John Leguizamo.
“Can’t Feel My Face” is a song performed by Canadian singer The Weeknd from his second studio album Beauty Behind the Madness (2015). The song was released on June 8, 2015 as the second single from the album. It was written by Max Martin, Peter Svensson, Ali Payami, Savan Kotecha and The Weeknd, and produced by Max Martin and Payami.
Critics lauded “Can’t Feel My Face,” comparing the sound of the song to the works of Michael Jackson; Rolling Stone ranked it as the best song of 2015. It was also nominated for two Grammy Awards: Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. The song experienced commercial success, peaking at number one on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian Hot 100. The single has also peaked at number one in New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland and South Africa, and was a top 10 single in other territories, such as Australia, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom.
“Cheerleader” is a song recorded by Jamaican singer OMI. The track was written and produced by OMI and Clifton Dillon, Mark Bradford, and Ryan Dillon. OMI first began developing the song in 2008, when he created its melody. It was refined over several years alongside famed Jamaican producer Clifton Dillon. It was first recorded with veteran session musicians Sly and Robbie and Dean Fraser. Released as a single on independent label Oufah, the song saw success in Jamaica, where it topped the charts, and also attracted airplay in Hawaii and Dubai. The song’s lyrics depict a romantic companion as a support system.
Hoping to connect the song to a wider audience, OMI signed to U.S. dance label Ultra Music in 2013. Ultra contacted two disc jockeys to produce remixed versions of the original song. The label and song’s producers preferred one remix, produced by a young German DJ, Felix Jaehn, that eschewed much of the song’s original instrumentation for a tropical-flavored deep house rendition, prominently featuring a trumpet, a conga beat, and piano. A remix extended play was released in May 2014 by Ultra, which began to first see commercial success that fall.
“Cheerleader” became a massive global success in 2015, when it reached number one in 20 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Sweden and Germany.
“See You Again” is a song recorded by American rapper Wiz Khalifa featuring American singer Charlie Puth. The track was commissioned for the soundtrack of the 2015 action film Furious 7 as a tribute to the late Paul Walker, who died in a single-vehicle accident on November 30, 2013 in Valencia, California. The artists co-wrote the song with its co-producers, DJ Frank E and Andrew Cedar, with additional production from Puth and mixing provided by Manny Marroquin. “See You Again” was released on March 10, 2015, as the soundtrack’s lead single in the United States.
“See You Again” was a global commercial success, becoming both Khalifa’s and Puth’s biggest single to date. It spent 12 non-consecutive weeks atop the US Billboard Hot 100, tying Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and Black Eyed Peas’s “Boom Boom Pow” for the longest-running rap number-one single in the country, and topped the UK Singles Chart for two consecutive weeks. It also reached number one in several other countries including Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and Switzerland. The song holds the record for the most-streamed track in a single day on Spotify in the United States. It set the record for most streams in a single week worldwide, and in the United Kingdom also in a single week. On October 7, 2015, the video became the very first hip-hop song to reach a billion views on YouTube, and on September 3, 2016, it became the first hip-hop song to reach 2 billion views as well as being the second video ever to do so after Psy’s “Gangnam Style”. “See You Again” received three nominations at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media. It was also shortlisted for the Song of the Year for the BBC Music Awards and was nominated for Best Original Song at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. “See You Again” was the best selling-song of 2015 worldwide, with combined sales and track-equivalent streams of 20.9 million units according to IFPI.
“Uptown Funk” (stylised as “UpTown Funk!”) is a song recorded by British record producer Mark Ronson, and American singer and songwriter Bruno Mars, for Ronson’s fourth studio album, Uptown Special (2015). RCA Records released the song as the album’s lead single on 10 November 2014. Jeff Bhasker assisted the artists in co-writing and co-producing the track, with additional writing from Philip Lawrence. This is Mars’ fourth collaboration with Ronson (following Mars’ own songs “Locked Out of Heaven”, “Moonshine”, and “Gorilla”) and sixth with Bhasker (after “Talking to the Moon”, “Young Girls” and the three previously mentioned songs).
Several music critics noted its similarity with popular music from the 1980s. It won both its Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (plus a Grammy Award in the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category for remixer Dave Audé). The song was also a global commercial success, spending 14 consecutive weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, seven non-consecutive weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart, and topped the charts in several other countries including Australia, Canada, France, Ireland and New Zealand. In the week of 25 January 2015, the song was streamed a record 2.34 million times in a single week in the UK, a record later surpassed by Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” (2.58 million streams). The latter song also beat “Uptown Funk” for the highest number of streams in one week worldwide, with 15.5 million. “Uptown Funk” also set a new record for the highest number of streams in one week in the US, with 4.8 million streams. Worldwide, the song has accumulated an estimated 15.2 million points from sales and streams. In 2015, “Uptown Funk” won Ronson the Brit Award for British Single of the Year. The video for “Uptown Funk” was also nominated for five MTV Video Music Awards in 2015, winning Best Male Video. According to Billboard magazine, the song has earned $2.7 million in publishing royalties (excluding TV and film synchronization revenue), $1.9 million of which went to the writers based on their respective publishing deals. On 24 June 2015, it was reported that Trinidad James earned over $150,000 USD in royalty earnings from Uptown Funk’s interpolation.
The song features heavy inspiration from the Minneapolis sound of 1980s-era funk music, having a spirit akin to works by Prince as well as Morris Day and The Time. Copyright controversies about “Uptown Funk” have dogged Ronson and Mars, with The Gap Band’s three core members being added on as songwriters as part of a mutually settled agreement given the inspiration given to the track by “Oops! Upside Your Head”. Serbian pop artist Viktorija has also argued that “Uptown Funk” infringed on her track “Ulice Mracne Nisu Za Devojke”.
The video received its billionth view on YouTube on 15 September 2015 (UTC), and has become the third most watched video on YouTube.
“Blank Space” is a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift from her fifth studio album 1989 (2014). It was written by Swift, Max Martin and Shellback. The song was released to the radio by Republic Records on November 10, 2014 as the album’s second single, after “Shake It Off” and is the second track on the album. Musically, “Blank Space” is an electropop song with lyrics that satirize the media’s perception of Swift and her relationships.
“Blank Space” reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 following “Shake It Off”. Swift became the first woman in the Hot 100’s 56-year history to succeed herself at the top spot. It has also been included in numerous year-end critics’ lists. The song has also topped charts in Canada, South Africa and Australia. It also charted in the top 10 in numerous countries, such as Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The song’s accompanying music video was directed by Joseph Kahn and was shot over three days at Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York. The song received its first televised performance at the 2014 American Music Awards and as part of “Taylor Swift’s 1989 Secret Session with iHeartRadio” on October 27, 2014, in New York City.
The song received nominations for the 58th Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.