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Top 20 Pop Songs of 2013 Part II

Updated on February 25, 2022
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I'm a Midwesterner with a background in writing and media. My articles are mainly about relationships, dating, and heartbreak.


And now for the top 20 pop songs of 2013, the top 10 of those. You can read about what were the top 20-11 songs here.

2013 was not shy of its pop. There are a lot of contenders, but these are the most distinct without a doubt pop songs that ruled the waves starting with:

10. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Can't Hold Us

It's another sleep hit, folks. Just going to show that sometimes, a song makes it's stride after some time. So what you need for a career is patience, because one day your really good ideas are suddenly going to take the top of the chart. This particular song became huge from the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis reign of 2013. They had a few numbers that hit the airwaves hard, but this one has the most inviting rhythm for it, being celebrated in dance clubs, concerts, rap circles, etc. If you'll notice, there's some 70s vibe in the background showing that electronic voices relate to the human ears of our time. The video on this one is fantastic, the cinematography is out of control, there's lots of colors and landscapes making it a visual fest. You can tell there was a lot of effort put into the production. The video is long, traveling through different landscapes, sailing across the world, and voyaging through urban streets. The song hit the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the group's second number one single. The video was nominated for the Best Music Video in the 2014 Grammy's. The song is from the group's debut album Heist. Macklemore's first big song was Thrift Shop. The song was immediately picked up by a number of outlets to be used as a motivational song. The Oklahoma City Thunder used it to pump up the crowd, until Macklemore, a Seattle requested them not to use it... since the Thunder transferred from Seattle.

9. Justin Timberlake - TKO

Justin has returned to music. His new record wasn't necessarily the most triumph worthy, but there are a few tracks that come out that are more than gold worthy. Justin came out with this track and a lovely music video with Riley Keough, one 2013's rising stars. This song yields all of the basics of Justin from rap, falsetto, repetition, basic setting drum kit tempo making, and all those sound effects that remind you of Justin. This song may not have as much grain as What Comes Around or Cry Me a River. It's clear that Justin isn't just into the movie business now... and that he's still got a vibe for making musical tracks. The song was biggest in... Canada where it went certifiable gold. Timberlake's 20 / 20 album's most popular track was Mirrors. That single track was a landslide winner in a number of award shows and dominated the airwaves in 2013 and 2014.

TKO is a metaphor for boxing. The title means technical knockout, to describe that feeling of being knocked out when you see your ex moving on with another romantic partner.

8. Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble

Before Taylor Swift made her huge career move from country to pop music, there was her in between album Red. Taylor Swift was on her way to making one of the biggest pop albums of the decade, 1989 -- with household names like Bad Blood, Blank Space, and Shake It Off.

Maybe Taylor Swift thought she was Lana Del Ray, because she starts this song off in her video with an awkward, long, pointless monologue. Heck, Michael Jackson used to do those long intros back in the day. The real reason why this song is in the top ten isn't because of the song itself, it's quality, or anything -- it has to do with goats and Nicholas Cage. My Facebook was dotted in videos of this Taylor Swift song parodied by a number of goats and similar tricksters. It's exciting to see Taylor grow up, she's come a long way from an adorable country star to a mega star musician dominating the world with catchy tunes.

Personally, I think this song, Goyte Somebody I Used to Know and Miley's Wrecking Ball all sound eerily the same. Actually, all three of these songs are rifting off the famous tune "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Mozart is probably rolling in his grave. If there's any musical advice I can give, rift off a familiar childhood tune into something catchy, and more adult.

7. Lady Gaga - Applause

Admittedly, when I first heard this song, I thought Gaga was bellowing, "Applesauce."

This song would be miles better if she was yelling about fruit.

I hope one day that Gaga does because I see it as her calling. I feel that this song is honestly a strong comeback for Gaga and was a smart move in opening for her debut album Artpop. I'm not sure why she has to be so naked all the time, I mean we get it, your pop star, you push the limits, but it's gotten old too. But I do find this song like refreshing candy. Gaga does 80s disco pop better than anyone else, and this song oozes with the past.

Artpop was Gaga's third studio album. This song was released as her album's first song.

"I realized it was the applause of the fans that really kept me going. Because I would be ready to go onstage and just be crying hysterically not understanding even how I was feeling. I was feeling very dizzy, I had a lot of vertigo, I had pain but it's like f*** if I know what hurts the most because I'd been on tour for a year. But I didn't want to let them down and I just couldn't cancel because the thought of leaving 50,000 kids in the arena just broke my heart. So I went out every night and I played and I played and I played until I couldn't walk one night." - Lady Gaga

6. Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines

It's the summer make you feel concerned about date rape song!
It's so infectious and catchy; there were many times while driving in my little car that I felt guilty for listening to this, but there wasn't anything better on the radio. It's full of controversy, even Marvin Gaye wanted to sue him... and he won! For lack of originality, or something, but whatever.

Ladies went into a frenzy over the lyrics and the overall explicit video. Then there was the VMA's with Miley Cyrus; this song had a life of insanity in 2013. And even though I'm not real happy with such lines as "domesticate you" it is hell balls of fun. It's even a terrible musical composition, and it still doesn't matter because it's... it's just fun. I do not encourage or condone lowering the status of women. I think we can air out the pressure on this song now and just joke about its ridiculousness. Maybe I'm wrong, there's more cringe worthy chauvinism out there.

This song was literally everywhere for the whole summer. Every party. Every TV show. The Glee kids were singing it, uncomfortably so. Robin Thicke ended up eventually getting a divorce and was slaughtered in the public eye. But Pharrell Williams? His career only got better and better.

"Pharrell and I were in the studio and [...] I was like, "Damn, we should make something like that ['Got to Give It Up'], something with that groove." Then he started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about half an hour and recorded it. He and I would go back and forth where I'd sing a line and he'd be like, "Hey, hey, hey!" We started acting like we were two old men on a porch hollering at girls like, "Hey, where you going, girl? Come over here!" -- Robin Thicke

5. Justin Timberlake - Mirrors

This may actually be Justin's greatest work up to date. Instead of the more sad, perfect break-up songs, this song is a love ballad at it's finest, smoothest, and sweetest. Though I don't think we should be looking for our exact mirror of a soulmate, it has it's truth. The background instrumentation on this one is divine; it's a song that I think that will age will and can be used for a variety of settings: clubs, weddings, proms, heck funerals? I wish more of his album had been this perfect, but this one tune is what really made Timberlake in 2013. The video is one of the most perfect music videos I have seen in ages. Comparing this to N'sync will make you laugh in how much Justin's matured over the years, not just his looks but his dancing moves. Every once in awhile we get a musical treat that most people will agree upon, and if not -- they're just being silly.

4. Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball

Glob. This song has ruled the radio non-stop. It's catchy. You'll learn the lyrics in one sitting. Anyway, this song is one of those belt it out break up ballads that you need every once in awhile. It's also been the media fodder of 2013 from SNL, Glee, t-shirts, oh I don't know -- pretty much everything. Miley has been way too much on screen, great marketing, which is exactly why this song is so high. Because... YOU HIT ME LIKE A WRECKING BALL! Which, that would really hurt... seriously. Supposedly, Miley Cyrus lost her mind after her engagement fell through with Liam Hemsworth. But for whatever reason one of Hollywood's most prominent dreamboats has now decided to go back with Miley. Maybe now Miley will chill and she'll go through another art style. Or maybe she's going to be like a bad stench in the corner of a locker room. She's more like a poltergeist than a singer.

3. One Republic - Counting Stars

Lately, when I turn on the radio this little ditty comes on and plays. I think One Republic has created an infectious tune once again to the level of Apologize. This has a strong driving rhythm, not to mention the lead singer has a beautiful masculine voice. I've always loved this band, so I'm glad that they've been putting out strong songs to catch our attention still. I didn't know for months that this was One Republic, but all I can say is this is one of those songs I can play on continuous repeat and not feel bored. Let us hope that they have another 10 or more years to make songs that grab us. This song dominated the airwaves perhaps more than all the others for the next few years too. I think it's hits a wider demographic than perhaps Miley could.

2. Daft Punk - Get Lucky

Daft Punk are the kings of music. This song is the perfect summer blend, a wondrous gift after near 8 years of Daft Punk being in hiding, and a smoothness not often felt in songs. I don't care how many times this song is played, I am inexplicably happy every time I hear it. It has cruising, walking around beaches, flying in jet planes, drinking weird drinks written all over it. Daft Punk need to keep pulling out these 8th world wonders before they retire. Or make an anime out of their whole album like they did with Interstella 5555. This song will definitely be playing for years to come, and I imagine I still will be excited each time I hear it. I would almost say it is our version of Thriller.

1. Lorde - Royals

Sometimes all you need for a good pop song is to go as minimalistic as possible. Lorde thrived on being tight, succinct, having catchy lyrics, and really understanding the zeitgeist of her times. Hailing from New Zealand, Lorde made a stamp for 2013 unlike any other that skyrocketed from indie circles to the mainstream. And she's only 16, which is completely and entirely insane. She is definitely someone to watch for in the future as she grows more into herself, if of course she decides to stick with a music career. She's cool, in charge, and has one of the best albums of the year. This song with her own harmonies is perfection; it hit a niche no one was trying to move. It commanding the airwaves all throughout fall. Compared to Miley Cyrus, Lorde may have been needed for her refreshing, cool witted, demeanor.

© 2014 Andrea Lawrence


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