From DaBaby to Billie Eilish, here are 10 tunes that should be on everyone's playlist.

By Alex Suskind and Leah Greenblatt
December 20, 2019 at 01:45 PM EST
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Best Songs of 2019
Credit: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage; Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images; Xavi Torrent/Redferns; Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images

As the year comes to a close, Entertainment Weekly is looking back on the best (and worst) moments in pop culture of the last 12 months. Today, we run down the Best Songs of 2019.

10. “Suge” — DaBaby

Is anyone in music having more fun than DaBaby? In 2019, the meme-friendly MC went from small-town rapper to global superstar thanks to the force of his breakout single “Suge,” a track stacked with trunk-rattling kicks and braggadocios one liners (“Say I’m the goat, act like I don’t know/ But f— it, I’m obviously winnin'” — which, yes, he is). —Alex Suskind

9. “Lights Up” — Harry Styles

With the modern idea of rock stardom all but DOA in 2019, along came Harry Styles — he of the wicked Cheshire grin, sleek Bowie suits, and louche, confessional lyricism — to clear out those cobwebs with a sweep of his gloriously beringed hand. “Lights” is very much the sound of an Englishman in Los Angeles, all late-night canyon drives and sun-dappled love affairs; it’s a breezy, bittersweet beauty. —Leah Greenblatt

8. “Motivation” — Normani

Former Fifth Harmony member Normani had a banner year thanks to her Sam Smith collab “Dancing With a Stranger.” But it was her second hit of 2019, “Motivation” — co-written with tourmate Ariana Grande and Swedish mega-producer Max Martin — that feels tailor-made for future cookouts and dance parties. “I’ma break you off, let me be your motivation,” she sings over an infectious, horn-inflected beat. Coming from Normani, it sounds like both a welcome invitation and mischievous dare. —AS

7. “Hello Sunshine” — Bruce Springsteen

Equal parts mournful and optimistic, this beautiful, wandering lead single off Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars has Bruce dreaming of the light at the end of a dark tunnel. Lyrics like “Had enough of heartbreak and pain/ I had a little sweet spot for the rain” are potent enough on their own. When sung by Springsteen, they feel like they’re being etched into your soul. —AS

6. “Tempo” — Lizzo feat. Missy Elliott

It has clever one-liners (“Thick thighs save lives, call me little buttercup”), an instantly repeatable hook (“I’m a thick bitch, I need tempo”), and an indelible, up-tempo beat. In other words, all the ingredients of a great Lizzo song. (Bonus: Missy Elliott comes through with a fiery feature verse.) Sure, “Truth Hurts” and its 100 percent viral “100 percent that bitch” catchphrase got more play in 2019, but expect the far superior, empowering “Tempo” to become listeners’ eventual go-to Lizzo track. —AS

5. “Lose You to Love Me” — Selena Gomez

Both a brutal diss track (if there aren’t actual scorch marks on Justin Bieber’s body, it’s only because he was already wearing Kevlar) and an almost spiritual hymn of self-renewal, Selena Gomez‘s “Lose You” landed like a stealth bombshell in late autumn, the kind of quietly pretty ballad that sinks its hooks in deep and stays there. Yes, the sentiment was unsparingly pointed (“Set fires to my forest, and you let it burn/ Sang off-key in my chorus, cuz it wasn’t yours”) but more than any marker for the end of yet another celebrity portmanteau — farewell forever, Jelena! — the song felt like a bracing breath of air for anyone who has ever loved and lost and found themselves again. —LG

4. “Crowded Table” — The Highwomen

This powerful, singalong-ready single from the country supergroup (Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires) dreams of a shared tomorrow — one where women of all stripes can sit down together and have a conversation, despite their differences. “Let us take on the world while we’re young and able/ And bring us back together when the day is done,” the quartet sings on a hook that feels both timely and timeless. —AS

3. “Cellophane” — FKA twigs

Like Kate Bush, Fiona Apple, and other sui generis performers before her, FKA twigs is the kind of artist whose crystalline voice and presence offer access to the wider platform of pop stardom, but allow her to shun it, too — or more accurately, transcend that world of easy choruses and Build-A-Bear melodies with songs like “Cellophane,” a tiny swooning symphony of desire and defiance set to spare piano and a shuffling backbeat. —LG

2. “Con Altura” — Rosalía and J Balvin feat. El Guincho

The flamenco-trained Rosalía was already a star in the making thanks to her breakout 2018 album El Mal Querer. But “Con Altura” showed that she can genre-hop with the best of them. On this hypnotic, call-and-response reggaeton anthem featuring Latin trap king J Balvin, she turns a phrase from Dominican radio and television personality Mariachi Budda into a potent and powerful chant. —AS

1. “Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish

Duh. No one outside Lizzo had a bigger music year than Billie Eilish, whose debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? turned the Los Angeles-bred singer from cult artist into global superstar. The project’s anchor was “Bad Guy,” a minimalist, four-on-the-floor synth stomper about terrible boyfriends who act too tough for their own good. —AS

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